April, 2005 – “As the auto insurer for Saskatchewan, we take great care to ensure all of our benefits and services are fair for all our customers,� SGI Minister Maynard Sonntag said. �We�re now in a financial position to address the inconsistencies in income benefits paid to customers permanently and seriously injured in traffic crashes.”
SGI customers who suffered catastrophic injuries prior to August 2002 will receive the same level of benefits as those injured after July 31, 2002, as soon as legislation is passed. These customers will receive, at a minimum, an income benefit based on the industrial average wage, which is currently at $430.56 per week, increasing the benefit by as much as $180 per week for some customers. These benefits will be indexed annually by the Consumer Price Index.
The increase in income benefits will affect approximately 200 customers injured prior to the introduction of No Fault in 1995 or before improvements were made to benefits in August 2002. In both cases, some customers are currently receiving an income benefit less than the industrial average wage.
SGI is increasing the benefits on a go-forward basis and will incur a one-time cost of $30 million as these benefits are paid out over the lifetime of these injured customers. This cost will have no impact on rates, which are the lowest in Canada.
This change is being made to ensure that customers who did not have a choice in their coverage are all receiving the same level of benefits. Individuals who have selected Tort Coverage since 2003 will not receive the increase, as they chose the tort package with reduced benefit amounts, but maintained the right to sue.
For more information, visit www.sgi.sk.ca.