Reported by Bryn Levy
Motorcyclists in the province aren’t done fighting a proposed rate increase from SGI, despite intervention by the provincial government.
The insurer is proposing an average 15-per-cent increase for motorcycle insurance over $1,000, with some policies going up by as much as 39 per cent. This comes after the province told them to revise a proposal for a completely uncapped set of increases that would have seen a 75 per cent average rise, with some some bikes costing as much as 400 per cent more to insure.
Riders Against Government Exploitation (RAGE), a group formed to fight SGI’s original proposed rate hike, made its prescence known in Saskatoon at an April 22 public meeting of Saskatchewan’s Rate Review Panel, the body that would ultimately have to approve any rate adjustment.
Around 200 people packed the meeting at the Saskatoon Travelodge, with many standing just outside as the room was filled to capacity.
There, RAGE spokesman Don Fuller attacked the insurers rationale for the increase. SGI had claimed riders are at fault for a little over half the accidents they get into. This coupled with a $9-million shortfall in what the insurer collects from riders versus what it pays out in claims are what is prompting the rate increase, said SGI Vice-President Don Thompson.
Fuller said RAGE’s review of worldwide data suggests that in multi-vehicle accidents, it’s other drivers who are at fault three quarters of the time.
He said this points to one of two things, either SGI’s numbers are wrong or Saskatchewan riders are an anomaly when it comes to safety. Either way, he said a rate hike won’t fix the problem.
“Rate hikes don’t address the problem because they’re not. They’re addressing a symptom,” he said as he called for more to be done on the rider safety side of the equation.
Fuller also alluded to losses incurred by SGI in investments on the bond market as the reason the company was trying to push through an increase.
“What we’ve concluded is that customers and taxpayers, of course, are being asked to offset those costs of SGI’s managerial decisions for investments,” he said.
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