SGI seeks feedback on motorbike insurance
Saskatchewan is considering more than a dozen changes to motorcycle safety, training and insurance rules after a proposed rate increase sparked outrage.
On Tuesday, SGI said it was looking for feedback on its ideas.
The provincial Crown corporation is looking at increased requirements for new motorcycle licences, supervision for new riders and the possibility of mandatory gear.
It is also hoping to find 1,000 volunteers for a pilot program that will track motorcycle use to help set insurance rates.
The ideas come from its motorcycle review committee, which was formed to find ways to reduce claims and save on insurance costs.
According to SGI, the best way to reduce claims is to increase safety.
"The traffic safety ones will take time to impact rates, but that is the biggest way we can reduce their rate," SGI's Don Thompson said Tuesday.
One idea that is already receiving some positive feedback is a suggestion to increase requirements for those applying for a learners licence.
Don Fuller represents a group of motorcycle riders, that initially raised concerns about soaring insurance rates. Fuller said the current rules are very lax.
"In this province you don't have to have a drivers licence to get a motorcycle learners licence," Fuller pointed out. "You don't have to have been in a vehicle, taken any sort of driver training. You have to spend 10 minutes at a touch screen."
Fuller's group, Riders Against Government Exploitation, mounted a successful campaign against insurance rate hikes that would have seen significant increases for motorbike riders.
The proposed rate increase, introduced earlier this year, would have seen insurance costs for motorcycles go up by an average of 73 per cent.
At the time, SGI said the hike was necessary because of a $9-million gap between what it takes in from motorcyclists versus what is paid out for collisions — but riders were angry and the government ordered SGI to change its proposal.
The public has until the end of July to comment on the options. SGI is to report to the government in the fall.
With files from The Canadian Press