Manitobans to pay less as Manitoba Public Insurance holds the line on rates in 2010

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Continued decline in auto theft contributes to keeping rates stable

July, 2009 – For the 11th year in 12, Manitoba Public Insurance has filed a rate application that holds the line on Basic Autopac rates – helped in large part by continued declines in auto theft.

In its application to the Public Utilities Board (PUB) today, the corporation is requesting no overall increase in revenue for Basic Autopac rates, beginning March 1, 2010.

If approved by the public regulator, 333,290 passenger vehicle owners, 18,000 commercial vehicles, 2,900 motorcycles, 4,300 public vehicles, 72,000 trailers and 49,000 off-road vehicles will pay less for Basic Autopac next year. The average passenger vehicle premium will fall by $2 to $886.

Of the 45 per cent of Manitobans who will pay more, most will face increases of less than $20. Because of staggered renewal rates, some vehicle owners will not pay the new rates until February 2011.

“Despite the ever-challenging investment market and launching of several major projects, we have continued to hold the line on rates,” President and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn McLaren said. “Additionally, Manitoba’s immobilizer program is clearly working, reflected in record low theft numbers.”

Earlier this year Manitoba Public Insurance successfully launched the Enhanced Identification Card program, announced significant benefit enhancements for Manitobans catastrophically injured in an automobile collision and had the new Driver Safety Rating Plan approved by the PUB.

“Our financials are in excellent shape, while delivering these enhanced benefits and programs for Manitobans” said McLaren.

Manitoba vehicle owners continue to benefit from a successful auto theft strategy launched in 2005, said McLaren, explaining total theft has decreased 62.4 per cent since 2004 when theft numbers reached record levels. Auto theft in Manitoba dropped 41 per cent last fiscal year.

“The number of vehicles stolen in Manitoba has fallen for 31 of 32 months for the period ending February 28, 2009,” said McLaren. “This resulting drop has saved the corporation $58 million in theft claims costs since 2005 and has directly resulted in a 3.6 per cent reduction in Autopac rates over the last three years,” said McLaren.

While the corporation is not applying for additional revenue in this rate application, some customers will pay more due to adjustments applied to various rate groups. Most vehicles will have their premiums change by less than $20 up or down.

AVERAGE ADJUSTMENTS IN REVENUE

Major Use

Applied for Rate Changes

Private Passenger

-0.2%

Commercial

0.6%

Public

2.5%

Motorcycles

5.7%

Trailers

3.8%

Off Road Vehicles

-16.7%

Overall (applied for)

0.0%

Motorcycles (excluding mopeds and motor scooters) will experience an overall 4.9 per cent increase. However, 30.8 per cent will experience a rate decrease – most of which for motorcycles registered in Winnipeg. Moped and motor scooter owners will experience a 25 per cent increase. The claims costs attributed to these vehicles have been significantly greater than the average applied for premium of $194.

Annual Report: Strong Foundation/Promising Future

  • MPI released its 2008 Annual Report today, which shows the corporation closed out the 2008/09 fiscal year in a solid financial position.
  • All three lines of business reported profits totaling $5.1 million. Total revenues were $906.5 million, up from $869.7 million the previous year. Investment income was $4.6 million, down from $125.5 million last year, primarily resulting from the impact of the global financial crisis on the equity and bond portfolios in 2008. The corporation also surpassed its goal by providing claimants with 89 cents in benefits for every $1 in Basic premium – significantly better than the national average.
  • Manitoba Public Insurance realized these achievements without sacrificing customer service. In 2008, the company met or exceeded corporate-wide customer service standards 94 per cent of the time.
  • Last year, Manitobans filed an average of 1,028 claims every working day. This represents about $2.4 million in claims every working day.

About Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance is a non-profit Crown Corporation that has provided basic automobile coverage since 1971. Our services are available throughout Manitoba in claim centres and Customer Service centres. www.mpi.mb.ca.