When it comes to insurance, there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution; depending on who you are, and what you want to insure, there might be a wide variety of coverages that aren’t extended to you by a catch-all policy. That’s certainly the case when it comes to Autopac; we recently ran a blog on what Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) doesn’t cover, and there are quite a few potential gaps in coverage. Fortunately, MPI offers a number of optional coverages; we’ll go through a few of those here.
Increased Third-Party Liability
If you drive your vehicle ONLY in Manitoba, in most cases, you do not have to worry about being sued for someones injuries from a vehicle accident. This is because you are not allowed to sue or collect for injury, however, Personal Injury Protection Plan (PIPP) covers all Manitobans, Although it doesn’t provide compensation for pain and suffering, it does cover lost income and medical expenses. Many people do not realize that you can still be sued and be responsible for damage to another persons property (if you were at fault in an accident). This property will include their vehicle or vehicles if multi vehicle accident. It also includes any cargo that may have been damaged. If you are responsible for overturning a semi-truck tractor, along with semi trailer and destroying it’s cargo, $200,000 will likely not be enough coverage.
If you drive your vehicle outside Manitoba, for example another province or the United States, you can be responsible for and be sued for injury, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, this can add up to a lot, especially if you are driving into the United States. These injury expenses are over and above the property damage that they would also be entitled to.
The Basic Autopac policy provides third-party liability with a limit of only $200,000; MPI offers options to increase the amounts payable to $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, $7 million, or $10 million.
In a perfect world Reider Insurance recommends that everyone purchase $10 million Liability option, because you never know where you could drive your car and most people are likely to forget to change insurance prior to taking a trip. If you ONLY use your vehicle in Manitoba, Reider Insurance recommends getting the minimum of $2,000,000 liability, however if you use your car to go out of province, even if it’s just one trip per year, we recommend $10 million.
Loss of Use Coverage
If you have an accident and can’t drive your car, it could cause you substantial hardship. When your vehicle is stolen or damaged to the point it can’t be driven, this coverage kicks in and will pay for the costs of a rental vehicle and this coverage is provided regardless of who is at fault. If you can’t get a rental vehicle or you don’t qualify to rent a vehicle (ie. some companies won’t rent if drivers under a set age), you can still use the coverage to pay for the costs of bus or taxi costs, however it will be limited to the same amount per day. This coverage will be in place until the limits are completely used up, which is typically about 30 days.
Most of the additional coverage we’ve talked about here will cost you more in premiums; lay-up coverage, on the other hand, is a great way of saving money. This coverage is for when you have a vehicle that you don’t drive. You can purchase a Storage Policy also called a Lay-Up Coverage and it will cover you for damage to your vehicle by such things as fire, vandalism, theft, hail, and lightning, glass. One important thing to know is that it will not provide collision coverage. You might think how could a vehicle in storage have a collision, however if another vehicle drives into your vehicle and then flees the accident (ie. without leaving a note), this would not be covered. Furthermore, if something collides into the vehicle (ie. from above), such as a building collapsing on a vehicle or a tree falling on a vehicle or some debris from an airplane, These are all considered collision and would not be covered. The vehicle also needs to be stored in a privately owned location in Manitoba.
It goes without saying, that you should never drive a vehicle that’s only covered by lay-up coverage.
If you are leasing your vehicle or have a vehicle loan, it’s important to check your vehicle contract. Many leases and vehicle loans require that you have collision insurance.
Did you know that if you want or are required to have Collision that Reider Insurance offers coverage that can provide a reduction in premium – by cancelling your Autopac policy entirely and purchasing a policy from a different private insurance company. Enquire with us for more information.
Sound Systems – After Market
MPI will cover sound systems that were installed by the vehicle manufacturer, however if you have added or changed the sound system, MPI will only cover up to $1,000. If you’ve invested in a sound system for your car, it can make sense to get a bit of extra insurance.
Income Replacement Coverage (IRI)
If you are injured in a vehicle accident, you would be entitled to benefits under the Personal Injury Protection Program (PIPP). One of these benefits would pay your lost income as a result of your inability to work due to an injury from the Accident. MPI provides you with 90% of your NET (after taxes) lost pay, however they will only pay someone who is making up to a GROSS salary of $98,000. If your gross salary is over $98,000 you can purchase a policy that will cover you over and above the maximum normally provided.
There’s a lot of other extras we don’t have time to cover here; that means we’ll run a second post about some more niche extras in a little bit! For now, if you need car insurance in Winnipeg, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us; we can go over all the extras you could want, and help you decide what coverage is right for you.