(CBS Detroit) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that refund checks to Michigan drivers will be issued no later than May 9, 2022.

This comes a week after the governor announced that drivers would receive $400 per vehicle as a result of a $5 billion surplus in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fund. The MCCA’s analysis determined about $3 billion of that surplus is being refunded.

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“Michigan used to have the highest auto insurance rates in the nation, but we worked together to put Michiganders first, significantly lowering the cost of insurance and putting $400 per vehicle back in driver’s pockets while continuing to provide access to the most generous benefits in the nation,” Whitmer said.

Officials said the refunds will be issued to policyholders for every vehicle that was insured as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2021. Funds will be transferred by MCCA to insurers by March 9. Companies are then directed to issue the refunds via check or ACH deposit to consumers no later than May 9.

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According to a new bulletin from the Department of Insurance and Financial Service (DIFS), the “MCCA’s surplus had increased beyond a level necessary to safely cover its expected losses and expenses.” The surplus was due to the no-fault reform legislation that was enacted in 2019.

DIFS’ bulletin also states that in addition to the $400 per vehicle, policyholders will receive $80 for each historical vehicle.

“The Governor directed DIFS to take an active role in ensuring that refunds would be issued expeditiously to Michiganders who have paid into the fund for decades,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “The DIFS bulletin ensures that consumers are protected and imposes a May 9, 2022 deadline for issuing refunds to all eligible drivers. Our goal is to make sure that this money makes it to the pockets of Michiganders as quickly and securely as possible.”

Meanwhile, drivers without insurance are urged to take advantage of the amnesty period, which expires on Dec. 31. Michigan’s auto no-fault reform provides amnesty to previously insured drivers, meaning they could obtain insurance without penalty or increased premiums.

After Dec. 31, uninsured drivers risk facing higher rates of penalties if they get into a vehicle crash.

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