Saturday, 23 February 2013

Insurance Follies

It was a sad week in Saskatchewan for motorcyclists. I'm having a hard time even thinking of something witty and up-lifting to write about this weekend after hearing the news.

Our government insurance agency decided that the motorcyclists should pay more - insanely more than any other vehicle owners in the province -  for their coverage taking effect on August 31, 2013. 

I present the following links for your perusal if you want to read more of the official news:

Rate Increase Proposal Facts

National News Release

Proposed Rates Numbers

Newspaper Post

People I have spoken to say:

--it's going through no matter what protesting goes on
--it will go through but they will adjust their numbers down a little, as they have seen this happen before with other "risky" vehicles
--the fault usually (99%) lies with the driver of the car that hit the motorcycle
--how is anyone supposed to sell their bike now, no one is buying
--why are riders with safe driving records being penalized
--why doesn't the insurance company give you a discount for taking the safety course
--why is this course not mandatory before you receive your learner's license

There are two public meetings planned for April in Regina and Saskatoon and they will be standing room only I'm sure, and I think it is safe to say, there will be a police presence as some people are very, very angry about this. 

I am just unhappy about it and figuring out my options:

--I'll be going from the $530 I paid last year in May 2012 to the $1,225 I will have to pay next May 2014, and that's with my safe driver discount. 

--I will have to shorten my riding season or perhaps even sell the bike, it's just too expensive for the money I don't make. 

--I'll have to get a second job for the extra expense which means less time for family.

My husband has decided he will not get a bigger bike now, the increase is too steep for our budget. There go any plans for long-distance rides...

To me it is not a "luxury" item, it is a planned expense to have some fun in my free time instead of spending money on eating out, or going to the theatre, or having vacations in the winters or having new cars or having lots of new clothes or buying a bigger house or buying a bigger television. We chose to spend our money on bikes and have changed our budget accordingly, but this increase is ridiculous.

I'm trying to find a silver-lining in this news, perhaps with a few weeks of thinking about it, I will find something...


  1. Suzu:

    I've got no words for you. This is STUPID, there is no basis for it. Most accidents are caused by DRIVERS. We have government insurance here too and everytime they make a profit the government takes the excess and uses the money elsewhere instead of lowering their premiums. They just took $500 Million to general revenue and now they are talking about a premium increase.

    Your rates were way too low at $530. For my 650cc Vstrom I am around $1,100. and I used two insurance companies, government ICBC for basic, then Beacon Insurance for the collision portion, otherwise my premium would be double. My BMW is around $1,700. per year so I am only going to insure for half a year, we are allowed to insure for terms of less than a year subject to a 3 month minimum

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Last year for five months of riding I paid $530. This year I will pay $660. Next year I will pay $1200. These rates are all for just five months of riding.

      If I was to pay for a full year of riding, I would be paying this: 2012 - $1,200; 2013 - $1,866; 2014 - $3,674. It seems like a big jump for me.

      We don't have the option to use anyone else, just SGI.

  2. You could move to another province!!

    Seriously that sucks big time Suzu ... we used to have insurance by our govenment then they changed a long time ago to private insurers, it meant there is now healthy competition and you can shop around for the best deal. That amount of money to insure a bike for only half the year (is that right you only pay for half the year?) just blows my mind.

    I hope that they dont get to pass that nonsense and you still get to ride and enjoy. Make loud noises at the meeting .. but also I hope there aren't any hotheads who lose it and make things worse for you.

    1. People have already spoken of getting a Post Office Box number in one of the towns in Alberta or Manitoba to circumvent the increase...

      I will be saving up my pennies as I am really not ready to give this up and now I'm really going to have to pay - to play!

      We'll have to see how things shake out after the meetings are over...thanks for your support.

  3. Yikes and holy crap. Not only do I not believe what you are currently paying but I can't believe what the rates are going up to. My bike is about $32/month to insure year round. Heck our 2011 Subaru Forester is only $55/month

    I remember when we lived in BC our car insurance was really high. Luckily we moved to Oregon 12 years ago. Sure we don't have universal healthcare, but what we do spend on medical insurance is way less than we would on car/bike insurance in Canada.

    My sympathies to you. I hope they wake up and smell the ethanol and don't go forward with this. Maybe the bike manufacturers can wield some power as they profits will go way down too if no one will buy their product.

    Keep us posted.

    1. It is an insane amount isn't it? I think it's crazy that my bike insurance for five months might cost more than to insure my little car for a whole year.

      I'm thinking that the head offices of the major motorcycle manufacturers in Canada are worried about this too, they stand to lose a lot of money, not to mention that there will be places that will just have to close putting more people out of a job.

      Thanks for your support, we too are hoping that the rates will settle to something more gradual, and they will institute some mandatory training for riders, and more awareness campaigns to keep riders safe as they say this is the problem.

  4. Suzu:

    I wasn't trying to be smart and say that your rates were too low, but our rates are higher and we can purchase insurance for terms of less than a year, which I have to do because we have more than one vehicle.

    I think Ontario is the highest for motorcycle insurance and they can only buy 12 month terms for such a short riding season too. You wouldn't want to be living in Ontario and riding . . .

    This is the problem with any monopoly, especially if run by the Government. They make up the rules and you have no choice. I hope this doesn't go forward

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. No's just a bitter pill to swallow with such a big increase. I know costs go up each year for collision damages, but if they did it more gradually, no one would be up in arms about it.

      After a week of thinking about it, I'm resigned to finding the money some other way to keep riding.

      Here's hoping they reduce the increases to a more manageable amount once they have listened to everyone's concerns, and get serious about mandating the safety course, and come up with better awareness campaigns (which cost money too) to keep the riders safe.

  5. This completely sucks!!!! My Honda VT500 with safe drivers discount is $912 for 1 year, and I like Bob do government mandatory insurance and then get my comprehensive/collision through a private insurer. I guess I won't be moving to Saskatchewan anytime soon. The thing that ticks me off about this is they are penalizing riders for essentially the bad driving habits of cagers, because they are usually at fault according to statistics. I hope the bike lobby is successful in keeping this reasonable and Saskatchewan government really looks hard at the fact they are going to lose revenue if all those who ride decide not to insure their bikes. Crazy crazy crazy

  6. Yes, this news hit hard - right in the pocket book. Cagers are responsible for 98% of the accidents, there is no doubt.

    They are not done yet with deciding how much to charge us, but we have our fingers crossed for some common sense to prevail!