Square One Insurance Review 2021

square one insurance review

Choosing the right insurance provider doesn’t always come down to getting the best price. You want to know that you’re getting good coverage from a reputable company at a fair value for money.

If you’re considering Square One Insurance for your next policy, learn more about the company, what it offers, and whether it’s the right provider for you in this Square One Insurance review.

Table of Contents

Square One Insurance: Overview

One of the newer names in Canadian insurance, Square One Insurance was founded in Vancouver in 2011 to make home insurance simpler and more affordable for homeowners.

Today, Square One Insurance offers home insurance to customers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

Square One Insurance isn’t an insurance provider itself, rather it acts as an agency or brokerage selling policies on behalf of a third-party insurance provider, The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia.

Unlike traditional insurance brokers that have representatives with offices in many communities, Square One Insurance uses an online-only business model, centralizing operations in its Vancouver office. According to the company’s website, this allows them to keep costs low and pass on the savings to its customers.

Also, unlike many insurance brokers, Square One only offers products from one underwriter. Many other insurance brokers work with a variety of providers to get the best value for their clients.

Square One Insurance: Products

Square One Insurance specializes in home insurance. Its products include:

Detached house insurance including comprehensive coverage for the building, its contents, and third-party liability

Semi-detached and duplex insurance with comprehensive coverage for freehold and condo owners

Townhouse and row house insurance with comprehensive coverage for freehold and condo owners

Condo insurance with comprehensive coverage for the unit, contents, damage caused to other units, and third-party liability including shortfalls in the management company’s insurance

Rental property insurance providing coverage to properties you own and rent out to other people

Vacation property insurance providing coverage to properties you own for recreational and vacation use

Tenant and renter’s insurance providing coverage for contents and third-party liability to people who rent their home

Specialty home insurance covering special needs like Airbnb rentals, unique construction like homes with log construction, homes with outdated electrical systems, heritage homes, and other needs that don’t fit the typical insurance policy

Square One Insurance is only available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. It doesn’t offer any other types of insurance, such as car insurance or life insurance, for example.

Square One Insurance: Sign-Up Process

To get a quote from Square One Insurance, you can call their 1-800 number or go online.

To determine the coverage you need, you’ll be asked about your personal information, details about the home (location, size, value, etc.), how the home is used (whether you rent or own, work from home, etc.), and whether you need additional coverage (for your contents, additional structures, etc.).

Based on your needs, you’ll then be recommended the most-suited policy and be shown how much it will cost. You’ll also be asked to choose a deductible (the amount you pay yourself in case you need to make a claim), ranging from $250 to $10,000, which will also affect the amount you’ll pay.

If you’re happy with the coverage and price, you can open an account online and purchase your coverage. Square One Insurance claims that the whole process takes about five minutes.

Square One Insurance: Insurance Prices

Uncommon for insurance brokers, Square One Insurance makes a habit of publishing its prices online. Prices start from $12 per month (for basic renter’s insurance covering contents only) and go up from there.

For example, Square One Insurance says that it recently sold a policy to a renter in Richmond, BC covering $15,000 for contents, $35,000 for additional living expenses, and $1 million for liability at a cost of $19/month or $228/year.

The website also states that it sold a policy covering a detached home in Calgary, AB with $452,000 for building replacement, $85,000 for personal property, and $45,000 for additional living expenses for $91/month or $1,092 per year.

Because each situation is unique and many variables affect the cost of home insurance, you’ll have to get a quote to find out exactly what your premium will be. You can get a quote from Square One Insurance online or by phone.

Square One Insurance: Customer Support

Square One Insurance apparently saves money for its customers by automating much of its customer service.

When you’re getting a quote, buying a policy, making changes to your account, or making a claim, your first step is to access the online self-service options.

If you need help, Square One Insurance offers customer service by phone, email, and live chat. It claims to answer 80% of phone calls in less than a minute and promises emergency assistance from a claims adjuster within two hours, day or night.

If you have a problem that customer service can’t help you with, Square One Insurance publishes the email addresses and phone numbers of its divisional heads so you can reach out to them directly.

For the most serious concerns, Square One employs an ombudsperson to who you can appeal. As already mentioned, Square One Insurance doesn’t have offices in the community, so if you prefer to meet your insurance advisor in person, you will need to choose a different provider.

Our Final Thoughts

For better or worse, Square One Insurance has staked its claim exclusively in the home insurance space. If you have a unique requirement, you’re likely to find coverage with Square One even if other companies have turned you away.

The home insurance broker doesn’t offer any other kinds of policies like car and life insurance, meaning customers in Alberta and Ontario who want to keep all of their insurance coverage with a single company will have to look elsewhere.

Finally, Square One Insurance doesn’t underwrite its own policies. Instead, it’s an authorized brokerage selling insurance provided by another company. While this is a common business model, customers will still want to compare home insurance quotes from multiple providers in addition to Square One.

If you don’t mind taking care of your home insurance coverage primarily online, Square One Insurance is a good option. It has a wide range of coverages and a very user-friendly online system. Customer support is available by email, live chat, and phone so you’ll never be stuck on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Square One Insurance is available in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

The company conducts all of its business from its main office in Vancouver and only offers customer service by phone and online.

The insurance industry in Canada is carefully regulated and Square One Insurance is no exception. The insurance broker is licensed and regulated by the provincial authorities where it does business.

Its underwriter, The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia, is regulated by the British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) and insured by the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC).

There’s no law in Canada requiring you to have tenant insurance or home insurance, but chances are that you will be contractually required to get insurance by one or more of the other parties involved in you having a home.

Landlords, mortgage companies, condo corporations, and others can all require you to carry adequate insurance, and they have the power to evict you from your home if you’re in breach of that condition.

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