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Michigan drivers will get insurance refunds

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How much remains to be seen.

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 that 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 proposed timeline and logistics, will be announced in the next several weeks,” the board, comprised almost entirely of insurance companies, said in a statement. “The goal is to issue the largest possible refunds to consumers while maintaining sufficient funds to ensure high-quality care to those who have been catastrophically injured.”

Under the 2019 law, the state insurance director must hire an independent actuary starting next July and every third year after to audit the MCCA, a state-created nonprofit that reimburses car insurers for personal injury protection medical claims surpassing $600,000. If the review — due by September — shows the MCCA’s assets exceed 120% of its liabilities, the difference must be refunded.

Under the Democratic governor’s proposal, the entire $5 billion surplus would be returned — $675 per car. MCCA Executive Director Kevin Clinton said this week that having no surplus would be too risky, saying the law could require an estimated $100 per-vehicle refund.

Whitmer called the pending refunds “great news.”

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