What are my rights if the insurance company overpaid the hospital and the excess was sent back to me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights if the insurance company overpaid the hospital and the excess was sent back to me?

My insurance paid the hospital $410,000 after an accident. However, the bill was much lower, at only 7k. The hospital sent me, the patient, the difference of 3k via check. Since the claim is via personal auto injury protection, is the check rightfully mine?

Asked on February 14, 2018 under Insurance Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot keep this money. You need to report this to your insurer. Once it finds out what happened (and it probably will), you really should make arrangments to return it. In the alternative, you could keep it until the insurance comany asks for it. However, if you do not return it you can be sued. When money is mistakenly paid out, the person receiving it would be unjustly enriched if they were allowed to keep it.

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