MPI rebate cheques coming, PUB approves rate decrease

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Earlier today, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) issued its decision on Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)’s 2022/23 General Rate Application, which approves a 1.57 per cent rate decrease for policyholders as well as a rebate of approximately $312 million.

This is the third rebate in just over a year, and will be the third year in a row that Manitobans have received a rate decrease from its public auto insurer.

“MPI continues to demonstrate strong financial performance and this is great news for Manitobans,” said Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton. “Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to benefit from having a public insurance model which has resulted in almost $500 million going back into the hands of Manitobans.”

“The assistance provided by these rebates to customers when they need it most is an important way to deliver direct relief to Manitobans during these trying times.”

Manitobans will continue to benefit from an additional discount of up to five per cent on their Basic Autopac premium under MPI’s Capital Management Plan (CMP). The CMP was introduced, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, to allow customers to benefit from any surplus capital in MPI’s Basic line of business. The capital release percentage (or build percentage as the case may be), is included in the customers’ annual premiums, and determined annually based on the state of MPI’s Rate Stabilization Reserve.

The PUB also approved changes to the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) system. As a result, in 2022/23, the top of the DSR scale will expand from +15 to +16. This is the first step in a multi-year plan to gradually introduce higher DSR levels in the coming years, allowing the safest drivers to receive the greatest benefits.

“We are pleased with the PUB’s ruling as this is a good news for our customers,” said Eric Herbelin, President & CEO, MPI. “Our General Rate Application was put forward with careful considerations of the pandemic impacts and with fiscal prudence at the forefront.

“We remain committed to providing value to Manitobans while ensuring the financial strength of the Corporation.”

The PUB made no finding with respect to the assertion by participating intervenors that MPI’s transfer of excess capital from its Extension business to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing line of business was unlawful. MPI’s position remains that the transfer of capital from Extension to the DVA line of business is separate and distinct from the Basic Autopac line of business. MPI transferred this capital in full compliance with all applicable statutes and regulations and Manitobans can therefore be assured that MPI will remain financially strong across all of its lines of business in its delivery of services.

Customer information for 2022/23

Policyholders can expect to receive a rebate cheque in early February 2022. Further details about the rebate will be made in the coming weeks at mpi.mb.ca.

The approved rates will be effective April 1, 2022, but because renewal dates are staggered, some vehicle owners will not pay their new rates until March 31, 2023. The 1.57 per cent rate decrease means the average passenger vehicle owner will pay about $16 less in premiums per year.

MPI expects that almost 95 per cent of drivers at DSR level +15 will move up to DSR level +16 and receive a four per cent higher vehicle premium discount (37% compared to 33%). Driver licence premiums for DSR levels +15 and +16 will be $15.

While DSR levels +15 and +16 will have the same vehicle premium discounts for the 2022/23 rating year, this will change for future years.