What is central heating cover?
What is central heating cover, you ask? Unlike boiler cover, central heating cover is a type of insurance that protects your boiler, controls, pipework, hot water cylinder, and anything else that is connected to your boiler. Central heating cover will cover engineer call outs and labour as well as parts needed to resolve any issues with your heating.
Do I need central heating cover? Is central heating cover worth it?
Central heating cover is built for both homeowners and landlords looking to protect their central heating system should it run into a fault. If you’re neither a homeowner or landlord and renting instead, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to take out cover to cover the costs of calling out an engineer. As part of your home insurance policy, you may already have central heating cover included in your buildings and contents insurance.
If you’re wondering whether you need cover for your boiler if you already have a boiler 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.
Central heating vs Boiler cover
It’s quite common for people to be confused between boiler and central heating cover. There are some key differences between boiler cover and central heating cover, the most notable being that boiler cover is solely for your boiler and controls and not for your entire central heating system. This is where central heating cover comes in. Central heating cover caters for your pipework, cylinder, boiler and controls.
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 central heating cover do I need?
If you have a standard gas boiler as part of your central heating system, you should look out for cover that covers all or some of the following criteria:
- Annual boiler service to keep everything in check
- A number or unlimited numbers of claims that can be made in a year
- Repairs to your boiler and central heating system (including parts and labour) should a fault breakdown
- Accessibility to a 24/7 helpline
It’s important to consider the number of call outs that are covered in your plan in a year. Some policies have a limited number of call outs that can be made for repairs and breakdowns so make sure to check the terms and conditions.
What is an annual service visit?
For the boiler part of your central heating cover, an annual service is essential to keep your boiler running correctly and identify any issues before they lead to a breakdown. An annual service is only required once a year by a Gas Safe engineer. The boiler service 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. If you’re looking to have your boiler serviced annually, most boiler and central heating cover packages come with an annual service for free.
What is excess? And do I have to pay for it?
An excess is an extra cost that you may have to pay on top of your monthly cover costs to pay for an engineer to visit your home and repair a fault. Some cover packages will include excess as part of their monthly costs. Excess can range in price from £30 to £50.
Can I switch to a different cover provider?
Switching is a lot more straightforward than you may think, and what’s best is that you don’t need to stick with the same provider every year. You could make a saving by switching, but it’s important to check the terms and conditions to see if you’ll be stung by a cancellation fee. To avoid a cancellation fee, you can wait until your contract expires, which is usually 12 months from the date you signed up for the plan. Otherwise, to opt out immediately, you can pay the cancellation fee and spread your wings.