136 months ago

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Dear Saskatchewan, It's now your turn to be screwed on insurance rates

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

We've got stupid high rates in Ontario. A couple of years ago, Quebec got indecent rate hikes in their motorcycle insurance. All their protests didn't change anything -

And now it's your turn, Saskatoon. SGI have published their rates for next year and they can be found here(sorry, it's a PDF)

For those of you too lazy to read, it's basically a disaster, and highly prejudiced against sports bikes with no real definition of what a sport bike is. In some cases, you'll be paying up to 460% higher for your bike. Got a Ducati 848 like that below? it's going to jump from about $2000 to $4400. Want a new Hayabusa? That $15,000 a bike is now going to cost over $5,600 a year in insurance alone.

Perhaps the worst hit are classic sport bike riders. Owners of 80's sportbikes might as well sell their bikes now and buy a new one. That classic 1982 CBX1000 cost you $951 last year. Next year, it's going to cost a cool $3629. What used to be a (reasonably) cheap source of fun in motorcycling is no longer the case.

It's not limited to sportbikes either. Dual sports and cruisers/touring bikes will also see their rates hiked by around $500 per annum.

While it's not disclosed, this is assumed to the be the minimum you will pay. Got a few points on your license? You probably don't even want to bother trying. Chances are, even customizations will knock you out of the park.

Compare this with insurance around the world, and it's not just Saskatchewan, but most of Canada that is getting royally screwed on motorcycle insurance. It's almost like the government has decided they want motorcycles off of the road altogether.

Internet forums are rife with speculation that this is just a move to make the crown service so bad that riders will be happy to see it privatized. People of Canada: Private coverage is not the answer. We have private insurance in Ontario and we pay just about the same amount as this already, and that's if you can find an insurance company that will offer you a policy. Most won't, at least if you want a sports bike. That's what the free market will do for you.

The rationale for this is that motorcycle rates have been subsidized for years by other vehicles and this is just putting them back into line with "real" costs. The motorcycle is cited as "leisure" vehicle and attracts a disproportionate claim cost, but the government also requires you to have insurance. Is this a move to a full user-pays model? What next? Mandatory insurance for other leisure activities? Maybe that should be the case. Let's see how well the snowmobile and quad market fares with mandatory insurance. And while we're at it, why not mandatory insurance for climbers and parachutists? Maybe even hikers? Clearly, this is no good justification for something our only resource is to walk away from. What about addressing some of the real causes of accidents - like the police officer in the UK who hit and killed a motorcyclist whilst making a phone call?

At the moment, this is all just a proposal. There may be time to save this and if I lived in Saskatchewan, I'd be writing to my MPP and generally organizing ASAP.

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