SGI CANADA Surety
Celebrates 70 years
Surety department experiences significant
growth and development since its inception
Almost everyone in Saskatchewan deals with
or has heard of SGI because it administers the
Saskatchewan Auto Fund, and many others know
about SGI CANADA (the competitive insurance company) through
its personal property and commercial insurance. But it is contractors
in particular who may be interested to learn more about SGI
CANADA Surety, a department within SGI CANADA, which is celebrating
its 70th anniversary this year.
SGI dates back to 1945 when the Saskatchewan government created
a Crown-owned insurance company as poor economic conditions
in the years prior had driven many insurers out of the province.
Working out of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, Michael
Allore, the first president, sold the first policy – Fire Policy Number
1 – to Minister O. W. Valleau on May 1, 1945 and appointed its first
broker, Oscar Sawby of Maple Creek, on May 17. By the end of 1945,
SGI had 60 employees and a small network of private, independent
insurance brokers located across the province selling insurance on
behalf of the corporation.
The Surety Department was formed in 1949 when the provincial
government assumed controlling interest in the Saskatchewan
Guarantee and Fidelity Company Limited. This decision helped protect
local contractors from default, which allowed them to expand
their business and win new contracts.
Today, SGI employs more than 2,000 people and works with a network
of nearly 400 motor licence issuers in Saskatchewan. SGI CANADA
partners with 400 independent insurance brokerages in more than
1,300 locations in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba
and Ontario. SGI also operates 21 claims centres and six salvage centres
across 13 Saskatchewan communities, while SGI CANADA operates
from offices in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.
For most of the 20th century, the Surety Department (now referred
to as SGI CANADA Surety Department) restricted its activities
to Saskatchewan. In 2001, it began writing surety bonds in
Manitoba and Ontario and expanded into Alberta five years later.
This was a strategic decision as the diversified geographical footprint
helped reduce insurance risk to Saskatchewan stakeholders.
By Pat Rediger
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 3 2019 | Think BIG 37