Manitoba residents are required to buy their mandatory car insurance coverage from a government-run insurer known as Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). Consumers have no choice in this matter, but they can decide where they would like to buy their optional car insurance coverage. The government-run insurer sells optional coverage as well, and competes with the private insurers for customers.
Government-run car insurance is offered in three Canadian provinces: Manitoba, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The advantage to Manitoba residents of this system is that they pay one of the lowest rates for car insurance coverage in Canada. All customers who bought mandatory coverage in the province in 2008 were given a rebate equal to 10 percent of their car insurance premiums.
Not all customers pay the same amount in premiums for their Manitoba car insurance coverage, though. People who live in Winnipeg pay a slightly higher rate for their insurance. MPI knows that the car theft rate is higher in and around the province’s largest city and charge higher premiums to reflect the greater risk it takes when providing coverage to its residents.
The company even required Winnipeg residents who own vehicles that are most at risk to install anti-theft immobilizers or run the risk of losing their coverage altogether. The customers in that instance had no choice but to comply.