Manitoba Public Insurance brought in more cash in its first fiscal quarter this year than it did last year — but returned its net income to drivers through rebates as financial relief during the spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public insurer reported $110.1 million in net income in its first quarter, compared to $94.7 million in the same period last year.
That $110.1 million was rebated to customers through May and June — with the average cheque around $140 to $160.
At the time, the province’s municipal relations minister, Jeff Wharton, said MPI’s surplus is due to the fact there have been fewer claims during the novel coronavirus pandemic, combined with “strong year-end financial results.”
The Crown corporation’s total earned revenues for the first three months of 2020 rose by $8.5 million from the same period last year, MPI said in a news release. That increase was driven mainly by an jump in the number of vehicles insured and the value of those vehicles, it said further.
MPI also recently applied to Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board for an overall rate decrease of 10.5 per cent for basic insurance premiums — about 98.9 per cent of customers will either see reductions in their premium or no change at all.
The Crown corporation said its first two quarters typically earn a net profit, while the latter two quarters see increased claims costs during the winter.