Square One finds 41% of renters with roommates don’t have home insurance

March 20, 2017

(Vancouver, BC): Square One Insurance Services recently surveyed over 1,500 renters in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The survey revealed that 30% of renters share their homes with unrelated roommates. Alberta had the highest percentage at 34%, followed by Ontario at 31% and British Columbia at 26%.

“We conducted this survey because we’ve been receiving more inquires for home insurance by those living with roommates,” states Daniel Mirkovic, Square One’s President. “We wanted to understand what was driving this trend.”

While there are many reasons why renters choose to have roommates, the top reasons for those surveyed were:

According to Statistics Canada, residential property values across the country increased by 11% in 2016. While increased property values build equity for homeowners, they make it even harder for first-time buyers to enter the real estate market. This, in turn, causes more pressure on the already tight rental market. In fact, the average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment continues to rise every year across Canada.

“With the high cost of rent, it makes sense that most renters have roommates for financial reasons,” states Daniel Mirkovic, Square One’s President. “However, it is surprising how many renters (and their roommates) go without home insurance given the increased risks faced when living with unrelated persons.”

Square One’s survey found that renters are 8 times more likely to go without home insurance than homeowners. As illustrated in the table below, renters in British Columbia are the least likely to have home insurance whereas those in Alberta are the most likely.

Homeowners and renters without insurance by province

Based on Square One’s experience, renters have three common misconceptions about home insurance:

For those living with unrelated roommates, you can expect to pay a little more for the added exposure. Most companies charge an extra 10%, which isn’t very much on a $15 a month policy. You can also expect to be assessed a $2,500 deductible for crime-related losses. That means you’ll have to pay the first $2,500 if your belongings are stolen or mysteriously disappear.

When applying for home insurance, you should be prepared to describe how many roommates you have. If you have just one roommate, then you can often be insured under a single policy. If you have multiple roommates, then each of you will need to purchase separate policies. It’s also important to describe your relationship with each roommate. While you may consider a sibling or partner to be your roommate, the insurance provider may classify them as a family member. Most policies automatically cover family members at no extra cost.

Getting the right home insurance, while essential, is just one side of the coin. With a greater pool of roommates to choose from, it’s now more important than ever that you do your due diligence when finding and selecting a roommate. A bad roommate can cause countless headaches and financial stress.

Square One has created an online resource centre for tenants. It offers tips to Canadians on how to find the perfect roommate, structure a lease, and prepare a roommate agreement. To view this resource centre, please visit www.squareone.ca/resource-centres/renter.

One of the articles in this resource centre outlines how to avoid selecting the wrong roommate. As a short summary, here are the top tips to finding the right roommate:

If you’re a renter living with a roommate, it’s important to stay informed and to have the right insurance coverage in place. To learn more, speak with your insurance provider or call Square One at 1.855.331.6933.


Established in 2011 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Square One offers the only home insurance policy in Canada that can be personalized to your unique needs. That means you only pay for the protection you need. Square One is also one of the few providers to automatically include earthquake, sewer backup and broad water protection in its policies. Square One currently serves British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. For more information about Square One, or to get an online quote, visit www.squareone.ca.

For more information on this release, please contact:

Aneel Mattu
Square One Insurance Services Inc.
Tel: 1.855.331.6933 ext 127
Cel: 1.778.919.2096