HOW DO I GET MY MONEY BACK FROMA COMPANY THAT TOOK MY DOWN PAYMENT?

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HOW DO I GET MY MONEY BACK FROMA COMPANY THAT TOOK MY DOWN PAYMENT?

I RECENTLY PURCHASED AUTO INSURANCE FROM A LOCAL COMPANY. 2 WEEKS LATER I GOT A LETTER SAYING THAT MY INSURANCE WOULD BE CANCELLED DUE TO MY VEHICLE BEING A REBUILT TITLE CAR (CLEARLY STATED ON THE TITLE). HERE’S MY THING, WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO SUFFER BECAUSE THE UNDERWRITER DID NOT ASSIGNED ME TO AN INSURANCE COMPANY THAT TAKES REBUILT TITLE CARS. ALSO, I WAS TOLD THAT MY DOWN PAYMENT IS NON-REFUNDABLE

Asked on March 15, 2011 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing inherently illegal about non-refundable deposits (or application fees)--while the law does not require that deposits be nonrefundable, it also does not require that they must be refunded. The issue then really will turn on what was disclosed about the deposit prior to or at the time you put it down. If it was stated that the deposit was nonrefundable even in the event that coverage was declined, then the company should be able to keep it. If the deposit was not stated to be nonrefundable, then they probably have to give it back if you disclosed everything clearly (i.e. you were not in the wrong) and it was the company's decision to not cover you. In either event, if it was known or disclosed to the agent (or underwriter) who placed you with this company that your car was rebuilt, you may have a cause of action against that person for their negligence in placing you with a company that would not take rebuilt cars--though if she or he won't repay you voluntaril, your only recourse would be to sue (possibly in small claims court).


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