January 27, 2010 by Canadian Underwriter
Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is launching a new rating program intended to increase merits that drivers can earn for driving safely, thereby decreasing drivers’ premiums by a projected total of almost $1 million.
The Driver Safety Rating (DSR) will come into effect on Mar. 1, 2010.
Incentives under the DSR include:
• Instead of the current five-merit limit, Manitobans will be able to earn up to 15 merits for safe driving;
• Those with a record of safe driving will earn one merit for every year of driving with no at-fault collisions or traffic convictions. Under the current system, it takes two years of safe driving to earn one merit;
• With more merit levels, it will be possible for a driver to have more than one at-fault crash and still receive a discount. Subject to Public Utilities Board approval, very safe drivers could earn better discounts after reaching the highest point on the scale.
Over the next 14 months, all customers will move from the current merit discount program to the DSR, depending on the driver’s anniversary day (four months after their birth date). All customers will be on the new system by Feb. 28, 2011.
In surveys conducted by MPI, 95% of ‘good drivers’ and 84% of ‘average drivers’ said it was either “important” or “extremely important” to consider a person’s driving history when determining the individual’s insurance rates, an MPI release says.
“Under the new program, drivers will receive the same, or even a larger discount, on their Autopac premium that they had under the old system,” said Marilyn McLaren, MPI’s president and CEO.
“Where you’re placed on the new scale will depend on how many merits you have, combined with your accumulated years of claims-free driving.”