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Whitmer calls on Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to cut refund checks to auto insurance customers

Car accident
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called on the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) to cut refund checks to auto insurance customers.

The governor says the MCCA fund has banked $5 billion. That's due largely to a benefits cap on payouts for catastrophic injury claims.

This request would accelerate a payback of a fee that drivers pay into the fund.

The governor signed a law in 2019 to reduce that surcharge and cap benefits. The law has also come under fire for its limits on payments for long-term care for crash victims.

The governor cannot order the MCCA to send the payment. But the fund’s executive director says that is under consideration. The MCCA will eventually have to send refund checks if there is still a surplus next year.

An industry association says if the payments are sent out, there needs to be a guarantee the law won’t be changed.

There are efforts in the Legislature to enact changes to help patients who face the loss of long-term care.

Family members of auto accident survivors are outraged by Whitmer's call for refunds from the MCCA fund.

Jim Howell is a former Republican state representative. His son was catastrophically injured in a car accident. He says Whitmer's call for a refund from the MCCA is an attempt to buy votes.

“This is the Michigan catastrophic claims fund, it was meant to protect people that got in catastrophic accidents and what she is doing is violating that principal big time.”

Howell says Whitmer should be trying to fix the new auto no-fault law. The new law is causing a collapse of the long-term care provider industry.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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