Beckie Hatton, Product Manager at Home Appliance Care, shares her tips for saving money on your boiler cover and protecting yourself from unexpected bills.
An unexpected boiler breakdown can result in very costly repairs, and no one wants to be stuck without hot water and heating. In this article, I’ll outline how boiler cover works, how it differs from other forms of insurance, and what you need to do to keep costs down, so you can avoid being surprised by eyewatering repair bills.
What is boiler cover?
Boiler cover is a type of policy which covers you in the event of a boiler breakdown or fault. Most standard policies cover the parts, labour and maintenance needed to fix a problem with your boiler, and some comprehensive policies will even cover the cost of a brand-new boiler if they are unable to repair your old model. Some policies will also cover you for repairs to the rest of your heating system, like the radiators, pipes, and plumbing.
However, different types of cover can have their own individual limitations, so it’s important to check the wording of the contract carefully to make sure you know exactly what’s included. Most policies will only provide active cover if you get your boiler serviced annually, so it’s very important to schedule in appointments from a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Is boiler cover included in standard home insurance policies?
As boiler breakdowns can be both common and costly (particularly if they aren’t serviced regularly), standard home insurance cover policies do not typically include boiler cover. That means that your insurer won’t pay out if the boiler breaks down, either to fix it or provide a replacement. Many people choose to take out boiler cover in addition to their home insurance to help cover them from all eventualities.
Is boiler cover included in home emergency cover?
Home emergency cover is a form of insurance which will cover you should you have a serious problem in your home that needs fixing urgently, like a burst pipe, damaged roof, broken boiler, or even a pest infestation. There’s usually a helpline so emergencies can be reported and dealt with at any time of day.
Many home emergency policies do protect you in the event of a broken boiler. But, as boiler breakdowns are quite common, most home emergency cover policies will also have a limit on how much you can spend on repairs.
Depending on how much cover home emergency insurance offers, taking out a separate boiler cover policy could provide better protection against serious faults or breakdowns. However, you should be sure to check the wording of your policy carefully, as you certainly don’t want to pay for the same service and cover twice.
Tips for keeping costs down and preventing expensive repairs
There are several things you can do to help prolong the life of your appliance and keep costs to a minimum. Here, I’ve shared a few tips to help you save money on boiler cover and care:
Service the boiler annually
A full annual service will keep your boiler running smoothly and help to prolong the lifespan of your appliance, and stop minor faults from escalating into major ones.As I’ve already discussed, preventative care and maintenance is the best way to avoid a breakdown — and an unexpected bill. Many policies won’t pay out if they decide your breakdown was caused by a lack of the proper maintenance, so it’s important that your boiler is maintained properly. Particular attention should be given to the removal of limescale, which is a common cause of faults.
Whatever you do, make sure that your chosen engineer is Gas-Safe Registered. This will ensure that they’re qualified to carry out the work safely.
If possible, try to pay for your insurance in one annual payment. While these may cost more upfront, annual payments are often more cost-effective than using a monthly payment plan, which may charge interest.
Choose a comprehensive policy
You may wish to go for a policy which will cover the cost of a replacement boiler if yours is found to be beyond repair.
A broken boiler can be inconvenient at the best times, especially when you’re landed with a hefty repair bill. But, provided you do your research, pick the right policies to suit your needs, and are careful to stay on top of maintenance and servicing, you should be able to keep costs down and avoid any nasty surprises.