December 9, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has broken its six-year rate freeze, and will up basic auto insurance rates by 3.7% for 2004. The province’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) ordered the increase, which will add about $30 to the average family passenger vehicle premium. New rates kick in as policies renew after March 1, 2004.
Rising claims costs are the cause of the increase, says MPI president and CEO Jack Zacharias. However, he adds, “when compared with other jurisdictions, Manitoba continues to offer the best auto insurance value in Canada.”
The rate increase will vary based on vehicle type, which family passenger vehicles facing a 4.2% increase, while trailer and off-road vehicles will see about a 30% reduction. Motorcyclists will be hit with an average 15% increase based on high claims costs.
MPI had only applied for a 2.5% increase, planning to spread the necessary increases over several years, but the PUB said a higher increase was needed now. Coverage levels on basic policies will not change, MPI reports.