Rena Novotny

Rena has an extensive background in insurance, with over 30 years of insurance industry experience, specifically in claims.

Now, Rena works for Square One as a Claims Manager. She is focussed on developing frameworks and models that improve the claims experience for both the consumer and claims professional alike.

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Rena Novotny

Professional experience

Rena joined Square One in 2016 as the claims manager, capping off a career in claims that started in 1981, when she became a telephone adjuster at Commerical Union Assurance. With the exception of a brief seven month stint as a risk analyst for the City of Surrey, Rena’s entire insurance career has been in claims. In 1990, she became an independent adjuster at Hogan and Cox, a local adjusting firm that specialized in liability, eventually becoming a branch manager and partner. She moved to a national firm, ClaimsPro in 2004, where she founded and managed the Abbotsford branch, growing same from a one adjuster to five adjuster branch by the time she stepped down from branch management in 2012 to pursue her MA. In addition to running the day to day operations of the branch, Rena maintained a portfolio of extensive losses, and as a Special Risk adjuster, handled total losses in residential, commercial and strata lines, as well as complex liability and casualty, and industrial losses, in addition to being control adjuster on a number of programs. Rena has acted as arbitrator and or umpire on several insurance disputes and continues to do when there is no conflict of interest present. In 2015, she completed the small claims court mediation practicum and continues to mediate in community. She regularly runs claims-centric workshops on critical incident stress, conflict and traumatization and continues to volunteer in community as a circle facilitator, conflict coach and trainer, running workshops in restorative practice and conflict transformation, in addition to designing conflict management systems for non-profits.

Educational background

Rena embarked on an adult degree completion program in Leadership at Trinity Western University in 2010, after which she completed a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management at Royal Roads University in 2014. She holds a CIP from the Insurance Institute of BC, as well as a CRM, and is also a qualified arbitrator and mediator, having completed a certificate in conflict resolution and third party intervention at the Justice Institute of BC in 2010. She also has a certificate in critical incident stress management, from the Justice Institute of BC, and is a certified coach practitioner. Rena holds the nominee license for Square One Claims Inc., and is licensed in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.


Rena is respected in the claims industry for her fairness and forward thinking when it comes to understanding the critical incident stress implications of the claims experience on people who have suffered catastrophic loss. She continues to research in this area, sharing the learning with Square One Claims staff, so that our customer claims experience is a positive one. Rena has expertise in all lines of insurance, including:
  • Residential homeowner, tenants, condo;
  • Residential liability;
  • Commercial General Liability;
  • Commercial property;
  • Commercial 3D crime;
  • Industrial and special risk;
  • Municipal liability;
  • Host liquor liability; and,
  • Programs.
In terms of business disciplines, Rena’s expertise lies in the following areas:
  • Investigation and coverage analysis;
  • Risk analysis and loss prevention program design;
  • Leadership and human resources management; and,
  • Conflict management system design.

Media features

Rena has been featured on several different news and insurance sites, providing useful information and help to those who have claims and related questions.

Canadian Underwriter logo What does Vancouver’s new short-term rental bylaw mean for insurers? Canadian Underwriter | Apr 24, 2018
Lowest Rates logo Wildfires are threatening more homes in Canada than ever Lowest Rates | Aug 4, 2017
Business News Network logo Evacuated B.C. families can expect $11,300 in financial losses Business News Network | Jul 10, 2017
IBCA Logo Elevator injuries are going up – and there’s insurance for that Insurance Business Canada | May 17, 2017
IBCA Logo Elevator lawsuit offers vital lessons for insurance brokers Insurance Business Canada | Apr 21, 2017

Speaking engagements and seminars

Rena has also performed several speaking engagements and educational seminars within the insurance industry, specifically in claims and conflict management, to provide education to other industry professionals.

Canadian Underwriter logo IIBC – Symposium BC: Adapting to a changing market By Insurance Institute of BC | Apr 10, 2019
Insurance Institute Logo De-escalating emotionally heightened people workshop By the Insurance Institute | Nov 28, 2018
Insurance Institute Logo Dealing with high conflict people By the Insurance Institute of BC | Feb 11, 2016

More from Rena

Read the articles that Rena has been quoted in or has reviewed for accuracy of information following our editorial guidelines.

A ring

Is insurance available for jewellery?

Do you know if your home insurance policy covers your jewellery or watches? Home insurance customers often ask us why our online quoting system asks them to choose a limit of coverage for jewellery, because they think other insurance policies automatically include coverage for jewellery.

A phone, an iPad and a MacBook

Is insurance available for cell phones, laptops and smartwatches?

Home insurance and your cell phone – two things you probably wouldn’t want to live without. With top-of-the-line smartphones now approaching $2,000, more and more consumers are seeking protection for their devices. But with so many buzzwords thrown around, it can be hard to know what’s covered and by whom.

Underwriting checklist

Understanding changes to policy deductibles

Square One explains how and why home insurance policy deductibles are changing. Read this article to learn more about sewer backup, hail, and glass deductible changes.

Legal business

What are common policy exclusions?

Learn why all Canadian home insurance policies include some exclusions and how you can be as well protected as possible with Square One.

An engagement ring

Everything you need to know about engagement ring insurance

Learn everything you need to know about engagement ring insurance. From information about appraisals, how to make a claim, to coverage provided under home insurance policies, Square One discusses everything a newly engaged couple should consider.

Rebuilding a home

How do I replace my personal property?

How much personal property do you actually have in your home? When you see a traditional insurance agent to purchase condo owner or renter insurance, one of the first questions they’ll ask is “How much do you need to insure?”

A man packing a suitcase

Does home insurance provide worldwide protection?

Imagine that you’re going on vacation. What about all the stuff you’re taking with you – luggage, camera, golf clubs? If something happens to your personal property while you’re travelling, will your home insurance cover it?

A house under shadows

Everything you need to know about homeowners insurance

This guide helps homeowners not only understand all the aspects around home insurance, we also give you tips so you can save money on your insurance policy too. Learn about different coverage types, terms to know, what’s covered and more. Get all your questions answered in one guide.

A construction helmet

Guaranteed building replacement – The complete guide

Does your home insurance policy offer “guaranteed building replacement cost coverage”? Square One will teach you what protection this coverage actually provides, how to find the replacement cost of your home, and the best way to protect yourself against the unexpected.

Opposite colored pencils to draw a line in parallel

Tenant insurance versus landlord insurance

Learn the difference between tenant insurance and landlord insurance. As a tenant, you can’t rely on your landlord’s insurance. Find out why.

Frozen pipes

Frozen pipes and your home insurance

Learn how you can avoid trouble with frozen pipes and what type of insurance policy you need to be properly protected.

Water overflowing into a home

Is insurance available for water damage?

Learn what kind of insurance coverage you need to be properly protected, along with 10 tips on how to prevent water damage before it happens.

Landslide damage

Is insurance available for landslide damage?

Landslides can devastate an area. Learn how you can protect your home and family from landslide damages with certain insurance coverages and other government assisted programs. Also learn what an act of god is and how you can be protected.

Hail damage

Is insurance available for hail storm damage?

Hail storms can be unexpected and cause a lot of damage to your home. Learn how home insurance can protect you against damages to your roofs, skylights, and other areas of the home. And what you can do if you’re a victim of hail damage.

A mouse

Is insurance available for mice damage?

Mice and other rodents can cause a lot of unexpected damage to your home. Learn if home insurance provides protection against property damage cause by mice, raccoons, and other animals and insects.

A flying drone

Is insurance available for drones?

Learn about drones, their safety guidelines per Transport Canada, and how they relate to the insurance industry with this article from Square One.

Wine bottles

Insuring wine collections

Have a wine collection and want to know how you can protect your investment with insurance? Learn what kind of coverage is available, potential deductibles and other considerations to think about when insuring a wine collection.

Green checklist

Understanding your insurance “score”

Your insurance score is important for determining the appropriate premium that a provider will charge you for home insurance. There are several factors such as credit checks, employment history and others that is important to know as an insurance customer.