Is it legal for my insurance company to back date a billing invoice?

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Is it legal for my insurance company to back date a billing invoice?

I had a renter’s insurance policy set to auto pay from my bank account on due date of 8/25/10. When auto pay failed, insurance company issued a bill (printed 8/25/10, postmarked 8/26/10, received 8/28/10). The same day I got a cancellation notice for failing to pay (printed 8/25, received 8/28). On the bill, invoice date was 8/5/10, due date 8/25/10. Can they legally back date the invoice (which makes it look like i sat on it for a month)? Or do the need to date it when printed, and allow fair time (say 15-20 days) to mail payment? Customer service said this is their standard practice.

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem:  you were aware of the due date for the payment on the policy.  Generally a bill is used to prove notice of payment due so that if payment is not received then s cancellation notice can go out.  It has to do with the law the centers around cancellation procedures and the requirements thereunder.  Your argument as to the date of the bill is a valid one and you should always save the envelopes that come along with a bill that is received that far off from the invoice.  But it still does not negate the fact that you knew when the payment was due and that you had set up auto pay to pay the bill before hand.  Pay it now before the cancellation and figure out a better method to keep up.  Good luck.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Auto paying  only involves a convenience for the payor.  However, if auto billing and payment       fail,   it is usually the burden of the payor to pay in a timely fashion.  Check the paper bills.  if they always state the beginning of the month  then you may need to fix the auto billing pay date.  In the meantime, contact the Insurance Department  in your state and file a complaint.    It does not appear the company backdated but make sure you have all dates in order prior to filing a complaint.


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