SGI to pay out $285M in rebates to Sask. drivers
REGINA -- The Government of Saskatchewan announced it has approved a one-time rebate of $285 million to be paid out to SGI customers.
In a release, the province said while details are still being finalized, the average rebate will work out to approximately $285 per vehicle, or approximately 26 per cent of average annual premium.
“It’s based on the average of what [drivers] paid. So, if you have vehicles that were more expensive to insure then your rebate is naturally higher,” Minister Responsible for SGI Don Morgan said. “If you’ve got a number of vehicles, then you will receive a larger sum as well. It will apply to trucks, cars, trailers, school buses – all vehicles that are registered in the province.”
The money will be paid out from the Rate Stabilization Reserve (RSR). The province said the RSR experienced strong investment earnings over the past fiscal year, allowing 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."
Morgan said the province maintains a reserve in case a catastrophic event occurs. As of September 30, 2020, the RSR had $1.15 billion in it.
“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.”
The government said the rebate cheques will be issued to customers who have paid Auto Fund premiums in the past three years and are Saskatchewan residents. Rebate cheques will be mailed out in May.
“This was a really opportune time. People have gone through the pandemic, they are starting to hopefully come out of it as vaccines are going in and this is a really good way to reinvigorate or restart the economy,” said Morgan.
The announcement comes as the fulfillment of a re-election promise made by the Saskatchewan Party.
IMPROVED BENEFITS FOR SERIOUS INJURIES
SGI also announced enhancements for people who receive long-term injury benefits due to injuries from vehicle collisions.
The province said customers who need assistance with daily tasks, like dressing, bathing and cooking, will receive maximum payouts for those services to better reflect current market rates.
"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," SGI said in a release.
SGI said this practice will benefit around 200 people.
The government said SGI will be passing on around $350 million to Saskatchewan people, between the rebate and new benefits.