Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
On January 5, 2011, a team of insurance professionals launched their own insurance brokerage. Disposing of the old-fashioned methods of home insurance, Square One would service customers over the phone and online to keep overhead costs low. They eliminated unnecessary complexities of a home insurance policy and made it convenient, fast, and inexpensive.
They sell home, condo, and renter’s insurance, as well as some specialty property coverage for clients in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. They are expanding in the US with service in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.
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It's about personalization. Instead of paying for insurance you don't understand or add-ons you don't need, you only pay for what you want. Not that their base policy isn't comprehensive, in fact their standard comprehensive home insurance policy covers more than most traditional insurers. For instance, most home insurance policies only offer flood insurance for a burst pipe. Square One's policy includes overland flooding and sewer backup coverage automatically.
They have a digital platform for facilitating home insurance quotes and processing claim submissions. You can reach one of their insurance advisors 24/7 or connect instantly via their webchat. There's also a guaranteed 2-hour response time for emergency claims, and you can even track your claims process online. Finally, they don't lock you into a year-long fixed-term contract, you can change your policy as needed, or cancel anytime if you're unhappy.
A standard comprehensive homeowner insurance policy insures your property. It includes your house, detached structures (e.g. shed, fence), contents insurance for your personal belongings (e.g. laptops, bicycles), and additional living expenses. Additional living expenses pay for you to live elsewhere if your house needs to be repaired after an insured risk becomes a reality.
There's also liability insurance for when someone injures themselves on your property or in case you damage someone else’s property, like if your child throws a baseball through a neighbour's window.
Square One also includes, at no extra cost, protection against break-ins, fires and windstorms. They’ll also give you identity theft protection that helps to cover the unfortunate resulting financial losses.
Square One also provides optional home insurance coverages such as legal protection, which gives you access to legal advice via telephone. Furthermore, you could add rental income coverage, which replaces any lost rental revenue due to an insured loss.
A standard tenant insurance policy includes liability protection in case someone injures themselves in your rented apartment or if you damage someone else’s property. It also covers your personal property (i.e. contents insurance), for “moveable” property you own like appliances, household goods, electronics, furniture, and clothing.
Contents insurance doesn’t typically protect specialty property like bicycles, sporting equipment, jewellery, fine art, or your landlord’s property. Instead Square One insurance does it differently by allowing you to decide what specialty property you would like to insure and for how much. You also choose how much protection you want for everyday items like appliances and furniture with a cheaper-than-normal $250 deductible (the amount you pay before the insurer pays the rest).
Square One's tenant insurance gives you additional living expenses, which pays for you to live elsewhere if your home has experienced a significant insured loss. They also provide you with ID theft protection and the potential financial losses that could arise from it. Lastly, you even have access to unlimited legal advice via telephone relating to your tenant insurance policy.
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- Rental property
- Vacation property
- Specialty property (e.g. jewellery, rare art, bicycles)
- Business property
- Identity theft
- Rental income
- Broad water damage insurance
- Earthquake insurance
- Fire insurance
- Water backups
- Wind & hail storms
- Glass damage
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Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance
With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio
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