Square One: Home insurance industry leaves one-fifth of policy holders without proper protection

(Vancouver, BC) – July 12, 2012 – In the past 10 months, Square One Insurance has talked to 2,800 residents in Alberta and BC. It found that an astonishing 21% did not have the right home insurance protection, nor did they know better protection was available for a marginal amount more.

“It’s shocking just how many Canadians don’t have the right home insurance protection,” states Daniel Mirkovic, President & CEO of Square One. “Ironically, those who have been loyal to the same home insurance provider for more than 5 years are most at risk of being improperly protected.”

This problem arises from the fact that many providers in the home insurance industry continue to offer named-perils and broad-form policies, both of which are outdated. To make sure you’re not blindsided when you have a claim, you should have a comprehensive (or all-risk) policy. A brief description of each type of policy follows.

Named-perils policies only protect against loss types listed in the contract wordings. Typically, this includes fire or lightning, explosion, smoke, falling objects, impact by aircraft or land vehicle, riot, vandalism or malicious acts, some types of water damage, windstorm or hail, and theft or attempted theft. Unless you suffer loss or damage from a specified loss type, you’re not protected.

Broad-form policies provide comprehensive protection on buildings and named-perils protection on personal property. That means, for example, if you spill paint on your flooring and furniture during a home improvement project, only the resulting damage to your flooring would be covered under a broad-form policy. The damage to your furniture would be uninsured.

Comprehensive (or all-risk) policies protect against all loss types except those specifically excluded in the contract wordings. Loss or damage due to wear and tear, snowslide or landslide, acts of terrorism, and war are some examples of the loss types typically excluded in comprehensive policies. Even with these exclusions, comprehensive policies provide the best available protection.

When Laura Florio reviewed the policy for her Vancouver house, she was surprised to learn she had broad-form protection. “I went to my insurance agent and asked why I had a broad-form policy,” says Florio. “The agent told me that it provides the broadest coverage. I knew that wasn’t the case so I asked for a quote on a comprehensive policy. When she refused, I switched to another provider.”

The cost to upgrade from a broad-form policy to a comprehensive policy can be as little as $15 a year for condo owner or renter, and $35 a year for house owner. According to Mirkovic, the only time named-perils or broad-form policy may be appropriate, is if you have a higher risk home that doesn’t qualify for a comprehensive policy.

To make sure you have the right protection, Square One encourages BC residents to speak to their insurance agent or complete a free online assessment of their current policy at http://www.squareoneinsurance.ca/policy-assessment.

About Square One Insurance

Established in 2011 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Square One Insurance provides Canadians living in urban centres with modern, relevant home insurance. Square One is one of the few insurance providers in Canada specializing in home insurance and offering truly customized policies that can be purchased over the phone and online. For more information about Square One, visit www.squareoneinsurance.ca.