SGI Canada bounces back with $82M profit

SGI Canada made profit of $82 million last year — a big recovery from 2011, according to the firm's annual report released Monday.

SGI Canada made profit of $82 million last year — a big recovery from 2011, according to the firm's annual report released Monday. 

The Crown-owned insurance company is the "for-profit" side of Saskatchewan Government Insurance that operates in seven provinces.

It's separate from the Auto Fund, which is meant to break even licensing Saskatchewan vehicles.

Most of SGI's profit will go to the government as a dividend.

The 2012 profit was a turnaround from 2011, when the company was hammered by high claims in most provinces and consolidated net income was a razor-thin $441,000.

The 2012 result was also a two-thirds improvement from 2010, when net income was $49.3 million.

Donna Harpauer, the minister responsible for Crown corporations, said 2012 was an unusually good year for SGI in all of the provinces in which it operates.

"Usually one area or the other is hit by something that causes the claims to be high, but in this particular year we had the fortune of all of the provinces that SGI Canada does business [in] to be profitable," she said.

Spreading the risk across multiple provinces is why SGI is exempt from the government's "Saskatchewan First" policy of keeping the Crown's business inside the province, Harpauer said.

On the Auto Fund side of its business, SGI is rethinking a proposed hike to motorcycle premiums and a committee has been struck to look at the issue.

Some motorcycle riders might want options that would keep rates lower, Harpauer said, such as dropping death benefit coverage.

"It may be something [along the lines] of: 'If I have life insurance, do I need that coverage'?" she said.

The committee to study motorcycle rates gets to work next month.