How to find the best home cover
When you hear or read the words ‘home cover’, you will probably be thinking about home insurance in the traditional sense that protects your buildings and contents. However, home cover or home emergency cover protects against damage to specific areas of your home like drains, electrics and plumbing.
Home cover or home emergency cover protects your boiler, central heating, drains, electrics and plumbing against blockages, malfunctions and leaks. Like all household cover, it takes the worry out of faults developing in the major areas within your home.
Some traditional home insurance policies offer home emergency insurance as an additional insurance benefit. Whilst this may appear to be the easiest option (using one company and one policy), you should always check that the cost of the additional benefit is competitive. You can do this by comparing their home emergency insurance with bespoke home emergency cover packages on the market.
Another consideration is what happens if you make a claim? Does it affect the no-claims benefit on your entire home insurance policy? Claims on the individual home cover policy will only affect the cost of that policy.
Your home cover may be comprehensive but does it protect specific parts of your home? Just make sure you check for any exclusions before you sign up!
Home emergency cover – the costs
- Most home emergency cover packages; paid monthly or annually. It is probably cheaper to pay for your policy annually but better for the home budget to pay monthly.
- Home cover may have an additional call-out charge per visit, or an excess paid every time cover is used.
- Avoid the call-out charge or excess by opting for a £0 call out charge/excess. This will increase the cost of the overall policy. What you need to decide is how likely it is for you to use the policy more than once per year. Like all insurance cover, it is an assessment of risk. If you use home cover twice in a year for a call-out, you may be better off taking out the £0 call-out fee option. This way, you have peace of mind that there will be no additional costs.
- Some home cover packages offer discounts on boilers if the gas engineer is unable to make a suitable repair.
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.
Home emergency cover - what's included
- Check for exclusions such as the age of the boiler or outdoor electrics.
- The drain insurance cover component in home emergency cover does not usually include the replacement of damaged or broken outside drain covers. Damage to outside drain covers is part of your buildings insurance cover, which focuses on the risk of damage.
Home emergency cover includes more than just your boiler and central heating. You can expect home emergency cover to include the following:
- Central heating system, including boiler, controls, cylinders, flues, pipework and radiators
- Annual boiler service
- Gas supply pipe (from gas appliances to the gas meter)
- Plumbing including the water supply pipes
- Drains and waste pipes – unblocking
- Mains electrics – circuit, fuse boards, light fittings, sockets
- Hometree’s home care packages include a 15% discount on a new boiler if we can't fix it
The best home emergency cover should be competitive on price and offer you the option to pay monthly or annually. If a call-out fee is normally charged, there should be an option that excludes the call-out charge if you arrange a call-out, although this is often more expensive.
Home cover packages should include everything provided in boiler cover and central heating cover, with the addition of drains and waste pipes protection. Drains and waste pipe cover is usually for the repair and replacement of broken drains or pipework. Broken outside drain covers (as mentioned above) are normally not covered by home emergency cover. Most home emergency cover policies will also include protection for home electrics, which includes any blown fluses or repairs to circuits in your home.
Home emergency protection with Hometree
Hometree offers a competitively priced and comprehensive home emergency care package for both homeowners and landlords. You will benefit from access to a 24/7 helpline and 24 hour call-outs.