Motorcycle Insurance - A losing class of business?

(Article from Canadian Insurance)

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) isn't the only insurer losing money on motorcycle insurance.

According to Randy Carroll, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, Jevco's overall loss ratio for its motorcycle business was "well over 100%” over the last three years.

"Obviously this will be an area that will be looked at by those writing this type of risk going forward,” states Carroll.

Intact Insurance, which acquired Jevco in 2012, may have to increase its motorcycle rates to make up for the loss, adds Carroll. Intact had yet to provide further data at time of publication of this post.

Read: Intact to acquire Jevco

Last week, SGI made a proposal to the Saskatchewan Rate Review panel to remove the cap on motorcycle rate increases in an attempt to recover its losses.

"We incur about a $9 to $10 million loss annually,” Don Thompson, vice-president of product management at SGI, told Canadian Insurance Top Broker.

Read: Saskatchewan motorcyclists could be hit with 73% increase

Every other vehicle group, he says, pays 1% more in their rate to subsidize that loss.

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel is currently examining the proposal and, if passed, motorcycle drivers in the province could see an average rate increase of 73% as soon as August 31st.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are, understandably, upset.

Read: SGI submits new rate proposals

"We're taking a lot of heat [from consumers],” says Thompson, who admits that brokers will have to deal with many unhappy customers.

Garth Neher, president of the Insurance Brokers' Association of Saskatchewan (IBAS), says his organization always has concerns when consumers are faced with major rate increases.

"But on the other hand,” he says, "SGI is in charge of setting their rates.

"At the end of the day, we have to trust that SGI has actually studied their numbers and that they have the facts to rationalize what they're proposing.”

Both Neher and Thompson stress that this is just a proposal.

"At this point in time, they're presenting the rate proposal. It's not automatic that it's rubber-stamped,” says Neher.

Whether the rate cap removal is approved or not, Thompson stresses that something must be done to ensure every vehicle group is paying a fair rate.

"We're trying to price this product to break even. We're trying to have each rate group pay their right rate so there is no cross-subsidization. That's all we're trying to do here.”

 

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