Why should you get home cover
Your home is one of the most valuable possessions you’ll ever own, holding both financial and sentimental value. It’s the place that houses all of your belongings, the place where you make memories and the place that keeps your family safe and warm. It is therefore worth going that extra mile to ensure it’s protected.
No matter how careful you are or how many security measures you put in place, you can never be 100% certain that your property isn’t at risk of theft or damage caused by home emergencies and natural disasters. What you can do is take out home insurance, so if the worst does happen, you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Taking out a home cover policy
Home cover comes in many different forms. Some insurance policies cover only the structure of your property i.e. buildings insurance, some cover its contents (contents insurance) and some cover home emergencies, such as a leaking pipe or your boiler breaking down.
There is no legal requirement to take out a home insurance policy, though it’s the sensible thing to do. Taking out buildings insurance may be necessary if you’re looking to obtain a mortgage or remortgage your property. It’s also a good idea to have contents insurance to cover theft and burglary, as well as damage caused to expensive belongings and those with sentimental value.
Home emergency cover is often seen as a little bit more of a luxury purchase than a necessity. Though we’d argue that it’s still very beneficial, particularly if you’re after total peace of mind.
What is home emergency cover?
Although a basic home insurance policy will cover you for things like replacement locks or a leaky pipe, home emergency cover goes a step further. It covers a wide range of potential house emergency issues; from broken down boilers and central heating issues to blocked drains, faulty electrics and plumbing problems.
You may be wondering, is a leaking boiler an emergency? How about a burst pipe? Well, emergency meanings can vary from one policy to the next but essentially, if one of your home installations or supplies fail and it affects your living situation, it will be classed as an emergency.
Home emergency cover can often be bolted onto other home insurance policies, for an additional cost. For example, buildings insurance with home emergency cover added or contents insurance home emergency cover. Some more expensive and comprehensive policies, like those offered by one call home insurance, may offer it for free.
However, it’s worth noting that ‘add-on’ home emergency cover usually comes with restrictions. Always ask your insurance provider to clearly define cover for home emergencies and outline any exemptions so you can see if it will meet your needs. For total peace of mind, you may be better off taking out a separate home emergency cover policy.
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.
Is home emergency cover worth it?
Before deciding whether you need home emergency cover, you need to think about what a home emergency would mean for you. Would it result in panic and stress? Would you struggle to find the finances to pay call-out, labour and repair costs? How would you and your family cope if you were left without cooking facilities, hot water or central heating for several days?
If you think you would struggle to cope with a home emergency, it’s definitely worth taking out cover for that extra peace of mind.
Benefits of home emergency cover
One of the key benefits of taking out home emergency cover is that you can get a quick fix for your problem. Most insurance providers will have a 24/7 helpline, so you can claim at any time of day or night. They’ll also aim to have an engineer or contractor out to you within a few hours, so you can have peace of mind that you won’t be without water, central heating or electricity for long.
Another benefit of home emergency cover is that it can save you money. Paying a small monthly or annual fee for house emergency cover will work out much more cost-effective than having to pay call-out, labour and repair costs. Just be sure to check your policy so you know if you will be required to pay any excess or whether there’s a cap on how many claims you can make in a given period.
Taking out home emergency cover will also give you access to qualified and experienced experts. You won’t be left trying to find a temporary fix for home emergencies yourself and you won’t have to spend hours ringing around different contractors for quotes. Simply phone up your home emergency cover provider and they’ll send out the right person for the job.
There are enough things to worry about in life without having to think about what you’d do if something were to happen to your home. Take away some of the anxiety that comes with owning a property by making sure it is adequately insured. You never know when an emergency is going to arise but at least with a dedicated home cover policy, you’ll have the means to deal with it quickly and cost-effectively, without all the stress.
Home emergency cover vs. home insurance boiler breakdown cover
As we mentioned before, some home insurance policies come with an element of ‘emergency’ cover, however, this will usually be limited to a certain installation in your home – i.e. your boiler. Whether or not you need dedicated home emergency cover depends on your budget, the age of the installations/supply systems in your home and whether you are already covered by existing policies.
New build properties with new boilers, central heating systems and electrics may be under guarantee, so you can forgo home emergency cover for now. However, older properties or those with older boilers will certainly benefit from either home emergency cover or boiler breakdown cover at the very least.
Remember, boiler breakdown cover will only cover your boiler and its controls. It will not cover your central heating or anything else in your property like your plumbing, drainage system and electrics. If you can afford to go for the higher level of cover, it’s always going to be worth it for that extra peace of mind.