MPI hints at rate increase after costly winter

WINNIPEG — Winter may be over but Manitobans will be paying for its effects for a long time.

There were 60,000 claims filed in December, January and February, an average of around 666 per day, Manitoba Public Insurance said.

The claims were around 30 per cent over the average for the three months.

The high number of claims this winter will be taken into consideration when a rate increase is sought later this year, officials from the Crown corporation and Andrew Swan, the minister responsible for MPI, said at a news conference Thursday.

“Additional claims costs definitely put more pressure on the system,” Swan said.

CAA is opposed to any increase.

“It’s easy to dump this on our backs and say we have to pay more,” said Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba. “The reality is, we have to look at why we are doing this and address it, and I don’t think it is being addressed.”

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Mager said he feels the quality of snow clearing on Winnipeg streets led to some of the crashes.

“The real problem was we didn’t clear the roads properly; we left them too long, they became icy and created hazardous situations,” Mager said.

How much more money MPI will seek wasn’t disclosed.