What is boiler cover?
If you’re wondering whether you need boiler cover, or if it’s even worth it, we’re here to help make up your mind. In its most basic form, boiler cover, also known as boiler breakdown cover or gas boiler breakdown cover (depending on your boiler type), is a type of protection you can take out in case something goes wrong with your boiler. Boiler cover can help cover the costs of engineer call outs and labour as well as any parts required as part of the repair.
Do I need boiler cover? Is boiler cover worth it?
Boiler cover is tailored to both homeowners and landlords. If you are renting, it’s then the responsibility of the landlord to take out boiler cover. In some cases, you may already have boiler cover as part of your home insurance policy, which may be included in your buildings and contents insurance.
It's also likely that your boiler is covered under a standard manufacturer warranty, or an extended warranty of up to 10 years if you had your boiler installed with a Vaillant Advanced Installer or Worcester Accredited Installer, for example. If you have a boiler that’s older than 15 years old and starting to show its age, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get it insured, or if you are, you’ll have to pay a higher price.
At this point, you’re probably wondering, what’s the point of having boiler cover if I have a manufacturer warranty? Your boiler’s manufacturer warranty is only there in case the boiler runs into a fault or breaks down within a certain number of years, but with more terms and conditions applied. For example, if your boiler breaks down due to issues found in other areas of your central heating system, this may not be covered under your warranty. With that in mind, you’d have to pay a possibly large sum of money to repair your boiler, not to mention paying extra for your annual service visit. Boiler cover, in turn, ensures that you are covered for all boiler faults and breakdowns, without the need to pay for an annual boiler service visit as that is included. You’ll also get access to a 24/7 helpline, unlimited call outs, and the added bonus of repairs to your controls should they develop a fault.
Boiler cover vs Central heating cover
If you’re deciding on the cover you’d like to get for your home, it’s important to know the difference between boiler cover and central heating cover. Boiler cover is solely there to protect your boiler and controls, whereas central heating cover applies for your entire central heating system (your boiler, controls, pipework, cylinder, and much more). Central heating system cover is typically referred to as boiler and heating cover as it covers more than just the boiler.
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). 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.
Hometree offers a range of non-insured maintenance "care" plans all of which include an annual service visit.
What boiler cover do I need?
Generally speaking, all boiler cover packages will offer the same thing. The main difference likely to be the excess cost for call outs, the accessibility to a helpline (whether it’s 24/7 or not), and the monthly cost of the cover package. The most important factor to consider when choosing any cover is making sure that it’s suitable for your needs. Some policies may only cover a certain number of repairs and breakdowns in a year. It’s important to compare boiler cover before you decide on which package to go for.
What is an annual service visit?
To keep your boiler in full working order, an annual boiler service will keep your boiler running smoothly and reduce the amount of wear over time. Your boiler should be serviced once a year by a Gas Safe engineer, which will include a visual check of the boiler and controls, as well as an inspection of the internal components of the boiler to ensure it’s firing correctly and not in poor condition. Most boiler cover packages will come with an annual service, free of charge.
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 was to run into a fault suddenly and you needed an engineer call out. Excess can cost around £50. However, some boiler cover packages advertise that there is no excess cost as it’s baked into the monthly price.
Can I switch to a different cover provider?
You don’t need to stick with the same provider year after year. You can make a saving on your cover plan by merely switching to a different provider. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of your existing cover package 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.