Insurance Coverage for Wildlife Damage

Res #: 5-23M
Number: 5
Year: 2023
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)

WHEREAS increased deer populations are causing a negative financial impact to farming operations as a result of damage to vehicles and equipment caused by deer sheds.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to work with insurance companies to have damage caused to vehicles and farm machinery by deer sheds be insurable and that no deductible be required to be paid when making a claim.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to take steps to reduce the deer population within the province.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, & Minister Responsible for SGI

December 5, 2023

SCIC administers the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program , which compensates producers up to 100 per cent compensation for damage to crops caused by wildlife. In accordance with The Wildlife Damage and Livestock Predation Regulations, SCIC is limited to only allowing compensation for losses to commercial agriculture products resulting from damage caused by wildlife. Commercial agriculture products in the regulations are listed as annual seeded field  crops, perennial field crops, market garden crops, trees on tree nurseries, sod on sod farms, leafcutter bees, leafcutter bee shelters, honeybees, and honeybee hives. Compensation is limited to losses that occurred in the field due to wildlife.

SCIC works with the Ministry of Environment to help identify areas of high wildlife crop damage. The Ministry of Environment uses informed population management strategies, based on crop losses.

The Honourable David Marit – Minister of Agriculture, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

December 18, 2023

Regarding resolution 5-23M Insurance Coverage for Wildlife Damage, I am responding specifically to reducing deer populations. White-tailed and mule deer have different biological requirements and populations are managed separately across ecological regions (e.g. grasslands, parkland and forest). Seasons and quotas are considered and set for each wildlife management zone each year using the best available population data from standardized aerial surveys, ground-based spotlight and spring recruitment surveys. Environmental factors and field reports are considered alongside population measures to provide a more fulsome picture of wildlife populations and how they are coexisting with people of the province.

Recent survey data indicates that both white-tailed and mule deer populations have experienced substantial declines across much of the province over the past two years, driven mainly by harsh winter and ongoing droughts. This year’s surveys suggest mule deer and white-tailed deer populations across much of the province, especially the forest fringe and grassland regions, are at their lowest level in recent years and, in some cases, are below population objectives. The Ministry of Environment will continue to evaluate population data sources and review deer quotas and seasons due to deer population trends to ensure populations remain sustainable.

The Honourable Christine Tell – Minister of  Environment, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

May 10, 2024

I certainly understand the concerns regarding the damage caused to vehicles and equipment by deer sheds each year. Currently, claims for damage to vehicles would fall under the coverage provided by basic licence plate insurance. Claims for damage to farm equipment would be covered by an SGI CANADA policy or another competitive insurer. Damage to tires alone is not covered by insurance unless it’s caused by a malicious act, vandalism, or the tires are damaged in an incident that includes other damage to the vehicle, such as a collision.

SGI is not considering changes to coverage or deductibles for damage caused by deer sheds at this time. Doing so would result in an increase in claim costs, which would then be passed on to all vehicles owners in the form of rate increases.

Collisions involving wildlife are a significant issue for SGI as the cost of these claims is more than $100 million each year. SGI is focused on what can be done to prevent these claims from happening in the first place. Currently, SGI partners with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation on awareness campaigns and knows more can be done to try to reduce the number of wildlife claims. As SGI works to develop a strategy to address wildlife claims, it will also take into consideration the damage to vehicles and farm equipment caused by deer sheds.

The Honourable Dustin Duncan – Minister Responsible for SGI