Rebate Riot: MPI prepares to hand out rebates

Winnipeg, Manitoba ⁠— As Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) releases its rebate plans for public, private, commercial and motorcycle policyholders, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has called out the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) for not offering rebates to customers amid the pandemic.

MPI will be issuing rebate cheques at a rate of 11 percent, meaning rebates will range between $140 and $160 on average, according to the province.

MPI’s request to release $58 million as part of the Pallister government’s $110 million plan to issue rebates to ratepayers in the province was approved by Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board last month.

“This will return money to Manitobans at a time when they need it most,” said Manitoba Minister of Crown Services, Jeff Wharton. 

As MPI prepares to hand out its rebate, the Insurance Bureau of Canada is calling out the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for its lack thereof, despite a 46 percent reduction in claims and $158 million in reduced claims costs between March 15 and May 2.

“ICBC has benefited financially from a reduction in claims during the pandemic. Unfortunately, it is more focused on its own bottom line than providing financial support to British Columbians during their time of need,” said IBC Pacific vice-president Aaron Sutherland. “While private insurers across Canada have taken steps to provide financial relief to their customers during this crisis, ICBC is turning their back on drivers in this province.”

In the IBC’s statement, it also advocated for the province to open up its auto insurance market to competition.

“If ICBC will not provide financial relief to drivers in this province, it’s time to give British Columbians the ability to shop around and find an insurer that will.”

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