Stuck With A Forged Check? Homeowners Insurance To The Rescue

The bad news: Someone passed a bum personal check to you as a payment. The good news: Your homeowners insurance policy might cover you — even if you got stiffed with bogus cash.

Individual policies vary, but most often cover fraudulent payments you’ve received as well as the usual purchases and money transfers you’ve paid for on your own credit or debit card.

Plus your homeowners insurance might also protect you if, for some reason, you get sued for libel. Yes, that’s right, home insurance for libel.

For those of us who don’t own our own homes, it’s good to know that renters insurance can also come with these — and some extra benefits, too!

But again, read your policy carefully before just assuming you’ll be covered.

File this under W for “Who knew?” from Consumer ReportsShopSmart magazine.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Extended-Warranty says:

    Non-story. People already think their homeowner’s policy covers everything.

    • anime_runs_my_life says:

      Not necessarily. I was unaware of this. So good of you to make those assumptions for those of us who didn’t know.

    • Misha says:

      Yeah, not sure where you’re getting this, I’ve actually had to file a claim and even so still assumed mine just covered damage to the home and its contents from a limited number of damage sources. On a closer reading recently I was surprised to discover that it even covers house payments for up to a year when the home is uninhabitable due to fire damage. I wouldn’t have guessed at anything mentioned in this article.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      It’s not a non story. Actually, I think many people don’t realize the homeowners policy covers things other than damage the home.

    • dobgold says:

      What’s your problem, man? You were bent out of shape because Amazon went above and beyond the norm for customer service in a different story.

  2. Cat says:

    Maggie Shader?
    This is indeed a disturbing universe.

    • scoosdad says:

      Maggie is the Bizarro Mary Beth.

      Paul Eng is the Bizarro Phil.

      • nbs2 says:

        No. It’s worse than that. Maggie Shader is lazy Phil. Rather than just finding other blogs and reposting them here, it’s just rehashed CR stories – not even bothering to look outside the sandbox.

  3. Draw2much says:

    I admit I never would have expected any of these things to be covered by homeowner’s insurance. I mostly think of it as protecting the house and stuff from weather damages…..

  4. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i had no idea. but since i don’t accept checks, will it cover paypal freezing my account and taking money out?

  5. chiieddy says:

    And then your rates go up to match. It would have to be a hell of a big check

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I agree.

      My HO deductible is $1,000. It would have to be at least $2,000 to even consider filing a claim.

      I’ve known many people who filed frequent small claims with their HO company for things like lost luggage, stolen GPS out of their car, etc., only to wind up with massive rate increases, or losing their insurance entirely.

    • teke367 says:

      This is true, but many coverages may not have a deductible (though the rates still may go up).

      When this is beneficial is when in happens along with something else. For example, if you get robbed, you are covered for cash that was stolen (though there is a limit). Depending on the company, and your deductible, it may be worth including stolen cash in the claim, but not worth it if only the cash was taken.

      For example, my policy covers me for $1,500 for legal tender, my deductible is $1,000. That may not be worth it, but if I was robbed, and they took the TV, computer, etc, and I had a $5,000 claim, I’ll include the cash that was stolen.

      Libel probably falls under liability, which on its own probably won’t affect your rates. However, if you never had a claim, you are probably getting a credit for that, and the liability claim will remove that credit (though libel claims probably will be high enough to be worth filing anyway).

  6. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    I would think small claims court would be a better avenue.

  7. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I think one of the most frustrating aspects of insurance is that when you are not at fault and use the insurance as intended, it can lead to rate increases, and potentially being uninsurable in the future. Homeowner’s insurance can be especially nasty in this regard — Not only can a few claims result in you being blacklisted, it can result in your property being blacklisted for future owners.

  8. az123 says:

    Yes get stiffed with a $100 bad check and file a claim… your deductible will not cover it and they will raise your insurance for filing the claim! Just because your insurance will cover something does not always mean it is a good idea to file a claim

  9. AllanG54 says:

    Yes most homeowners’ policies cover you for libel and slander. It’s called Personal Injury protection. In addition, you might be covered for a bounced check but usually only up to $1000 and it would be subject to the deductible.

  10. Darkneuro says:

    I have to say something here about ‘go to your homeowner’s insurance’…I’m an insurance agent and one of our homeowners policies was listed as ‘underwriting review-nonrenewed’ due to the homeowner making 4 claims in a 2 year period and being labelled ‘excessive claims’….This guy had his computer stolen twice and a tree fell on his roof and then he had broken windows from vandalism. So be sure of what you claim and how it will affect your policy…..