Manitobans benefit from public auto insurance system ? Consumers Association of Canada

While Ontario drivers pay the highest auto insurance premiums in Canada, Manitobans continue to benefit from the public auto insurance system, says the president of the Consumers Association of Canada (CAC).

Bruce Cran was responding to a story recently published in a national newspaper which reported Winnipeg vehicle owners pay the lowest insurance premium compared to vehicle owners in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Most notably, young drivers in provinces with private auto insurance pay several thousand dollars more than their counterparts living in Manitoba.

“The CAC has done studies in the past which have confirmed that Manitoba has the lowest insurance premiums in Canada,” said Cran. “Manitoba also has an excellent benefits package for those who are injured as the result of an automobile collision.

“Private auto insurances have a mandate to provide profit dividends to their shareholders. There are some things that should be run by private industry. And there are others that should be in the hands of government ─ auto insurance is one of them.”

Rate Stability and benefits

Over the last decade, collision costs in Manitoba have increased 35 per cent overall, while during the same period of time Manitoba Public Insurance has decreased its rates 14.9 per cent. Despite these contrasting financial outcomes, the Corporation has been able to decrease, or keep rates flat, for nine of 10 years.

Manitobans seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision are receiving more in benefits today than they would have prior to the province moving to a No-Fault automobile insurance system, according to Manitoba Public Insurance claims data.

The average bodily injury claim payout is now about $14,000, compared to about $7,000 under the province’s former Tort system of auto insurance.

“Our data confirms what we’ve said all along, that Manitoba’s Personal Injury Protection Plan better compensates the seriously injured,” said Dan Guimond, President and CEO of Manitoba Public Insurance.

“The PIPP system guarantees that injured people receive immediate benefits. Research of the Tort system found that Manitobans with minor injuries were often over compensated, while those with serious injuries were often under compensated and sometimes subjected to lengthy legal proceedings.”

Manitoba Public Insurance’s goal is to maintain claims expense per reported claim at a maximum of 50 per cent of industry average. The basic Autopac plan will return at least 85 per cent of premium revenue to Manitobans in the form of claims benefits.

A public auto insurance system can offer fundamental business advantages, according to the CAC. Of note, the public auto insurance system is able to control costs more effectively by working in partnership with body shops, medical clinics and business partners.

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