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Rate increase for motorists

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

At a time when other Canadians are seeing double-digit increases in auto insurance rates, Manitoba motorists will pay just 3.7 per cent more overall next year Ð the first general rate increase in six years. The increase, announced by the province's Public Utilities Board (PUB), will add about $30 to the premium for the average family passenger vehicle when the new rates take effect on March 1, 2004. Staggered renewal dates mean some vehicle owners will not pay the new rates until February 2005. "When compared to other jurisdictions, Manitoba continues to offer the best auto insurance value in Canada," said President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Zacharias. "This ruling reflects the unavoidable impact of rising claims volumes and costs. "We have worked hard over time to keep our costs down, and this 3.7 per cent increase compares well to the average 19 per cent increases being felt across Canada." While the corporation's overall premium revenue will rise 3.7 per cent, the amount a vehicle owner pays for insurance depends on the make and model of the vehicle, how and where it is driven, and the owner's individual driving record. Rates for family passenger vehicles will increase 4.2 per cent while trailer and off-road vehicle owners will see reductions of more than 30 per cent. Ongoing high claims costs will raise motorcycle rates an average of 15 per cent. In its ruling, the PUB ordered motorcycle rate increases to be capped at 20 per cent. The Board also specifically reaffirmed its support of the company's ratemaking methodology for motorcycles. In its rate application filed in June, Manitoba Public Insurance asked the PUB for a premium revenue increase of 2.5 per cent, as part of a multi-year plan to spread the effect of rising claims costs over several years. Under the new rates, nearly a third of vehicle owners (263,797) will see their premiums decrease or stay the same in 2004. Overall: 32 per cent of premiums will go down (260,168 vehicles) (56 per cent Ð 145,943 vehicles Ð will decrease by $20 or less) Less than one per cent of premiums will remain unchanged (3,629 vehicles) 68 per cent of premiums will increase (554,814 vehicles) (19 per cent Ð 105,351 vehicles Ð will increase by $20 or less) There will be no changes to Basic Autopac coverage or benefits in 2004/05.