SGI has had talks with more than a dozen companies about potential partial sale
'Nothing has progressed much beyond that yet': SGI president
SGI has had conversations with 16 companies about a potential partial sale, the Crown corporation's president says.
The Saskatchewan government passed legislation in April allowing for the partial sale of Crown corporations.
"There's some interest in the industry in terms of what SGI is looking for, but quite honestly nothing has progressed much beyond that yet," said Andrew Cartmell, president of SGI.
Crown Investments Corporation Minister Joe Hargrave said there isn't a timeline when it comes to exploring proposals for a partial sale.
He added that any partnership would ensure SGI's head office remains in the province, same with jobs.
$800 million in claims
The Saskatchewan Auto Fund processed nearly $800 million in claims in 2016-17, including $26.7 million in net storm claims.
The 2016-17 annual reports for SGI Canada and the Saskatchewan Auto Fund were tabled Thursday.
The Saskatchewan Auto Fund is the province's compulsory auto insurance program, administered by Saskatchewan Government Insurance. SGI Canada offers property and casualty insurance in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.
The Auto Fund reported $933.5 million in gross premiums written for 2016-17.
SGI Canada reported a $65.2 million profit for 2016-17, with $738.9 million in premiums, 32.3 per cent of that written outside Saskatchewan.
It paid a $43 million dividend to Saskatchewan's Crown Investments Corporation.
The Auto Fund had an 8.6 per cent increase in overall claims ($63 million) over the previous fiscal year (which was documented as 15 months long), according to the report. It said that was due to increases in both the number of damage claims and their severity as vehicle repairs get more complex.
"If an urban centre gets hit by a particularly nasty hail storm, less than an hour of hail could result in tens of millions of dollars of insurance claims," said Hargrave.
A single storm in Moose Jaw, Sask., in July 2016 cost the auto fund $11.5 million, he said.
Potential partnerships put dividends in 'peril': NDP
NDP Crown Investments critic Carla Beck points to the growth SGI has experienced in the insurance industry to question the potential partial sale of the Crown to the private sector.
"The contrast here is that despite SGI doing their job and keeping rates low in Saskatchewan, we've seen the provincial government apply a six per cent increase by applying our PST to insurance premiums," she told reporters Thursday.
Beck also said the government has placed the insurer's dividends in "peril" by exploring potential partnerships.
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