Although it’s the capital city of Saskatchewan, Regina is just the 24th largest city in Canada, under 200,000 residents as of the 2011 census. This places it behind such cities as Windsor, Ontario and Burnaby, BC, as well as its own cousin to the north, Saskatoon. The city once had an extensive public transit network comprised of streetcars, but a fire in 1949 destroyed many of these vehicles just as diesel buses were invigorating public transit across North America.
Automobile traffic is not a major problem in the city due to its modest population. The Trans-Canada Highway traverses the city east to west, though it swings south of the city. A ring road covers a large semi-circle around the east side of Regina.
The Car Insurance System in Regina
Saskatchewan is one of three Canadian provinces with public car insurance monopolies in place. While insurance premiums are calculated in the same way as other provincial systems, the lack of competition removes comparison shopping from the Regina driver’s toolbox for maintaining affordable car insurance coverage.
The public insurance system has long been touted as providing more affordable coverage, but that has proven not to be the case, as Saskatchewan, along with Manitoba and British Columbia, have the highest car insurance rates in the country, next to Ontario, whose private system is the most expensive in Canada. Only Quebec, with public accident benefits, but otherwise a private car insurance system, has proven a hybrid public insurance system can reduce rates for motorists.
Saskatchewan Plate Insurance
Regina drivers purchase what is called “plate insurance” from the Saskatchewan Government Insurance auto fund. Plate insurance includes liability, personal injury and collision insurance. SGI insurance is a bit different than most in Canada with its provision for collision insurance in mandatory coverage. Further still, SGI’s version of collision insurance includes coverage for fire, theft, vandalism, and hail, things typically covered under comprehensive endorsements in other provinces. The driver is responsible for paying the deductible for these items with plate insurance, but additional coverage can be purchased. These extended insurance policies are familiar to any motorist, the main three being collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage.
Cost of Car Insurance in Regina
While Regina is a modest big city, it is an urban centre nonetheless, and the concentration of vehicles and commuters may affect the cost of car insurance compared to rural locations. In a 2011 study comparing car insurance rates across Canada, the median level for Saskatchewan as a whole was $1,049, third highest in the country. Drivers in Regina may have an average that is higher, due to traffic, theft and other urban conditions that increase the insurance risk for cars in the area.