SITUATION: Given that the $250,000 limit is in place through 2013 (it may be extended past that date, but there is no guarantee), you want to know if it is smart to invest $250,000 in a high-rate five-year CD your bank is offering.
ACTION: No. You have to understand that currently the $250,000 insurance is good only through December 31, 2013. It may be renewed past 2013, but as of now, we do not know if it will be extended. If you have more than $100,000 at one bank the safest move is to limit your CD purchases to issues that mature before Dec. 31, 2013. That way, if for some reason the insurance coverage reverts to $100,000 in 2014, you will have the flexibility to spread your money among different banks without incurring any early-withdrawal penalties on your CDs.
To be absolutely safe, limit the money you deposit at any one bank to $100,000 or stick with a CD that expires by Dec. 31, 2013.