Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and the Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba (IBAM) have finally agreed on how to handle online sales and auto insurance renewals – and what role brokers will play in this new system.
MPI originally proposed the idea of selling auto insurance online in 2019 but was criticized by IBAM for claiming that relocating online insurance sales would exclude their broker members from the auto insurance buying process. Both groups continued to pursue the plan until recently, when they finally landed a new deal that allows brokers to conduct both in-person and online transactions.
The new agreement will come into force in April 2021. In addition to admitting brokers to the online auto insurance process, MPI expects to admit additional online transactions by April 2023. A spokesperson confirmed to CBC News that the online renewal is generally offered to all passengers and vehicle owners, except for those who have had a history of payment defaults.
Once the deal is in place, new vehicles must be insured with either a broker or an MPI service center. However, some renewals and re-evaluations could be done online. Customers can log into their accounts and be referred to their previous broker or choose an option to reach brokers in their area.
The deal also changes the way broker compensation works. Under the agreement, brokers receive more for personal basic insurance transactions (4.2%) than for online transactions (2.3%).
« The agreed fair compensation will differentiate the commissions for brokers when customers choose to go online instead of in person, » said Curtis Wennberg, MPI’s chief operating officer, in a statement. « However, customers can choose any method of interaction they want. »
According to Grant Wainikka, CEO of IBAM, the Manitoba government put an end to the dispute by bringing in an arbitrator who worked.
« Rewind two years … we weren’t friends with MPI but I think we saw similarities, » Wainikka told CBC News, adding that they were able to work a deal, « both sides can live. » With. »
Citing research by IBAM and other companies, Wainikka said that most consumers do not have a solid understanding of concepts like insurance value, third party liability, vehicle classification, limits on personal protection plans, etc.
« These need to be discussed with a professional so that people can understand their own risks and liabilities as well as the coverage they may need, » commented the association manager.