In response to Mr. Reg Helwer’s recent letter, we wish to clarify a number of matters. Sun readers should know that vehicle owners in the province continue to benefit from Manitoba’s public auto insurance program, reflected in among the lowest insurance premiums in major Canadian cities as confirmed by Deloitte.
While other Canadian jurisdictions have experienced double-digit auto insurance increases and clawbacks in benefits, Manitoba Public Insurance has maintained rate stability and enhanced benefits. Historically, for 14 of the last 15 years, the Corporation has either held the line or reduced rates. Overall, this has resulted in a cumulative, total rate decrease of 17.8 per cent for our customers.
This year’s proposed overall rate increase of 1.8 per cent, if approved by the Public Utilities Board, will result in nearly 70 per cent of all vehicles in Manitoba going up, or down, by $20 or less. This moderate rate increase is required because Manitobans are having more collision claims and investment income continues to be depressed by low interest rates.
Recognizing that the needs and expectations of our customers are constantly evolving, we continually strive for continuous improvement to build customer satisfaction. Contrary to recently published results from an independent research company, Manitoba Public Insurance is far from last in terms of customer service. Prairie Research Associates, a highly regarded Manitoba research firm, regularly conducts surveys with Manitobans regarding the service provided by Manitoba Public Insurance. Research shows that our customers continue to hold extremely positive views about the service they receive. In fact, 97 per cent who visited a service centre for testing services were satisfied with the service, while 89 per cent who visited a service or claims centre for a physical damage claim said they were satisfied.
Unlike private auto insurers who are focused on returning dividends to their stockholders, Manitoba Public Insurance is committed to giving back to Manitobans. I’m proud to state that Manitoba Public Insurance prides itself in giving back to its customers. For every dollar that we collect in premiums, we give back $1.04 in claims benefits ─ the national average for private auto insurance companies is approximately 75 cents.
In closing, Manitoba Public Insurance looks forward to serving our customers in the Brandon/Westman regions for many years to come.
» MaryAnn Kempe
& Corporate Relations
Manitoba Public Insurance
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 6, 2013