If you live in Manitoba and plan to drive, you need Autopac car insurance. Manitoba has a public insurance system, and a basic Autopac plan is the minimum level of car insurance that Manitoba drivers are legally required to have. This guide provides a review of Autopac car insurance policies in 2022. We’ll cover insurance packages, insurance coverage, policy costs, payment plans, and the process for making a claim with Autopac car insurance.

What is Autopac and what does it cover?

Autopac is the Manitoba Public Insurance policy for vehicles. Autopac coverage is mandatory for all drivers living in the province of Manitoba. It is a public insurance provided by the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation, known as MPI, which is owned by the Government of Manitoba. In broad terms, Autopac insurance covers the cost of damages to vehicles, people, and property in the event of an accident.

Basic Autopac provides coverage for medical expenses and legal fees. However,  Autopac also offers a number of optional coverages like collision and comprehensive insurance. You can add collision and comprehensive insurance to your policy for an additional cost.

Read More: Comprehensive Car Insurance: Do Canadians Really Need It?

Autopac coverage vs. what you need

Buying car insurance can be a difficult process. The relationship between cost and benefit is complex and depends on multiple factors like your driving needs and budget. If you live in Manitoba and have more complex insurance needs than what the basic plan offers, you can choose from a variety of insurance plans.

For example, some Autopac insurance packages increase the amount of third-party liability coverage and reduce the amount of your deductible. Other options provide insurance for rental vehicles or excess value coverage for high-end vehicles, commonly called Gap Insurance. In case you are driving a commercial vehicle, your options include insurance for garage risks and commercial trucking fleets.

Let’s take a closer look at several options for Autopac insurance add-ons so you get a better idea of what they will cover and which option might be the right one for you.

Basic Autopac

If you have a car and live in Manitoba, or you plan to move there, you are legally required to have at least Basic Autopac coverage on your vehicle. This package includes personal injury insurance, all-perils insurance, and third-party liability insurance. More specifically, the basic Autopac plan includes a $70,000 maximum insured value, a $750 deductible for all perils coverage, a $500,000 third-party liability, and the personal injury plan provided to all Manitoba residents.

The Autopac basic plan will cover the needs of a large percentage of drivers, including those travelling outside Manitoba. For example. third-party liability covers claims made against you if your registered vehicle hurts others or damages property anywhere in Canada or the United States.

Read More: How Car Insurance Works in Canada: Your Complete Guide

Autopac is not just about car damage. The basic plan pays for the car damage and also your injuries and those of others. When your car is damaged, Autopac insurance pays to fix it. Alternatively, if the damage is severe enough, it will pay out the actual cash value. The basic plan comes with a Personal Injury Protection Plan, which applies in the case of injury or death following a car accident.

At-fault accidents

If you are responsible for a collision, it won’t influence how much injury compensation you or other people receive. But an at-fault accident still has consequences. For example, the amount of the deductible you pay after a collision can be different depending on whether or not the collision was your fault. 

Read More: Totaled car: a step-by-step guide to deal with your insurance in Canada 

Whether you are at fault or not also influences your insurance premiums and Driver Safety Rating. These consequences still apply if the other driver or a passenger claims an injury, regardless of whether their vehicle has suffered any damage or not.

You may be sued for damage if your automobile causes damages to someone else’s property. Injuries to persons are no longer subject to lawsuits, while lawsuits for property damage claims are still possible. The outcome of court actions for damages is affected by whether or not you are found to be at fault. Also, you can still be sued for both property and injury damages outside of Manitoba.

Additional Autopac Options

Decreased deductibles

You can reduce the size of your deductible for the Basic package on passenger automobiles, vans, light trucks, vehicles for hire, and motorhomes. You can do this for multiple types of claims including collision, theft, collision with an animal, glass repair, and others.

Lay-up coverage

This type of coverage covers accidental loss or damage caused by things like vandalism, fire, theft, lightning, or hail. The coverage excludes road use, only covering certain types of damage that occurred when the vehicle was not in use. 

Increased third-party liability

You can increase your third-party liability protection to $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, $7 million, and $10 million. Third-party liability coverage can be especially useful when travelling outside Manitoba. It protects you in certain places where you can be held responsible for compensating others in case of property damage or injury.

Rental vehicle insurance

This insurance option allows you to increase insurance protection on a rented or borrowed vehicle if you will be using it. You need to purchase this type of insurance before you rent or borrow the vehicle. 

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Credit Card Rental Car Insurance in Canada

Loss of use options

This covers the the cost of replacement transportation if your vehicle is stolen or damaged. As of July 2022, there are two Loss of Use options: passenger vehicle (car, light truck, and SUV) and motorcycle.

New vehicle protection

This option can cover the depreciation in value of your new(er) vehicle for a period of up to two years, depending on the vehicle’s age. This is GAP insurance. It provides financial protection in the event your vehicle is a total loss but you still owe more on the car loan than what the vehicle is worth. The insurance protection applies to passenger vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, and light trucks.

Read More: What Credit Score Do You Need to Get Approved for a Car Loan

Leased vehicle protection

Available for both new and late model leases, this insurance option covers the down payment and trade-in allowances on leased vehicles for as much as two years if it is a total loss.

Read More: Leasing a Car vs Buying a Car in Canada: Which One is Better?

Extra income protection

This option provides additional income protection beyond the coverage provided by the basic plan. With this option, you can extend the maximum limit on gross years income. Do you earn more than the $103,500 maximum covered by the basic plan annually, and do not have disability insurance? If so, then maybe get the extra protection.

Read More: Disability Or Critical Illness Insurance: What Are The Differences And Which One Do You Need?

Off-road vehicle coverage options

This coverage package addresses the unique financial risks that come with off-road vehicles. It provides off-road-specific accident benefits, third-party liability, collision protection, and comprehensive protection.

How do I get Autopac car insurance coverage?

To get Autopac insurance coverage, you must notify Manitoba Public Insurance through an Autopac agent each time you acquire or sell a vehicle. Simply visit any Autopac-approved insurance dealer in Manitoba. 

It’s important to make sure you have the right coverage for yourself and your car. Without the proper coverage, you could face substantial financial responsibility in case of an accident.

Purchased from a dealership

To insure a new vehicle you purchased from a dealership, you will need a New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS). This statement verifies what vehicle you’ve purchased, who made it, and where you bought it from.

In addition, you will also need a Bill of Sale that includes some information about the vehicle, including the model year, model and serial number, vehicle cost, purchase date, the seller’s name, and signature, as well as your name and signature.

If the vehicle is imported from the U.S., the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will require documentation. You will need to fill out and submit a Vehicle Import Form approved by the Customs and Transport Canada Safety Inspection Station. You can fill out a Vehicle Import Form online in advance. 

Purchase through a private sale

To insure a used vehicle, you will need a Transfer of Ownership Document signed by you and the seller. You will also need a Bill of Sale that contains information about the vehicle’s make, model, year, serial number, price, purchase date, as well as the name and signature of both you and the seller.

In addition, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Inspection issued by an approved vehicle inspection station. This certificate is obtained after the car is inspected and meets road safety standards. If the vehicle does not pass inspection, you will need to make the necessary repairs indicated on the report. 

Read More: Should You Keep Comprehensive Car Insurance on an Old Car?

Moving to Manitoba

If you have just moved to Manitoba or plan to, you can request a claims history letter from your previous insurers along with your driving record, sometimes called a Driver’s Abstract. You will need to get a Manitoba driver’s license within three months after moving to the province. Also, you need a Manitoba driver’s license before you can get Autopac insurance because you won’t qualify for coverage without it. You also have three months from the moment you have moved to transfer your car registration and insurance to Manitoba.

To be eligible for a transfer within three months, the vehicle must be privately owned and not be used commercially. If this doesn’t apply to your case, you will need to register immediately. Regardless of the status of your vehicle, you will usually have to register and insure it before driving the vehicle in Manitoba. 

To make sure that you have an insurance plan that meets your needs, it’s probably best to consult with an Autopac agent before driving. Insurance offices that sell Autpac will have an Autpac sign or stick prominently displayed in the window. You can search for an Autopac agent near you on the MPI website

How much will my Autopac policy cost each year?

In Manitoba, drivers who do not have any past claims or driving offences pay the lowest rates. The yearly price of your Autopac insurance will depend on four key factors: your location in Manitoba, the use of your vehicle, the type of vehicle, and your driving record.

Location

In Manitoba, there are four territories and your premium is impacted by which territory your postal code belongs to. If you are a commuter, you must ensure as a one under All Purpose, and your cost will be calculated accordingly.

1: City of Winnipeg, including Headingley, East St. Paul, West St. Paul, and St. Norbert. 

2: Contains all areas south of the 53rd Parallel that are not included in Territory 1, including Brandon, Dauphin, and Portage la Prairie. 

3: Includes all areas north of the 55th Parallel including Churchill, Lynn Lake, and Thompson. 

4: Encompasses the area north of the 53rd Parallel and south of the 55th Parallel including Flin Flon, Grand Rapids, and The Pas.

Vehicle type

The cost of your insurance will be influenced by the make, model, and year of your car. This policy is motivated by the knowledge that a vehicle’s claim risk is influenced by factors such as collision data, theft data, and safety data for that particular vehicle. 

Your driving record

Your Driver Safety Rating indicates your position on a scale with levels from – 20 to +16. 36 levels in total. A higher score on the scale will usually mean that you will pay a lower premium because you have a higher safety rating. If you don’t have a history of traffic convictions, alcohol use while driving, or drug-related suspensions, your insurance cost will be lower than if the opposite is true.

Driver Safety Rating

Drivers with a low score on the Driver Safety Rating scale pay as much as $3,000 for their driver’s license premium because they have a low safety rating, making them high risk. With a high score on the scale, you can save up to 37% on vehicle premiums.

Where you start on the scale when registering your car in Manitoba will depend on several factors. In case you’re a new driver, and this is your first license, you will be at the base level, which is 0. Each year, you can move up the scale if you drive safely.

Moving or relocating to Manitoba 

If you have just moved to Manitoba or have returned to the same after 10 years or more, your score will depend on the driving record you can retrieve from the jurisdictions that have licensing laws and testing procedures compatible with the ones in Manitoba and where license exchange agreements with the province are available.

Finally, if you are returning to Manitoba after less than 10 years, your starting point on the Driver Safety Rating scale will depend on the driving record you had when you left the province, as well as any additional driving history you have acquired in jurisdictions that have similar licensing laws and testing and that have license exchange agreements with Manitoba.

Vehicle use

Manitoba recognizes several types of vehicle use. A vehicle is eligible for premium savings under the Driver Safety Rating scale if it is registered for the following use: 

  • Pleasure passenger vehicle
  • All-Purpose passenger vehicle
  • Farm
  • Lay-Up

Other specific uses may require you to speak with an Autpac agent for an accurate quote. Those uses may include: accessible vehicle for hire limousine vehicle for hire, passenger vehicle for hire, passenger vehicle for hire, all purpose truck, collector vehicle, farming all purpose truck, fishing all purpose truck, taxicab vehicle for hire, farm passenger vehicle, common carrier local passenger vehicle, pleasure truck, artisan truck, common carrier passenger vehicle, common carrier truck, pleasure motorcycle, all purpose motorcycle, all moped uses, except u-drive and dealer, mopeds, common carrier truck within a city or municipality, all motorhome uses except u-drive.

How to pay for your Autopac

You will need to pay for your Autopac insurance each year. Several payment options are available, such as: 

  • 12 pre-authorized payments per year 
  • 4 payments a year
  • Full payment upfront 

Payment options include all major credit cards, cash, and automatic bank transfers. However, you cannot charge the 12 pre-authorized payments per year to a credit card

Full payment

Paying in full amount will help you save the most. This is due to the fact there are no service or interest charges. You can pay at any place where Autopac is sold, as well as online, at mpi.mb.ca, or via telephone through your financial institution.

12 Pre-authorized payments

In case you find paying in full difficult, one option to consider is enabling 12 pre-authorized payments, where you pay once per month for one year. If you want to set automatic payments from your bank account, visit any Autopac agent with either a void cheque or pre-authorized debit/withdrawal form with your bank account information. 

With pre-authorized payments, you don’t have to concern yourself with forgetting to make a payment, provided that funds are always available in your bank account. The payment will be withdrawn automatically on the same day each month for the entire duration of the policy.

Read More: How to Make a Budget With Hardbacon

Withdrawal date vs anniversary date

If your withdrawal date and anniversary day are different, Autopac will withdraw two payments from your account in the first month. If they’re the same, it will take one payment out of your account in the first month. You’ll have one monthly withdrawal after the first month has passed. Your birthday plus four months is considered your anniversary day.

You may change your withdrawal date at any time during the term of your policy. However, if you move your date, you might have two withdrawals in the first month after the adjustment. Withdrawal dates must not be more than 30 days apart.

Cancelling your policy

If you cancel a policy on the same day as one of your schedule withdrawal, the payment may still go through.To avoid this, cancel your policy at least one day before your withdrawal date.

After cancelling a policy, you may still owe money on the financing agreement. Autopac will provide a payment schedule that will include amounts due and withdrawal dates.

Interest & fees

Your 12 pre-authorized payments have the interest charges and an administrative fee built in. Your interest charges get evenly distributed over the 12 payments. The interest rate depends on current lending rates. The total interest you owe depends on the rate and the total amount that needs financing. This includes your insurance premium plus your vehicle registration fee. Your annual cost includes a $4 annual administration fee interest charge.

Four-payment plan

Yet another option is the four-payment plan. You are eligible for this plan if you are purchasing coverage five months or more before your anniversary and you are insuring a vehicle that is not a motorcycle, collector vehicle, off-road vehicle, or trailer that is worth $2,500 or less. The first payment includes the $4 annual administrative fee.

What happens if you miss a payment?

Driving a vehicle with suspended insurance or registration is never a good idea and missing a payment is a risk you should not take. In case you miss a payment under the 12-payment plan, you run the risk of all policies in the financial agreement being suspended.

What is the process for making a claim with Autopac car insurance coverage?

Contact Manitoba Public Insurance

The fastest way to make a claim with Autopac is over the telephone. On the phone, they ask you for information about your vehicle registration and your driver’s license, as well as information on the injuries, damages, or losses.

You can make a claim over the phone at 204-985-7000 if you are calling from Winnipeg and at 1-800-665-2410 (toll-free) or 204-985-8832 if you are calling from a different location, including outside Manitoba.

Estimate of damage

Before any repair, you will receive an estimate of damage. Any Manitoba Service or Claim Centre can estimate the damage. Claims that qualify will receive an estimate at a participating repair shop.

Once the estimator identifies vehicle damage and provides a cost estimation, the adjuster will investigate the claim to ensure your Autopac package covers the claim and seeks to determine the fault in case of a collision. If the claim doesn’t go the way you want it to go, you can appeal the decision. 

You can also buy back a claim, which will have a positive effect on your Driver Safety Rating because MPI will remove the claim from your claims history. This is an option to consider if the assessment determines you were at least 50% at fault. When you buy back a claim, your premium is adjusted for the current policy year.

Bottom line

If you are living in or planning to move to Manitoba, it is mandatory that you have one of the several Autopac car insurance packages available. The mandatory basic insurance package includes personal injury insurance, all-perils insurance, and third-party liability insurance.

For drivers with more complex needs, the Autopac policy offers a number of optional coverages that can be added to the policy for an additional cost, such as collision and comprehensive insurance. 

Car insurance is more than just a way to cover car damage costs. You might have heard that the cost of a single accident can lead to personal bankruptcy. By spreading the cost of an accident among many people via car insurance, the cost becomes more manageable. For this reason, whether mandatory or not, having car insurance should be on the “must do” list of any car owner.

FAQs

Can you pay Autopac online?

Yes, you can pay your Autopac online through your Manitoba Public Insurance account. Your online account will provide you with information on balance owning and payment due dates.

What are Autopac’s opening hours?

Autopac’s customer service line is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 7 pm, and Saturday from 08:30 am to 04:30 pm. You can also visit one of their many Autopac agents located across Manitoba.

How to make an Autopac claim?

If you need to make a claim, call toll-free at 1-800-665-2410 to report the claim. Claims can be made Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 7 pm, and Saturday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

How to become an Autopac agent in Manitoba?

If you’re interested in becoming an Autopac agent, you need to complete an online application form and submit it along with proof of successful completion of at least one of the required courses. For additional information, visit the Insurance Council of Manitoba

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