Catalytic converter thefts have increased significantly in Winnipeg – and they are happening everywhere! From driveways to company compounds and public parking lots, no outdoor space is safe.

About catalytic converters

The converters are part of your vehicle emission system. Once the converter is removed, your vehicle is disabled until it is replaced.

Why they’re being stolen

Simply put, catalytic converters are:

  • Easy to steal.
  • High in value, making them very appealing to car thieves.

The converters contain rare metals and can easily be cut from your vehicle with a portable saw or grinder.

Top five vehicles targeted

  1. Hyundai Tucson
  2. Honda CR-V
  3. Hyundai Santa Fe
  4. Kia Sportage
  5. Mitsubishi RVR

The cost to you

If your catalytic converter is stolen, you will need to pay your deductible, plus any depreciation. (See the ‘Depreciation’ section here for more information.) That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect your catalytic converter.

Five tips to protect your vehicle

Since converter thieves tend to target cars at ideal locations, most prevention methods involve your parking practices.

  1. Park in well-lit areas.
  2. Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public parking lots. This leaves your car in a location where many people can see it.
  3. If you have a personal garage, keep your car parked inside with the door shut.
  4. Add video surveillance to the area where you regularly park your car.
  5. Adjust the security system on your car, if already installed, to activate from vibrations, such as those produced by a saw.

Learn more about catalytic converter theft prevention.

If you’ve been in a collision, your first course of action is to ensure your safety and the safety of any others who may have been involved. When it’s safe, move your vehicle over to the right side of the road, so that other traffic can pass.

We have designated MPI towing providers in Winnipeg (Champion Towing) and Brandon (Full Tilt Towing). Go to the ‘Towing your damaged vehicle’ section below for more information.

The next step is to exchange information with the other party (or parties). Use the accident report form as a guide for all the information you’ll need for your report. Then, report the collision to us as promptly as you can.

Even if you have no damage from the collision, you should still report to us. To understand fully how the collision happened and to assess it properly, we need reports from all the drivers involved.

Reporting

To report your collision, call us:

  • in Winnipeg: 204-985–7000
  • outside Winnipeg (and outside Manitoba): toll-free 1-800-665-2410

When reporting the collision, you’ll need this information:

  • your vehicle registration and the driver’s licence of whoever was driving your vehicle
  • the details about the accident (where, when and how it happened)
  • the details about any other vehicles and drivers involved
  • information about any witnesses

If you’re claiming damage, our representative will take a preliminary report from you. Your options for a damage estimate will be discussed with you.

If your vehicle has been damaged from something other than a collision, please see information about reporting a comprehensive claim.

You may be asked to complete a Driver’s Report to provide details of the collision and damages. Please refer to this sample document for assistance.

The role of your adjuster

After you have reported your vehicle claim, an adjuster will be assigned to your file. The adjuster investigates the claim, makes sure you had proper Autopac coverage, and determines who was at fault for the collision. Your adjuster can also help you understand how the claims process works and can explain the repair and appeal options available to you.

Out-of-province claims

If you are in a collision while travelling outside Manitoba, there are some special steps you need to take since the other vehicle involved in the collision is probably registered and insured in another jurisdiction. Here’s what to do:

1. Stay at the scene.

2. Don’t discuss responsibility.

3. Obtain the:

  • names and addresses of drivers and vehicle owners
  • make/model/year of all vehicles involved
  • license plate numbers, along with province or state
  • other parties’ insurance information, including the insurer and policy number
  • names of any witnesses, their addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • collision details (date, time, weather, positions of vehicles before and after the collision)

4. Take photos of the place where the accident or damage occurred, along with pictures of any damage or skid marks.

5. Prior to any repairs (whether temporary or complete repairs) on your vehicle, you require pre-authorization from MPI. Call us toll free at 1-800-665-2410 to report your claim. Claims can be made Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.

5. Keep all your bills and receipts for medical, repair or medical services needed because of the accident. You must provide them to your Autopac adjuster to support your damage claim.

6. If your vehicle is not drivable, and you need to arrange a tow, you have two options:

  • Contact ELC Solutions Inc. at 1-888-460-8697. They will make arrangements to tow your vehicle and communicate all towing details to MPI directly.
  • Contact a local towing company to make arrangements. Be sure to ask where they will be taking your car as MPI will request this information from you.

8. Review your policy to see if you are eligible to be reimbursed for the cost of a vehicle rental. See information on Loss of Use coverage, and note that coverage limits are in Canadian dollars.

9. Call local police and ask for a copy of their report.

Hit and Run Claims

When your vehicle has been involved in a hit-and-run collision, you must report the incident to Manitoba Public Insurance as well as the local police where the collision occurred. The procedure will vary depending on location.

Hit-and-run claims in Winnipeg

There are two ways to report a hit-and-run claim in Winnipeg.

If you are reporting a hit-and-run for the following situations, please submit your report to the Winnipeg Police Service using their online reporting form:

  • Unoccupied vehicle
  • You do not know who is responsible
  • You have a suspect licence plate number

If your vehicle was occupied at the time of the collision or you know who is responsible, please call the Winnipeg Police Service at 204-986-6222.

Next, call 204-985-7000 to book an appointment at one of the following MPI locations:

  • Bison Drive Service Centre: 15 Barnes Street
  • Gateway Road Service Centre: 40 Lexington Park
  • Main Street Service Centre
  • St. Mary’s Road Service Centre (French estimates only)

Hit-and-run claims outside Winnipeg

Prior to making an Autopac claim, hit-and-run collisions occurring outside Winnipeg must be reported to local police in the jurisdiction where the collision occurred. If you want us to handle your claim in Winnipeg, call us at 204-985-7000. If you would like your claim handled at one of our offices outside of Winnipeg, call our toll-free number at 1-800-665-2410.

Notifying the police after a collision

When you call us to file your claim, we will help you determine if you must also report your collision to the police.

There’s no need to report a straightforward fender-bender to the police. But if your collision involves any of these things, you must report it the police:

  • fatality
  • hospitalization because of injury
  • an unlicensed driver or unregistered vehicle
  • an unidentified vehicle (e.g., hit and run)
  • you failed to get the other driver’s particulars
  • you suspect the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs

You must report these types of collisions to the police within seven days. All reports can be made in-person, and reports about incidents occurring in Winnipeg can be made online. Hit-and-run reports must be made in person.

Vehicle damage resulting from suspected vandalism, attempted theft and theft must also be reported to the police. You must report vandalism, theft or attempted theft as soon as reasonably possible.

The police and Manitoba Public Insurance have entirely different responsibilities. The police are primarily interested in whether both drivers obeyed criminal and traffic laws. We need the information to assess who was at fault and to confirm both drivers met the conditions of their insurance policy.

Towing your damaged vehicle

If your vehicle can’t be driven from the scene of a collision because of damage, you’ll need to have it towed. If the collision occurred in Winnipeg, we will assist you by arranging a tow with Champion Towing directly to our compound. Simply call 204-985-7000 and provide us with the details of the collision.

If we happen to be closed, we have a contract towing service you can use in Winnipeg and Brandon.

You can call Champion Towing in Winnipeg at 204-985-7777.

For towing in Brandon, call Full Tilt Towing at 204-729-9510.

For towing outside Winnipeg and Brandon, but within Manitoba, call 1-800-665-2410. If we’re closed and your vehicle isn’t drivable, you can arrange your own towing. To locate a towing facility, please use the Towing and Storage Search Tool located here. Your vehicle should be towed to the closest storage facility.

It is important to choose a vendor that is listed on MPI’s Towing and Storage Tool to ensure that your services will be fully paid by your Autopac coverage. If you choose a towing or storage provider that is not listed on the tool, you will be responsible for paying the vendor directly for their services. Please talk to your adjuster about possible reimbursement of any towing and storage fees.  

Outside Manitoba, contact ELC Solutions Inc. at 1-888-460-8697. They will make arrangements to tow your vehicle and communicate all towing details to MPI directly.

Please note: Towing and storage providers that are not listed on MPI’s Towing and Storage Tool may charge more than what MPI will reimburse through your coverage. To avoid any additional charges not covered by your insurance, it is recommended that you discuss all fees prior to agreeing to any services.

Don’t repair damage before we’ve seen it! Except for temporary or emergency repairs to keep your vehicle mobile or to prevent further damage, you shouldn’t repair your vehicle before we’ve inspected the damage.

Replacement transportation

Basic Autopac covers replacement transportation in two situations:

1. When your vehicle is stolen. Your Basic Autopac insurance covers replacement transportation after a 72-hour waiting period.

2. When another Autopac-insured driver was at fault for damaging your vehicle in a collision.

For greater protection, you can purchase additional Loss of Use insurance.

Commercial Claims

Our Commercial Claims department handles losses involving heavy vehicles and specialized equipment.

Examples of the types of vehicles adjusted at Commercial Claims include:

  • highway tractor over 9,000 kgs/ semi-trailers
  • buses
  • vehicles with primary insurance coverage under Special Risk Extension
  • trucks with specialized equipment (cement mixers, garbage packers, cherry pickers, etc.)

All heavy and specialized vehicles are handled through the Commercial Claims, so the adjusters are familiar with the various types of equipment and the policies they require.

Call us to report a claim

  • In Winnipeg: 204-985-7000
  • Outside Winnipeg and out-of-province (toll-free): 1-800-665-2410

Telephone line is open

  • Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed

For a commercial emergency situation outside of regular hours, call the above number and select “2” to reach our after-hours commercial response team.

If you need to report damages to vehicle glass (including glass-only vandalism), click here for instructions on how to start your claim.

If your vehicle has been damaged as a result of a non-collision (including hail damage) and involves more than glass damage, use our online claim reporting form or call us to open your claim:

  • in Winnipeg: 204-985–7000
  • outside Winnipeg (and outside Manitoba): toll-free1-800-665-2410

When reporting your claim to MPI, you’ll need this information:

  • your vehicle registration
  • the details about anyone who may have been involved (not applicable for hail claims)
  • information about any witnesses (not applicable for hail claims)
  • information about any witnesses

If the damages sustained to your vehicle involved any of the following things, you must also report it to the police:

  • Theft or Attempted Theft
  • Partial Theft
  • Vandalism

It is ideal to call the police prior to opening your claim so that you can provide your police report number to our representative. If this is not possible, you may call back at a later time to add the report number to your claim.

Our representative will discuss your options for a damage estimate. If your vehicle is not drivable as a result of the damage, see our information on towing.

If your vehicle has rodent damage, or there have been signs of rodents in your vehicle, you can make a claim with Manitoba Public Insurance. During a rodent claim, take the following steps:

  • Contact Manitoba Public Insurance to open a claim.
  • Contact any commercial exterminator or remediation shop to have the occupancy area of your vehicle disinfected.
  • Once the exterminator or remediation shop has completed the initial disinfecting, your vehicle should be inspected at a remediation shop to ensure the ventilation is not contaminated. If you need help finding a qualified remediation shop in your area, our Contact Centre or your Claims Adjuster can help you.
  • The remediation shop will determine if any additional work is required beyond the initial disinfecting.

You will be required to pay the cost of your deductible on any rodent-related claim. However, any costs higher than your deductible limit will be billed directly to Manitoba Public Insurance.

Disinfecting your vehicle

If rodents have been in your vehicle and you are not reporting a claim, it’s important to clean up in a safe manner. Ensure you are taking the proper steps to sanitize the area while ensuring you are properly protected against possible health risks:

  • Wear gloves when disinfecting to ensure you are not directly touching any rodent droppings. If you are disinfecting in a confined area, you should also wear a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered respirator.
  • Open the windows or doors of the vehicle so that there is ventilation as you clean.
  • Disinfect the affected area with a commercial disinfectant, and give time for the mixture to soak in (roughly five minutes) before vacuuming or wiping away droppings. You should always test your disinfectant on a small inconspicuous area of your vehicle to ensure your fabrics won’t be damaged by them.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe the area down and remove all droppings.
  • Wash your hands with soap after cleaning any signs of rodents.

Health risks from rodent infestations

In extremely rare cases, a rodent infestation can cause health risks in humans. If a rodent has been near your vehicle’s air filter, dander and other particles might find their way into the ventilation system. According to independent research from the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of contracting an illness from a rodent infestation in your vehicle is extremely low. However, you will want to take steps to ensure you are protecting your health and the health of your passengers if there are signs rodents have been present in your vehicle.

Protect against rodent damage

You can take steps to minimize the risk of rodent activity. The following suggestions can help you prevent a rodent infestation and keep your vehicle safe:

  • When parking your vehicle for an extended period of time, avoid tall-grass areas, wooded areas or fields where rodents are more likely to be living.
  • Whether it’s leftover fast food, pet food or a few scraps that fell on the floor, rodents can be attracted to the aroma in your vehicle. Be safe and don’t keep any food inside your vehicle – even the aroma from small crumbs can attract rodents.
  • When parking your car in a garage, take steps to prevent rodent intrusion. Seal up any holes on the outside of the building, lay out traps and ensure any food in the area is stored in a tightly sealed container.
  • When storing RVs and trailers, remove barbecue units as rodents are attracted to the residual odour.

Signs of a rodent infestation

Be aware of signs that could indicate your vehicle has been visited by rodents. These visual cues are often the first clues that you may have rodent damage:

  • shredded or chewed upholstery or insulation
  • chewed wires and hoses
  • droppings
  • nest materials
  • rodent carcasses

If you do have rodents in your vehicle, you should take action immediately to reduce the risk of further infestation.

Glass claims are easily handled with Mitchell Cloud Glass – a web-based application for glass repair shops that makes filing glass claims more convenient. Using Mitchell Cloud Glass, participating glass repair shops can link in to Manitoba Public Insurance’s systems and register claims for you.

The process is fast and convenient: one call or visit will take care of registering your claim, confirming your coverage and scheduling the repair work. By calling a participating glass repair shop first, you skip one step – calling Manitoba Public Insurance.

By connecting directly with the glass repair shop, you get professional advice right from the source. When you file your glass claim through a glass repair shop using Mitchell Cloud Glass, you get the service and advice you need – all in one call or visit.

How does it work?

Find a participating glass repair shop.

Call or go directly to the participating glass shop of your choice to report your glass claim.

If the damaged glass was caused by vandalism and occurred in Winnipeg, complete an online report with the Winnipeg Police Service. Outside of Winnipeg, contact local police where the damage occurred to file a report.

Most vehicles can use Mitchell Cloud Glass – but there are exceptions that require special handling.

Have this information ready when you call:

  • The driver’s licence document number of the registered vehicle owner. (If the registered vehicle owner does not have a driver’s licence, you may use the customer number located on the vehicle registration).
  • The vehicle registration.
  • The date/approximate time of day the original damage occurred.
  • The vehicle’s licence plate number and Autopac policy number, along with the details about any other insurance you may have and your customer number.

If the vehicle is registered to a company, you will need to provide the customer number located on the vehicle registration.

Glass claims requiring special handling

There are some glass claims that cannot be processed through the Mitchell Cloud Glass system and must be handled by Manitoba Public Insurance. These include:

  • Vehicles covered under Manitoba Public Insurance’s Rental Vehicle Insurance.
  • Plate transfers from a currently registered vehicle to a newly acquired vehicle (seven-day transfers).
  • Lay-up policies (with no plate).
  • Vehicles with temporary permits.
  • Vehicles with Dealer Plates or Repairer Plates.
  • Work paid for in advance of reporting the claim, for which Manitoba Public Insurance has agreed to reimburse the policyholder.
  • Motorcycles, mopeds and mobility vehicles.
  • All off-road vehicles.
  • Tractors and trailers.

For these exceptions, please call Manitoba Public Insurance at 204-985-7000 or toll free at 1-800-665-2410 to report your glass claim.

If you are involved in a collision, you may need your child car or booster seat replaced. When you report a claim, be sure to state if there was a child car or booster seat in your vehicle at the time of the collision.

MPI will reimburse customers for a comparable replacement seat that meets Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards if:

  • A child was in the seat at the time of the collision.
  • The claim involved moderate to severe damage.

Moderate to severe damage may include:

  • Your vehicle was non-driveable due to the collision.
  • A driver or passenger was hurt in the collision.
  • Your vehicle’s airbag(s) deployed.
  • Your vehicle’s door nearest the seat was damaged (not including those placed in the middle of a back seat or in the trunk).
  • There is visible damage to the child car or booster seat.
  • Your claim is a total theft.
  • Your child car or booster seat is damaged by broken glass.

To be eligible for a reimbursement:

  • The seat being replaced must not be expired. Find out how to check the expiry date.
  • The damaged seat and proof of purchase of the replacement seat must be presented to MPI within 30 days of when the claim was reported. In Winnipeg, to dispose of your damaged seat, visit our Physical Damage Centre, Building B, located at 1981 Plessis Road. Outside Winnipeg, visit your local MPI Service Centre.

After your estimate is completed, if you are unsure if your car or booster seat needs to be replaced, feel free to discuss your concerns with your adjuster, who can help assess if the damage is moderate to severe. Likewise, your adjuster can help you determine eligibility if the seat is part of a travel system, and can help if you cannot visit us within 30 days.

You must bring your receipt for the new car or booster seat and the old seat to MPI for reimbursement, even if you participate in Direct Repair.

If the seat is eligible for replacement, we will issue the payment to you within two business days.

Our aim is to treat all our customers fairly and to do our best to ensure your claims experience is a positive one.

By handling your claim in accordance with the provisions laid out in The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act and its Regulations, we try to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and consistently.

Some claims are complicated. For example, conflicting witness information or lack of evidence can force us to make tough decisions, guided by the Act and its Regulations, in order to settle the claim. We’ll make every effort to explain the rationale behind our decision but you, as the customer, retain the right to disagree with our findings.

If you aren’t happy with the outcome of your claim, we offer several appeal alternatives where you can request a review of your file.

Appeal fault in collision claims

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your Autopac claim, the first thing to do is talk to your adjuster or your adjuster’s supervisor about it. Make sure you understand why they assessed the claim the way they did. If you think they should reconsider the assessment, explain why you think they should.

You can also ask the Service or Claim Centre manager to review your file. If you still have concerns over the decision, discuss your claim with one of the Customer Relations officers. They can be reached through our Contact Centre at 204-985-7000.

If you’re still not satisfied, you can pursue a formal appeal through a Liability Review or Small Claims Court (Collision Claims).

Liability Review

If you choose to appeal the outcome of your Autopac claim through the Liability Review process, your claim will be reviewed by an independent adjudicator who will provide an opinion on liability. If the adjudicator’s opinion is that your liability percentage should be lower, we will change your liability assessment accordingly.

Here are a few things you need to know about the review process:

You have 30 days after receiving the assessment letter to contact your adjuster and request a Liability Review.

To proceed through a Liability Review, all parties involved in the collision must be insured through Basic Autopac.

Your adjuster will provide you with the Liability Review form, which you will complete and drop off at a Service Centre along with the required $50 fee.

An independent adjudicator will review your file and Liability Review form and provide an opinion on liability. (Be sure the form is filled out with everything you want the adjudicator to know since you will not speak to the adjudicator directly.)

If the adjudicator changes responsibility so that you are less than 50 per cent responsible, your review fee will be reimbursed.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Liability Review, you may appeal through Small Claims Court. However, the reverse is not possible. If you appealed through Small Claims Court first, you cannot then appeal through a Liability Review.

Small Claims Court (collision claims)

If you choose to pursue a formal appeal option, the courts are ultimately the “last stop” in determining liability.

Small Claims Court is sometimes called “the people’s court” because it’s more informal than higher courts. You don’t need a lawyer to make your case. Here are a few things you need to know about the process:

You have two years from the collision date to file your claim.

You can sue for your deductible. Or, you can ask the court just to decide who was at fault, without even suing for an amount.

There is a $75 charge to file a claim for an amount that is under $5,000 and $100 charge for an amount that is over $5,000. Filing an appeal must be done at 408 York Ave.

You sue whomever you believe caused the collision – you’re the claimant and the other party is the defendant.

You have to accurately identify the party you’re suing. That means you have to make sure you have the other party’s name and address exactly right. Then, you have to “serve” the other party with a copy of the “Small Claims Form”. You must also serve Manitoba Public Insurance with the claim form.

If you do not have the other party’s name and address, speak to your claim adjuster to fill out the necessary form so that you may obtain this information for Small Claims Court purposes.

It’s up to you to put your case together as logically and clearly as possible.

We’ll accept the court’s decision, but either side has the right to appeal the decision within 30 days from the date on the Certificate of Decision. Call 204-945-3138 for more information.

Disagreements over collision repairs or settlement amounts

Sometimes claimants disagree with our assessment on how much a vehicle should be repaired, or what should be repaired on their vehicles. There can also be differences between what you think your vehicle is worth, and what we value it at, if the vehicle is deemed a write-off.

If you disagree with our repair or settlement decisions, you have a couple of options.

The first step is to talk things over with one of the claim supervisors – either the estimating supervisor for disagreements over repairs, or your adjuster’s supervisor for disagreements over vehicle value. In many cases, the issue can be worked out once both parties fully understand where the other’s concerns lie.

If we can’t work it out, your case is then placed in the hands of two independent representatives, one representing you and one representing your adjuster. The two representatives then decide what the repairs or the settlement should be. At Manitoba Public Insurance, we call this procedure an independent appraisal process.

Independent Appraisal Process

During the independent appraisal process, you must indicate the amount for which you’ll settle on a proof-of-loss form (provided by your adjuster). If we reject your offer of settlement, you can then choose an independent vehicle appraiser as your representative.

Your representative should be someone experienced in estimating repairs or valuing vehicles (such as a professional vehicle appraiser). Your adjuster can give you a list of reputable independent appraisers if you don’t know anyone who can act on your behalf.

Make sure you send your representative’s name, address and phone number to your adjuster by registered mail. We’ll send our representative’s name to you by registered mail within five days of receiving your letter.

Both representatives then try to agree on your vehicle’s value or the repairs that are needed. If they agree, we both must accept the decision. If the representatives don’t agree, they select a third independent individual, known as an umpire, whose decision is final and binding on both of us. If the representatives can’t agree on the choice of an umpire, the courts will name one.

The Rates Appeal Board (RAB)

The RAB is an independent board that hears appeals on the additional driver premiums which are paid by customers with a negative placement on the DSR scale. The RAB doesn’t determine fault for a claim or overturn a conviction. The board has the authority to waive a portion of the premium, the entire amount, or to deny the appeal.

Appealing to the RAB:

You can appeal additional driver premiums from demerit points through the RAB if there is evidence of financial hardship.

You can also appeal to the RAB if you think the additional driver premium is based on incorrect information on your drivers’ record.

You must receive notice of the additional driver premium before you can appeal.

It costs $10 to start your appeal. If your appeal is successful, you are refunded the $10. If your appeal is not successful, you do not get refunded and you have to pay another $25 for making the appeal.

To appeal through the RAB, call 204-985-7071.

Appealing your position on the Driver Safety Rating Scale

To appeal your position on the DSR scale, you must appeal the at-fault accident or conviction that resulted in the demerits.

To appeal an at-fault accident, you should consider Small Claims Court, not the RAB.

To appeal a conviction that happened in Manitoba, you must go through the Manitoba courts.

More Information

Our Contact Centre staff can answer most questions about your Autopac insurance. If your question is more complex, they can put you in touch with one of our Fair Practices and Customer Relations team members who can research the matter in more detail.

The Manitoba Ombudsman

The Manitoba Ombudsman is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly, who assists people and public sector organizations with their concerns by conducting impartial investigations, making recommendations and providing guidance to ensure people are treated in a consistent, fair and reasonable manner and that their rights to information and privacy are protected. The Ombudsman is not an appeal body and cannot substitute their opinion for that of the Corporation. They do not have the power to overturn decisions. In its investigations, the Ombudsman identifies problems with a particular process, decision or systemic issue and may make recommendations to the Corporation to address the issue. They can be reached at 204-982-9130, 1-800-665-0531 (toll free) or by email to [email protected].

Under Manitoba law, you and another motorist involved in a collision can sue each other for the deductible and liability, if applicable.

Our job is to try and settle the case the way the courts likely would. We do this by carefully watching how the courts determine fault, and using decisions with the relevant legislation (The Highway Traffic Act) to settle your claim. Simply put, we try to assess fault the way the courts would to save you the trouble of pursuing a court case.

In the end though, the courts have the final say. So, if you disagree with how your adjuster has assessed fault, you can still take the other driver to court for a final decision.

The role of your adjuster

We’re responsible for determining who is at-fault in a collision. We have a team of professional, qualified staff who carry out this task, with one of the most important being your adjuster.

Your adjuster gathers all the important details of your claim before assessing fault. For example, they get statements from drivers, witnesses and passengers (when needed), and compare vehicle damages to the drivers’ descriptions. They will try to assess the case the way a court would likely assess it. Therefore, reports from impartial witnesses (sometimes called independent witnesses) carry the most weight. They may also review police reports and visit the accident scene.

Once all this information is collected, they’ll assess fault, taking into consideration the facts of the case, past court decisions, the rules of the road and common sense.

If you’re at fault

Being found at fault affects things not covered by Basic Autopac, like your deductible and substitute transportation expenses.

The percentage of these you’ll get back depends on the percentage that the other driver was at fault. That’s because these items are claimed against the other driver’s third-party liability coverage.

For instance, if the other driver was 100 per cent at fault, you’ll get back 100 per cent of your deductible from the other driver’s coverage. But if the other driver was only 25 per cent at fault, you’ll get back only 25 per cent of your deductible from the other driver’s coverage.

If you are at fault, you are not required to personally pay the other party’s deductible. This expense is covered by your third-party liability coverage under Basic Autopac.

Remember though, this only applies when we know who the other motorist is, and we insure both of you. If the at-fault driver lives outside Manitoba and has insurance with another company, we will pursue a claim against the other driver or their insurer. There are no guarantees on whether we will be successful with recovery of these damages.

An at-fault collision will also move you down five levels on the Driver Safety Rating scale. Use our Driver Safety Rating Calculator to see how this affects your premium.

Buying back your claim

If you and the other driver choose to settle with each other outside of Autopac, the collision won’t affect your insurance premiums or cause an increase in the cost of your driver’s licence.

But even if you and the other motorist did file claims, you can still pay us back for what we paid out on your behalf. Then, we’ll remove the collision from your driving record so that it won’t affect your insurance premiums or cause an increase in the cost of your driver’s licence. We call this "buying back" your claim.

Disagreeing with an at-fault decision

There are informal appeal options in place if you have concerns over our at-fault assessment. First, make sure you have thoroughly discussed your file with your adjuster. Ensure you understand the rationale behind our decision, and that your adjuster understands the facts as you see them. If you still have concerns, ask your adjuster to have a supervisor or manager review your file. Finally, if you are still not satisfied, you can ask a Customer Relations Officer to review your file. They can be reached through our Contact Centre at 204-985-7000 or toll-free at 1-800-665-2410.

You can make a formal appeal by taking the other driver to Small Claims Court. Because the courts have the final say over fault, we’ll accept the court’s decision.

For further information, please see Appealing a vehicle claim.

Frequently asked questions

A traffic court cleared me of an infraction under The Highway Traffic Act related to this collision. Why did my adjuster still assess me at fault?

A traffic court has a narrow focus and looks at whether or not the driver is guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of a specific traffic offence. Your adjuster, on the other hand, takes into account how the collision occurred and looks at the bigger picture to determine who likely caused the collision.

For example, a motorist collides with a parked car and the police charge the driver with careless driving. A traffic court then acquits the driver because there is no clear-cut evidence of careless driving. The traffic court focused only on the traffic charge, not on who caused the collision. However, we would still hold the driver at fault for causing the collision with the parked car. That means the owner of the parked car can then get fair compensation for out-of-pocket expenses, such as their deductible.

To sum it up, MPI has a much broader focus than a traffic court. We look at all the circumstances and consider past decisions to determine who was at fault for the collision

While I was turning left, someone tried to pass me on the left and we collided. My adjuster told me I would likely be 75 per cent responsible. Can that be right?

Yes. The courts often place more fault on the left-turning driver in this type of collision because anyone turning left has to yield to both oncoming and passing traffic. The rules of the road, as stated in The Highway Traffic Act, say that anyone turning from a straight line must do so safely. If the other driver should have known that you were turning left, we may assess that driver some fault for passing at an inappropriate time.

Someone cut me off and I hit a telephone pole. I can’t identify the other driver or vehicle and no one else saw it happen. Do you consider me at fault?

Yes. The Highway Traffic Act states that when you have a single-vehicle accident, you are automatically at fault unless you can prove otherwise. Without independent witnesses or knowing who cut you off, you likely can’t prove you were not at fault.

The road was icy and I rear-ended a stopped vehicle. Do you still consider me at fault, despite the poor road conditions?

Yes. The reality is that most of these collisions can be avoided by recognizing the poor road conditions and driving with extra caution. The Highway Traffic Act states that drivers must expect hazardous conditions and adjust their driving accordingly. This means slowing down to a speed below the posted limit and maintaining a safe following distance, especially in the winter.

I heard that all parking lot accidents are automatically assessed 50-50. Is that correct?

No. We assess responsibility based on the action of each driver immediately prior to the collision. In parking lots, responsibility is based on which driver had the right of way, and who was in the main isle or feeder isle. We use this information in the same manner the courts would.

From time to time we do assess fault at 50-50. It may be because both drivers contributed equally to the collision, or conflicting evidence won’t allow us to say conclusively who was at fault.

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