Manitoba Public Insurance is hoping to get a 1.8 per cent hike to basic Autopac rates.

MPI asked the Public Utilities Board to approve the hike on Friday. It’s the first time in 10 years MPI has asked for a rate hike.

MPI officials said the hike was necessary to cover an increase in claims, and a lower than expected income from their existing investments.

If approved, more than 700,000 vehicle owners (or about 67 per cent of all MPI customers) would be affected.

Rates have decreased in recent years. In 2011, they decreased by four per cent, and in 2012, they decreased by eight per cent.

If the increase is approved by the PUB, it would take effect March 1, 2014.