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Michigan drivers could begin seeing $400-per-vehicle refunds as soon as this week – MLive.com

A car drives on snow and ice in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Neil Blake | MLive.com) Neil Blake | MLive.comNeil Blake | MLive.com
A $400-per-vehicle refund from a state fund that covers costs for severe auto-related injuries will soon be available to Michigan drivers.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Anita Fox announced this week that a $3 billion transfer from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to Michigan auto insurers will be complete this week. That transfer starts the clock on a 60-day deadline for insurers to transfer refunds back to Michigan drivers prior to May 9, 2022.
The money comes from the MCCA, a statutorily-established nonprofit that auto insurers pay into for personal injury protection under the state’s auto no-fault system. Drivers are expected to get a refund of $400 per insured vehicle in 2022.
Related: Why Whitmer is asking auto insurance industry to give ‘maximum amount’ of $5B surplus back to drivers
Michigan drivers with an auto insurance policy in place as of 11:59 p.m. Oct. 31 will eligible for the money, and the funds will be returned automatically by insurers once the MCCA turns it over to insurance companies by March 9, 2022.
Whitmer in a statement called the refunds “game-changers for so many Michigan families.”
“They are possible because we worked across the aisle to pass bipartisan auto insurance reform, and we will keep working together to grow our economy and build a state where families can thrive,” she said.
The fees collected by the MCCA are built into premiums Michigan motorists pay. Under Michigan’s old auto insurance law, each driver had to purchase unlimited personal injury protection medical coverage and pay the MCCA assessment, which reimburses insurers for catastrophic medical claims.
Since 2020, Michigan drivers can still choose unlimited PIP coverage, but now also have the option to choose a lower level of coverage. Only drivers who choose unlimited PIP medical coverage pay the MCCA assessment, as long as the fund does not have a deficit.
The most recent MCCA fee was $86 per vehicle, down from $220 in 2019 before sweeping changes to the state’s auto no-fault policies were signed into law.
The refunds come as auto accident survivors and health care providers continue to petition for changes to how much they’re reimbursed when treating auto-related injuries under the 2019 law.
Related: Crash victims, health providers cry foul over impending change to auto injury medical fees
CPAN, a coalition of groups representing crash victims, their medical providers and other auto insurance policyholders, have called the move to refund drivers “a slap in the face to the survivors and families who have been begging for relief” from a change in the law that led to a 45% cut to reimbursement from insurance companies for health care services provided to auto accident survivors not covered by Medicare.
The law was approved in 2019 in an effort to lower Michigan’s auto insurance rates, which frequently were ranked the highest in the nation. Although average car insurance rates have declined substantially since the first phase of Michigan’s auto insurance law went into effect, analysts say it’s still one of the most expensive places in the country to insure a car.
Related coverage:
See the average auto insurance rate for your Michigan zip code
Michigan average car insurance rates drop significantly, but still among highest in U.S.
Crash victims, health providers cry foul over impending change to auto injury medical fees
Michigan’s new auto insurance law brings excitement, concern
What to consider when buying auto insurance in Michigan
Will Michigan drivers change their policies once new auto insurance law takes effect? Many still don’t know
Why it’s hard to predict individual savings under new auto insurance law
Michigan auto insurers see ‘coronavirus windfall’ as driving, crashes decrease
Roughly half of insured Michigan drivers wouldn’t choose to opt out of no-fault coverage, survey finds
Gov. Whitmer signs bill overhauling Michigan auto insurance
Michigan orders auto insurance refunds due to ‘extreme reductions in driving’
Michiganders to see another drop in auto insurance fee in 2021
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