SGI consulting public on driver demerit and discount program
Oct. 9, 2014
SGI is asking for public feedback on the Safe Driver Recognition (SDR) program. The public can share their views with the consultation survey.
Under the SDR program, if you have a good driving record, you will be in the safety zone on SGI's safety rating scale and earn a discount on your basic vehicle insurance. If you have at-fault crashes or driving infractions on your record, you may find yourself in the penalty zone where you are assessed demerit points and financial penalties for each chargeable incident you are involved in.
“We value customers’ opinions and it’s important to get their input before updating the program,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI. “SDR affects all drivers - they all get rated on the scale based on their driving history. So it’s important that we know if the program is still meeting their needs and whether they think any changes should be made.“
SGI is asking customers to consider:
- Increasing the financial penalty per demerit point (currently $25/point) - Initial feedback indicates customers want tougher penalties under SDR, but it’s unclear how much tougher of an increase to the financial penalties customers are comfortable with, and what they think of the corresponding impact on rates.
- Growing the maximum discount, offset by harsher penalties (currently a maximum 20% discount) - Customers gave feedback indicating they would like a higher maximum discount. In order for SGI to offer this, the cost to provide the higher maximum must be offset by harsher penalties or higher base rates.
- Increasing the threshold for an at-fault crash to garner demerit points (currently damage costs of $305 or more) - Customers and stakeholders like the Highway Traffic Board indicated they don’t believe a minor fender bender should make drivers lose the -6 points assigned to at-fault crashes. Currently, any collision where the damage cost is less than $305 doesn't result in any demerit points for the customer; however, even very minor damage often exceeds that amount.
- Assigning demerit points to regular speeding tickets - Currently only more serious speeding offences (e.g., speeding in a school zone, speed too fast for conditions, speeding in excess of 35 km/h over the limit) make drivers lose points under SDR; regular speeding tickets aren’t assigned points. As speeding is one of the most - if not the most - common traffic offences, this would mean more customers would either lose part of their discount or face a financial penalty.
- Platinum zone - Customers that are at +11 or higher on the safety rating scale are considered platinum customers. Their discount remains 20%, but they have a cushion that shields them from the effects of future driving incidents. Currently the top end of the platinum zone is at +19 so customers can potentially have one at-fault accident and one traffic offence before they start to lose part of their discount.
The consultation closes on Oct. 31, 2014. The information gathered will be used to make recommendations by the end of 2014.
The Safe Driver Recognition (SDR) program was launched in 2002 to recognize drivers with good driving records and give them some added incentive to keep their records safe, while offering a deterrent to those with bad driving histories.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of over 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link under Online Services on your motor licence issuer's website or SGI's website.