Rocky View County couple slapped with massive bill for zip code change


A simple zip code change was supposed to be a positive thing for Jim and Dianne Novak, but instead the couple are fighting their insurance company – SGI Canada – for a premium on their bill.

Jim says that after notifying their insurance broker of the change, they received a bill in the mail for $ 625.

“I explained to him that we don’t pay the premium just for a change of address,
he said. “We haven’t moved.

The Novaks have been in the same house for 30 years, using the same PO box.

As part of the civic addressing program, Canada Post changed Novak’s PO Box number to a physical address.

The company says the program has been implemented in many rural areas across the country to improve the delivery system and help 911 responders locate emergencies.

The Novaks were happy to see the change.

“We were pretty excited because a lot of companies don’t deliver mail or packages to a PO box, but will deliver to a street type address,” Jim said.

But then the couple found themselves facing unexpected expenses. Dianne says their broker told them it was because of their new address and zip code, even though they weren’t physically moving.

“We are grouped together with the town of Chestermere,” said Dianne.

“Now we are all lumped into a large area that insurance companies will use to pull their stats to generate their premiums.”

The Novaks say their insurance broker has told them their premium will be waived for this year, but they will have to pay the higher fees in the future.

After CTV News contacted SGI Canada, a representative said they were working on the issue and admitted the additional charges should not have happened, stating, “If there was no change in risk underlying, an increase of this magnitude is not typical. “

In an email, the company said that the first three digits of Novak’s zip code are used in other already existing zip codes and that their system had not automatically flagged it as a newly created zip code, which by default was a high rate.

Further, the company said, “Our process is to implement a temporary fix to adjust the zip code to the original one, so the customer does not have to pay a higher rate.”

Jim says they haven’t heard from the company about the fix yet, but are happy to hear that something is being done.

“SGI has been very good to us overall over the years,” he said.

“Just this surprise bill is not sitting very well.”

SGI Canada says it is working to identify other customers who may be affected by a change in their postal codes.

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