Although Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is applying for a third rebate which would return millions of dollars to drivers, a consumer advocacy group is calling out the insurer for not completely reimbursing policyholders.
The public insurer is asking the Public Utilities Board (PUB) for a third rebate worth $250 million, which is its second-largest rebate to date. MPI has previously issued two rounds of rebates – of $110 million and $69 million – after the number of collisions in the province dropped during the pandemic. The proposed rebate, along with MPI’s request to lower rates by 1.2%, will allow policyholders with the Crown corporation to see 26.1% savings in their Autopac premiums compared with last year.
If approved by the PUB, MPI’s rebate cheques will be issued this winter.
But the Manitoba branch of the Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC) argues that MPI is shortchanging its customers, noting that the insurer is transferring $113 million in excess capital to pay for the mounting costs of driver and vehicle licensing, as well as to upgrade its IT systems. CAC maintains that the excess $113 million should be returned to the drivers for an even higher rebate.
"That money really belongs to consumers. They paid it in good faith for insurance,” CAC Manitoba executive director Gloria Desorcy told CBC News. “It should not be used for something else, and it should also most definitely not be used to cover costs of government.”
Desorcy stated that the CAC will make its case over the PUB hearing.