Auto insurance rates to drop one per cent, PUB rules

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Most customers will pay less in 2005, as Manitoba’s low rates continue

December 3, 2004 — Manitoba motorists will pay on average one per cent less for their auto insurance in 2005-2006, as the result of a Public Utilities Board (PUB) ruling today.

The decision confirms that the province’s record of maintaining among the lowest rates in Canada will continue into 2006. This is the fourth time since 1999 that Manitoba auto insurance rates have declined. The ruling means the average family passenger vehicle premium will fall to about $768 – nearly $8 less than in 2004. The ruling takes effect March 1, 2005, but staggered renewal dates mean some vehicle owners will not pay the new rates until February 2006.

“At a time when most Canadians are still facing significant auto insurance rate increases, Manitoba has held the line on rates in six of the last seven years,” Manitoba Public Insurance President and CEO Marilyn McLaren said. “This represents the stability Manitobans want and demonstrates that Manitobans continue to receive the best auto insurance value in the country.”

In June, the corporation asked the public regulator to hold the line on rates, which would have reduced insurance costs for 51.5 per cent of vehicle owners. The one per cent reduction ordered by the PUB will mean 58 per cent of vehicle owners will benefit from lower rates.

Owners of trailers and off-road vehicles will experience reductions of 20 per cent – less than the 22 per cent and 41 per cent applied for. The ruling also means that motorcycle owners will pay on average 15 per cent more for insurance, reflecting increased claims costs.

The PUB also approved a proposal to reduce by half the administration fees charged to customers who finance their Autopac payments over 12 months and extend the merit discount plan to certain light commercial vehicles registered to individuals.

There will be no changes to Basic Autopac coverage or benefits.