Thursday, January 13, 2022

State warns of scam attempts with upcoming auto insurance refunds

By: Ryan Jeltema

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - State officials are warning Michigan drivers to be on alert for scammers trying to get their auto insurance refunds later this year.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services did not mention any specific scams circulating around the state. But officials say scammers likely will try to capitalize on the $400 per vehicle refunds coming this spring.

“Whenever there is a widespread distribution of funds to consumers, inevitably there will be bad actors who attempt to take advantage of the situation in order to steal personal information or money from consumers,” said Director Anita Fox.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, which reimburses insurance companies for crash claims exceeding $600,000, will be issuing the $400 per vehicle refunds to insurers by March 9.

Insurance companies have until May 9 to forward the refunds to their customers, who had valid auto insurance policies on Oct. 31, 2021. The refunds must be provided as a direct deposit into customers' bank accounts or in the form of a paper check.

Fox said all Michigan drivers should be wary of anyone requesting an application for the money or offering to provide it earlier than their insurance company.

“Your refund check or ACH deposit will come directly from your insurer, and you will not have to take any action to receive it," she said. "Never give out personal information to a caller claiming to be from your insurance company.”

Anyone who receives an unsolicited call about their auto insurance refund should hang up immediate should hang up immediately and contact their insurance company using a phone number on their policy documents.

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