Michigan insurance refunds of $400 going out now, here's how to not get scammed

While Michigan drivers await their $400 car insurance refund check, the state's top cop is asking people be equally watchful of potential scams the rebates might prompt. 

"Unfortunately, these refunds will likely attract bad actors who will turn this surplus into a scam. Remember, these are automatic payments back into your account. No one will call, write or email you for information prior to disbursing the money," said state Attorney General Dana Nessel.

"And if you are contacted by someone claiming to need personal information before receiving your $400, remain skeptical and report it to my Consumer Protection Team." 

Last year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced any Michigan resident who had a vehicle insured in the state by Oct. 31, 2021 can expect to see a $400 check deposited in their bank account this spring.

The Department of Insurance and Financial Services said last week that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association had reached its deadline of disbursing funds from its $5 billion surplus on March 9. 

Insurers now have until May 9 to get those funds into driver's bank accounts. 

But according to Nessel, when available money starts getting floated back to people as it did during the early stages of the pandemic, bad actors will try to steal some as well. One type of scam that might arise during the process is an impersonation scam, the attorney general said.

A full breakdown of the most common consumer warnings can be found here. They include fake government texts or emails, IRS scams, lottery or sweepstakes winning notices, collecting on a fake debt, or awarding fake government grants. 

MORE: When should Michigan drivers receive their $400 auto insurance refund checks?

Drivers expecting a refund will likely see the money deposited directly into their bank account. Those eligible will have one or more vehicles, motorcycles, or RVs insured in Michigan by Oct. 31. It should arrive by May 9. The refunds will arrive in the form of either checks or ACH deposits.

They will not arrive as a gift card, discount, or credit against current or future balances. 

If someone believes they're eligible for a refund that doesn't arrive by May 9, they're asked to call their auto insurer or agent. Consumers can also call DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) or by emailing autoinsurance@michigan.gov.