September 3, 2015 — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — The provincially owned insurance organization Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has introduced a new program this week that should streamline the collision repair process in that province.
The program allows Saskatchewan vehicle owners to have some vehicle damage estimated at accredited auto repair firms. As it is, car owners must first take their car to an SGI claims centre. The new program will allow owners to have everything from the damage estimate to completed repairs done within one facility.
“SGI recognizes insurance claims are not planned for; dealing with the claims process takes valuable time from our already busy days,” said Don McMorris, the provincial minister responsible for the government run insurance program. “SGI is making things easier for customers, by providing an option to streamline simpler claims, so vehicles can get back on the road sooner.”
About 20 repair firms in the province are already doing damage estimates and the majority of accredited repair firms are expected to be estimating by the end of the year. Filing a claim will remain the same for customers. When it is time to get the vehicle’s damage estimated, they will be asked where they want to have the estimate done. Their adjuster will let them know whether or not their chosen repair firm qualifies to perform the damage estimate. If it does, the customer can take their vehicle in and have everything done in one location.
“It’s a one-stop shop,” McMorris said. “The repair firms can help improve the customers’ claim experience and customers get their vehicles fixed faster. It’s a win-win, which is why we’re so excited to give Saskatchewan residents this new option.”
The government also stated that repair firm personnel will undergo training every year to keep up with damage estimate policies and procedures, noting “significant checks and balances are already in place for auditing to ensure customers are receiving accurate estimates for vehicle repairs, including an annual drop-in to each firm.”
Each year, there are more than 200,000 auto damage claims in Saskatchewan. SGI is the province’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund, operating 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina.