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When can Northern Michigan drivers expect their $400 auto insurance refund? – Petoskey News-Review

PETOSKEY — Michigan drivers can expect to receive a $400 refund in the mail by next month as a result of a set of auto insurance reforms approved by the state legislature in 2019. 
The payments are being distributed on a per-vehicle basis to every auto insurance policyholder who signed up as of Oct. 31, 2021 or earlier. The money comes from a surplus in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association Fund, which grew to over $5 billion after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan package of bills three years ago. 
More:After a year, state auto insurance reform has cut rates, but not as evenly as touted
Among the supporters of the bill was Northern Michigan State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, who said in a statement at the time that the vote was a “somewhat difficult decision” for him because of the quality of medical coverage in the existing laws. 
“However, we cannot continue to ignore the skyrocketing rates that are causing Michigan families to be priced out of driving,” he said in a statement. “People have a choice when selecting any other type of insurance and I think auto insurance should be the same way.” 
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is distributing the funding to insurers, who will then pass the refund on to each of their policyholders in the state. All checks are expected to be disbursed by May 9, at the latest, according to a bulletin from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. 
“These $400 refunds are game-changers for so many Michigan families,” Whitmer said in a news release. “I called for these refunds because I am committed to lowering costs for Michiganders and putting money back in people’s pockets. 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.” 
The initial intent of the reforms was to lower the cost of the state’s previous no-fault auto insurance system — a setup which made Michigan’s auto insurance rates among the priciest in the nation. 
The new laws allowed drivers to choose what type of no-fault medical coverage was included in their insurance, and allowed drivers to waive personal injury protection coverage if they met certain conditions and were enrolled in Medicare A and B. 
According to Whitmer’s office, the refunds now being distributed are a result of “cost saving and fraud prevention provisions” in that legislation. 
More information can be found at Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance, and customers with questions can contact the Department of Insurance and Financial Services at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) or by emailing autoinsurance@michigan.gov.   
“Our goal is to make sure that this money makes it to the pockets of Michiganders as quickly and securely as possible,” said Anita Fox, director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. 


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