Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili announced today that an NDP government would reduce auto insurance premiums in the province by seven percent, and provide every policyholder a $100 rebate.
Meili pointed to the Crown insurance agency’s latest financial reporting showing that Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has a significant surplus of funds beyond what’s needed to ensure rate stability and consistency, and argued that now is the right time to ease the insurance burden on the people of Saskatchewan.
On August 27, SGI released its First Quarter Report. That report shows that the Rate Stabilization Reserve (RSR), which is designed to act as a buffer to prevent large increases to premiums, has grown nearly five-fold, from $218 million in 2014 to more than $1 billion this year, It now sits $117 million above SGI’s target, while SGI premiums have not changed for Saskatchewan families.
“This has been a difficult year for so many Saskatchewan families. But even before the pandemic, people were feeling stretched and stressed and finding it harder to make ends meet,” said Meili. “We can make life a bit more affordable right now. This is money that’s more useful in people’s pockets than it is sitting in a massive reserve fund.”
In 2014, when SGI last went before the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel, it set a financial target for the RSR based on an industry-standard formula. By 2018, the RSR had far exceeded the target amount, but rather than stabilizing the fund and reducing premiums, SGI increased the target instead.
“SGI is supposed to operate on a break-even basis. This massive cash reserve build-up begs the question: Is the Sask. Party setting up SGI to be a more attractive asset to sell off?” added Meili. “Scott Moe needs to come clean: is he sitting on Saskatchewan people’s money so he can sell off this lucrative Crown to his wealthy friends? Only an NDP government will ensure the SGI surplus is returned to the rate-payers, and that this Crown remains under public ownership. It’s time to put people first.”
If the NDP forms government, this plan will:
- Provide a $100 rebate
- Reduce auto insurance rates by 7% or $85/year
- Have SGI work with the Rate Review Panel to review the RSR and ensure fairness for Saskatchewan families
- Ensure that SGI remains as a public insurance company and is not sold off.