A Boiler is one of those household appliances we take for granted. When it breaks down, we no longer have hot water or heating. Such expected damages demand costly repairs. A boiler breakdown cover takes care of these expenses on your behalf.
The Basics of Boiler Breakdown Cover
The boiler breakdown cover pays for the cost of boiler repairs. It covers the cost of boiler repairs and service. In the event of a boiler breakdown, your contract provider sends a gas certified engineer to assess the problem and fix it.
If your home insurance does not include boiler repair as a standard part of the plan, then you must consider getting a boiler breakdown cover. You will have to check a few things for that such as the type of boiler and age of your boiler. These are the factors boiler cover providers usually to determine if you are eligible for a boiler cover plan. You pay a monthly or annual premium for the boiler breakdown cover chosen as per your needs.
Importance of Having a Boiler Breakdown Cover
A boiler breakdown cover ensures you stay protected. The cover gives you access to engineers who repair the heating in the event of an emergency. Some plans also include an annual service.
Telegraph mentions about a survey conducted by uSwitch. It says a fifth of the households in the UK have suffered boiler breakdown but only 36 per cent pay for boiler cover. They do not want to pay an extra cost of cover when they are already suffering financially.
It is actually a gamble to go without boiler cover. The average amount of money spent on repair can cost up to £314. Having a boiler cover will give you peace of mind. The cover can protect you against expensive repairs and offset costly bills resulting from boiler break down.
This is Money says that, on average, households spent £894 annually on boiler repairs and replacement with their own money. If they had a boiler cover, they would just be paying £136 annual premium for the protection.
The cover pays for itself within six and a half years if you divide the average repairs and replacement cost to the average annual premium. Therefore, a boiler breakdown cover is worth it. If in the first year of the plan, you need boiler repairs, it will save you up to £750.
Boiler repairs and replacement are expensive. You can expect to pay up to £4,000 for a new boiler. The cost of boiler repairs and replacement also varies on location and the type of boiler, size of the house. For some homeowners, it may not be important to cover for the repairs, but it is worth having a boiler breakdown cover in case you need repairs and replacements.
What Does Boiler Breakdown Cover Include?
A boiler breakdown cover includes a range of options starting from boiler repairs, central heating to plumbing and drains. Some plans also cover electrical wiring and pest infestation.
All boiler breakdown plans are going to cover your boiler. However, most companies cover more than just boilers. Apart from boiler repairs and breakdown, a boiler cover might cover the following:
1.) Annual Boiler Service: Some cover plans include a comprehensive annual service for the boiler. The provider sends an engineer to under service and assesses the condition of the boiler. Annual service ensures your boiler is in good working condition.
2.) Carbon Monoxide Test: Some plans include a carbon monoxide test as a mandatory service. Boilers can leak. The dangerous thing about carbon monoxide is that it has no odour. Therefore, it is hard to tell if the boiler is leaking.
3.) Gas Safety Check: Gas Safe registered engineers perform gas safety checks. They check the safety of your boiler and any connected appliances. The comprehensive check ensures that the ventilation passages are in good working order. They also check the operating pressure and make sure your boiler is not over or under pressure.
Types of Boiler Breakdown Covers
When shopping for a boiler cover, there are three main types you will see:
1.) Basic Boiler Cover: This plan typically protects the boiler and its controls. This is why it is known as the basic boiler cover.
2.) Boiler and Central Heating Cover: It is the next level up. It covers boiler repairs, central heating and everything connected to it.
3.) Home Emergency Cover: It is the most comprehensive protection. It covers the boiler, plumbing, gas/electricity failure, central heating, hot water failure, damaged windows, doors, locks, roof damage, and pest infestation.
How Can You Get More from Your Boiler Cover?
Other than annual boiler service, a carbon monoxide test and a gas safety check, some providers also include the following in the boiler covers:
Central Heating System: In most homes, central heating systems are connected with boilers. Therefore, some plans also include coverage of the central heating system. Others have a separate add-on for central heating cover. If central heating is covered in the boiler cover plan that makes things easier for you. You will not have to worry about pumps or motorized valves of your central heating system. They will be covered along with your fittings, interconnecting pipes, and expansion tanks.
Plumbing and Drainage: Some boiler breakdown plans also cover for damages to the plumbing and drainage. If you have a leakage or a pipe burst, you are not liable for any repairs. Most plumbing and drainage cover include pipe repairs and maintenance of cold-water tanks.
Electrical Emergency and Breakdown: Some plans also cover an electrical emergency. These plans usually cover repairs to the mains wiring and the electrics. You can rest easy knowing that any circuit breakers and fuse boards will be covered in the plan.
Home Security: Some boiler covers protect you beyond boilers, central heating, plumbing, and electrical. They cover home security. This includes emergency access if you lock yourself out of the house, costs of repairing external door locks and replacing lost keys and broken windows or doors.
Pest Control: Insects can hide in corners and cracks without you even noticing them. Termites can ruin your furniture and cupboards. Then, there are bigger pests and rodents like mice and rats. They can seriously damage your house and your health. Having to deal with local pest control companies can be frustrating and costly. Bundling your pest control services with your boiler plan can save you a lot in expenses.
Benefits of Boiler Breakdown Cover
You will enjoy the following benefits with a boiler breakdown cover:
- The boiler cover will pay for the call-out, parts, labour, and materials.
- You will get a gas safe engineer at your place in a limited time.
- Faulty boilers can be extremely dangerous. If your plan also includes annual boiler service, it will safeguard you from gas leaks, explosions, and other unexpected problems.
- You will not have to spend money on unexpected repairs. The boiler cover will pay for the expense.
Things Not Covered in a Boiler Breakdown
Boiler breakdown covers do not include everything. For example, they do not cover issues such as build limescale. If the area you live in has hard water supply, this could be a problem.
Some plans carry a limit on the number of claims and call-outs made per year. Just like the limescale, there might be other types of faults exempted from the coverage.
You must check the policy documents when you are shopping for the boiler breakdown cover to understand what is not covered. This will also help you choose the right provider in case what they are offering do not suit your needs.
How to Choose a Boiler Breakdown Cover?
When choosing a boiler breakdown cover, your goal must be to get maximum coverage. With these tips, you will be able to choose the best plan:
Pick the most comprehensive plan: Since you are paying a premium to protect yourself in the event of an emergency, make sure you are getting a cover that offers maximum coverage. Your boiler and central heating will be covered and you will have peace of mind. Some providers also cover drainage system, plumbing and pest control in their most comprehensive plan.
Go for free annual boiler service: Look for a cover plan that offers free boiler annual service. This will ensure you have a flawless operation of the system. The free annual service is applied once in a year. However, it may be linked to the maintenance of the boiler. Some like Warranty People also provide one additional gas appliance check for free that is already included in your monthly prices. This will help save the cost of paying other companies to check the additional appliance.
Number of claims and call-out charges: The plan must come with unlimited claims and call-out charges. This will help you in repairing the boiler without paying additional money.
Parts and labour: The boiler breakdown cover must also include parts and labour. If they are not included, you will have to pay for the parts out of pocket and this will get expensive.
Nationwide coverage: The boiler company must provide nationwide coverage. This ensures you get benefits regardless of your location. The provider will send an engineer to your place to fix your problem without an additional wait.
Inquire about the excess: Usually, providers charge up to £50 excess. Ideally, choose a plan that does not include the excess cost in its monthly premium.
24/7 helpline: The boiler cover provider must have a 24/7 365 days a year active helpline to take your calls. The need to claim may arise anytime. The sooner help is available, the better.
Alternatives to Boiler Breakdown Cover
If you are not ready to buy a boiler breakdown cover now, you have a few alternatives. They might not be as easy as getting a boiler cover, but can be effective for a while:
Maintain Your Boiler Regularly: A good way to keep your boiler from breaking down is to regularly service and maintain it. A well-maintained boiler will cost less to run. Regular service charges can cost around £100. Keeping a well-maintained boiler can sometimes work out to be cheaper. Rather than having to pay for repairs after a breakdown.
Replace Your Existing Boiler: After you have a boiler for a while, you can tell that it is going to start giving you trouble. If your boiler has reached that stage, then it might be time to upgrade. Getting a new boiler might cost you more now, but it will save you money over time. It will require less maintenance and if it breaks down, your warranty might cover the repairs.
Boilers are essential in every home, especially in cold countries. They help your central heating system to work and keep your house, or flat, warm in the winter. They also keep your tap water hot for when you need it. Investing in a cover goes a long way in keeping your life smooth and safe.
Boilers are responsible for the supply of hot water and central heating. If the boiler fails, you will not just have to sit in the cold but pay extra money for boiler repairs. However, if you have a boiler breakdown cover, it will pay for the boiler repairs. You will not have to worry about expanding extra money to make the boiler work again.
A boiler breakdown cover is not a compulsory plan but it can give you peace of mind and save money. Therefore, it is a worthwhile investment.