Recent figures from uSwitch show that the average cost of repairing a boiler comes to £314 and in last year’s freezing winter more than 20% of homes experienced problems with heating systems.
Will your existing Home Insurance be enough?
Will your existing insurance be enough? The simple answer is probably not. Because boiler breakdown is so common, often due to poor attention being paid to maintenance, and expensive to fix, most insurers exclude it from standard home insurance policies.
Usually, you have to buy what’s called ‘emergency home cover’ as an extra, or ‘add on’, to your policy. Fortunately, it often doesn’t cost much, perhaps only an additional £4 or £5 a month.
It can also be bought as a ‘stand-alone’, whether from your current home insurance provider, or another, but it’s usually more expensive to take out this way.
What sort of protection does Home Emergency cover provide for boilers?
Home emergency cover usually provides protection from the cost of repairing a boiler and sometimes the rest of the central heating system too.
Insurers offer a rapid response service, recognising how crucial a boiler can be, but cap the maximum pay out for call out charges at a certain sum, usually anywhere between £500 and £1,000.
Call out charges aside, home emergency insurance will also put a limit on the amount paid out for the subsequent necessary heating repairs, the limit including both parts labour.
Pay attention to the small print: What to watch out for
- Remember that home insurance cover isn’t like more specialist boiler cover, which may include a free annual service and no maximum claim limit, or even a contribution towards a new boiler. But this is why it’s generally cheaper than individual boiler and central heating cover.
- Check your boiler isn’t too old. Most insurers which offer emergency cover will stipulate that a home’s boiler can’t be more than between 10 and 15 years old.
- Home emergency insurance, unlike many specialist boiler cover policies, generally includes other heating and water system problems such as burst pipes and blocked drains, as well as home electrical failures.
- Check that your boiler cover is all-year round. Some policies only cover you for the winter months, and not May to August, as a boiler breaking down in these months wouldn’t constitute an ‘emergency’.
- Pay attention to the maximum repair costs allowed. Some cheaper policies have fairly low maximums, as low as £150 for example. You might not envisage anything going wrong with your heating system and are fine with such a low sum, but it could prove a costly oversight.
- Regular boiler servicing may be a condition of the policy and most often it’s required annually. If you don’t get your boiler serviced regularly, you’ll probably find your cover is void.
Policy Expert’s Home Emergency cover
Here at Policy Expert we’ve got one of the best home emergency cover deals on the market, offering comprehensive boiler breakdown insurance that includes heating and hot water failures. Call us now on 0845 4 100 800 to discuss it in more detail with one of our expert, friendly advisors.
Our dedicated customer service team is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information on what‘s covered under your Home Insurance policy, speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
James is a journalist and digital editor with over 13 years’ experience writing and editing for media and finance businesses. He specialises in personal finance and economics, but also covers property, travel and news.