Michigan Drivers Finally Getting Money They Deserve

Government / Comments

This is long past due.

If you're a resident of the Wolverine State and own a vehicle that's had an active insurance policy as of this past October 31, regardless of whether it's an economy car like the Honda Civic or a Ferrari F8 Tributo supercar, you'll be receiving a $400 check in the mail this spring.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a plan to refund Michigan residents that amount per vehicle because, well, they've earned it. See, Michigan has had the highest car insurance premiums in the US for decades because it requires residents to carry unlimited personal injury insurance. The nonprofit Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) now has a $5 billion surplus.

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Following an internal analysis, the organization determined $3 billion can be returned to the policyholders. "These refunds and the recently announced statewide average rate reductions are lowering costs for every Michigan driver," Whitmer said this week. "Michiganders have paid into the catastrophic care fund for decades, and I am pleased that the MCCA developed this plan so quickly after unanimously approving my request to return surplus funds to the pockets of Michiganders."

So why is this suddenly happening now? What's changed? Covid-19. The MCCA hasn't had to issue as many payouts as it did pre-pandemic following several months of residents driving less.

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Also, the organization's investments have done better than expected. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are in favor of the plan. Residents don't have to do anything to receive their refunds, like registering online. The surplus will be issued to insurance companies in March. From there, $400 checks will be sent in the mail shortly thereafter.

The sole exception to this program are the owners of classic cars with historical license plates. Instead of $400 they'll be getting $80. If all goes to plan, every eligible resident will get their checks no later than May.

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