Cut me a new check please?
October 2, 2010 5:17 PM   Subscribe

I stupidly let a $1500 insurance check sit uncashed for 9 months. Turns out that it was apparently void after 90 days (at least it says so on the check). What are my chances of having the insurance company (of the guy who hit my car) cut me a new check?

And is there anything I should know before I call?

posted by mpls2 to Work & Money (20 answers total)
I let a $2,000 insurance check sit uncashed for three years (long, boring story). When I discovered it, I panicked and then called the issuing insurance company. They requested the claim number and such and then reopened the claim. They reissued the check and I was on my merry way. Oh, and they assured me that this happens aaallll the time. I figure maybe so, maybe not but it was nice of them to say.
posted by Allee Katze at 5:35 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think the chances of them issuing a new check are actually pretty high. They put the expiration date on their to protect themselves from fraud (an insured saying he lost check one, requesting a replacement, and cashing both checks one and two; the expiration date allows the insurance company to issue a replacement only after the 90 day time period has expired) and lost checks. Just call the company, be polite, and explained what happened. It should be fine.
posted by bananafish at 5:36 PM on October 2, 2010

Have you tried to cash it yet? I've had checks (of much less value) that were past the 90 day expiration date, and with one exception, the multiple banks that I have banked with have deposited them without a problem.
posted by andoatnp at 5:36 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I worked in retail banking for about three years. The only real danger is that a teller refuses the deposit (which is still highly unlikely) but once it gets into the proof system (everything that happens to it outside of the branch) the amount isn't big enough for anyone to look at it for more than half a second.

Long story short, deposit the check but don't spend the money for a week or so.

The insurance company will probably be happy to cut you another check for about $20 or maybe a little bit more but that really isn't necessary. No one at your bank or the insurance company's bank will look twice at and the insurance company won't care in any case.
posted by VTX at 5:36 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Deposit at an ATM. The fewer eyes on it, the less likely it will be noticed. It is not likely to be noticed.

Also, IANAL, but I thought the "void in 90 days"-type disclaimers tend not to be legally binding -- that is, banking statutes decide how long cheques are valid, not cheque-writers themselves (else shenanigans would abound, e.g., people writing "void in 24 hours" in small print).
posted by astrochimp at 5:48 PM on October 2, 2010

I once deposited a check well past its due date and ended up not only having it rejected but paying some kind of fee on top of call the insurance company to get a new one.
posted by Sukey Says at 5:59 PM on October 2, 2010

I don't know the answer to your question. But if you do decide to cash it, recommend that you first make a scan/copy (both sides) thereof as evidence that it was in your hands in case there are downstream problems.
posted by Kevin S at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2010

IANAL, but keep in mind that not cashing the check before it stale-dates does not absolve the insurance company of their obligation to pay you.

But yeah, I'd just deposit it in an ATM and hope for the best.
posted by liquado at 7:09 PM on October 2, 2010

Don't deposit it: It will come back as having a stop-pay put on it and the bank will charge you a fee for returning it. I just did this with a $75 health insurance check from 2004: It must have been put away with some other random papers and I recently found it while moving. I deposited it but it was returned and we were charged a $20 fee. Most insurance companies have banking software that automatically puts stop-pays on old outstanding checks like this. I knew this - having been a treasury management banker whose dept. sold this software to the companies. But I (stupidly) decided to take the chance anyway, and lost.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2010

Don't deposit it, but do request a new one. I believe you can get charged for cashing an expired check.

Here's the good news: depending on the insurance claim, they likely want you to cash it. When I worked in auto claims, the signature on the cashed check was their way of settling the claim with us. Without cashing the check, there was a possible future claim against the company that was considered a financial liability. I remember reports that would periodically be run to see if any checks hadn't been cashed. It is likely in their best interest to give you another one.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:26 PM on October 2, 2010

If the bank the check is drawn from has a branch in your location, you may be able to present it in person to validate it/cash it.
posted by Rendus at 7:34 PM on October 2, 2010

That's happened to me a couple of times with different payers. Just call them, and they'll mail a new check.
posted by halogen at 9:18 PM on October 2, 2010

I know in Pakistan, banks routinely refuse to accept cheques 90 days past the date. And what's worse is that the teller may not notice, accept it, and then in verification it will be sent back to you, plus a fee. Not a happy thing.
posted by bardophile at 10:18 PM on October 2, 2010

My bank won't take a check that is more than 6 months old. Your bank could have a similar policy.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:51 PM on October 2, 2010

I did this too recently. I called up the insurance company and I had a new check within a week.
posted by vespabelle at 11:41 PM on October 2, 2010

Call the insurance company. Back in 2006 (Bank of America in SoCal), my then-boyfriend deposited two checks in the ATM. Each check was around a hundred bucks, and around six months old. The checks were mailed back to him with a message rubber-stamped on them (Stop or Expired, something around those lines), accompanied with a note telling him that the checks were void. A much lower amount, and a shorter time period than yours.
posted by Xere at 4:15 AM on October 3, 2010

Agree that your chances of having a new check cut are good. IANA accountant, but the insurance company likely has this still sitting in their Accounts Payable, and unless they have closed out their books for their fiscal year, it should be no significant cost to them to stop the previous one and issue a new one. They may charge you for the stop-charge (usually about $25). I would call them and explain the situation and have a new one cut and sent to you via registered mail. If you try to deposit it as is, it may gum up the works in your bank account until it's straightened out.
posted by sundrop at 8:01 AM on October 3, 2010

Just call them and request a new check. All of the accounting departments I've worked in occasionally have checks get lost. The liability is already recorded, and it just becomes a reconciling item that rolls forward from month to month. It's actually very hard to get out of owing the money, depending on the rules of unclaimed property for your location.
posted by Zophi at 8:15 AM on October 3, 2010

i used to work for a very large insurance company. this happened all the time. as long as you have the claim number, you can call them and they will cut you a new check.
posted by janepanic at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2010

I just found a claim check from my insurance company about 3 weeks ago from 2004 that was void after one year. I went to the insurance company and asked them to reissue a new one. All they did was send it to their corporate offices (I scanned a copy of it first of course)to have a new one issued. The new check arrived last week for the full amount.
posted by hrhcc at 7:48 PM on October 4, 2010

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