October 07, 2015

Government Improving Saskatchewan Auto Injury Coverage

Government has approved a number of recommendations put forward by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) for changes to its auto injury coverage programs.

Changes include improvements to both the Tort and No Fault programs to better meet the needs of customers by providing improved benefits for those most seriously injured, closing gaps in coverage for everyone involved in an auto collision, making changes to help keep coverage affordable and addressing inconsistencies in coverage.  Changes to the injury program specific to motorcyclists were announced earlier this year and will be implemented for the 2016 riding season.

The changes follow consultation with and input from a variety of stakeholders and groups in 2014 and early 2015 including current and former auto injury customers, representatives from the medical, legal and insurance communities, an injury review panel representing a cross-section of stakeholders, SGI employees who work with the program and close to 900 public survey respondents.

“Thank you to all customers who took the time to provide feedback and complete the online consultation, and a special thanks to the individuals on the Injury Review Committee,” Minister responsible for SGI Don McMorris said.  "The committee helped us see the auto injury program from new perspectives.  As a result, we're making changes that we’re confident will make a real difference to people recovering after an auto collision."

To read the full report of recommendations, visit SGI’s website at www.sgi.sk.ca.

Some of the changes are:

  • When an impaired driver causes a collision and is killed, allowing an innocent party or the family impacted to sue for pain and suffering or bereavement damages (No Fault and Tort coverage).
  • Expanding the list of offences that trigger the ability for an innocent party to sue for pain and suffering or bereavement damages to include: criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily injury, flight from a peace officer and dangerous operation while street racing (No Fault and Tort coverage).
  • Updating amounts paid for living expenses to reflect current market rates, increasing the overall amount available for assistance to those with cognitive impairment and implementing a process to regularly review the amounts for alignment with market rates (No Fault coverage).
  • Ending the practice of reducing income benefits by the amount a customer receives through Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability (No Fault coverage).
  • Ensuring Tort income benefits maintain pace with minimum wage (Tort coverage).

Changes require legislative approval before they can take effect.