Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MPI seeks 'moderate' 1.8% rate hike

Collisions up, return on investments down

  • Print
Collisions per 1,000 vehicles are up in Manitoba, which MPI partly blames on last winter's snowstorms. Last year, Manitoba motorists filed an average of  1,153 claims a day.

Enlarge Image

Collisions per 1,000 vehicles are up in Manitoba, which MPI partly blames on last winter's snowstorms. Last year, Manitoba motorists filed an average of 1,153 claims a day.

More crashes and a weak return on investments -- not to mention two years of rebates and frozen rates -- will see Manitoba Public Insurance ask its rate watchdog for what it calls a "moderate" 1.8 per cent hike in basic-coverage premiums for the 2014-15 insurance year.

The Crown auto insurer signalled the increase, the first one in a decade, on Friday as it filed the paperwork with the Public Utilities Board.

It comes on the heels of a net operating loss of $48.1 million for MPI in the last fiscal year, a $78.4-million worse result than the previous year, according to MPI's just-released 2012 annual report.

If approved by the PUB, a total of 707,090 vehicle owners will see a premium increase of about $50, MPI said.

MPI also said if approved, a total of 342,319 vehicle owners will see a premium decrease or the same rate in 2014. The average passenger-vehicle premium will be $898.

MPI president and CEO Marilyn McLaren blamed two things for the requested increase: MPI doesn't sit on the money it collects from vehicle owners -- it invests it, and returns on those investments were not as high as MPI anticipated. Returns were down 30.1 per cent ($83.2 million) last year from $119 million the year before.

Second, McLaren said collision claims are up over past years.

"Collision claims increase a bit every year because we have more vehicles, but the frequency -- the collisions per 1,000 vehicles -- had ticked down a bit, but now it seems to be coming back to more consistent patterns," she said Friday. "We're going to have to watch that. We had a lot more crashes last year. That's not a good trend."

Last year, overall claims increased by $44.6 million from the year before. Injury claims were down, but damage claims went up.

McLaren said the high number of collisions is partly due to the several snowstorms last winter. MPI also saw $23.7 million in hail claims last year.

"I think the winter was a big part of it, but I think there's more to it than just the winter," she said.

In total, there were 161,466 collision claims last year, up from 149,764 the year before.

Last year, MPI said Manitobans filed an average of 1,153 claims daily. The average cost per claim is $2,600.

Whether MPI gets the rate increase is anyone's guess. That's because the PUB has put MPI through the wringer during the past three years. As a result, rates decreased four per cent in 2011, eight per cent in 2012 and remained stable in 2013. In 2011, the PUB ordered an unprecedented 45 per cent rebate, a refund of about $320 million, to vehicle owners.

MPI was also on track to tell the PUB about its proposed plan -- called the Roadway Infrastructure Investment Partnership program -- to pay for small municipal road repairs and other projects to make roads safer for drivers.

But Attorney General Andrew Swan, the minister responsible for MPI, recently pulled that card out of their deck, saying it would unnecessarily compete against Ottawa's and the province's own infrastructure spending plans.

"We won't be asking the PUB to look at infrastructure at all," McLaren said.

She said the new rate proposal will see many vehicle owners in the north get rate decreases.

MPI says 97.3 per cent (9,897) of passenger vehicles will see rate decreases in all areas north of the 55th parallel, including Thompson, Lynn Lake and Churchill. As well, 85.6 per cent (12,733 vehicles) will receive rate decreases in the near north, including Flin Flon, The Pas and Grand Rapids.

McLaren said MPI has applied for an average rate decrease of 7.6 per cent, or $83, for motorcycles. If approved, the average motorcycle rate will decrease to $1,001 from $1,084.

Mopeds and small-engine scooters -- more are on the road each year -- will see an average rate increase of 15.1 per cent if approved by the PUB. The average rate for these vehicles will increase $43 to $330 per year from $287.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 15, 2013 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: Those Damn Hipster Things

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think it's a good idea for Theresa Oswald to enter NDP leadership race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google