LANSING, Mich. (AP/WXMI) — All insured Michigan drivers will be getting refunds due to a $5 billion surplus in a fund that reimburses insurers' medical and other costs for people seriously injured in crashes.
The Michigan Catastrophic Fund Association’s board said Wednesday it voted unanimously to support issuing checks.
The move came two days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for refunds, citing excessive premiums along with savings under a 2019 law that curbed medical expenses and made mandatory unlimited health coverage optional.
Details on the specific refund amount per vehicle, along with a timeline and logistics, will be announced in the next several weeks.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association's (MCCA) decision to refund the money was the right move.
Governor Whitmer's full statement reads:
“As we continue to put Michiganders first, I am always working to find ways to lower costs and use every resource we have to help Michiganders thrive. It is great news that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association has swiftly taken action in response to my letter this week to begin the process of issuing refund checks to help drive down the costs and produce savings for Michiganders with auto insurance. Michiganders have paid into the catastrophic care fund for decades, and these funds from the $5 billion surplus belong in the pockets of Michigan policyholders.”
Executive Director Erin McDonough with the Insurance Alliance of Michigan echoes the governor's sentiments.
McDonough's full statement reads:
“The Insurance Alliance of Michigan and our members strongly support the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association’s efforts to put money back into the pockets of Michigan drivers. It’s important for the MCCA board to do its due diligence and land on a refund amount that balances giving insured drivers back the money they deserve while protecting the longevity of a fund that pays for the cost of medical care for Michiganders seriously injured in car accidents. The fact the MCCA board is even considering this shows reforms passed with bipartisan support by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are working and delivering real savings to drivers across the state. We want to thank lawmakers for staying the course on reform so drivers can continue saving money on their car insurance.”
Speaker of the Michigan House Jason Wentworth says the refund is the sole reason why the auto insurance system was amended in 2019.
Representative Wentworth's full statement reads:
“Delivering real savings like this to Michigan drivers is the entire reason we fixed the state’s broken auto insurance system in 2019. We wrote this law to include an automatic refund next year, and I’m glad our reforms have produced large enough savings for the MCCA to act immediately and return that money to the people even sooner. No fault reform is working, and the savings and benefits for Michigan families are getting better all the time.
“I’m also glad to see the governor join us in support of this law. It took a lot of time and effort to get this done, and even now some people still talk about scaling it back. The governor’s endorsement of the current law and the savings it produces as is shows how successful our reform has been.”