LANSING — The state of Michigan announced a new consumer page for residents to learn about the upcoming $400 car insurance refund checks, for which the state has set a May 29 deadline on insurers.
The state has also launched a consumer FAQ page at Michigan.gov/MCCArefund. The web page contains important information and answers common questions about the refund timeline and eligibility requirements and tells consumers what they can do if they have questions or concerns about their refunds.
The refund plan issued by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) will result in $400 refunds sent to policyholders for every vehicle that was insured as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has issued a bulletin to Michigan’s insurers regarding the timeline. The bulletin directs insurers to issue refunds via check or ACH deposit to consumers as expeditiously as possible, but in no event no later than May 9.
“The DIFS bulletin ensures that consumers are protected and imposes a May 9, 2022 deadline for issuing refunds to all eligible drivers,” said Anita Fox, the state’s insurance director. “Our goal is to make sure that this money makes it to the pockets of Michiganders as quickly and securely as possible.”
Last week, Governor Whitmer announced that all drivers would receive the $400 refunds as a result of the surplus in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fund.
The money — $3 billion in total — comes from surplus funds that Michigan drivers have paid into the MCCA, a non-profit unincorporated association created by the Michigan Legislature in 1978. Every insurance company that sells automobile or motorcycle coverage in Michigan is required to be a member.
After Michigan changed car insurance laws to give drivers the option to choose levels of injury coverage, the state said the MCCA had a surplus of more than $5 billion in excess claims that could be getting back to drivers.
The MCCA’s analysis determined that approximately $3 billion of the surplus could be returned to policyholders while ensuring continuity of care for auto accident survivors.
Whitmer’s administration has claimed the state’s new insurance laws mean big savings for drivers, but critics point out that those lowered rates only come at the expense of lesser insurance pay outs for health care coverage in case of an injury due to an accident.
The new law also purports to increase consumer protections by banning companies from using non-driving factors to set rates like ZIP code, credit score, gender, marital status, occupation, educational attainment and homeownership.
But Detroit and surrounding densely-populated cities like Dearborn and Hamtramck continue to see some of the higher rates in the country.
More information on the state’s new car insurance laws can be found at Michigan.gov/autoinsurance.