New auto insurance year brings 10% rebate from Manitoba Public Insurance

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March, 2008 – March 1 marked the beginning of a new insurance year for Manitoba Public Insurance – and the ninth year out of 10 that rates have remained stable and among the lowest in Canada.

During the coming year, Manitobans can also look forward to a 10- per-cent rebate on the Autopac premiums they paid for the 2006-07 insurance year. The rebate, to be mailed out in late spring, will be the third from the corporation in as many years.

“Lower rates and rebates to our customers show that the public auto insurance system works in the best interests of Manitobans,” says Manitoba Public Insurance President and CEO Marilyn McLaren.

“For nearly four decades, this system has delivered as promised ? providing comprehensive insurance at an affordable price — and with none of the coverage reductions that customers have seen in other provinces.”

The average passenger vehicle premium this year will be $833 – the same as it was last year. Premiums will be the same or less for more than 480,280 of the roughly 875,460 vehicles in the province. For about 90 per cent of vehicles, the increase or decrease in premium will be less than $50.

Because of staggered renewal dates, some vehicle owners will not pay the new rates until February 2009.

The rates individuals pay for insurance will be determined by their driving records, the kind of vehicle (make, model and year) they drive, what the vehicle is used for, and where they live, says McLaren. In any given year, an individual’s premium may increase, decrease, or remain the same, based on the actual claims experience associated with these rating factors.

The 10-per-cent premium rebate will total $63 million, an average of $100 per vehicle owner. Combined with previous rebates in 2001, 2006, and 2007, the public auto insurer will have returned a total of more than $260 million in rebates over a seven-year period.

The rebate will once again be funded through the corporation’s Rate Stabilization Reserve, which is designed to cushion basic Autopac rates from unexpected cost fluctuations, and will therefore have no impact on the corporation’s future revenues.