Pothole-related damage to vehicles is on the rise in Manitoba, and so are insurance claims, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has reported.
According to the insurer, drivers in the province have made an eye-popping 1,914 pothole-related insurance claims this year – nearly four times higher than the total number of pothole-related claims in 2021. MPI also noted that in April alone, it received 871 pothole-related claims, which is 1,200% higher than the average of 64 for that month.
MPI noted that of the 1,914 total claims, 1,699 are from Winnipeg. Before 2022, the highest pothole claims year in Winnipeg since 2011 was 709 in 2014.
A spokesperson for the insurer told Winnipeg Free Press that pothole-related claims are not considered at fault, but MPI still analyzes individual claims and aggravating factors which may affect points in the end.
MPI’s findings were corroborated with data from Winnipeg. City of Winnipeg public works department spokesperson Ken Allen said that there have been 120,231 potholes repaired so far in 2022, compared to 49,699 during the same time period in 2021. Allen also noted that by the end of 2021, the city had repaired 140,569 potholes.
The city of Winnipeg received more pothole complaints this year than last; 2022 saw 8,671 calls logged by 311 so far, compared to 1,896 during the same period last year, said Allen.
Allen has attributed the increase in potholes to the impact of nature on roads over time.
"Weather, heavy accumulation of snow from back-to-back blizzards, which resulted in a high degree of snow melt runoff. Extended cold and wet conditions and freeze/thaw cycles until the end of April, which also delayed the start of spring cleanup, as well,” he told Winnipeg Free Press.