Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is seeking approval to raise overall rates by three per cent.

MPI has filed the application with the Public Utilities Board (PUB). If approved, the new rates would be for the 2025/26 insurance year.

"MPI's focus remains on providing stable and affordable rates for Manitobans even as we face increasing financial pressures," says Satvir Jatana, MPI's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are taking necessary steps to manage these impacts, including seeking the lowest possible rate increase to ensure financial stability while continuing to deliver value for our customers."

MPI says the proposed rate increase is necessary to address a steady and prolonged rise in the cost of claims as well as the cost of labour, raw materials, and technology. This trend is persisting across MPI's Basic, Extension, and Special Risk Extension lines of business. The Corporation's total insurance expense for the year was $1.7 billion, an increase of $334 million or approximately 24 per cent compared to the previous year.

MPI also says that the August 2023 hailstorm in the Winnipeg area was the largest natural catastrophic event in their history. Over 15,000 hail-related claims were filed last year, which resulted in a negative $50 million impact on net income, created significant backlogs, and increased the amount the corporation had to pay out in claims. In the last year, the average cost per claim has risen by over $1,100.

"MPI's mission is to provide Manitobans with affordable rates," says Jatana. "Despite the rising cost of claims, MPI, by virtue of its commitment to fiscal prudence, has maintained healthy reserves to help keep rates stable and affordable, while strengthening Manitoba's public insurance system.

The PUB normally issues its order in December. The proposed rates would be effective April 1, 2025, but because renewal dates are staggered, some vehicle owners would not pay their new rates until March 31, 2026.