SGI had solid year despite rebates, record number of hailstorm claims, annual report shows

·2 min read
Less traffic and fewer collisions have not resulted in reduced rates for Saskatchewan drivers. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC - image credit)
Less traffic and fewer collisions have not resulted in reduced rates for Saskatchewan drivers. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC - image credit)

SGIy remains financially strong even after issuing auto rebates and incurring a record number of hailstorm damage claims, according to its annual report for the year of 2021-22.

The minister responsible for SGI, Don Morgan, said there was a 30-per-cent increase over the company's five year average claims volume due to the Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 hailstorms, which affected most of the northwest part of Regina.

"Nearly a year later, roofing companies and auto body shops are still catching up on the work from that one," he said.

The total amount of claims incurred by SGI for the year was $926 million, $65 million of that being claims from those storms.

SGI also issued $89 million in rebates to customers, with the owner of every vehicle registered in the province receiving $100.

MLA Aleana Young (NDP Regina University) said even though the rebate checks were great, there is still more SGI could do to lessen the financial burden on residents.

"What I hear, doorstep to doorstep, regardless of the income level of the household, is real concern around cost of living," she said. "SGI is in a position to continue to issue rebate checks time and time again, but the auto fund is still nearly 10 per cent over where it should be as of year end.

"What we are calling for is an overall lowering of rates, even if the government claims it won't make much of a difference."

Morgan says the rates offered by SGI are, on average, the lowest in the country.

"We are over $7,300 less per year than in Ontario, we're less than half of what Alberta pays on average, and we have the most comprehensive benefits, so our intention at this point in time is not to look at a rate reduction."

Morgan says the SGI Auto Fund, which is not intended to make a profit, remains strong and is currently sitting at more than $1 billion in its rate stabilization reserve, which "acts as a cushion to protect customers against sudden rate hikes due to unexpected events."

There are also concerns about an increase of frequency and intensity of storms in the province, which Morgan said could eventually affect insurance rates.

"SGI is not looking in the context of a global change, they're looking at it in the context of 'we're seeing more storms, more frequent and more severe.' And it may make a change as to how they calculate rates, and it's always done based on the history and what the projections are going forward."

Future rebates are a possibility, Morgan said.

"We're in a period of some fairly significant instability and volatility in the markets, and we would like to maintain healthy reserves just to make sure that we're able to maintain the current rates that are being charged and maintain the benefits that we're giving to the customers."

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