Motorcycle rates bashed
MPI's premiums called outrageous
By FRANK LANDRY, LEGISLATURE REPORTER
Motorcycle insurance rates have gone up nearly 370% in Manitoba over the past decade, compared with less than 20% for cars, finds a new study.
The study, commissioned by the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council (MMIC), was released yesterday.
"It's outrageous," said Doug Houghton, vice-president of the Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups. "There's quite a difference between what a motorcycle pays and what a passenger vehicle pays."
Houghton said he's heard of motorcycle owners whose premiums have shot up more in one year than some car owners pay in total annual premiums.
The MMIC presented its findings yesterday to the Public Utilities Board, which is holding hearings examining how Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) determines insurance rates for motorcycles.
The MMIC found the cumulative increase in motorcycle insurance premiums in Manitoba since 1993/94 was 368.8%, compared to 17.8% for private passenger automobiles.
Under the current system, MPI assigns automobile accident costs by vehicle classification.
If a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle are involved in an accident, that crash is included in the pool used to determine the rate of the insurance premiums paid by all bikers -- even if the driver of the motorcycle wasn't at fault.
Groups like the MMIC have argued that's unfair. But MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said car owners don't want to subsidize the cost of motorcycle insurance.
"Manitobans have told us they don't want cross-subsidization," Smiley said. "People who own passenger cars would be forced to subsidize motorcyclists if the motorcyclists had their way."
The PUB hearings wrap up tomorrow.