What is home emergency insurance
It goes without saying that having a good home insurance policy in place is key when it comes to owning a property. In addition, a lot of landlords or homeowners may also have additional measures in place such as security systems and fire alarms to reduce the risk of theft or fire, but what about those unexpected events that you can’t really prevent?
Many of us will have fallen victim to a burst pipe or a boiler breaking down, but a select few of us will have also been hit with the hefty costs that come with them too. While we may not be able to prevent these pesky situations from occurring, we can take measures to ensure that we’re not hit with a huge bill at the end of it. That’s where home emergency insurance comes in.
At Hometree, we offer comprehensive care packages that will keep you covered in the event of these emergencies to give you extra peace of mind for those unexpected breakdowns, blockages and power cuts. Still unsure? Read on to find out why you and your home can benefit from home emergency insurance!
Home emergency insurance explained
So what’s the difference between home emergency insurance and standard home insurance? Well, your home insurance is there to cover the cost of damage to your home and belongings in events such as flooding, fire, or theft. Emergency home insurance however, is there to cover you for those unexpected things that need immediate attention, such as your heating breaking down, burst pipes, or electrical failures.
What does home emergency insurance cover?
There are a number of scenarios that home emergency insurance gives you cover against, and most policies will cover you for the following:
- Boiler breakdown and repairs
- Central heating faults and failures
- Loss of hot water
- Plumbing issues
- Blocked drains and waste pipes
- Electrical faults and failures
How much is protected with home emergency insurance?
So what specific problems will home emergency insurance protect you against? This often will be different depending on the policy you take out and the provider it’s with. However, in the case of our Home Care Package, this includes:
- Boiler - Home emergency insurance will generally cover you for any repairs to your boiler, flue, and controls. We also throw in an annual service too, plus a discount on a new boiler if we’re unable to repair it.
- Heating - Should your central heating break down, you’ll be covered for repairs, including water tanks, radiators, pipes and cylinders.
- Plumbing - Repairs to water supply pipes and issues with your property’s plumbing system.
- Drains & Waste Pipes - A rather unpleasant task to deal with, but with home emergency insurance, unblocking and repairs to your drains and waste pipes are covered.
- Electrical - This covers you for any issues with your mains electrical wiring system, such as repairs to circuits, fuse boxes, sockets, and light fittings.
Unlike standard contents insurance, with home emergency insurance there is often no excess or up to £100 to pay and you’re covered for all costs of the repair, including parts and labour. There is usually no limit for the amount of call outs you have either, as long as the claim fits the criteria for an emergency.
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 classes as an emergency?
It’s important to read the small print on your policy to ensure that what you’re claiming for is actually classed as an emergency. Home emergency policies will also generally only cover you for the total loss of a service (e.g. hot water or heating) rather than minor problems such as low water pressure. Most policies will class something as an emergency if it results in one or more of the below:
- Your home becomes uninhabitable as a result
- The problem will lead to permanent damage in your property
- Your health and wellbeing is at risk as a result
- The problem makes your home unsafe
Do you already have home emergency insurance?
Depending on your home insurance policy, you may already have home emergency insurance in place. If this is the case, it's worth taking a look at your policy documents to check what’s actually covered. You may find that a stand-alone policy will cover more eventualities or more specific extras, along with higher limits.
If you’re shopping for cover, you will also find that a lot of providers offer it as an optional add on. However, stand-alone policies may offer you better protection so it’s worth looking at both so that you can compare prices and benefits. It’s important to remember that just because one option is cheaper, it doesn’t necessarily mean it gives you the best level of cover for your home.
Double check what’s covered and not covered
Before you take out home emergency insurance, it’s important to check over the details to know exactly what eventualities you’re covered for. Common things that are excluded from these plans include:
- Issues caused by general wear and tear
- Accidental damage and faults as a result of someone else you used for repairs
- Problems with household appliances such as washing machines or fridges
- Removal of sludge or scale and repairs needed as a result
- Bathroom items such as showers, taps and ceramic items such as baths and sinks
- Outdoor heating and electricals
- Faults or problems with garden items
It’s also worth looking at any limits on your policy too, such as repair costs per year, the maximum number of call-outs you can have, and the total value of claims per year.
Why take out a care plan with Hometree?
Over the years, a number of customers have reported price hikes and long waits for engineers with their existing cover. We don’t think that’s right, which is why at Hometree we put our customers first. We have a nationwide team of local engineers, with more engineers per customer than any of our competitors, as well as a TrustPilot rating of ‘Excellent.’ Protecting your home with our Home Care plans also ensures that your repairs are carried out by a qualified and fully vetted professional too, giving you extra peace of mind. 96% of your calls are answered within a minute, and our engineers attend 90% of repairs within 24 hours - even on weekends! Plus, if you don’t make a call-out in a year, your renewal price won’t go up thanks to our no price hike promise.
In a nutshell, home emergency insurance is there to provide you peace of mind when things go wrong. Why not call our friendly team at Hometree today or take a look at our website for a quote on one of our maintenace plans.
Written by Amy Jackson - Content Writer at My Favourite Voucher Codes - 17th December 2019