06/11/2013 03:22 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Panel tells Saskatchewan auto fund to put the brakes on motorcycles rate hikes

REGINA - A panel says Saskatchewan's auto fund should hold off on big changes to motorcycle insurance rates for now.

The rate review panel has approved an overall rate increase of 1.03 per cent for all vehicles and a one-year surcharge of 1.23 per cent to boost the auto fund's reserves.

Rate rebalancing — which tries to get rates in line with losses for each vehicle class — meant some drivers could have seen a huge hike.

The panel says that increase should be capped at 15 per cent for all vehicles, including motorcycles.

There was outrage earlier this year when Saskatchewan Government Insurance proposed an increase that would have seen insurance costs for motorcycles go up by an average of 73 per cent.

The province told the auto fund to reconsider and a committee is now reviewing factors that affect motorcycle insurance.