SGI returning $350 million to customers
Rebates will average $285 per vehicle
February 26, 2021, 11:06 am
Saskatchewan Government Insurance will pass on roughly $350 million in earnings to the people of Saskatchewan by issuing one-time rebates to all registered vehicle owners, and also improving injury benefits for its most seriously injured customers.
The provincial Crown corporation has a strong balance sheet due to a number of factors, including fewer collision claims due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Saskatchewan Auto Fund Rate Stabilization Reserve is in a very strong financial position due to very strong investment returns and – to a smaller degree – fewer collision claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Responsible for SGI Don Morgan said.
“As a result, SGI will pass on these earnings to the people of Saskatchewan by issuing rebates to all registered vehicle owners and by improving injury benefits.”
Rebates to be Issued to Vehicle Owners this Spring
The provincial government has approved the one-time rebate of $285 million. The amount each customer receives will vary, and it will be calculated based on a proportion of vehicle premiums paid in the previous three years. Details are still being finalized, but it’s expected the average rebate will work out to approximately $285 per vehicle or approximately 26 per cent of an average annual premium in Saskatchewan.
The Auto Fund, which all Saskatchewan vehicle owners pay into via their insurance premiums, maintains the Rate Stabilization Reserve (RSR). Maintaining a healthy balance in the RSR protects customers against sudden rate fluctuations due to unexpected cost pressures. The RSR is one of the reasons that SGI customers enjoy, on average, the lowest rates for basic auto insurance in Canada and have not experienced significant rate increases, despite the rapidly rising cost of repairing today’s modern vehicles.
The amount in the RSR is heavily impacted by the performance of its well-diversified investment portfolio. After losses last March, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the RSR experienced strong investment earnings over the past fiscal year, especially in the last quarter. This allows SGI to absorb the one-time cost associated with issuing rebates, while remaining in a position to protect customers from significant rate hikes going forward. Even with issuing the rebate, the RSR will meet industry standards to protect against unexpected cost fluctuations.
Rebate cheques will be issued in May and sent through the mail to customers who have paid Auto Fund premiums in the past three years and are residents of Saskatchewan. Customers are encouraged to verify that their mailing address is up to date by visiting www.MySGI.ca to confirm or by contacting their local motor licence issuer.
Enhanced Benefits for Most Seriously Injured Customers
SGI is also implementing two significant enhancements for customers who receive long-term injury benefits as a result of being injured in vehicle collisions.
Customers who require assistance with daily tasks (i.e., dressing, bathing, cooking, cleaning and yard care) will see the maximum payments for those services increase to better reflect current market rates. This is expected to benefit more than 1,100 SGI customers.
SGI customers who receive income replacement benefits from SGI and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) will no longer have income benefits from SGI reduced by their CPP payment. It is standard industry practice to reduce insurance benefits by the CPP payment. SGI is leading the industry by eliminating this practice, to the added benefit of our most seriously injured customers. It is estimated that this will benefit approximately 200 people.