I Love Manitoba Public Insurance!
First of all, thank G-d this is NOT my vehicle. It’s a picture I found on Flickr, and the owner had very generously put it in a Creative Commons licence, which means I am free to use it. Important to know if you blog. I’ve been using my own pictures lately, since I have a lovely camera with an Internet connection in my pocket (also known as an iPhone). But I digress …
I did, however, get rear-ended yesterday. I was sitting in traffic, minding my own business while waiting for a pedestrian corridor to clear. A maroon van was behind me, also minding its own business.
Next thing we both know, some guy in a green Villager bashes into the back of the maroon van, probably at a full 60 clicks. She bashes into me. Luckily I have a habit of leaving a decent distance between myself and the car in front of me, so I didn’t hit anybody. I didn’t see it coming so I had my foot on the brake, unfortunately. I doubt my van is actually damaged from that but it did mean my body took a nasty jolt.
I pulled off into a side street and stepped out to view the damage. To my van, luckily, not much – I have a nice imprint of her front license plate (and holes punched by the two bolts) in my back bumper, but it doesn’t seem otherwise damaged. To my body, I’ll find out. So far just a little stiff in the shoulders and neck, and I’ve had a few warning spasms from my back, but they’ve gone away each time.
The driver who hit both of us was out and walking around right after, making no bones about his responsibility. Not that he could have, of course, there were witnesses. The front of his vehicle had crumpled as it should, and a nasty green flood flowed out of his radiator. His airbag had deployed, but he seemed OK, if a bit dazed. The driver in the middle, poor soul, was in shock, of course, and her vehicle was pretty bashed up in the back. The front looked OK to my untrained eye, consistent with the lack of serious damage to my vehicle.
The cops were there pretty quickly, we exchanged information and I went on my way to collect Shira from day camp. The other two vehicles undoubtedly had to be towed.
So why do I love Manitoba Public Insurance? I phoned them today and gave them all the information I had (turned out mine was the first report). We opened a possible injury claim for me. If I do turn out to have whiplash, I just need to go to my family doctor and if she says I need a physiotherapist or a chiropractor, the person can just bill MPI directly. I do need to take the vehicle in to be assessed because it was a three-car accident, even though I have no intention of having any cosmetic repairs done to a ten-year-old vehicle. If the adjuster says it needs a new bumper or anything else, though, MPI will cover it fully. The person in the call centre gave me a number to call if I have any questions, and was generally thoughtful and empathetic and understanding of the whole trauma. And the best part? I don’t have to deal with the other drivers or their insurance – since we are all covered by the same institution, his penalties and our compensation are separate from each other.
Public insurance rocks – because the risk is spread out over so many people and they do not have a mandate to make a profit, not only do they not need to nickel and dime me, but the insurance for the YEAR for my 16 y/o driver is $60, unless he gives them a reason to do otherwise.
Manitoba is a pretty darned good place to live!