Do I Need Boiler Insurance?
If you've ever been faced with hefty bills for boiler repairs or emergency call outs, you may be interested in taking steps to avoid it ever happening again..
It is estimated that here in the UK, we will spend around £70 million this year on emergency call out fees and repairs for boilers and central heating systems.
The typical cost of boiler repairs comes in at around £185, which can be rather expensive for the average household to have to fork out. Also, new style condensing boilers, whilst being very efficient, are adding to this burden by being more complex and costly to repair.
However, by purchasing an insurance policy to cover for repairs and emergencies such as British Gas HomeCare, this amount can be reduced to as little as £9 per month with the added bonus of peace of mind should anything go wrong.
The first step in obtaining boiler insurance is deciding who to purchase it from. Just because you get your power from a particular supplier doesn’t mean you have to take out insurance with the same company. It’s a good idea to shop around to get the best deal on offer.
Before buying boiler insurance always check what will happen should you have an emergency.
- Does their helpline provide cover on a 24-hour basis, 365 days of the year?
- How long will it take before a professional will arrive to deal with the problem?
- How do they define emergency? Does this include lack of hot water? Do they only consider boiler problems an emergency in winter?
Price is not the only consideration to be taken into account. Each insurer will offer different levels of cover so you need to know what each policy will include.
Some plans will offer boiler only insurance, while others will include the full central heating cover, including radiators, pipes and hot water. Some may even include the cost of a yearly boiler service. It may be a good idea to include this in your policy, as it is a cost you will incur anyway, normally setting you back around £70.
Top of the range policies offer to insure all your plumbing, drains, security and electrical wiring, however this option is costly, usually upwards of £30 per month and when all is considered may not be worthwhile financially.
All insurers will vary in the amount of claims and call outs included in each package. You may only be covered for up to two emergency call outs per year while others will give unlimited access. Many insurers will only pay out for the first £1000 – £1500 of costs incurred.
Before deciding on an insurance plan, you will need to assess the likelihood of repairs needing to be carried out and the expenditure it may involve. If you are living in a new home with a recently installed boiler and central heating system you are less likely to need an expensive plan, whereas those living in older homes, or with older systems, may need to weigh up the possibility of major repairs being necessary in the not too distant future.
You will also need to check that your boiler model is included in any insurance policy you take out. Most popular models are but there are some exceptions.
Another point to be taken into consideration is the age of your boiler. Some companies will not offer insurance if your boiler is more than fifteen years old, others will want an inspection carried out if it was installed more than seven years ago. In some cases, boilers over a certain age will not be replaced if they break down completely.
Most insurance policies will not cover you for the first thirty days when the cover is taken out, so if you are changing provider always bear this in mind. Always remember to compare boiler insurance policies before continuing with your current policy or considering new cover.
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