Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life, and you need to protect it with a home insurance policy. But not every policy will work for you.
Most insurance companies offer a prepackaged policy that is one size fits all – but that’s the problem most homeowners have different needs and wants when it comes to insurance coverage.
Square One Insurance lets its customers customize their coverage, meaning you can easily adjust your premium and deductible based on the amount of protection you want.
After extensively reviewing Square One, I’ve found that their unique approach to insurance makes it an affordable option that might better suit individual customers.
If you’re in the market for a new homeowner’s policy or just shopping around, here’s what you need to know.
Personalized Home Insurance
Need home insurance? Square One makes it easy to customize your policy at an affordable rate.
- Customize your coverage based on your needs
- No extra fees if you pay monthly.
- Everything done online – from signing up, to claims services, and even policy cancellation
- 24/7 emergency claim service with the ability to manage your claims online
- First $50 of your premium is nonrefundable if you cancel your policy
- Does not offer auto insurance, so you cannot bundle policies for a discounted rate.
What Is Square One Insurance?
Square One prides itself on making home insurance affordable and providing its customers with the perfect amount of coverage. As an online-only company without brick and mortar locations, Square One saves on overhead costs that pass down to their customers.
Square One is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, and opened its doors in 2011. After years in the insurance field, a team of experienced professionals decided to start their own company to help customers afford their own customized policy.
While Square One covers the majority of Canada, it still isn’t available for most of the Eastern provinces.
Features and Benefits
If you’re looking for a new home policy or just doing a price check, here’s what you should know about Square One.
Square One provides residential insurance for the following:
A homeowner policy protects your property, including detached structures like sheds or garages, personal contents, and living expenses if your home needs repairs.
You can add liability insurance to your policy, covering you if someone injures themselves on your property or you damage another’s property.
Square One insures the following property types:
- Detached houses
- Semi-detached houses
- Rental properties
- Vacation properties
If you are a renter, the owner of your property will already have an insurance policy for the dwelling. However, you need to protect yourself and your belongings by securing your own coverage.
A tenant insurance policy covers you for things like fire, theft, and damages. You’re also covered if you need to live somewhere else temporarily if the property has sustained damages.
Square One doesn’t offer other coverage like auto insurance, meaning you won’t be able to bundle your home and auto insurance. For some people, this is a big drawback and might cause them to pay more for separate coverage.
Square One doesn’t lock its customers into a set policy. Instead, you get to decide what you want to insure and for how much. This means customers won’t get stuck paying for coverage they don’t need.
From their own website, Square One claims that customers can get a policy for as little as $12/month.
Includes Coverage Not Usually Offered
Most insurance companies offer riders additional coverage for “extras.” Things like sewer backups and overland flooding are usually not covered under a standard insurance policy, meaning customers need to pay even more for adequate coverage.
With Square One, those “extras” are automatically included in the policy – at no extra cost.
Many insurance companies offer a discount to customers that pay their annual fee upfront. However, at Square One, if you choose to pay monthly installments, you won’t pay more or be penalized for taking it month by month.
One of the biggest headaches about insurance often occurs when it’s time to file a claim. To make it easier on customers and less of a hassle, Square One has a 24/7 emergency claims service with the ability to keep track of claims online.
In addition, anytime you file a claim, you will deal with one adjuster assigned to your case instead of jumping around from person to person.
Most insurance companies lock you into a year-long contract, but with Square One, you can change your policy as you need to or cancel at any time. However, if you cancel your policy within the first twelve months, they will hold onto $50.
Aviva is one of the largest insurance providers within Canada and offers many of the benefits a traditional insurance brokerage often does.
Aviva provides much of the same property insurance as Square One, including:
- High-value homes
- Manufactured homes
However, in addition to property coverage, Aviva insures vehicles (auto, ATVs, boats, motorcycles, etc.), as well as offers employee group plans and travel insurance.
While Square One provides insurance coverage that you can pick and choose from, Aviva offers a more traditional prepackaged policy that many customers are used to.
On Square One’s website, they offer a comparison of coverage based on a house with a $500,000 rebuild value.
The differences between the two are pretty stark. Aviva offers more coverage for the detached structure, personal property, and additional living expenses, but that policy will most likely cost much more than Square One and could include coverage for items you may not even possess.
In addition, many of the optional coverage items on Square One’s end, like manuscripts and stamp collections, aren’t necessarily important to all customers, which is why a pick and choose alternative is better for certain clients.
Aviva also markets the fact that they can bundle your home and auto insurance coverage, allowing for a greater discount and adding excess liability coverage.
Apollo Insurance is similar to Square One in that both are online-only providers of customizable insurance plans.
Apollo provides the following insurance coverage:
Most Apollo insurance policies can be tailored to your needs and price point, just like Square One. A big focus of its insurance business is on small businesses and finding the coverage necessary to protect you financially if something unforeseen occurs.
Apollo is a newer company, having just launched in 2019, and isn’t available all throughout Canada. They currently only offer service in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.
Most reviewers had gleaming comments about Square One’s customer service. Many repeated the same thing over and over – that a service rep answered all their questions in a knowledgeable and friendly manner, easing any causes for concern.
Others were quick to point out that their rates were competitive.
While Square One’s customer service garnered many high ratings, those unhappy with the company usually complained about submitting claims or inadequate coverage.
Ultimately, because Square One is not a prepackaged insurance policy, it is important to consider what coverage you need and how much. This due diligence will come in handy if you ever need to file a claim and give you peace of mind that you’re protected.
The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia underwrites Square One’s policies. As a member of the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC) they will deal with your claim if the company fails.
Square One was founded in 2011 and has been in business since 2012. According to the Better Busines Bureau (BBB), they have an A+ rating with only a few complaints.
Filing a claim is easy – follow these steps.
- Log in to your account
- Click the “claims” tab
- Find your policy and click “Report a new claim.”
If you need emergency assistance, someone will contact you within two hours. Otherwise, expect to hear from someone within one business day.
You can cancel your policy at any time, but be aware you won’t get the first $50 of your premium back. It is nonrefundable.
You can cancel several different ways.
- Go online to your account
- Email customer service: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call customer service: 1-855-331-6933
Property insurance is important to have in place to protect your home and all your belongings. Finding affordable coverage is challenging, especially if you don’t want one of those prepackaged policies.