If you’ve filed an insurance claim and received a check, the next step may be uncertain. Your car may need to be repaired or replaced. There may be medical bills to pay, or you could be behind on rent if out of work due to an injury. When you get paid, your first question may be, “Can I cash an insurance claim check?” The answer depends on your situation.
When You Can Cash an Insurance Claim Check
You are free to cash the check if you own the car and all legal requirements are fulfilled. The process is a little more complex if you have leased or financed the car. In that case, the check will be to you and the lienholder, who must also sign the check before you can cash it.
To cash an auto insurance claim check:
- Contact the lienholder to get their signature.
- Deposit the check into your bank account.
- Check your insurance policy/lease contract/loan; it may require you to use the money to cover vehicle repairs.
If your car is financed, the lender is usually listed on the insurance policy. Therefore, their name will be on any claim check you receive. While a payout will go to you and the leasing company if you leased the car, if you still owe money on a car loan, the lender will receive the insurance check. The check may or may not include your name.
The insurer will send the claim check directly to you if the car is paid off, as you’re the full owner. In this case, you can spend the money however you want, even if you made the claim with someone else’s insurance company.
How Does My Insurer/Lender Know How I Use the Money?
If you break the rules, your insurance company can terminate your policy, while violating your lease or finance contract isn’t territory you want to cross. Here’s what can happen if it’s required you use the money for repairs. The lessor may hold you financially responsible for damage not fixed when you return the car. A lender may require a copy of the repair bill or pictures of the repairs. Therefore, these parties have the power to enforce the terms of their contracts.
What If the Insurance Company Sends the Check to the Mechanic?
The mechanic doesn’t have the right to your money. If the claim check is sent straight to the mechanic, you will have to cash it first. No other authorization is needed if you own the car. Otherwise, you’ll need to get the appropriate party’s signature. The insurance company may set rules on using the money, but also bear in mind any legal requirements like laws requiring bumpers, and safety systems such as brakes and lights. You don’t want these to be compromised so it makes sense to spend your claim check on fixing them.
Can I Cash an Insurance Claim Check and Still File a Personal Injury Claim?
When you receive a claim check, read any documentation it includes. The check itself may contain a clause that waives your right to pursue legal action or more compensation. With the claim settled, the insurance company doesn’t spend more money. This can be problematic if you discover new injuries related to an accident or require additional treatments. Cashing the check (which settles the claim) means the insurer won’t cover any additional expenses related to that claim.
Call Jacob for More Information
At The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, we help clients obtain economic, non-economic, and punitive damages for injuries caused by another party’s negligence. We also take on insurance companies to ensure they properly investigate the accident and pay what your claim is really worth. Insurers often send checks quickly if they think you have a strong case; a quick settlement avoids paying more, which means you have less to cover your expenses.
You can cash an insurance claim check but consult with our attorney first. Don’t allow the insurance company to pressure you. We’ll fight for what we think is a fair settlement. For more information, see our resources and FAQs. To get started, call 888-952-2952 today.