LANSING — Michigan’s auto insurance companies are to issue refund checks to Michigan motorists no later than May 9, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday.
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, a nonprofit corporation controlled by the insurance industry, is issuing $400 refund checks for each Michigan passenger vehicle and motorcycle that was insured as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2021.
Whitmer, who called for the refunds because of a $5 billion and growing surplus in the fund, said Dec. 7 motorists would receive the refunds in the first half of 2022. On Monday, Whitmer said the Department of Insurance and Financial Services has sent a bulletin to auto insurance companies setting a May 9 deadline for the refunds.
Before issuing the refunds, insurers must receive the money from the MCCA, which is planning to first liquify some of the investments for the $27 billion fund.
The state insurance agency has launched a website with answers to consumers’ frequently asked questions about the refunds. It can be found at Michigan.gov/MCCArefund.
“The bulletin and website lay out the timeline and requirements so that insurers understand that they must process the refunds as quickly as possible, and Michiganders know when and how they will get the surplus money they are owed,” Whitmer said in a news release.
Whitmer said the refunds are a result of legislation she signed in 2019 that was designed to lower auto insurance premiums by giving motorists options other than unlimited catastrophic medical coverage for auto accidents, reducing medical fee schedules and combatting fraud.
Though many motorists are enjoying lower premiums, advocates for catastrophically injured accident victims say they are now finding themselves without needed medical care and the refunds will compound that problem by returning money that could be used to help them.
Consumers with questions or concerns can contact the state insurance agency from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) or by emailing [email protected]