Changes to injury coverage - Have your say
Nov. 13, 2014
It's time for a review of SGI's auto injury program to ensure benefits and coverage are kept up-to-date and the program continues to effectively meet customers' needs.
You can complete the survey. All responses to the consultation are anonymous and confidential. The consultation closes Dec. 7, 2014.
If you'd like a paper copy, please contact Daphne Graham at 306-751-3554 or email@example.com.
Auto injury coverage applies to all Saskatchewan residents. Coverage is automatically no-fault. Since 2003, everyone in Saskatchewan, including children and those who do not hold a driver's licence or register a vehicle, can choose their injury coverage - Tort Coverage or No Fault Coverage.
The last full review and major changes to auto injury benefit coverage legislation were in 2002.
Changes that don't require consultation
There are also a number of program enhancements that could be implemented without needing public input, as they just make sense to do:
No Fault Coverage
- Improve calculation of income benefits for seasonal workers
The current method of calculating the income benefit is creating an unintended inequity for some seasonal workers who have been in their job for less than 2 years prior to the collision in which they were injured. SGI plans to make a change to the calculation to ensure the benefit is fair for those who have been in their seasonal job for a shorter time period.
- Improve flexibility in selection of replacement labour
A self-employed customer injured in a collision has a choice of hiring a substitute worker or receiving an income benefit. Today, the customer can change their choice only once. SGI plans to allow customers to change their choice as often as they need to, to manage their business.
- Enhance how the benefit for care of a child or dependent adult is provided
An injured customer who had provided care for a child or dependent adult, but who is now unable to provide that care, receives a benefit to cover costs of care - unless the customer has a spouse who is available to assist with providing care. To give customers greater flexibility in managing care for children and dependent adults, SGI plans to make the benefit available whether or not a spouse is available to assist with care.
- Provide coverage for family members who incur expenses attending to a severely injured family member
When a customer is seriously injured in a collision and hospitalized, family members often incur expenses for meals, accommodations, transportation and child care, etc. Some miss work to be with their family member and lose pay as a result. There is no provision today in the program to offset these types of expenses. SGI plans to change the program to cover these types of expenses.
- Clarify amounts paid for child care expenses
The program does not specify the amounts to be paid for child care expenses, leading to some inequities in how this benefit is applied. SGI plans to specify that child care benefits are based on minimum wage.
- Expand the ability to sue a driver convicted of a criminal offence when they cause a collision that results in injury or death
Under the No Fault program, you can only sue for pain and suffering (when you’re injured in a collision) or bereavement damages (when your family member is killed in a collision) in very limited circumstances. Customers can sue when the at-fault driver is convicted of certain offences, such as impaired driving or exceeding .08, or when a driver is found to have intentionally caused bodily injury in conjunction with an offence such as assault or murder. SGI plans to add the following to the list of offences that trigger the ability to sue for pain and suffering and/or bereavement damages: criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily injury, flight from a peace officer and dangerous operation while street racing.
No Fault Coverage and Tort Coverage
- Improve how the permanent impairment benefit for cognitive impairment is administered
SGI plans to use the Glasgow Outcome Scale - extended to calculate this benefit going forward, because it provides for more objective rating and more appropriate benefits for those with moderate brain injuries than the current scale used to calculate this benefit.
- Base death benefits on date of death rather than date of collision
Because most benefits are indexed to the Consumer Price Index, they increase every January 1st. If a customer is injured in a collision in 1 calendar year, and dies from their injuries in the following calendar year, the current legislation requires their death benefits to be paid at the rate in place at the time of the collision. SGI plans to change this so the benefit is based on the date of death.
- Calculate death benefits on the deceased's income at the date of death rather than the date of collision
If a customer is not employed at the time they're injured in a collision, and they're catastrophically injured, they receive an income benefit based on the industrial average wage. If they later die from their injuries, the current legislation requires the death benefit to their spouse and dependants to be based on their situation at the time of the collision, rather than at the time of their death. SGI plans to change this so the benefit is calculated based on their income at the date of death.