Saskatchewan

SGI issues largest rebate in its history to auto fund customers

SGI is mailing $285 million in rebates to more than 700,000 customers.

$285 million in rebates getting mailed to more than 700,000 customers

Saskatchewan Government Insurance customers who insured vehicles between 2018 and 2020 will receive an average of $380 each. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC)

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is mailing out more than 700,000 rebate cheques this month as it returns $285 million to auto fund customers, the largest rebate ever issued by the Crown insurer.

That means any Saskatchewan resident who insured their vehicle between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2020, will receive a rebate averaging $380.

"These rebates will provide a significant injection, to the tune of $285 million, into the provincial economy at a time when we can all recognize that this will certainly be a very welcome boost," said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SGI.

"It's fair to say that this will certainly be the largest (rebate) that SGI's ever done by a good measure."

SGI Minister Don Morgan (CBC)

The one-time rebates are calculated on insurance premiums paid on everything from motorhomes and trailers to farm vehicles and school buses. SGI estimates the rebate will apply to more than 1.7 million vehicles licensed in the province.

To determine how much each customer receives back, SGI calculated the average annual premium over a three-year-period and issued a rebate for 26-per-cent of that amount to the vehicle's registered owner.

The rebates cover leased vehicles and vehicles only licensed for a portion of the year and will be mailed to businesses, organizations and individuals. 

It will not apply to permits.

SGI is issuing the rebate from a surplus collected in its rate stabilization reserve, which benefited from some good investments and fewer accidents during the pandemic, Morgan said.

"People tended to stay home for a big portion of that period of time. We went through a winter that did not have a lot of bad weather when people were driving," Morgan said.

All Saskatchewan vehicle owners pay into the auto fund, which maintains the rate stabilization reserve (RSR). The RSR protects customers from sudden rate fluctuations.

SGI saved an estimated $100 million in reduced claims during the pandemic.

"The biggest reason that the rebate has been as large as it is, is because of the very strong performance of the investment portfolio that SGI held," Morgan said.

According to SGI, customers with outstanding balances will have rebates applied to their accounts. Rebates under five dollars will also be applied to customer's accounts.

NDP leader Ryan Meili said the Saskatchewan Party had done a U-turn on its policy regarding SGI.

"It seems like the Sask Party is keen to keep our promises, but break theirs," Meili said.

In 2007, SGI issued $100 million in rebates to approximately 540,000 customers. In 2006, $44 million in rebates were issued to 520,000 auto fund customers.

-with files from Ashleigh Mattern

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