The modernization of Manitoba Public Insurance coverage (MPI) companies, a supply of competition between the Crown company, insurance coverage brokers, and the province, received’t be taking place any time quickly.
In a Standing Committee on Crown Firms, Benjamin Graham, president and CEO of MPI, in contrast the company’s IT programs to an vintage ATARI online game console. He stated the system is so previous that MPI has introduced technicians out of retirement to write down code.
“We’re operating a $four billion company on an ATARI,” he stated on Thursday. “It’s a easy proven fact that any modifications or implementation of on-line performance – the associated fee equation and the worth offered to prospects doesn’t make any sense. (Proper now) you may pay your renewal on-line, or e book a driving check.”
As an alternative of combating the present system, MPI is engaged on Legacy Techniques Modernization, also called venture NOVA.
“So at this cut-off date, I don’t imagine that we’ll offer any extra on-line performance to prospects till venture NOVA is full,” he stated. “(In time) almost each transaction that MPI offers will be capable to be accomplished on-line by prospects self-serving by way of a buyer portal.”
Graham additionally famous that MPI is an anomaly as a result of it offers each licensing and insurance coverage companies. He stated that implementing the NOVA venture just isn’t solely about offering on-line companies.
“Sustaining these older programs prices some huge cash,” he stated.
Graham additionally identified that in COVD-19, many individuals would’ve most well-liked to hold out MPI companies at house.
“Clearly with the social distancing pointers, it will have been a lot simpler for members of the general public to adjust to public well being orders in the event that they had been in a position to entry on-line performance,” he stated. “Our prospects are telling us that they need to do issues on-line.”
Liberal chief Dougald Lamont, (MLA, St. Boniface), stated the NOVA system will price roughly $86 million, and save MPI round $200 million in the long run. He additionally defined that MPI is at loggerheads with the province, as a result of the Pallister authorities tried to power MPI to take care of insurance coverage brokers, who’re at risk of obsolescence when on-line insurance coverage companies develop into the norm in Manitoba.
“The federal government has stepped up, and ordered MPI to chop a take care of insurance coverage brokers, in order that they’ll hold getting paid,” he stated. “That’s the place we’re at. I’m truly involved about native house owners of insurance coverage corporations, significantly in rural areas. They should hold doing OK.”
Opposition chief Wab Kinew, (MLA, Fort Rouge), who cross-examined Graham for over an hour, stated the province has been interfering with MPI for years. He stated that every one Manitobans ought to be capable to entry insurance coverage companies on-line – blaming the province for a scarcity of progress.
“MPI ought to have been free to type this out with the brokers themselves,” he stated. “The truth that we’re in 2020 and nonetheless ready to have the ability to entry on-line companies is a direct results of interference by Mr. Pallister’s authorities.”