If our health insurer mistakenly sent us a check for $800 a couple years ago and now they are requesting the money back, are we obligated to pay this back?

We were not sure what is was for but kept the money.

Asked on November 17, 2015 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are obligated to repay it: if someone sends you money by accident, that does not give you the legal right to keep it, and instead, the law requires you to return it to them. (Consider: say you made a mistake and accidentally wrote your plumber a check for too much--you'd expect him to return the excess, wouldn't you? And you'd be right to do so.) The statute of limitations, or time to enforce a claim growing out of a contract or insurance policy (insurance policies are contracts), in your state is 4 years; as long as you did not receive this check more than 4 years ago, they should be able to sue you for the money if you don't return it.

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