It’s a typical Manitoba nuisance: trying to clean and dry your licence plate in minus-30 weather to attach your new validation sticker. But as of March 2016, it’s a nuisance that’s getting retired. Manitoba police are moving to a new plate scanning technology that’s fast and accurate and saves the bother of the cold weather sticker shuffle.
It’s just one recent update that Manitoba motorists enjoy. In September 2015, Manitoba Public Insurance, the government agency that handles automobile insurance in the province, removed deductibles for vandalism damage to a vehicle to some of its car insurance packages.
Manitoba’s Public Insurance Program
The insurance available through MPI is called Autopac. There’s a mandatory package, called Basic Autopac, that is the minimum standard for legal coverage in the province. For drivers wanting more protection or lower deductibles, there is Optional Autopac coverage, special risk extension programs and even a Collector Vehicle program.
Basic Autopac Coverage
Mandatory coverage has three required sections.
- Unlike other provincial minimum insurance, Basic Autopac includes all perils coverage to a maximum insured value of $50,000. This is a combination of collision and comprehensive insurance seen in other markets. A vehicle with Basic Autopac is covered anywhere in Canada or the U.S. The basic plan works on an actual cash value and depreciation basis. For example, if a car is written off in an accident, Autopac pays for the value of the car at time of the accident, not its replacement value. Similarly, repairs will be done with recycled parts from a car of the same year when practical, rather than new parts.
- Third Party Liability insurance covers you against damages to vehicles and property in Manitoba, the rest of Canada and the U.S. If an accident occurs outside of Manitoba, this section also covers injuries to other people. Within the province, the third section of basic coverage handles costs associated with injuries.
- Called the Personal Injury Protection Plan, all Manitoba residents are covered whether they own a vehicle or not. It is provided on a no-fault basis, meaning any resident hurt or killed in a car accident anywhere in Canada or the U.S., will receive this protection, no matter who caused the accident. Settlements focus on the direct financial impact that an accident causes, and covers losses with few restrictions.
Manitoba motorists can customize their insurance coverage through a number of options. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Provisions to reduce deductibles
- Increased third party liability coverage
- Excess value coverage, for when your car exceeds $50,000 in value
- New vehicle protection, which covers depreciation
- Lay-Up coverage, when you take your car off the road temporarily
The Collector Vehicle Program is also available for vehicles 25 years or older and used for pleasure driving purposes only.
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