LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan drivers with auto insurance will receive a $400 refund check for each vehicle by May 9, the state says.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced Monday that Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association would transfer funds to insurers by March 9. The new Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services bulletin tells insurers to hand out the refunds via check or deposit no later than May 9.

Drivers will be eligible to receive a $400 refund check for each insured vehicle as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2021. The policy must meet the minimum insurance requirements for driving a vehicle on Michigan roads.  

More information can be found on the DIFS consumer FAQ page.

The MCCA’s surplus doubled over the last year, now up to $5 billion. Their analysis determined approximately $3 billion of that surplus could be returned to drivers while ensuring auto accident survivors have continued quality of care.

Auto insurance agent Brian Boer with Boer Insurance Group said there’s no action required to receive the refund.

“It’s going to be done automatically,” he said. “The MCCA is going to give that money to the insurance company and then have the insurance company divvy that up to each of their clients based on the number of vehicles that were insured on that policy as of October 31, 2021.”

Insurance companies will issue refund checks or ACH deposits.

“We expect that it’ll probably follow how your policy is set up to be paid,” Boer said. “So, if it’s paid monthly from a bank account or if you have an auto-pay schedule, it will probably be a refund directly to your account based on that payment schedule. If you pay through a check or make one-time payments, they’re probably going to issue you a refund check.”

Boer can’t recall the last time a refund like this was issued to Michigan drivers and doesn’t expect it to happen again any time soon.

“This is a large, lump sum refund based on a structural change in Michigan’s auto insurance system, so I wouldn’t expect another refund like this in the future,” he said. “Instead, I would expect that MCCA fee that we pay each year to be slowly revised based on changes in that calculation.”