SGI ‘unaware’ of U.S. insurance inspectors working in Saskatchewan, asks them to cease work

Provincial insurer SGI says it's received more than 2,500 claims following last week's wind storm in Saskatchewan.
Six American insurance inspectors were hired by a third party company to deal with hail damage claims in Saskatchewan, according to SGI. File / Global News

American insurance inspectors dealing with hail claims in southern Saskatchewan are being sent back home after SGI Canada found out they were working in the province.

SGI said it was unaware its third-party inspection partner hired six American workers.

Read more: U.S. insurance adjusters in Calgary to respond to damaging hail storm

SGI typically uses its own employees to deal with insurance claims.

However, the Crown corporation employs Canadian company Catastrophe Response Unit (CRU) to respond to large volumes of hail claims, similar to the current situation in the Assiniboia area.

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According to SGI, CRU employs both Canadian and American inspectors.

But given the amount of current hail claims in Alberta, there is a “shortage of available Canadian inspectors,” SGI said.

CRU sent six American inspectors to Saskatchewan to assist with SGI claims.

In an email to Global News, SGI said its “understanding was that only Canadian inspectors would be assigned to SGI CANADA claims, and was unaware that American inspectors had been deployed by CRU.”

Read more: 3 tornadoes touch down in southern Saskatchewan

Global News first learned of the U.S. workers when Assiniboia residents expressed health and safety concerns with Americans dealing with hail damage claims in the area.

“SGI shares concerns customers may have about the risk of COVID-19 spread,” the crown corporation told Global News in an email.

“As soon as we became aware, we requested that the American inspectors cease their work and have their files reassigned to Canadian inspectors.”

The American inspectors will be leaving the province Thursday, according to SGI.

Read more: Wind gust uproots two pine trees in Regina Lakeview neighbourhood Tuesday night

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The federal government deemed insurance professionals responding to claims as an essential service.

SGI said the U.S. workers were tested for COVID-19 when crossing the border into Saskatchewan.

CRU implemented a number of safety protocols for their employees to follow including working from their hotel room as much as possible, wearing a mask at all times, and avoiding entering homes during property inspections.

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