Square One Insurance Review (2023): Save Money on Home Insurance

Looking for Square One reviews? Home insurance, it is so important and in my opinion just as important as life insurance or disability insurance. Sure if you have enough assets, you might not need to buy term life insurance, but I personally think it’s different for home insurance. Here’s genymoney.ca’s Square One Insurance review.

When I was a kid, our house got broken into and some of our belongings were stolen (mainly my brother’s Super Nintendo, Sega, and other game consoles). I remember at the time, my parents didn’t have home insurance (!). Yeah, I know, crazy!

Now that I’m an adult myself, I am so reasonably risk averse that I would never go without home insurance. Never.

Square One Insurance review

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.

So much could go wrong, not just with your personal belongings.

If you have a flood in your apartment that is your fault (and not covered by the insurance from your strata) for example, replacing laminate or hardwood flooring is expensive. Replacing furniture can be very expensive (the couch got damaged from the water? The coffee table? The bed frame? Your favourite hybrid mattress?).

Anyway, the point is, home insurance is important to have as a ‘homemoaner’ (home owner of a condo or a townhouse or duplex, or a house), and also as a tenant. You really shouldn’t go without home insurance in my opinion. Home insurance are not part of closing costs when you sell a home in BC.

Related: 6 Single Female Home Buyer Tips for your First Condo

This Square One Insurance review will go over what Square One Insurance is and where it was founded. It will also review what Square one Insurance contact hours and numbers are, how this company works (and how it saves you money).

It will also run through a sample Square One Insurance quote and how it compares to another insurance agency, and finally of course, Square One reviews are not complete without reviewing the pros and cons. Hopefully these Square One reviews help you decide if it is worth signing up with this home insurance provider.

What is Square One Insurance

Square One Insurance was founded in 2011 and is an insurance agency that provides home insurance services for people living in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. It is based out of Vancouver, BC.

Square One Insurance has a number of insurance available inlcuding:

  • Home Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Commercial Insurance

Square One Insurance claims to be the only true online home insurance provider in North America.

They provide very competitively priced home insurance policies such as:

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

Their pricing is competitive because they don’t have any brick and mortar stores and you cut out the middle man by not having to pay insurance broker commissions. Because of this, Square One Insurance’s overhead costs are low and they then pass these savings onto the customer.

They don’t have a ‘store front’ everything is done online or via the telephone.

Related: How to Save Money Fast in Canada

Who Owns Square One Insurance?

Daniel Mirkovic, Jason Vander Zalm, Dejan Mirkovic, and Chris Bayly co-founded Square One Insurance in 2011. Daniel Mirkovic is now the President and CEO of Square One Insurance. It is a privately owned company.

Square One Insurance is an authorized agent for the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia. The Square One Insurance underwriter is Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia (based in Langley, BC).

Square One Insurance Contact

Their hours of operation (for non-emergency contact) are from 6am to 6:30pm PST from Monday to Saturday.

Square One Insurance’s phone number is  1-855-331-6933

The email is help@squareoneinsurance.com

They have a 24/7 service for emergency claims and get back to you within 2 hours for an emergency claim, even if it’s 1:35am.

The headquarters and office for Square One Insurance is located in Vancouver.

How Does square One Insurance Work?

These Square One reviews not complete without understanding how it works. The unique thing about Square One Insurance is that it is completely online, but you can also call their service representatives by phone if you would rather speak to someone or by online chat.

Normally the conventional way, I would have an insurance broker who would give me a few quotes and options of insurance agencies.

The other unique thing about Square One Insurance is that it allows you to choose to personalize your insurance policy and pick from an ‘a-la-carte’ menu in terms of your insurance coverage.

In comparison with a regular insurance agency, you could possibly increase your deductible and opt out of earthquake coverage, but most other insurance items are set in stone (e.g. one company will offer jewelry coverage and another will not).

Also, for Square One Insurance, you only cover what you want to cover. What you choose is pieced together as a whole to create your monthly premium. You can select the level of coverage you want- if you want less coverage (e.g. no coverage for jewelry and valuables) you will pay less of a monthly insurance premium.

Compared to a typical home insurance coverage that provides for more insurance coverage with a generalized approach, Square One can more economical if you choose lower coverage or you don’t need certain things (like for example, coverage for jewelry).

As you can see, other insurance companies provide more coverage (it could be coverage that you don’t need) and therefore have higher premiums.

Home insurance comparison chart
Source: Square One Insurance

After making your selections, you submit your email and they email you your quote online. You have to create an online login profile (username and password) in order to access your online quote.

You can review the quote and choose to pay and start the insurance policy immediately, or you can just save to the quote so that you can compare to other insurance agencies.

SQuare One Insurance Quote

Square One reviews- How do you get a quote? Getting a quote from Square One Insurance is easy and it only takes a few minutes (unless you’re trying to compare it apples to apples to another insurance agency quote, which would take a bit longer).

I compared my condo insurance (I did not use Square One Insurance at that time) to Square One Insurance and tried to emulate the criteria and deductibles chosen for these Square One reviews.

You can choose and toggle pricing for things like:

  • Condo Owner’s Protection coverage
  • Bicycles, Sporting Equipment and Watercraft Coverage (replacement cost)
  • Fine Arts and Collectibles Coverage (replacement cost)
  • Jewellery and Watches Coverage (replacement cost, the standard limit is $6000 but you can adjust to more for your expensive diamond engagement ring)
  • Personal Property Coverage (cost basis)
  • Additional Living Expenses Coverage (for example, if you had to live somewhere else while repairs are being done)
  • Personal and Premises Liability Coverage
  • Identity Theft and Financial Loss Coverage (can choose zero identity theft coverage)
  • Standard Protection and Deductible (if you make the Square One Insurance deductible higher, like $5000, it saved $10 a month on my condo insurance quote)

There are lots of detailed questions, including whether you participate in short-term rentals and whether your home has any dogs (I guess cats are not considered high risk?) such as a Husky or a wolf hybrid.

Square One Insurance questions

Square One reviews are not complete without a comparison.

So is Square One Insurance cheaper than the other insurance agencies out there?

If you choose the lower options and higher deductible then Square One Insurance comes out ahead by a long shot, but if you choose similar more ‘premium’ coverage, then I would say that the other competitor comes out ahead.

Square one Insurance vs Other Home Insurance Cost

Which home insurance company is the best?

For comparison’s sake, my condo insurance with CNS was $423 and with Square One Insurance (no jewelry coverage, no bicycle coverage), the condo insurance quote came out to $248 (this is with the higher deductible of $5000 and no jewelry coverage, no bicycle coverage etc.).

This is a $175 in savings on condo insurance, and the condo home insurance would cost something as low as $20 a month. This is dirt cheap.

However, if I chose more of the comprehensive options from Square One Insurance, the quote obtained is more expensive than CNS Insurance.

No Square One Insurance review is complete without pros and cons, so here are some of them.

Square One INsurance Pros

There are a number of pros to Square One Insurance.

  • As mentioned, you can pare down your insurance cost by selecting the bare minimum insurance coverage and increasing the deductible
  • You can personalize your coverage
  • You can include your rental portion of your property, like basement suite or laneway house
  • Most home insurance premiums are yearly, but you can pay your insurance premium on a monthly basis without any extra fees or interest
  • It is completely online and digital, so you don’t have to set foot in an insurance broker’s office. You don’t need to talk to anyone or make small talk. If you need extra help, someone from Square One is available by phone or by online chat.
  • When you make a claim, you will be assigned one insurance adjuster throughout the claims process
  • The home insurance policy is pretty easy to read and doesn’t use insurance jargon to confuse you
  • Super cheap Square One renter’s apartment insurance or Square One tenant insurance (many are less than $20 a month) with excellent coverage
  • There is a 24/7 emergency claims service and emergency claims get responded to within 2 hours (guaranteed)
  • You can track your claim online (I am the worst at this, I call about issues and then I forget about it, so having a dashboard to track the progress is useful)
  • Policy documents are sent immediately by email/ PDF
  • Square One Insurance pays out 90% of the claims submitted in Canada (the most common claims are due to crime and water damage)
  • If you want to cancel your policy you don’t have to go through your insurance broker for that

In addition, there’s a Square One Insurance referral program where you can get $25 for referring a friend to Square One.

Square One Insurance Cons

There are also some negative aspects of Square One Insurance.

  • Some people prefer renewing their insurance through an insurance broker that they know, year after year, so this might not be a good option for them (so you will lose that relationship once you switch)
  • Not for those who are not computer savvy or who are not comfortable buying insurance online
  • There are super detailed questions, like whether you have a dog in your home and whether you are participating in any short term rentals that you would not normally get asked when buying run of the mill home insurance
  • The first $50 of your premium is non-refundable
  • This is not unique to Square One, but for optional insurance like bike or jewelry, you will need to have proof of value of your items (e.g. a receipt) otherwise, the claims payout of your lost or damaged items will be limited to $3,000-$6,000
  • This is also true of most home insurance providers, but there is an exclusion of water damage resulting from leaving your home for more than 7 days in the winter (though not if you had to leave for medical treatment for yourself). In order to be covered you have to leave the heating on or drain your pipes. However, I’m not sure if this is different from other insurance providers.

Square One Insurance Cancellation

What if you want to cancel Square One Home Insurance?

If you’re not happy with your insurance at Square One Insurance, you can cancel your policy by calling the customer service phone number is 1-855-783-5765 to cancel.

You can also cancel by emailing customer.support@squareoneinsurance.ca and you can cancel by submitting a cancellation request when you are logged into your Square One Insurance account.

However as mentioned, there is a $50 minimum retained premium (MRP) for the first policy term (so you are out of $50 -or whatever the difference is- if you cancel before $50 in premiums are paid).

I cancelled my condo insurance with CNS and wanted to get some of my money back (it wasn’t a full year) but had to go through the insurance broker. If we needed to cancel with Square One this option seems much more direct and seamless.

Genymoney.ca Square One Reviews

Is Square One Insurance good?

So far, my Square One Insurance review is positive. However, we haven’t had to make a claim yet on the new home, and so far the experience has been hassle free and easy. We are doing the monthly payment option (because why not, it’s interest free!).

They will email a month prior with the new policy and pricing on an annual basis to confirm your renewal.

One thing on our (never ending) to-do list that we need to do is the complete a home inventory checklist to make sure we know the rough replacement costs should we ever need to do a replacement of these.

I would definitely recommend reading the fine print and the policy quote carefully. Especially since most home insurance claims in Canada are related to water damage and crime, reading the deductibles and exclusions for these would be very beneficial and would safe you headache (and heartache) down the line.

The last thing you want to deal with after something nasty happens to you (e.g. for example your road bike got stolen from your garage) and you realize you didn’t even buy coverage for your bicycle in the first place. You don’t want to be under insured for something that is important to you.

Here are some more Square One reviews on reddit.

Are there any Square One Insurance complaints? According to Square One Insurance BBB (Better Business Bureau) page the rating is 1.44/5 from an average of 9 customer reviews.

You can get a quote from Square One Insurance now and see how your premium can fluctuate depending on what you choose.

Here’s how we save money on home insurance in Vancouver and why Vancouver BC home insurance premiums are more expensive than the rest of Canada.

What is your Square One Insurance review?

Do you usually shop around for your home insurance (house insurance, condo insurance, tenant insurance)?

Get the Young Money Bootcamp PDF FREE

Free Dividend Yield Spreadsheet Tracker Download and Blog Updates

5 thoughts on “Square One Insurance Review (2023): Save Money on Home Insurance”

  1. Sorry to say, but I will never use Square One again…I found them through Kanetix and used them for a few years. We then started a major reno and told them about the reno at the outset. Our schedule was pushed out (for various reasons) and at the one year mark; I was told that the project was taking too long and they would no longer insure. Try finding insurance in the middle of a reno! A few brokers I talked to couldn’t find anyone who would insure it given that it was mid-project. Many complete home renos in Toronto take much longer than a year – so this wasn’t something out of the ordinary.

    I couldn’t understand it – we were literally replacing everything in the house – plumbing, roofing, siding, electrical and bringing it up to the latest standards with all required inspections, yet wouldn’t insure it. In the end, I had to get the CEO involved who allowed me the 3 month extension to complete the project.

    I couldn’t imagine having my house burn down and having to work with this insurer. I stick to the big boys now.

    • @JamesB- Thanks so much for sharing your experience! That must have been stressful to get insurance during a major renovation. That’s good that they allowed you the extension and that you were able to reach the CEO.

      Also, interesting about the photographs– If we ever get the Peter Lik artwork/ photos that I always dream about that’s good to know that you can insure them, haha!

  2. Oh, and one other thing – I tried to insure a couple of fairly pricey photographs that we got in New York. Square One couldn’t understand the concept of an exchange rate – they asked me to give them the value in CAD, and if that value were to change, then I would be responsible for calling in the change in value for them to be insured. For some reason, they didn’t like my suggestion of a bot emailing them with an updated value daily based on the closing exchange rate. 😀

  3. I have never heard of square one before. Our home insurance is coming up this fall may get a quote just for curiosity sake. We currently have a great rate due to an employee discount because of hubby’s employer. Would be interesting to see how square one compares.

    • @Maria- Yah, it’s interesting. My experience from comparing in my own situation was that it is more expensive for standard insurance but cheaper when you are wanting to cut out stuff that is normally insured (but may not be necessary in your own situation).


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.