That old insurance check you found? You might still be able to cash it, but first you have to determine its validity.
Check the Expiration Date on the Check
See if the check has an expiration date. Many insurance companies print an expiration date on the checks they issue -- usually on the front -- that reads, "Void after 60 days" or by another stated deadline. This message may appear near the "memo" section, but not always. If the check hasn't expired, you can cash it.
Ask for a New Check
If the check is no longer valid, cashing it may be difficult at a bank. Contact the insurance company that issued the check. Explain that the check was misplaced and is now outside the expiration period, but you need to cash it. The insurance company representative might tell you to go ahead and cash the check anyway. Or the company might choose to issue you a replacement check.
How Old Is the Check You Want to Cash?
If it's just a few days past the expiration date on the check, your bank might be willing to cash it. If months have passed since the check expired, you could be charged returned check fees if you attempt to cash or deposit the check. It's more prudent to contact the insurance company and ask for a reissued check.
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What if the Check Was Damaged?
If your check was damaged and is missing the account number or routing number -- the numbers printed on the bottom edge of the check -- the check will need to be reissued. Contact the issuer of the check to determine how to proceed.
Who Is the Check Issued to?
You can cash a check made out to you assuming it is still valid. A check that is endorsed "For Deposit Only" with your name can be deposited or cashed to you. You cannot cash a check issued to someone else. Nor can you cash an old insurance check payable to someone else who is deceased without proper authorization, such as a power of attorney.