Manitoba Public Insurance to reduce wait times for hail estimating appointments

Starting next week, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is opening a dedicated hail estimating centre at its Physical Damage Centre in Winnipeg to make more appointments available for impacted customers.   

Severe spring weather continues to drive an increase in hail-related claims. In the past week, MPI has received more than 1,150 claims, building on the over 15,000 claims opened with MPI in 2023, the majority of which resulted from an August 24 storm in Winnipeg.

Beginning today, customers who have opened a hail claim with MPI but have not yet had an estimate appointment scheduled will be contacted directly via email or text message. They will be offered the opportunity to book an appointment at a date and time that works for them at MPI’s Physical Damage Centre, located at 1981 Plessis Rd. in Winnipeg.

MPI is prioritizing those who have been waiting the longest and will be contacting customers in the order their claims were opened.

“Last year, we experienced one of the most significant hail claim seasons in our Corporation’s history,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s President & CEO. “Customers have been patiently waiting for hail estimating appointments and given the recent storms, we are committed to making our services available as quickly as possible and in a way that meets their needs through this specialized service option.”

The temporary centre will have 70 appointments available each day and be open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Customer impacts

Please note the following customer impacts, depending on the status of their claim:

  • Winnipeg customers who have opened a hail claim but have not yet had an estimating appointment scheduled will be contacted directly by MPI by email or text message in the coming weeks with details about how to schedule an appointment at the Physical Damage Centre.
  • Customers with hail estimating appointments scheduled at a Winnipeg MPI Service Centre should attend their scheduled appointment at the confirmed date, time and location. Customers with scheduled appointments who would prefer to reschedule for an earlier date at the Physical Damage Centre should email [email protected].
  • Customers with vehicles that have hail damage but have not yet opened a claim with MPI are encouraged to do so by using the online claim form or calling 204-985-7000 or toll-free at 1-800-665-2410.

There are no changes for customers who have opened hail claims and have appointments scheduled at MPI locations outside of Winnipeg.

40 per cent of vehicles travel above posted speed limit: MPI observational study

Speeding on Manitoba roads continues to be one of top contributing factors in serious – and often deadly – collisions, with 40 per cent of vehicles found travelling above the posted speed limit in a recent MPI province-wide study. Of these vehicles, seven per cent were travelling more than 10 kilometres above the posted speed limit.

The 2022 study, which included over 1.2 million vehicles at over 50 different urban and rural locations throughout the province, was designed to better understand how frequently drivers were speeding on Manitoba’s roadways. MPI plans to use the findings to improve existing programs and develop new targeted initiatives to reduce speeding.

“MPI data has consistently shown us that speed is a contributing factor in almost 20 per cent of all fatal collisions annually and this latest study tells us that remains a common and risky habit for many drivers,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer. “No matter what road you’re on, when you’re behind the wheel it’s important to drive the speed limit for that area and remember to adjust for weather, road and traffic conditions.”

Preliminary fatal collision data shows that speed was the primary contributing factor in approximately 30 per cent of the fatalities that have occurred on Manitoba roads to date in 2023.

New electronic speed display sign program

To increase drivers’ awareness of their travelling speeds, MPI is launching a new program this fall to provide electronic speed display signs to interested municipalities and First Nations. As part of the program, MPI will fund the purchase of up to 35 signs in 2023 and an additional 20 signs in 2024, with no cost to the communities.

“The results of our pilot program conducted last year found that electronic signs are effective in reducing vehicle speeds and making our roads safer for all road users,” Jatana said.

Tips to manage your speed

Follow these road safety tips to always keep your speed in check:

  • Plan your route and give yourself enough time to safely reach your destination.
  • Use cruise control to avoid inadvertently going over the speed limit.
  • Maintain a safe following distance, which means a four-second distance in ideal driving conditions.
  • Remember when passing by a roadside emergency vehicle, you must move to the farthest lane from the scene whenever possible. In this situation, drivers also are required to slow down to 40 km/h when the posted speed limit is below 79 km/h or 60 km/h when the posted speed limit is 80 km/h or higher.

Manitoba Public Insurance Releases 2023’s Top 5 Frauds

Every year, auto insurance fraud in Manitoba costs customers more than an estimated $50 million. To raise awareness of this cost, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is sharing its top five attempted frauds from 2023, as investigated by the Corporation’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).

“Our experts in SIU investigate suspicious claims to give customers the peace of mind that the right claims are being paid for the right amount,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer. “This annual list showcases some of the most unique ways people attempt to commit fraud, and the techniques MPI’s experts use to stop them, helping to save our ratepayers millions of dollars.”

Last year, MPI’s SIU closed over 3,000 investigations, which resulted in claims savings of over $10.5 million for customers.

No. 1: Memory lapse

A customer opened a collision claim for their vehicle but could not confirm what had occurred to cause the damage. They reported they were only made aware of the need for repairs when they went to an impound lot to obtain their belongings from the vehicle. They also denied consuming any alcohol, drugs or medication in the 12 hours before the incident.

Based on information received by MPI, the same vehicle was seen driving erratically, causing damage to property and colliding with another parked vehicle, nearly hitting a nearby pedestrian. There were also reports the driver was seen stumbling around after the collision and seemed impaired. Open drugs and alcohol were also seized from the vehicle by the police.

Upon being interviewed by SIU investigators, the driver maintained that they have no recollection of the incident, that they were not impaired and did not have any knowledge of how the damage to their vehicle occurred.

Based on the claimant making a false statement, the claim was denied. The estimated cost savings for ratepayers is over $60,000.

No. 2: Need for speed

An insured individual reported a single-vehicle collision claim, alleging that they hit a bump in the road and lost control of their luxury vehicle while travelling at the posted speed limit of 60 km/h. Unable to regain control, the driver said the car turned sideways and both of the driver’s side tires hit the curb.

An SIU investigation was initiated after it was discovered that the damage to the vehicle was too severe for the speed the driver declared they were going when they opened the claim. Data recovered from the car revealed that the driver was in fact travelling 181 km/h at the time of the collision.

The estimated savings of this denied claim is more than $42,000, and the driver had their licence suspended.

No. 3: Lifting lies

While recovering from a collision, a claimant receiving benefits from MPI’s Personal Injury Protection Plan reported that their neck, shoulder and arm pain as well as dizziness, nausea, and headaches were so severe they were unable to work.

During evaluations, the individual noted that their injuries prevented them from walking or driving more than 30 minutes at a time and lifting more than 5 lbs.

An investigation was initiated, and surveillance revealed the customer performing a number of physical activities, including carrying a full water jug, which weighed over 40 lbs, shoveling snow, operating a wand pressure washer as well as lifting, carrying, and loading a step ladder into their vehicle.

Additionally, the claimant was seen running after a garbage truck, shopping, and driving a vehicle on several occasions with no indication of pain or dizziness.

The claimant’s entitlement to income replacement benefits ended because of the investigation, saving ratepayers more than $57,000.

No. 4: Sneaky keys

An insured customer opened a total theft claim, reporting that they woke up to find their truck had been stolen overnight. They told MPI that two keys existed for the vehicle but one was missing. The known key was in their possession at the time of the theft and no one else had access to it.

The insurance for the vehicle was set to expire the day after the theft allegedly took place and the customer shared that they had already removed the licence plates and was not planning to renew the policy.

The individual also reported the theft to the police – but conflictingly told them that they were only given one key when they purchased the vehicle. The police contacted SIU investigators to share their concerns after they recovered the truck the day after the customer said it was stolen and found that it had been involved in a single-vehicle collision rollover. There were no occupants – and no keys found in it.

A mechanical examination by SIU investigators revealed that two keys were programmed for the truck. The key that the customer turned in had been smashed and unable to be used in the investigation.

Tellingly, the examination also found that the truck ignition, column and immobilizer were intact – meaning that a programmed key was needed to start and run the truck. Data retrieved from the vehicle also showed that prior to the crash it was started with a programmed key.

The claim was denied based on the policyholder making a false statement, saving MPI ratepayers approximately $43,600.

No. 5: Unsupervised driver

While opening a claim, an insured driver reported that after rear-ending a vehicle, they and their spouse, who they stated was a passenger at the time of the collision, stopped to exchange information with the other driver.

After further investigation and with the help of the statement from the other driver, it was revealed that the first driver was alone in their vehicle, despite licence restrictions requiring them to have a supervising driver with them at all times.

When asked to exchange information, the unsupervised driver had their spouse come to the scene to do so on their behalf. The couple denied any wrongdoing when questioned by SIU investigators and collision data was unable to support their accounts.

The claim was denied based on the policyholder making a false statement and the savings to MPI ratepayers was approximately $10,200.

***

Anyone with information about auto insurance fraud is encouraged to call the MPI TIPS Line at 204-985-8477 in Winnipeg, toll-free 1-877-985-8477 outside of Winnipeg or submit information online at mpi.mb.ca. All calls and reports are anonymous.

MPI’s Winter Tire Program offers low-cost options, increased safety for Manitobans

Don’t be fooled – even with fluctuating temperatures, winter conditions have arrived across the province and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)’s Winter Tire Program is here to help make sure your vehicle is ready to navigate slick and slippery roads.

The Corporation’s long-standing program returns for its ninth year to provide low-interest financing at prime plus two per cent on up to $2,000 per vehicle to eligible individuals towards the purchase of winter tires as well as associated products and services.

Since its launch in 2014, the program has provided over 230,000 loans to customers throughout the province.

“MPI is proud to continue to offer this popular program, which aims to reduce overall claims and keep Manitobans as safe as possible in the months when road conditions are often the most treacherous,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer.

To take part in the Winter Tire Program, Manitobans can visit any participating winter tire retailer across the province to confirm eligibility and begin the loan authorization process. The program offers financing terms between one and four years, and customers can choose their monthly payment withdrawal day. Full details of the program can be found at mpi.mb.ca/wintertires.

Winter tires increase traction, reduce stopping distance

Winter tires have a cold weather rubber compound and tread patterns designed to perform on wet, snow covered and icy surfaces. Research shows that using winter tires increases traction, making it easier to get out of the snow and can cut stopping distance by 25 per cent or more.

Winter driving tips

In addition to preparing your vehicle for winter conditions, drivers should also adjust their behaviours behind the wheel this season, including:

  • Planning ahead. Before you head out on the highway, check for road and weather conditions by calling 511. Don’t rush and give yourself extra time to get to your destination safely.
  • Slowing down and using caution. Slowing down will help maintain traction and decrease your total stopping distance. This is especially important when travelling on overpasses and bridges as surfaces on these structures can freeze quickly.
  • Clearing snow and ice. At this time of year, keeping windshields clear is essential so make sure windshield washer fluid is topped up and windows are clear of snow and ice. Also remember to clear snow and ice that may have collected on the hood, trunk, or roof of your vehicle.
  • Leaving more space. Don’t tailgate and remember that following distance should be increased when travelling at higher speeds or in poor visibility. Traction is reduced when roads are slippery, so it takes more time to come to a complete stop.
  • Navigating cautiously. Take your time around snowbanks, advancing cautiously and leaning forward to improve your view. Be sure to keep watch for pedestrians, snow clearing equipment, and other vehicles.

MPI’s Community Relations team offers free 45-minute winter driving presentations to help licensed drivers who want to brush up on their awareness of these skills or may be experiencing Manitoba winter roads for the first time. Interested groups or organizations with 10 or more interested participants can visit mpi.mb.ca/communityrelations to request an in-person or virtual presentation this season.

MPI Customers Can Now Check Claim Details Online

Manitoba Public Insurance is pleased to launch Check My Claim, a convenient new feature on MPI’s website that allows customers to get information about certain MPI claims, where and when they want it.

Manitobans can use the new service to access the most up-to-date status of their existing physical damage claims on personal vehicles. Claim information, including progress updates, a summary of insurance coverage, liability percentage, adjuster contact information and the details of upcoming appointments at MPI locations, is available through the new option.

“We know one of the top reasons customers call MPI’s Contact Centre or their adjuster is to get an update on their physical damage claim,” said Marnie Kacher, MPI’s Chief Operations Officer. “Earlier this year, customer survey data also showed us that Manitobans want to access this information online. As a customer-centric organization, MPI listened and moved quickly to create a solution that meets both needs while supporting the important work of our adjusting teams throughout the province.”

Check My Claim is the latest example of MPI prioritizing the preferences of Manitobans in the products and services it offers. MPI is proud to be delivering value to customers through new online solutions that offer more convenient access to its services.

Available for personal vehicle claims made after May 5, 2023, registered owners will be required to enter their claim number, document number (DD/REF) and the email address provided to MPI when the claim was reported to access their claim’s status.

MPI Releases Manitoba’s Top 5 Speed Hot Spots

Before Manitobans hit the road for the Terry Fox Day long weekend, MPI is highlighting the province’s Top 5 speed hot spots to raise awareness of the high-risk – and often deadly – driving behaviour.

The following locations had the highest proportion of drivers observed speeding in a recent MPI observational study:

RankLocationMunicipalityPosted speed limit (km/h)% of total vehicles observed travelling more than 10 km/h over the posted speed limit
1Eastbound Highway 1
West of Elie
Cartier10038.1%
2Southbound Main St
South of Young Avenue
Selkirk5030.0%
3Eastbound Inkster Blvd
East of Bergen Cutoff Road
Rosser7027.2%
4Northbound Highway 6
North of Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids10018.3%
5Eastbound Maryland Ave Between Cornell BayBrandon30 (school zone)16.7%

The 2022 study, which included over 2.3 million vehicles at more than 50 different urban and rural locations throughout the province over five months, was designed to better understand how frequently drivers were speeding on Manitoba’s roadways.

“We know that speeds kills and continues to be one of the major contributors to all collisions that happen every year,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer. “Every driver has a choice when they get behind the wheel – slow down and drive to conditions. MPI encourages everyone to do just that as they enjoy one of the last long weekends of summer.”

MPI data consistently shows that speed is a contributing factor in almost 20 per cent of all fatal collisions annually.

The study also found that Manitobans are especially travelling at dangerous speeds on highways – including nearly 100,000 vehicles observed travelling more than 10km/h over the posted speed limit on highways.

The results of the research were shared with road safety stakeholders and will be used by MPI to focus its speed prevention efforts on regions with the highest rates of speeding moving forward.

Tips to manage your speed

Wherever you’re travelling this long weekend, follow these road safety tips to keep your speed in check:

  • Plan your route and give yourself enough time to safely reach your destination.
  • Use cruise control to avoid inadvertently going over the speed limit.
  • Maintain a safe following distance, which means a four-second distance in ideal driving conditions.
  • Remember when passing by a roadside emergency vehicle, you must move to the farthest lane from the scene whenever possible. In this situation, drivers also are required to slow down to 40 km/h when the posted speed limit is below 79 km/h or 60 km/h when the posted speed limit is 80 km/h or higher.

All MPI Locations Closed and Scheduled Appointments Cancelled on Monday, August 28

Due to Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union strike action, all Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) locations will be closed and all scheduled appointments will be cancelled on Monday, August 28. This includes all driver testing, estimating, adjusting and driver fitness appointments. Affected customers will be contacted to reschedule at a later date. More information is available on MPI’s website.

MPI has worked closely with its partners across the province to minimize the impacts customers may experience because of the strike action.

In collaboration with these partners, the following services will continue:

  • Customers with general enquiries or front-end service transactions, including licence renewals and insurance payments, can visit one of MPI’s nearly 300 broker partners across the province.
  • MPI’s Contact Centre will remain open for reporting personal injury claims, non-drivable collision claims, and total-theft claims.
  • Customers with all other claims can go directly to an MPI-accredited repair shop for vehicle estimates and repairs without contacting MPI first.
  • Customers with vehicles towed to the Physical Damage Centre compound will continue to have access to remove personal items.
  • Essential services such as income replacement payments for personal injury claimants will continue uninterrupted.

All existing Autopac policies and driver licences will remain valid through the labour interruption period. MPI will update its website daily to reflect the most up-to-date service impact information available.

MPI appointments cancelled due to weather, road conditions

Due to weather and road conditions in the Westman region, Manitoba Public Insurance has cancelled some driver testing services, including road tests, and estimating appointments at locations in the area.

Affected locations include:

Brandon Service Centre
All scheduled road test appointments have been cancelled. Customers with scheduled knowledge test and estimating appointments should attend the location as scheduled.

Dauphin Service Centre
All scheduled road test and estimating appointments have been cancelled. Customers with scheduled knowledge test appointments should attend the location as scheduled.

Winkler Service Centre
All scheduled driver testing and estimating appointments have been cancelled.

Swan River Claim Centre
All scheduled estimating appointments have been cancelled.

Impacted customers have been contacted and their appointments will be rescheduled. Front counter services remain available at all locations.

Service updates will be shared at mpi.mb.ca, as available.

MPI Labour Interruption Ends; Full Restoration of Services Underway

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) will begin restoring full services for customers across the province on Friday, November 3, following the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement with the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU), ending the 10-week labour interruption.

“I am pleased that we have been able to resolve the labour dispute with an agreement that is both fair for employees and responsible to our ratepayers,” said Carmen Nedohin, MPI Board Chair. “This has been a difficult time for MPI employees and our customers. I look forward to working with leadership to rebuild the culture of the organization while we restore services for communities across the province.”

With employees returning to work on Friday, MPI locations will reopen to the public at 1:00 p.m. with the majority of regular services available.

“We are incredibly pleased to have our full team returning to work on Friday and are just as eager to begin the process of rescheduling appointments that were cancelled, discontinued or limited during the labour interruption,” said Nedohin. “We recognize that customers have been patient over the past few months and we thank them for their understanding as we work as quickly as we can to return to our expected service levels.”

Service and Claim Centres to reopen, Contact Centre to resume full services

  • All MPI Service and Claim Centres across Manitoba, including the Physical Damage Centre and Contact Centre, will reopen to customers at 1:00 p.m. on November 3 and remain open until 4:30 p.m.
  • Appointments scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and beyond will continue as planned.
  • Customers who have had appointments cancelled will be contacted to reschedule.

Regular updates will be posted on MPI’s website as service restoration continues.

Manitoba Public Insurance requests no overall change to basic insurance rates for 2024/25 insurance year

As Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) begins its annual Public Utilities Board (PUB) hearing today, it requests no overall revenue or rate change for the basic insurance program in the upcoming 2024/25 insurance year. Despite no overall rate change requested, individual insurance rates would continue to vary based on vehicle type, vehicle use, rating territory, and driving record.

In June, MPI filed its General Rate Application requesting the zero per cent overall rate change, in accordance with a directive issued by the Government of Manitoba. However, the directive does not apply to the PUB which operates independently, and has ultimate authority to establish basic insurance rates for the 2024/25 insurance year.

The PUB relies on many factors in rate setting, one being Accepted Actuarial Practice (AAP). At the time of June’s filing, the provisional overall revenue requirement calculated in accordance with AAP was minus 0.13 per cent. In October, the overall requirement further decreased to minus 1.48 per cent, primarily driven by positive investment yields, which is great news for Manitobans.

“MPI’s application, including the updated overall AAP indication of minus 1.48 per cent, demonstrates the positive overall financial position of the corporation,” said Marnie Kacher, MPI’s interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “MPI continues to focus on fiscal prudence for the year ahead, while providing Manitobans with affordable products and services to meet their needs.” MPI’s application is based, in part, on its fiscal year-end financials and current interest rates.

As part of its application, MPI also proposes continued expansion of the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) scale, which provides premium discounts for the safest drivers. If approved, MPI will add an additional discount level to the top of the DSR scale, resulting in a 48 per cent vehicle premium discount for drivers at the newly established DSR Level +18. MPI would also apply greater discounts to all DSR levels over DSR Level +8, thereby offering larger premium discounts to more of Manitoba’s safest drivers.

MPI expects the PUB to issue its order in December. Approved rates would become effective April 1, 2024, however because renewal dates are staggered, some vehicle owners will not pay their new rates until March 31, 2025.

Third-Party Liability Coverage to be Denied for Impaired Drivers

Impaired drivers who are in a collision will be denied third-party liability coverage as of August 1, 2023, the Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) announced today.

Impaired drivers will be responsible for covering the cost of any damage they cause to other vehicles or property.

“Our government is committed to holding impaired drivers accountable for damage caused by their actions and to keeping our roads safe for all Manitobans,” Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen said.

“Far too many people are killed and injured every year in collisions caused by impaired drivers. That’s why the Government of Manitoba is pleased to announce that MPI now has the authority to recover costs for property or vehicle damage directly from these drivers.”

Third-party liability covers damages caused to other vehicles and to personal or public property. Under the new rules, if an impaired driver causes damage to someone else’s vehicle or property, MPI will cover the damages caused and then seek repayment from the impaired driver. This way, individuals whose property is damaged will continue to be compensated fully, as they are today. These changes will apply to drivers of all types of motor vehicles, including off-road vehicles.

The Personal Injury Protection Plan covers all Manitoba residents injured in an automobile accident anywhere in Canada and the United States. However, outside of Manitoba, an impaired driver is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction, meaning they could be responsible for covering the costs of all damage caused, including bodily injuries.

“Manitoba already has among the toughest penalties in Canada for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This announcement creates one more serious deterrent to impaired driving in Manitoba,” said MPI Chairperson Ward Keith. “We are sending a clear message that impaired driving is unacceptable in our province. If you drink or use drugs, simply do not drive.”

Enhancing Manitoba’s strong stance on impaired driving

Impaired driving is a serious threat to public safety with significant sanctions and consequences. In addition to today’s announcement, all-perils coverage for damage to one’s own vehicle is already denied for impaired drivers.

Additional consequences to driving after consuming drugs or alcohol in Manitoba include licence suspensions, vehicle impoundment, participation in Manitoba’s Ignition Interlock Program, potential charges under the Criminal Code of Canada, movement down the Driver Safety Rating scale and a mandatory Impaired Driver Assessment at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba at the driver’s expense.

MADD Canada, whose mission is to stop impaired driving and support victims of this violent crime, applauded the addition of another disincentive in Manitoba, and remains supportive of all initiatives to help prevent people driving under the influence.

“Impaired driving is a choice someone makes, and a choice for which they should be held accountable,” said Jaymie-Lyne Hancock, National President of MADD Canada. “We welcome this announcement from the Government of Manitoba and MPI. It is another strong consequence, in addition to the existing penalties, that individuals who choose to drive impaired will face.”

Statistics show impaired driving is a factor in one in four road fatalities each year in Manitoba and is a contributing factor in approximately 26 deaths each year, on average. So far in 2023, seven people have been killed in collisions involving impaired driving on Manitoba roads.

Top five road safety tips for summer driving

As Manitobans hit the road for summer travel, all drivers are urged to slow down, avoid distractions, and never drive impaired.

“There is no reason to ever drive impaired by drugs or alcohol,” MPI’s Keith said. “If you are out celebrating this summer, choose not to drive impaired. Plan a safe ride home. Have a designated driver, take a cab or rideshare, use public transit or stay the night. Whatever you do, don’t drive impaired.”

All motorists are reminded to follow these tips any time they get behind the wheel:

  1. Never drive when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  2. Don’t text and drive.
  3. Slow down – don’t speed.
  4. Buckle up.
  5. Be cautious in construction zones.

Fiscal prudence leads to positive overall net income: 2022/23 MPI Annual Report

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) remains in a strong financial position to provide stable and affordable insurance rates to customers as reflected in the Corporation’s 2022/23 annual report, released today.

“MPI is pleased to have ended its 2022/23 fiscal year with a positive overall net income of $4.2 million as at March 31, 2023,” said MPI’s Board Chair Ward Keith. “The positive financial results were achieved despite inflationary pressures that impacted both claim costs and corporate expenses; and reflect the strength and effective management of the Corporation’s lines of business, including an overall Basic insurance rate decrease of nearly 6.6 per cent for the 2022/23 insurance year, made up of a 1.6 per cent overall rate reduction in addition to another five per cent premium discount.”

The total number of Autopac claims in 2022/23 rose by 2.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The Corporation’s total claims costs for the year were $1.2 billion, an increase of $164.6 million compared to the previous year. The ongoing impact of rising inflation on the cost of claims was a major contributor to the increase.

The Corporation’s Capital Management Plan continues to protect Manitobans by ensuring MPI is properly capitalized at or above legislated targets for each line of business. The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act sets out the Corporation’s capital targets expressed as a Minimum Capital Test (MCT) percentage; Basic at 100 per cent, Extension at 200 per cent and Special Risk Extension at 300 per cent. As of March 31, 2023, MPI’s Basic MCT was 111 per cent, Extension MCT was 202 per cent, and SRE MCT was 386 per cent.

“The Corporation’s focus remains on fiscal prudence to maintain and control costs, which ultimately contributes to lower vehicle insurance rates for Manitobans,” said Keith. “I also want to recognize the commitment of MPI’s current executive team, and the hard work and dedication of all MPI employees who strive to provide exceptional service and value to Manitobans through the public insurance program.”

2022/23 Key MPI Numbers

  • Average number of Autopac claims reported per working day – 1,065
  • Total Autopac claims reported – 264,102
  • Third party liability bodily injury and Personal Injury Protection Plan injury claims reported – 12,185
  • Property damage claims reported – 251,917
  • Average Number of Autopac policies in force – 1,252,465

Improving Access to Driver Training in Northern Manitoba

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and University College of the North (UCN) are partnering to launch a new program to increase access to driver training programming in northern Manitoba. The UCN Class 5 Adult Driver Training Program will help create safer roads and improve workforce development in this critical area of the province by bringing affordable and accessible training into communities across the region.

“Promoting road safety throughout Manitoba is a core part of MPI’s mandate,” said Ward Keith, Chair of MPI’s Board of Directors. “Better access to driver training and education is a critical way MPI can partner with communities in northern Manitoba to reduce the disproportionately high number of road fatalities this region experiences. MPI is proud to support UCN in eliminating barriers to Class 5 adult driver training.”

Between 2019 and 2021, 13 per cent of all traffic fatalities in the province occurred in northern Manitoba, despite the region accounting for only six per cent of the provincial population.

The new program is unique because it will offer both in-class and in-car training to adults in cities and towns across northern Manitoba. Recognizing that participants may enter the program at different stages of the licensing process, adaptable cohorts will be established based on demand to offer support and training to obtain a Learner stage licence through to the completion of a passed Class 5 road test.

“Improving access to driver training is one of the best ways to develop and grow the workforce in northern Manitoba,” said Jamie Grant, UCN’s Associate Vice-President, Community & Industry Solutions. “Partnering with MPI to offer this program at UCN will improve safety on our roads while contributing to long-term economic development in the region.”

MPI and UCN anticipate over 125 students will receive training this year. UCN will begin accepting applications on July 4 for the first phase of the program, which includes Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas. Adults can sign up online and in person with staff who will be visiting each community. Training is expected to begin in July 2023 and expansion is planned to more areas across the north in the coming months. For more information, visit UCN’s website.

MPI’s free cycling education programs reaching more Manitobans than ever before

With an average of 200 cyclists injured or killed in collisions annually over the past five years, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is expanding the reach of its no-cost cycling workshops and programs to educate more Manitobans on how to bike safely.

“MPI is committed to ensuring every road user arrives at their destination safely – and that includes cyclists. Our cycling education programs are designed for all ages and skill levels, and we’re proud to be reaching more Manitobans than ever before in 2023,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer. “MPI’s Community Relations team can help riders learn the rules of the road and gain confidence navigating real-world situations on two wheels.”

MPI’s cycling programs contribute to safer roads throughout the province by sharing age-appropriate best practices and knowledge for how to ride safely, communicate with other road users and use bike lanes as well as other cycling infrastructure.

“It’s important to remember that everyone plays a role in keeping our streets safe – motor vehicles and cyclists share the same roads, the same rights and the same rules,” said Mark Cohoe, Bike Winnipeg’s Executive Director. “One important way drivers can do their part is to provide a safe buffer between their vehicle and people on bikes as they pass. That buffer should be at least 1 metre and grow as speeds increase. This buffer gives cyclists a safe, comfortable space to operate, while leaving room to avoid hazards.”

And the Corporation’s courses have never been more popular. MPI is on track to deliver the among the most Cycle Safely Bike Rodeos in its over 50-year history in communities across the province this summer, reaching an estimated 13,000 children.

Designed for ages 6-10, this interactive presentation teaches children about bike safety, hand signals, helmet fitting and is great for schools, daycares, camps and more. The rodeo consists of two parts – a theory presentation and a practical component riding on a course to practice what was learned. Summer 2023 slots are still available throughout the province for this impactful program.

Adult cycling education programs

MPI also offers a range of adult programming that not only shares the basics of bike safety but empowers aspiring community cycling leaders to deliver their own presentations.

For cyclists aged 16 and older, MPI’s Bike It! safety course includes both theory and on-road lessons to give participants a clear overview of cycling safety. It’s perfect for those who want to build on their knowledge and practice their skills on the road in a safe environment. The next session will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2023 from 11.a.m. to 3 p.m. at MPI’s Main Street Service Centre in Winnipeg. The course is free but advance registration is required by emailing [email protected].

Cycling Champions is another adult workshop that prepares attendees to deliver cycling-safety presentations to peers at school, work or neighbourhood groups. The full-day session offers both classroom and on-the-road training and includes a ready-made presentation kit that contains a facilitator’s guide with speaking notes and PowerPoint presentations geared towards both children and adults. Custom dates and times can be scheduled for groups of six or more potential champions.

Bicycle Education & Skills Training in Schools (BEST)

The BEST Program is a partnership between MPI, Green Action Centre, Bike Winnipeg, the WRENCH, and Seven Oaks School Division providing multi-grade, multi-year bike education through lesson plans and on road instructions for the physical education curriculum in grades six through eight.

Students are taught how to ride on-road, learning valuable skills such as hand signals, shoulder checking, lane positioning, and more. The program also includes bike maintenance, teaching students to assess whether their bike is road worthy, what the parts of a bike are and how those parts operate.

Since its inception in 2015, more than 7,000 students in 20 middle schools in Winnipeg have participated in the BEST Program.

To learn more about the free cycling programming that MPI offers and book a session, visit mpi.mb.ca or email [email protected].

MPI Requests No Changes to Rates for 2024/25

Manitoba Public Insurance has filed its General Rate Application with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) today, requesting no change in the overall rates for the 2024/25 insurance year.

This request for no change to the overall rate is good news for Manitobans and aligns with requirements put in place by the Government of Manitoba. In addition to filing for a zero per cent overall rate, MPI is required to file an Accepted Actuarial Practice (AAP) rate indication with the PUB, which is MPI’s own forecasted rate. The 2024/25 AAP overall indicated rate is very close to zero per cent request, meaning that the Corporation continues to provide stabilized rates for Manitobans.

If MPI’s application is approved, Basic overall vehicle rates will remain unchanged, however the premiums that drivers pay will vary according to individual placement on the Driver Safety Rating scale, type of vehicle and use.

“While people across the province continue to manage the impacts of the rising cost of living, MPI is proud to provide Manitobans with affordable products and services that meet their needs,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “If MPI’s rate application is approved, 52 per cent of private passenger class drivers—which make up two thirds of all policies—will see a decrease in 2024/25.

“The near-flat overall rate indication proposed for 2024/25 is possible because MPI is in good financial shape overall, and the reserves put aside to address unexpected or unanticipated claims costs are in line with legislated targets,” said Jatana. “The Corporation is moving forward with a renewed focus on fiscal prudence, reducing operating costs in 2024/25 and holding the staff complement at a consistent level.”

MPI is proposing a number of product enhancements as part of this rate application. This includes continued expansion of the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) system. If approved, MPI will increase the top of the scale by one increment, offering a 48 per cent vehicle premium discount to drivers at DSR Level +18. MPI would also apply greater discounts to all DSR levels greater than DSR Level +8, offering Manitoba’s safest drivers larger vehicle premium discounts.

MPI is also proposing a new blanket insurance policy framework for Manitoba’s rideshare industry that will bring it in line with other Canadian jurisdictions. If approved, the new policy would seamlessly switch between a registered owner policy and the new basic blanket policy depending on the use of the vehicle, giving dispatchers and drivers more flexibility and choice.

This year’s GRA submission also includes updates on Project Nova. The first release of Nova, which moved commercial brokers from a dated, paper-based system onto a new digital platform, launched in February 2023. The second release, which targets commercial customers who participate in the International Registration Plan, will roll out in the coming months. The third and fourth releases will follow in 2024 and 2025 respectively. These latter releases will mark the beginning of visible change for Manitobans, with replacement of front-end systems used by brokers and MPI staff to issue products and services to customers, as well as the introduction of some online services.

MPI is also in the final stages in selection of a Governance and Advisory Services vendor that will help ensure Nova is managed diligently, responsibly and with transparency at all levels.

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MPI’s filing is based on its fiscal year-end financials and current interest rates. The Corporation routinely updates the overall rate indication as it refines its forecast closer to the start of the PUB hearing in October. The PUB normally issues its order in December. The proposed rates would be effective April 1, 2024, but because renewal dates are staggered, some vehicle owners won’t pay their new rates until March 31, 2025.

MPI Moving Forward under Strong Governance & Board Oversight

MPI has released the following statement on behalf of Ward Keith, Chair, Board of Directors:

“While MPI manages through significant change, the Corporation is staying focused on its mission and mandate – while centering its attention on three business objectives that will help MPI deliver value for all Manitobans:

  1. Meeting financial obligations – continual focus on fiscal prudence and responsible financial management to maintain and control costs, which ultimately drives lower vehicle insurance rates for Manitobans.
  2. Delivering Project Nova – replacing outdated and unsupported legacy technology platforms to ensure Manitoba’s public insurance system is safe, reliable, and secure for generations to come, while creating opportunities to introduce new online options.
  3. Improving service delivery – continually improving how MPI serves its customers will always be a key priority. Focusing on frontline service availability and delivery so that people across the province have access to affordable products and services that meet their needs.

Against this framework, I am pleased to report that the Corporation is preparing to file its application to the Public Utilities Board for Basic insurance rates for the 2024/25 insurance year. While the Corporation will file for a zero per cent overall change to Basic insurance rates for 2024/25 in line with government direction, the actuarial indicated rate change is virtually flat as well. This is possible because MPI is in a good financial shape with reserves for unanticipated claims costs now at legislated targets. This year’s General Rate Application will also include further enhancements to the Driver Safety Rating scale, offering larger vehicle premium discounts for the safest drivers.

I am also pleased to report that Project Nova is continuing on schedule and within budget to replace outdated and unsupported legacy technology systems. While the implementation to date has not been without issue, I am optimistic that the right budget and resources are being put in place to deliver on the remainder of the project. That said, greater oversight from the Board is required to ensure that Nova stays on track. MPI undertook a formal Request for Proposals process and is close to selecting a new Governance and Advisory Services vendor to provide external oversight to Project Nova for the remaining two years of the project. This vendor will play a critical role in my expectation and commitment that Project Nova will be managed diligently, responsibly and with the right levels of transparency. A broader update will be provided to the Public Utilities Board in October.

MPI is also in the final stages of selecting a vendor to conduct the external organizational review ordered by government in April. I expect this external review will provide the Board with important advice and recommendations on Project Nova, in addition to examining other aspects of the Corporation’s organizational structure, operations, and financial and actuarial practices.

Together, MPI’s Board of Directors, executive leadership team and employees are taking time to reset and put tighter oversight processes and governance structures in place, which will help to ensure MPI is positioned to continue providing value for Manitobans.”

Announcement – President & CEO

The following statement has been provided by Ward Keith, Chair of MPI’s Board of Directors:

“Effective immediately, Mr. Eric Herbelin is no longer employed with Manitoba Public Insurance.

I am pleased to announce that Ms. Marnie Kacher has agreed to assume the role of President and CEO on an interim basis while the Board of Directors begins recruitment for a permanent leader.

Ms. Kacher has 12 years of experience with MPI, most recently serving as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In this role, she has had broad oversight of MPI’s Operations division, including all four of its lines of business. She is well respected by staff and stakeholders, and brings a welcome perspective on how MPI can continue to deliver value for the benefit of all Manitobans.

The Board will be undertaking a formal recruitment for a permanent President and CEO.”

Speed leads to 1 in 5 fatal collisions on Manitoba roads: MPI

As many drivers hit the road this Victoria Day long weekend, Manitoba Public Insurance is urging all Manitobans to slow down to avoid collisions – and potentially deadly consequences.

According to MPI data, speed is a contributing factor in more than one in five, or 21 per cent, of all fatal collisions that happen in Manitoba. While speeding is typically considered to be driving above the speed limit, it also applies when you drive too fast for weather, road or traffic conditions.

Additionally, a recent study completed by the Corporation found that during the summer months (May to September), approximately 13 per cent of vehicles travel at excessive speeds on highways throughout the province.

“We know May long weekend means the unofficial kickoff of summer for many Manitobans. While everyone wants to start the celebration at their cottage, lake or campsite with family and friends as soon as possible, speeding puts you and others on road at a higher risk for a serious collision,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer.

Speed kills – and costs

The most tragic results of driving at high speeds can be collisions that lead to fatalities or injuries. Each year in Manitoba, an average of 17 people are killed because of speeding.

Drivers who choose this high-risk behaviour may also face other serious consequences, including:

  • Fines ranging from $181 to $1,620. Fines are doubled in construction zones.
  • Moving down levels on the Driver Safety Rating scale – increasing the cost of their driver’s licence and vehicle premiums.
  • Serious Offence Notices, and potential licence suspensions, which can be issued for speeding infractions of 50 km/h or more over the posted limit.

Tips to manage your speed

Follow these road safety tips to keep your speed in check this Victoria Day long weekend and throughout the summer:

  • Plan your route and give yourself enough time to safely reach your destination.
  • Use cruise control to avoid inadvertently going over the speed limit.
  • Maintain a safe following distance, which means a four-second distance in ideal driving conditions.
  • Remember when passing by a roadside emergency vehicle, you must move to the farthest lane from the scene whenever possible. In this situation, drivers also are required to slow down to 40 km/h when the posted speed limit is below 79 km/h or 60 km/h when the posted speed limit is 80 km/h or higher.

Winter tire use results in few crashes: Manitoba Public Insurance

Vehicles equipped with winter tires are in fewer crashes than vehicles without winter tires, according to an MPI report issued last year. Based on analysis of winter month claims (November to March), winter tire use is estimated to reduce collision claim frequency by 6.3 per cent. The analysis was based on collision claims over the insurance years 2011-12 to 2017-18. Frequency was measured by comparing claim frequency before and after a winter tire purchase for 111,872 vehicles.

Of the 111,872 vehicles, there were 13,925 winter-month claims occurring before winter tires were installed and 9,802 winter-month claims occurring after winter tires were installed, stated the report.

“This MPI study confirmed that the use of winter tires can prevent collisions by reducing braking distances and enhance vehicle handling on snow covered, icy road surfaces,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s Chief Customer Officer.

“Loss prevention strategies of this nature ultimately benefit our customers through lower rates achieved by reduced collision counts. Consumers are encouraged to educate themselves about the safety benefits to winter tires as we enter into the winter months ─ a time frame where collisions typically rise due to poor driving conditions and less than ideal road conditions.”

Quick Facts:

  • The average loan term is 2.9 years
  • Average loan amount is $1,246
  • There are 767 participating retailers in the province ─ 368 located in Winnipeg
  • Since its introduction seven years ago, 173,487 loans have been processed under the province’s Low-Interest Winter Tire Program which is administrated by Manitoba Public Insurance.
  • At temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement, winter tires have been shown to reduce stopping distances by as much as 30 per cent compared with all-season tires.
  • Winter tires offer significantly better traction on snow-covered or icy road surfaces at temperatures well below -30 C than all-season tires have at 4 C.

About winter tires

Winter tires have a cold weather rubber compound and tread patterns designed to perform on wet, snow covered and icy surfaces. Numerous road safety studies confirm that winter tires reduce braking distances by lessening sliding on ice and snow.

Winter tires are equipped with a special single-directional tread pattern that actually pushes away snow and ice. They also have a deeper tread depth than their all-season counterparts, for better performance in snowy road conditions.

About the loan program

The program provides loans of up to 48 months at prime plus two per cent up to $2,000 per vehicle. Participation is as easy as going to any one of participating winter tire retailers throughout the province to confirm eligibility and have the loan authorization processed.

Eligible tires display a snowflake symbol, as endorsed by Transport Canada. This symbol indicates that the tires have met specific snow traction performance requirements and are designed to be used in severe snow conditions.

Financing remains available to eligible customers for the purchase of winter tires in addition to associated installation costs including rims, tire pressure monitoring system, addition of studs to tires (some limitations apply), mounting and balancing, wheel alignment and shop supplies.

Customers interested in participating in the program are encouraged to visit Manitoba Public Insurance’s website at mpi.mb.ca for more information on program rules and to select a participating retailer.

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For more information contact:

Manitoba Public Insurance

Media Relations Unit

204-985-7300

Satvir Jatana Named New President and CEO of Manitoba Public Insurance

The Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) Board of Directors have selected Satvir Jatana as the Corporation’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. She assumes her new role immediately.

“Satvir brings a wide range of executive-level experience to this position, including nearly nine years as a leader in Manitoba’s public insurance industry,” said Carmen Nedohin, MPI Board Chair. “She deeply understands the needs of MPI’s customers, and with financial responsibility and customer service as her focus, Satvir will lead this organization in the best interests of Manitobans. She has the full support of the Board of Directors as she begins her new tenure as President and CEO of MPI.”

Jatana currently serves as MPI’s Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, where she oversees product development, communications, government relations and efforts to expand the gathering and utilization of customer feedback across MPI. This has contributed to ongoing rate affordability and an increased focus on customer experience for Manitobans.

She has held progressively senior positions since joining the Corporation in 2015, including: Executive Director of Operations; Vice President, Human Resources, Corporate Services and CHRO; and Interim President and CEO. Prior to MPI, Jatana held executive roles at Princess Auto and Canad Inns.

Jatana takes over from Marnie Kacher, who has acted as the Corporation’s interim President and CEO since May 2023. The selection of a permanent executive leader continues the Board’s commitment to steady the Crown corporation following a year of volatility that included the first strike in its 52-year history.

“MPI is a strong organization full of talented and committed people, but it is in need of a reset,” said Nedohin. “Satvir’s insight as a long-term employee, breadth of experience as a leader and strong desire to unite and engage MPI’s team makes her the right person to lead MPI into a new chapter.”

Jatana will focus on setting a new corporate direction for MPI, informed by guidance and advice from government, MPI’s Board of Directors and insight from the recent organizational review completed by EY.

“I am grateful to the Board of Directors for this opportunity,” said Jatana. “It is an honour to serve the province that is home to me by leading an organization that is a pillar in communities across Manitoba. I am proud to work alongside an exceptional team of committed employees to continue MPI’s long-standing tradition of providing exceptional customer experience and delivering affordable rates for Manitobans.”

Satvir Jatana’s full biography, along with a high-resolution photo, is available on request by contacting [email protected].

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