Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has received approval for its 2002-2003 rate structure from the province’s Public Utilities Board. The structure means basic Autopac policyholders will pay an average of $555 in premiums, the same rate paid since 1998. MPI had hoped to offer a rate reduction, but after unexpected high claims, some as a result of hail damage, the public insurer had to content itself with keeping rates the same. The corporation had, last year, offered policyholders a one-time rebate totaling $75 million. Premium revenue from passenger vehicles remains the same, and trailers, public vehicles such as buses, taxis and emergency vehicles will decrease. Some drivers, however, will pay more as a result of higher claims. This includes commercial vehicles, which will increase by 11%, and motorcycles, up by 15%. “With this rate application, we’ve shown Manitobans that we can buck national trends that have seen auto insurance rates jump in every other region of Canada,” says Jack Zacharias president and CEO of MPI.