Square One Insurance Review

Looking for home insurance? Square One Insurance offers comprehensive policies that are flexible and can be customized according to your needs.

WRITTEN BY
Caitlin Wood
Updated November 11, 2020


RATING

A home insurance policy will provide you with financial compensation if you ever have to repair or replace your home or the contents within it as a result of a fire, vandalism, natural disasters, or nefarious activity. 

Depending on your policy, you can also get coverage to protect against potential lawsuits if someone gets hurt or their personal belongings are lost or damaged while on your property.

Not only is a home insurance policy a good idea, but it may also be a requirement by your lender. If you have a mortgage on your home, odds are your lender will require a policy to reduce their risks. 

Square One Insurance is an online insurance brokerage that specializes in home insurance policies. It’s exclusively online, which means there are no brick-and-mortar locations to serve clients. Instead, all communication is conducted virtually or via telephone.

Let’s review what Square One Insurance is, what it offers and whether it’s the right insurance agency for you.

Who is Square One Insurance? 

Square One Insurance has been around for nearly a decade now, offering Canadians home insurance products to keep their homes, their belongings, and their families safe since 2011. The relatively new insurance brokerage promises highly competitive rates thanks to its online-only presence. 

With little overhead, Square One can pass its savings onto clients in the form of lower premiums. Policies started as low as $12 per month, making insurance as affordable and budget-friendly as possible.

Square One Insurance was also developed with simplicity and convenience in mind. Traditionally, obtaining a home insurance quote or policy would be time-consuming and cumbersome. With Square One Insurance, the complexities of these policies have been effectively removed to make room for quick, simple, and affordable coverage. 

This insurance brokerage serves as an authorized agent for the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia, which is a member of the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC). That means if your insurance provider goes under, PACICC will deal with your claim.

What Provinces is Square One Insurance Available in?

Currently, Square One Insurance services clients in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, though there are plans in the works to expand south to the US in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.

What Type of Property Can You Insure With Square One Insurance?

The following types of properties can be insured under a Square One Insurance policy:

How Does Square One Insurance Work? 

Square One Insurance offers residential insurance policies that are designed to protect you, your home, your belongings, and anyone who visits. 

Home Insurance

If you own a property, you’ll need insurance to cover it and its belongings against loss or damage. These policies provide coverage to your home, detached structures on the property (such as a shed, pool house, or fence), personal contents, and living expenses if your home is deemed uninhabitable. 

Thinking of renovating your home? You may need additional home insurance.

You can also opt to be covered for liability insurance if someone visiting your home gets injured or if you cause damage to someone else’s belongings. In this case, you would have coverage against any potential litigation. 

Furthermore, you’ll have identity theft protection that will cover you if you ever experience financial loss as a result of someone stealing your identity. 

There are also optional home insurance coverages that you can choose to include in your policy, such as legal protection or rental income coverage.

The great thing about home insurance with Square One Insurance is that you can pick and choose exactly what you want to be included in your policy. Rather than pay for more coverage than you need, you have the freedom to pick from a list of items that you want to be included or excluded in your policy. That way you’re only paying for what you need. 

Tenant Insurance

If you are currently a renter, the owner of the property will have an insurance policy on the home or building. However, you should still consider taking out a policy to protect yourself and your belongings. 

You’re free to choose your coverage, limits, and deductible to customize your policy according to your budget and needs. You’ll be protected against significant types of loss as a result of things like fire, theft, and accidental damage. 

A tenant insurance policy from Square One will also provide coverage for any temporary living arrangements that need to be made if the property you rent has gone through significant loss. Financial loss from identity theft is also covered with a tenant insurance policy from Square One Insurance. 

Pros and Cons of Choosing Square One Insurance

Pros

  • Affordable. As mentioned earlier, you can find some of the lowest premiums available through Square One Insurance thanks to its low overhead as an online-based brokerage. Plus, you can minimize premiums by choosing minimum insurance coverage and boosting the deductible.
  • Personalized coverage. You have plenty of flexibility when it comes to customizing your policy and choosing what you want and don’t want to be covered. That way you’re not paying more for something you don’t need. 
  • Coverage for water back-up and overland flooding. The majority of home insurance companies offer coverage for damages associated with water back-up and overland flooding, but only as an extra. They’re not usually included in a standard policy. Square One Insurance, on the other hand, automatically includes water back-up and overland flooding coverage in its policies. 
  • Quick coverage. Get insured in as little as 5 minutes when applying online. 
  • Pay monthly without paying more. The majority of insurance companies charge a little more when clients choose to pay their premiums monthly. But not Square One Insurance. You’re free to pay monthly without paying more in fees or interest. 
  • Convenience of online access. There’s no need to meet face-to-face with an insurance broker to set up an insurance policy. Instead, everything can be done online from the comfort of your home. Plus, you can keep tabs on your claims and see how far along you are in the process of getting reimbursed.
  • One adjuster per claim. There’s no need to jump around from one adjuster to another when your claim is being handled. Instead, you’ll be assigned a dedicated adjuster who will work with you and your claim from the get-go.
  • 24/7 emergency claims service. Get in touch with someone right away no matter the time of day or night in the event of an emergency. 
  • 90% claim payout rate. Square One Insurance has an excellent track record of approving and paying out claims. 
  • No contract. There’s no need to commit long-term to your policy, as Square One Insurance requires no contract. 

Cons 

  • Not ideal for those who are uncomfortable with working online. If you prefer to deal with someone in person or are not digitally savvy, then you may have some issues dealing with an online-only brokerage. That said, you can always speak with an agent over the phone when you need assistance.
  • No refunds on the first $50 of your premium. If you choose to cancel your policy for whatever reason, the first $50 of your premium cannot be refunded. 

What Rates Can You Get With Square One Insurance? 

The rate that you will be charged will depend on a number of factors, such as the age and condition of your home, to name a few. That said, Square One Insurance rates start as follows:

  • Tenant insurance policies: from $12 per month
  • Condo insurance policies: from $40 per month
  • House insurance policies: from $75 per month

Want to switch over to Square One Insurance? Check out how to cancel your current home insurance policy

Things to Remember When Taking Out a Policy With Square One Insurance

Consider the following before you buy a home insurance policy from Square One Insurance:

Be honest in your application. If you file a claim and your insurer discovers that you provided inaccurate information on your application, you will likely be denied compensation. You also risk having your policy cancelled altogether. When filling out your application for a home insurance policy, be completely honest with your answers. 

Update your policy when changes occur. If anything changes with your home, you may need to inform your insurance provider as the value of your home may have changed or the risk level may have increased.

For instance, if you install a pool or add an addition, your insurance company will need to know. More specifically, any upgrades that cost over $25,000 will need to be communicated with Square One Insurance. Your policy will need to reflect the new value of your home as a result of these changes so that your policy will cover the cost of replacing the new upgrades if your home is damaged.

Or, if you rent out your basement and now have a tenant living in your home, this increases potential risk, which your insurer will need to know about. Your policy will be adjusted accordingly to keep you protected. 

Provide proof of value. You’ll have total flexibility when it comes to choosing the appropriate coverage with Square One. If you want certain items covered — such as valuable artwork, jewellery, or electronics — you’ll have to provide proof of their value before submitting a claim. Otherwise, you may not receive adequate compensation when you file a claim. 

Inform your insurer when you’re away from home for an extended period of time. While taking a vacation for a week or two doesn’t require a phone call to your insurance company, being away for weeks or months at a time does. When no one is around, the risk of damage is much higher. For instance, if a fire breaks out, there will be nobody around to deal with the situation quickly.  

Plus, your policy excludes water damage as a result of burst pipes after they’ve frozen during the winter. To avoid finding yourself without compensation, inform your insurance provider if your home will be vacant for more than 7 days. Otherwise, shut the water off to your home before you leave so there’s little chance of this situation occurring. 

Learn more about getting additional insurance if you leave your home unoccupied for a period of time. 

Don’t wait to file a claim. When you need to file a claim, do so immediately. This allows your insurance company to take quick action and inspect the loss or damage more accurately to establish a fair settlement.

Make timely premium payments. As long as you keep up with your premiums, you will always be covered. But if you fail to pay up, you could leave yourself vulnerable to lack of coverage.  

What is the Claim Process Like With Square One Insurance? 

To file a claim with Square One Insurance, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Click the “Claims” tab
  3. Choose your policy
  4. Click “Report a new claim”
  5. Follow the instructions given

You will be contacted within 1 business day after opening a new claim. For emergencies, your adjuster will contact you within 2 hours. If you need to speak to someone immediately, you can call Square One Insurance at 1.855.331.6933. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Final Thoughts

A home insurance policy is an important one to have in place, and Square One Insurance offers comprehensive policies that are highly flexible and can be customized according to your needs. If you like the idea of dealing with your insurer strictly online and appreciate not having to pay for more than what you need, Square One Insurance may be worth checking out.