Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association Refunds - Putting Michigan Drivers First
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) has acted upon Governor Whitmer's call to return surplus funds to Michigan policyholders and will begin the process of refunding $400 per vehicle to Michigan drivers. Drivers are expected to receive checks or an ACH deposit in the second quarter of 2022.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions and additional information about the surplus refund process.
- Who is eligible to receive a refund?
All vehicles that were insured as of 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2021 are eligible to receive a refund if the vehicle was covered by a policy that meets the minimum insurance requirements for operating a vehicle on Michigan roads (See MCL 500.3101 and MCL 500.3103).
- Do I have to do anything to get my check if I am eligible?
A refund check or an ACH deposit will be issued to eligible Michigan policyholders. If you are eligible to receive a refund, it will be sent to you by your insurance company and you will not have to do anything to receive it.
- How much will the refund be?
The MCCA has announced that the refund will be $400 per eligible car or motorcycle. For example, if you had auto insurance policies for two cars as of 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2021, you will receive a refund of $800. The refund is $80 per historical vehicle.
- When and how will I get my refund?
The surplus funds will be turned over by the MCCA to the insurance companies operating in Michigan by March 9, 2022, and the insurers will be responsible for issuing checks or ACH deposits to eligible policyholders. DIFS will direct insurers to issue refund checks or ACH deposits to consumers as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than 60 days after the transfer of funds.
If you are eligible to receive a refund and do not receive your check by the deadline, contact your insurance company. If you have questions or concerns that cannot be resolved directly with your insurer, contact DIFS by calling Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are motorcycles and RVs eligible for the refund?
Yes, motorcycles and RVs are eligible for the $400 refund if the motorcycle or RV was covered by a policy that meets the minimum insurance requirements for operating on Michigan roads (see MCL 500.3101 and MCL 500.3103).
- Are trailers eligible to receive an MCCA refund?
No. Trailers are not subject to the MCCA assessment and therefore are not eligible for the refund.
- I do not have unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage. Will I still get a refund?
Yes. All qualified vehicles are eligible to receive a refund regardless of the PIP medical coverage level chosen on the policy.
- My vehicle was in storage on October 31, 2021 with only comprehensive coverage. Am I eligible for a refund?
No. In order to qualify, policies must meet the minimum insurance requirements for operating a vehicle on Michigan roads (see MCL 500.3101 and MCL 500.3103). Storage policies do not qualify.
- I have a historic car and/or a historic motorcycle that is registered and insured as a historic vehicle. Will this historic vehicle qualify for a refund?
Historic vehicles are only charged 20% of the annual MCCA assessment due to their limited allowable use. Therefore, drivers will receive a refund of $80 for each historic vehicle they had insured as of 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2021.
- I sold my car in July and did not have an insured vehicle as of 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2021. Will I get a refund check?
No. Only vehicles that were insured as of 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2021 will qualify for a refund.
- What does this refund mean for people currently receiving care for auto accident injuries?
This refund does not impact the care auto accident survivors are entitled to under their auto insurance policy. The MCCA's actuarial analysis determined that approximately $3 billion of the surplus could be returned to policyholders while ensuring continuity of care for auto accident survivors.
As of June 2021, the MCCA catastrophic care fund had more than $27 billion in assets with estimated liabilities of $22 billion.
- What do I do if I have questions or concerns about the refund process?
Consumers can contact the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services for more information at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- I owe a balance to my insurance company. Can my insurer use the refund toward my balance owed?
No. Insurance companies must issue the refund to policyholders in the form of a check or ACH transfer.
- What can I do if my insurance company tries to send me a refund in the form of gift cards or a discount on future premium payments?
You should contact the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To file a complaint, visit Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints or email DIFSComplaints@michigan.gov.
- I changed my auto insurance company after October 31, 2021. Which insurer will be responsible for issuing my refund?
The insurer that insured your vehicle on October 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., will be responsible for issuing the refund.
- I have moved since October 31, 2021, how will I get my refund?
Your insurance company will send your refund via check or ACH deposit to the address or bank account it has on record. To prevent delays in getting your refund, if you have moved, you should contact your insurance company to ensure it has your current information.
- Will my refund be taxable?
The MCCA refunds are generally not taxable for most Michiganders. People who deducted their auto insurance premiums as a business expense may be required to include all or a portion of this refund as income on their tax returns. Please consult your insurance agent or tax professional if you have questions about your specific circumstance.
For additional information, see Michigan Department of Treasury Administrative Bulletin RAB 2021-23.
- Why will it take the MCCA so long to send the surplus funds to insurance companies? Why will insurance companies need 60 days to send me my refund check?
In order to return the surplus to insurance companies, the MCCA must sell investment securities, collect data, ensure the accuracy of the amount of the refund, and securely transfer funds. Insurance companies also need to collect data, develop internal processes and procedures, and ensure the refunds are issued accurately and securely.
DIFS has directed insurers to issue refunds as expeditiously as possible, but in no event no later than May 9, 2022.
- Someone from my insurance company called and asked me to verify my banking information so they could deposit my refund. Is this legitimate?
It is important to never give out personal information including address, birthdate, Social Security Number, account numbers, or passwords over the telephone. If you receive this type of call in connection with your MCCA refund, contact your insurance company directly to verify the request for information and inquire how you can provide the information securely if it is necessary.
- I own a company that operates a fleet of cars. They were all insured for road use as of 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2021. Will these cars be eligible for an MCCA refund and, if so, how much can I expect to receive?
Fleet vehicles are eligible for the MCCA refund. The refund amount will depend on how the vehicles are identified in the fleet's auto insurance policy:
- For vehicles that are individually identified in the policy, such as by VIN or license plate number, the full MCCA refund of $400 per vehicle will be given for each vehicle.
- For policies that are written on a per-plate basis, such as those used by car dealerships with license plates that are moved from car to car as needed, the MCCA refund of $400 will be calculated and sent on a per-plate basis.
- For commercial fleet policies that are written on a gross-receipts basis, or for other types of policies where individual vehicles cannot be identified, the refund will be calculated as 135% of the applicable in-force commercial auto PIP written premium related to those policies.
For more information about how your commercial policy is written and how your refund will be calculated, contact your insurance agent or company.
The answers provided are not meant to be a substitute for legal advice.