No one is immune to the possibility of a bank or credit union failure, no matter how unlikely it may seem. That’s where Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) comes in because the risk of a bank run is low but never zero. Force majeure or not, the CDIC protects your money by providing deposit insurance on eligible deposits held at member institutions. This coverage is completely free and automatic, so no application is necessary.

But what qualifies as an eligible deposit, and how much coverage do Canadians have? Here’s everything you need to know about CDIC coverage in Canada.

What is CDIC coverage, and why do I need it?

The CDIC is a federal Crown corporation that protects Canadians’ deposits in the event of a member institution failure. It was established in 1967 and currently insures over $800 billion in deposits at more than 80 member institutions, like banks and credit unions.

Since 1967, the CDIC has resolved 43 failures and helped more than 2 million depositors keep their hard-earned money. The CDIC board consists of 5 public and 5 private business sector directors, and it is funded through premiums paid by its member institutions.

What’s protected and how much?

CDIC coverage protects eligible deposits held at member institutions up to a maximum of $100,000 per category. This includes chequing and savings accounts, and even deposits held in different names, like joint accounts, or held in registered plans like RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, RESPs, RDSPs, and deposits held in trusts.

Pay attention that the CDIC coverage applies to only those accounts opened at member banks. Brokerages, where you may hold the above-mentioned accounts, are not CDIC members, and therefore those deposits are not eligible for CDIC coverage.

It is important to note that chequing and savings accounts belong to the same coverage category, deposits held in one name, so any deposits held in both accounts at a single financial institution are added together and insured up to a combined total of $100,000.

What are the CDIC categories?

Currently, there are 8 categories for CDIC coverage, each with its own maximum limit. These categories are:

  • Deposits held in one name
  • Deposits held in more than one name (joint deposits)
  • Deposits held in a registered retirement plan (RRSP, RDSP)
  • Deposits held in a registered retirement income fund (RRIF)
  • Deposits held in a tax-free savings account (TFSA)
  • Deposits held in a registered education savings plan (RESP)
  • Deposits held in a registered disability savings plan (RDSP)
  • Deposits held in trust

Make sure to check the CDIC website for updates on coverage categories and limits.

Which institutions are CDIC members?

CDIC membership is mandatory for all major banks and other federally regulated trust and loan companies, but not all financial institutions qualify.

For example, insurance companies, money service businesses (wire transfer services like Western Union), and foreign-owned banks do not fall under CDIC’s purview. You can check the full list of CDIC member institutions on their website.

All major Canadian banks and credit unions are CDIC members, including BMO, CIBC, RBC, TD, Scotiabank, and National Bank. However, it is important to check with your financial institution to confirm their CDIC membership status before opening an account with them.

How do I maximize my CDIC coverage?

The key to maximizing your CDIC coverage is understanding the $100,000 limit per category rule. If you have deposits in different categories, such as deposits held in one name and deposits held in more than one name, you can expect separate coverage of up to $100,000 for each category.

It’s important to note that CDIC coverage applies to each individual, not per household. So if you have multiple individuals in one household with deposits at the same financial institution, they can each receive up to $100,000 in coverage.

You can also spread your deposits across different CDIC member institutions to maximize coverage. This means that you can have up to $100,000 per category in eligible deposits at each institution.

That means you can maximize your coverage by spreading your deposits out at different member banks and credit unions, and across different categories. CDIC also covers foreign currency deposits, but the maximum coverage limit is calculated based on the Canadian dollar equivalent at the time of a member institution’s failure.

What happens if my financial institution fails and it is not CDIC insured?

Unfortunately, in the event that your financial institution fails and it is not a CDIC member, you will not be covered for any of your deposits unless that institution is covered under a different deposit insurance provider. Some provinces have their own deposit insurance programs. So let’s take a look at the different financial institutions and coverage options available.

Credit Unions

Credit Unions often have their own deposit insurance through provincial deposit insurers. You can find the full list of provincial credit union deposit insurers on the CDIC website.

Crown Corporations, like ATB

Funds held in Crown corporations, such as the Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB Financial), are guaranteed by the provincial government. This means that deposits in ATB are protected even though it is not a CDIC member.

The government of Alberta provides 100% coverage in the unlikely event that ATB becomes insolvent. Only residents of Alberta can open accounts with ATB. However, non-residents can purchase ATB Financial products.

Non-regulated entities

Foreign banks, such as AMEX Bank of Canada, and money service businesses, such as PayPal, do not fall under CDIC coverage. If these entities fail, you may not be able to recover your deposits.

Comparative table of deposit coverages available in Canada

Canadian Banks CDIC coverage – up to $100,000 per category per financial institution
Credit Unions (federal)CDIC coverage – up to $100,000 per category per financial institution
Credit Unions (provincial)Provincial insurers – from $100,000 to 100% coverage depending on the province
Crown Corporations (ATB)Alberta’s provincial government provides 100% coverage for all deposits held in ATB
Non-regulated entitiesNo coverage provided

The provincial insurers’ coverage for deposits held in credit unions

The coverage provided for provincial credit unions varies, so it’s important to check with the specific credit union and its insurer for details. In certain provinces, coverage may only be up to $100,000 per credit union, and in others, it could be up to 100%.

ProvinceCoverage
British-ColumbiaInsurer: Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of B.C. 
100% Deposit Coverage
Non-deposit investments are not covered. 
AlbertaInsurer: Alberta Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation
100% Deposit Coverage
Non-deposit investments are not covered.
SaskatchewanInsurer: Saskatchewan Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation
100% Deposit Coverage
Non-deposit investments are not covered.
ManitobaInsurer: Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba
100% Deposit Coverage
Non-deposit investments are not covered.
Ontario Insurer: Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
Chequing or savings accounts, up to $250,000. Unlimited coverage for deposits in registered accounts such as RRSPs or TFSAs.
QuebecInsurer: Autorité des marchés financiers
Up to $100,000 coverage deposit insurance per category with the same credit union. GICs are covered.
Treasury bills, cryptocurrency, mutual funds, shares, bonds, debentures, and mortgage-backed securities are not covered.
Prince Edward IslandInsurer: Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (PEI)
Up to $125,000 coverage deposit insurance with the same credit union. Unlimited coverage for deposits in registered accounts such as RRSPs or TFSAs.
Nova ScotiaInsurer: Nova Scotia Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation
Up to $250,000 coverage deposit insurance and $250,000 insurance for each TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, or RESP account.
New Brunswick Insurer: New Brunswick Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation
Up to $250,000 coverage deposit insurance and $250,000 insurance for each TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, or RESP account.
Newfoundland and LabradorInsurer: Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation
Up to $250,000 coverage deposit insurance and $250,000 insurance for each TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, or RESP account.

Business bank accounts and CDIC coverage

CDIC coverage extends to business bank accounts as well, with a maximum of $100,000 in coverage per category. This includes deposits held in the name of a partnership and corporation.

Sole proprietorships are insured under the same category as personal deposits, so any business accounts held in a sole proprietorship should be added together with personal deposits for coverage purposes.

Earn a $75 welcome bonus
Student Banking Advantage Plan - Scotiabank Canada
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • Unlimited Interac e-Transfer transactions
  • Scene+TM Program
  • Eligible for overdraft protection
Offer: Earn a $75 welcome bonus and up to 7,500 Scene+TM points with the Scene+ Student Banking Bundle – up to $150 in total value!
Ouvrir un compte
*Conditions Apply
Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades*
Wealthsimple Trade

Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades when you open a Wealthsimple Trade or Crypto account and deposit and trade at least $150. Sign-up today to take advantage of this offer!

Offer: Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades*
Sign up today
Get $25 cash in bonus*
Wealthsimple Invest

Wealthsimple Invest is a simple and affordable way to invest your RRSP, RESP or TFSA. 

Offer: Get $25 cash in bonus*
Sign up today
*(min. $500 initial deposit)
Promo Code: ENCOREPLUS
Chequing and savings account - Tangerine

Also earn 20% cash back on eligible Visa* Debit transactions for 60 days (up to a maximum rebate of $400).*


Don't forget to use promo code: ENCOREPLUS

Offer: Get a promotional savings interest rate of 4.25% for 5 months.
Open an account
*Conditions apply

How to invest and protect your money?

While CDIC coverage offers some peace of mind, it’s always important to consider the stability and financial health of a financial institution before opening an account or investing with them.

Financial health ratings

There are many resources available to help assess the financial health of a bank, such as ratings from credit rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor.

Diversification

It’s also important to diversify your investments across different financial institutions and asset classes to spread out risk. Ultimately, it’s always better to be proactive in protecting your money rather than relying on deposit insurance as a safety net.

Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF)

Certain brokerages in Canada, such as Questrade, also offer deposit insurance through the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) for eligible investments up to $10 million. This separate coverage applies in the event that a member firm becomes insolvent and is unable to return client property, including cash held in accounts at the firm. It’s important to note that CIPF coverage does not apply to deposits held in traditional bank accounts, only to eligible investments like stocks and mutual funds held through an investment firm.

Wealthsimple, a Canadian robo-advisor, has CDIC coverage for Wealthsimple Save accounts up to $100,000, provided by Equitable Bank, and CIPF coverage for eligible investments up to $1 million. It’s always a good idea to check with your financial institution or investment firm about deposit insurance coverage before making any decisions.

Get $25 cash in bonus*
Wealthsimple Invest

Wealthsimple Invest is a simple and affordable way to invest your RRSP, RESP or TFSA. 

Offer: Get $25 cash in bonus*
Sign up today
*(min. $500 initial deposit)

CIPF vs. CDIC

Unlike the CDIC, the CIPF  is not backed by the government. It is a non-profit organization funded through member firms. As a result, in the event of a systemic collapse of the financial systems that would cause many brokerages to go under at the same time, the funds held by the CIPF to cover deposits might not be enough to cover all depositors. 

How can I get my money back with CDIC coverage?

In the event that a CDIC member institution fails, CDIC will step in to protect depositors and work towards a resolution. You will receive your money via cheque, and there is typically no need for depositors to take any action.

It’s important to note that CDIC coverage applies only to deposits held at the time of failure, so it’s important to regularly check your accounts and make sure they are within the coverage limits.

What is not covered by CDIC protection?

CDIC does not cover mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and other investments. So make sure to diversify your investments and consider other forms of insurance, such as CIPF coverage for eligible investments.

Keep in mind that CDIC coverage is there as a last resort, and it’s always important to research and thoroughly understand the risks of any financial product before investing.

FAQ About CDIC Coverage

What is CDIC coverage?

CDIC is a federal Crown corporation that protects eligible deposits at member financial institutions in the event of their failure. CDIC deposit insurance is automatic, and no action is required by customers of member institutions to qualify for protection.

How much is CDIC coverage?

CDIC covers up to $100,000 per category per financial institution. You can get more information on categories of coverage at the CDIC website.

How to maximize CDIC coverage?

There are a few ways to maximize your CDIC coverage. One way is to spread your deposits among different financial institutions since each one is insured separately. Another way to maximize protection is to spread your deposits among different categories of coverage. For example, if you have both savings and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) accounts at the same financial institution, you will be covered for up to $200,000 since these are considered separate categories.

Does the CDIC cover multiple accounts?

Yes, the CDIC covers multiple accounts. However, the coverage limit is $100,000 per category per financial institution. This means that if you have two savings accounts at the same bank, you are only insured for up to $100,000.

Does CDIC cover mutual funds?

No, CDIC does not cover mutual funds, stocks, or bonds. So, if you’re looking for CDIC-eligible investments, consider other options.

Are TFSAs CDIC insured?

Most TFSAs accounts in Canada are held at brokerages and are not CDIC-insured. Only TFSAs held at CDIC member banks are insured. TFSA is a separate category, so your TFSA funds are insured for up to $100,000.

Are GICs insured by CDIC?

Yes, GICs are insured by CDIC if your bank is a member of CDIC. Major Canadian banks are all members of CDIC.

Are credit unions covered by the CDIC?

Only federal credit unions, such as Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union and UNI Financial Cooperation (UNI Coopération financière), are members of CDIC. However, provincial credit unions in Canada are protected by deposit insurance through their own systems.

Does the CDIC cover business accounts?

CDIC covers business accounts, but there are some limits and exclusions. If you have a corporate business bank account or a business bank account of your partnership or trust, it would be covered for up to $100,000 per category. However, CDIC does not cover business accounts for sole proprietorships.

Is Neo Financial CDIC insured?

While Neo Financial is not a CDIC member, it is partnered with Concentra Bank, a CDIC member institution. Your money held in Neo Financial is protected by CDIC through its partnership with Concentra Bank up to the limit of $100,000 per category.

Is Wealthsimple insured by the CDIC?

Wealthsimple is not a CDIC member, but it holds user funds at Wealthsimple Save accounts through its partnership with Equitable Bank. These accounts are covered by CDIC for up to $100,000. However, other Wealthsimple products, such as its Investment Portfolios, are not CDIC-insured.

Is Questrade CDIC insured?

Brokerages are not covered by CDIC. Questrade is covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which protects clients’ investments of up to $10 million per account in the event that the firm becomes insolvent.

Is Simplii Financial CDIC insured?

Yes, Simplii Financial is a member of CDIC. You are eligible for up to $100,000 in protection per category.

CDIC Coverage

Compare dozens of Canadian chequing accounts
Compare Canadian Chequing Accounts

Compare dozens of Canadian chequing accounts and find the one that best suits your needs.

Compare now