No plans for fines for keys left in stolen vehicles: SGI

By Nigel Maxwell
December 3, 2018 - 11:40am Updated: December 4, 2018 - 8:12am

Saskatchewan Government Insurance has no plans to introduce any policy changes or fines in matters regarding vehicle thefts.

The comments made by SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy are in response to a poll conducted by paNOW on Friday, in which 26 per cent of respondents said they felt not waiving the deductible may encourage people to be more careful. McMurchy said he wanted to clarify not everyone has their deductible waived.

"If you have basic plate insurance through the auto fund, you would pay a deductible if your vehicle is stolen, but if you have extension auto insurance coverage like an Auto Pak through SGI Canada or any other insurance company, your deductible is waived," he said.

According to statistics provided to paNOW from the Prince Albert Police Service, there were nearly 30 vehicles reported stolen in the city last month — over 300 for the year to date. Police said the majority of the thefts happened because keys were left in the ignition or in the car with the doors unlocked. McMurchy said vehicle theft is a provincial issue.

"In the last five years, the number of stolen vehicle claims reported to SGI has risen by 46 per cent," he said.

Although SGI has no plans at the moment to make any policy changes, McMurchy said if there was a claims frequency issue where the owner had a history of vehicle theft and the keys were left in the car, then SGI Canada could take action to restrict the customer from having coverage for vehicle theft in the future. He added vehicle thefts are a hindrance to the owner as well as a safety issue on provincial roads.

"One of the things we want to remind people is stolen vehicles are often driven recklessly, they are often used in the commission of other crimes, and thieves don't care when they are driving them so it's a danger for everybody," he said.

On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell

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