Manitoba isn’t quite a one-horse province, but you may be forgiven for thinking so, as Winnipeg and its surrounding metropolitan area hold over 55 percent of the provincial population, expected to top 800,000 people after the 2016 census. No other city in Canada dominates its province like Winnipeg. At almost the exact east-west center of Canada, transportation has always played a major part of life in the city. The forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers were an important part of aboriginal travel through the region and later served as a major traffic point for fur traders. The arrival of cross-Canada train traffic was important to the development of the city as was the Trans-Canada Highway.
Car Traffic in Winnipeg
As Canada’s seventh largest city, Winnipeg has its share of traffic headaches, jams, and snarls. The extreme weather conditions contribute to a couple of unique traffic problems. During times of extreme cold, exhaust fog and ice crystals can so severely impact visibility that already heavy traffic can be slowed further still. In a bit of irony, both conditions happen on otherwise bright, sunny days.
Manitoba’s Public Car Insurance System
Called Autopac and run by Manitoba Public Insurance, the provincial car insurance system is one of 3 fully public systems in Canada. Like Saskatchewan and British Columbia, this hasn’t translated to cheaper car insurance premiums than the rest of the country. With the exception of Ontario, the three public auto insurance provinces are the most expensive in Canada.
There are some differences, however, that cloud the situation somewhat. As in Saskatchewan, Manitoba’s basic mandatory insurance contains an all-perils insurance coverage, whereas, in a province such as Ontario, it is possible to insure a car with no collision or comprehensive coverage at all.
Basic Autopac covers three sections of insurance. The all-perils mentioned above protects the Winnipeg motorist from repair costs due to collision, theft, vandalism, fire and other sources. Personal injury costs are also covered for the driver and vehicle occupants. Third party liability coverage protects the driver against damages occurring to others.
Beyond basic coverage, a driver can purchase optional insurance components. Additional third party liability is a popular option, and coverage to reduce deductibles is also available. Loss of use insurance can be extended and new vehicle coverage protects repairs and replacement of cars just recently purchased. There is no risk of an accident resulting in the writing off of a new car for less than its financing.
Winnipeg drivers also have access through Autopac for Collector Vehicle insurance and special risk extensions for fleets and commercial use.