What if insurance reform in Alberta actually benefits Saskatchewan taxpayers ahead of Alberta’s consumers? Stay with us because it’s actually not as crazy as it sounds.
Multinational insurance companies, led by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, are pushing for variants of a no-fault auto insurance model in Alberta. They refer to this as ushering in “more choice” or the ability to “customize your coverage.” What this means in reality is that for a few dollars a month in savings, a consumer could select to have reduced insurance coverage, sign away their right to challenge an insurance company decision in court, and their ability to hold a reckless or at-fault driver to account. If you get a life altering injury, you’re at the whim of whatever the insurance company wants to compensate for that.
For a few bucks more a month, you get to hold onto your fundamental right to access an unbiased court to settle disputes, and fight for fair compensation for the actions of a reckless driver.
Some “choice” right? You have flexibility to “customize your coverage” to give up fundamental components of what insurance is there for – all so multinational insurers can make millions more.
But here’s the thing: this is exactly how the government run auto insurance works in Saskatchewan.
The company with the most experience in offering this type of insurance is Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). And it’s this company that stands to benefit the most. Owned by the taxpayers of Saskatchewan, SGI is already operating in Alberta and making money off of premium holders here to support taxpayers there.
According to their financial statements, in 2019-20 SGI collected over $1 billion in premiums, with 42% of those premiums from consumers outside of Saskatchewan in markets like Alberta and Ontario. In this same year, SGI returned a dividend of $54.3 million to the people of Saskatchewan helping to pay for public services like pandemic response, schools, and hospitals.
Albertans love the good people from Saskatchewan, but our insurance system should not be designed to promote their government insurance at the expense of Alberta consumers. Our Conservative government would also be wise to know that Albertans aren’t looking for our government to prop up the socialist SGI through its upcoming insurance reforms.
Write your MLA to tell them put Alberta consumers first.