WINNIPEG _ Manitoba drivers could soon be paying less for their vehicle insurance.
Manitoba Public Insurance has applied for an average 10.5 per cent cut in overall rates, which it says would save the typical passenger vehicle owner about $130 a year.
The Crown corporation says if regulators approve the move, it will be the largest cut in three decades.
The requested rate change varies widely for different kinds of vehicles _ from an 11 per cent reduction for private passenger vehicles to a 1.8 per cent increase for motorcycles.
The corporation recently offered one-time rebates to drivers, due largely to reduced traffic and accident claims during COVID-19 restrictions.
President Ben Graham says the new rate decrease is possible because of a number of factors, including better management of expenses at the corporation.
While February might be considered the month of love, increased activity to Manitoba Public Insurance’s TIPS Line suggests otherwise.
“Last year, February was the busiest month for tip calls,” said Curtis Wennberg, Chief Operating Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance. “I suppose nothing says ‘I don’t love you anymore’ than by placing a call to the anti-fraud TIPS Line.
“While all calls to the TIPS Line are anonymous, some callers will admit to being an ex-spouse or ex-partner of a person allegedly defrauding the Corporation. We can only speculate that emotions of past romantic relationships are triggered by increased talk about Valentine’s Day. Regardless of the reason, MPI is very appreciative of their help.”
Over the last five years (2015-2019), on average, there has been an increase of calls placed to the TIPS Line during February. Overall, 2019 was a record year for tips to the line with a total of 594 compared to 439 in 2018 ─ a 35 per cent increase.
Information gathered from calls to the TIPS Line is carefully reviewed in order to separate legitimate calls from frivolous calls to ensure innocent customers are not impacted. Manitoba’s public auto insurer saved more than $700,000 in 2019 as the result of information gained from calls to the TIPS Line. MPI estimates that fraud costs its ratepayers about $50 per year.
Suspicious claims are handled by MPI’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU). The efforts of this special unit resulted in claims savings last year of more than $10 million for MPI rate payers. The SIU closed more than 1,200 investigations in 2019. In addition to the TIPS Line, Manitoba Public Insurance receives information about possible fraudsters from employees, police agencies, or Manitoba Crime Stoppers.
No matter the month or special occasion, anyone with information about auto insurance fraud is encouraged to call the Manitoba Public Insurance TIPS Line: 204-985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477. All calls are anonymous.