When it comes to managing the money you receive from your insurance provider, there are some unique processes and alternatives to consider before accepting and receiving your funds.
If you need to cash an insurance check without a bank endorsement, here’s what you should know about the types of endorsements you may come across, and what they mean.
1. Should you cash your insurance check?
When filing an insurance claim for damages made to your home, car, or other personal property, your insurance company will typically provide you with your monetary reimbursement via check. But before rushing off to cash the check, you must first consider a few things that can impact your insurance coverage both now and in future.
Know your policy: It’s essential that you have a thorough understanding of your insurance policy to ensure that the reimbursement amount you received is correct. Be sure to assess the damage in your home and consider your coverage terms to determine if you’re receiving the full benefits you are entitled to.
Know your rights: The language within an insurance agreement can be very tricky, so you need to understand all the provisions within it. In many cases, cashing a check from your insurance company to cover the cost of damages will waive your right to receive any additional compensation for the event. This means that any new occurrences linked to the old problem will no longer be covered by insurance, and if your repairs wind up costing more than your insurance coverage provided, you will be required pay those funds out-of-pocket. It’s well within your rights to negotiate your reimbursement amount, so if you feel that you should be receiving more money, it’s certainly worth reaching out to your insurance company to begin the appeal process.
Talk with a representative: If you’re unsure about your rights or do not understand the specific provisions within your insurance policy, you should schedule a conversation with your insurance representative at your earliest convenience so they can explain everything to you in a manner that you will understand and remember.
2. How to cash your insurance check
Once you’ve decided that you’re comfortable with your monetary reimbursement noted on the check you received from your insurance company, you can begin the process of cashing it.
While some insurance checks are made payable to one specific person and can be cashed immediately, there are many instances when an insurance check also features the name of another party (e.g., an additional policy holder) or institution (e.g., your mortgage lender or bank). In this case, you would need to receive signatures from each individual/party in order to cash your check at a bank or credit union.
Additionally, there may be stipulations within your insurance policy contract or state laws that prevent you from receiving the funds immediately. For example, if you have a mortgage, your mortgage lender will have to endorse the check because they technically still own the home in which you’re receiving insurance coverage, which can delay your anticipated repayment timeline.
Some lenders actually require that the benefits be used to repair the specific damage made to your home and nothing else, which will require you to prepare cost estimates and quotes from contractors in advance if you do not want to pay any money out-of-pocket for repairs. If you own the property outright, whether it be a home or car, you are not obligated to use your insurance benefits to repair the property and can instead cash the check and use it for other purposes.
Once you’ve received the necessary endorsement(s) and signed the check yourself, you can head to the nearest bank or credit union to receive your reimbursement. Utilizing your own bank will save you money and provide you with an additional level of financial protection, while cashing a check at a credit union will take a specified percentage of your earnings but allow you to have funds in hand immediately.