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What is Boiler Breakdown Cover?

We all want to avoid paying too much for a boiler breakdown, especially in the middle of winter when we rely on our boiler the most. This is where boiler breakdown cover (also known as gas boiler breakdown cover) comes into play, taking the pain away from those potentially hefty repair bills.

What does boiler breakdown cover include?

Boiler breakdown cover  typically includes the cost of repairs and call outs if your boiler breaks down during the duration of your cover agreement. Other features will vary from provider to provider, such as the excess costs for call outs, or whether their helpline is available 24/7 or not.

Some breakdown policies may only include a limited number of claims in a year, which could be a problem if you run into the same recurring fault. It’s also important to check the terms and conditions of the cover, as in some cases your claim may not be valid if the boiler break down has been caused by other areas of your entral heating system, or a pre-existing condition such as limescale build-up, for example.

Boiler breakdown cover vs central heating cover

If you’re not sure whether you should get boiler breakdown cover or central heating cover, it’s important to know the difference between the two. Boiler breakdown cover will only protect your boiler should it break down or need repairs. Central heating cover protects your entire central heating system, including your boiler, controls, pipework, cylinder, and more. When comparing policies, you may see central heating cover also referred to as ‘boiler and heating cover’ or ‘central heating breakdown cover’.

Do I need boiler breakdown cover?

Boiler breakdown cover is suitable for both homeowners and landlords. If you’re renting, it’s up to your landlord to have boiler breakdown cover in place to protect against those unexpected boiler breakdowns. If you are a homeowner or landlord, you may already have boiler breakdown cover in place as part of your buildings and contents insurance, so it’s always a good idea to check with your home insurance policy provider first.

If you have a boiler manufacturer warranty and you’re unsure whether boiler breakdown cover is worthwhile, consider what’s actually covered under warranty. In most cases, your boiler is only covered under warranty for a maximum of 10 years. You may risk voiding your warranty if you do not have your boiler serviced annually, or if any physical damage has been caused to the boiler. It’s worth checking what type of damage is covered under the manufacturer warranty.

With all of the above in mind, it makes sense to have breakdown cover in place. Otherwise, you could be faced with high call out and repair fees. In 2017, uSwitch found that UK homes had to pay out just over £725 million for unexpected boiler repairs.

Important Information

Some providers offer insured plans to look after your Boiler and Heating and other home services like plumbing, drains and electrics, whereas other providers offer non-insured plans. An insured plan will be underwritten by an insurer and also regulated by the [Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)](https://www.fca.org.uk/). Non-insured plans are not backed by an insurer and are not regulated by the FCA. Often non-insured or maintenance plans include an annual service of the equipment covered, whereas these may or may not be included in insured plans.

What is an annual service visit?

Most boiler breakdown cover packages will include an annual service for free. This is carried out by a Gas Safe engineer to keep your boiler running smoothly and reduce the amount of wear over time. If your policy doesn’t include one, it’s worth paying that little bit extra to get annual servicing rather than paying the one off cost. You can find out more in our Guide to Boiler Servicing.

What is excess? And do I have to pay for it?

An excess is a cost you’ll have to pay as part of your claim if your boiler were to run into a fault and you needed an engineer call out. The excess will usually be around (or up to) £50. However, some boiler breakdown cover providers will offer no excess cost as it’s been worked into the monthly price.

Can I switch to a different boiler breakdown cover provider?

If you’re looking for better value from your boiler breakdown cover, the good news is you won’t need to stick with the same provider year after year. Before you switch, it’s important to check the terms and conditions of your existing cover to ensure that you’re not stung with a sizeable cancellation fee. You can wait until your policy expires, which is usually 12 months from the date you took out your plan. Otherwise, you can pay the cancellation fee if you’re unhappy with your existing policy, and move on.

Get comprehensive boiler breakdown cover with Hometree

All of our boiler cover plans include an annual boiler service and the cost of repairs, including parts and labour costs, should your boiler encounter a fault. We’ve got you covered – with a 24/7 helpline and expert engineers here to help all year round, whenever you need us. Protect your boiler today.

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