By Mike Davey
Winnipeg, Manitoba -- December 19, 2016 -- Insurance rates will rise in Manitoba in March 2017, but not by quite as much as Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) wanted.
The rates charged by MPI are regulated by Manitoba's Public Utilities Board (PUB). According to a statement from PUB, the Board approved a 3.7 percent overall general rate increase for Basic compulsory motor vehicle premiums. MPI has asked for a rate increase of 4.3 percent. However, PUB found that, based on the evidence placed before it, that MPI had not met its onus of proving that the applied for rate level change o was just and reasonable.
An overall increase doesn’t necessarily mean that all motorists will see their insurance bills rise. The rates paid by individual policyholders are determined based on their driving record, the registered vehicle (make and model and year), the purpose for which the vehicle is driven and the territory in which the policyholder resides.
According to the official statement, PUB determined that 2.3 percent of the increase requested by MPI is directly attributable to changes in interest rate forecasting. The balance of 2 percent is attributable to the volatility of the investment portfolio.
There will be no change to permit and certificate rates, vehicle premium discounts and driver licence premiums, service and transaction fees, fleet rebates or surcharges, or the $40 discount on approved aftermarket and manufacturer/dealer installed anti-theft devices.
PUB also noted that the rate of fatalities on Manitoba roadways has seen a significant increase in 2016. There have been 86 fatalities to date on Manitoba’s roads in 2016, with a full 70 percent of those deaths taking place on rural roads. The Board recommended that MPI “… must take the initiative, and take a more aggressive approach, towards prevention of collisions and fatalities on Manitoba roadways.” The board noted that MPI has taken steps towards a more comprehensive approach to road safety programming through the Loss Prevention and Road Safety Framework and through stakeholder engagement. However, the board also found that “… the Corporation is lacking in an overall, comprehensive, vision and strategy in respect of road safety programming and goals.”
MPI reported a net loss of $30.9 million for the six months of its fiscal year ending on August 31, 2016. This is a decrease of $47.4 million compared to the same time period last year. A copy of the Order from PUB is available at pub.gov.mb.ca/pdf/mpi16/162-16.pdf.