You can't stop a boiler going wrong. But you can help stop the breakdown having a devastating impact on your home life and bank balance.
Boilers play such an important role in keeping us comfy in our homes. Yet it's only when they go wrong that we really miss the work they do. A faulty boiler is not a cheap or easy thing to fix, but it's something that needs fixing fast when it does play-up.
That's why having boiler insurance can be so vital.
It will help to give you the peace of mind of knowing that you're protected from the worst of the expenses involved in getting a boiler repaired. Call out costs will be covered with most boiler insurance policies. So too the engineer's labour costs. And the price of the parts they might need to fix your boiler's problems are taken care of too.
Most boiler insurance packages also include an annual service in the policy, a handy way to make sure an expert eye looks over your boiler at least once per year.
Do I need boiler insurance?
Check your current buildings and contents insurance first, as that may well offer boiler insurance. Newer boilers (those installed in the last 5 to 10 years) may still have a valid manufacturer's warranty. This is extendable if the person who installed your boiler has Vaillant or Worcester accreditation. Older boilers won't have a valid warranty and are likely to be very expensive, if not impossible to insure. If you're a tenant, it's your landlord's responsibility to sort out boiler insurance.
Do you need boiler insurance as well as a manufacturer's warranty?
It all depends on the terms and conditions of your warranty. Usually, these warranties won't cover you if the issue with your boiler is caused by a different part of your central heating set-up. So you'll have to pay for the boiler repair if you don't have boiler cover.
And there are other benefits of having boiler cover that you may not get from a manufacturer's warranty:
• Free annual boiler service
• Unlimited call-outs (varies from supplier to supplier)
• Access to a customer helpline (usually 24/7)
• Repairs to your boiler controls included
Boiler insurance vs central heating insurance
Here's the difference between the two:
Boiler insurance covers just your boiler and its controls
Central heating insurance covers things associated with your central heating—the boiler, controls, pipes, radiators, vents, hot water cylinder, tanks. e.t.c.
What boiler insurance do I need?
Boiler cover policies are all fairly similar, but closer scrutiny and comparison will usually reveal key differences, usually in one or more of the following areas:
• Monthly costs
• Availability of the helpline - not all are 24/7
• Excess - sometimes you don't have to pay any
• Annual claims - some policies limit the number you can make, others offer unlimited claims
Does boiler insurance cover replacement boilers?
Some policies do. Others don't. Some might even offer money off a new boiler. Either way, your insurer may require that your new boiler is installed by their approved engineers.
What is excess? What does excess in insurance mean?
Excess is a payment you make when you make a claim on your boiler insurance. It's a financial contribution towards paying for an engineer to visit your home and carry out boiler repairs. Usually, the excess you pay won't exceed £60. Some insurers don't charge any and will include it in their monthly fee.
What does an annual boiler service cover?
An annual boiler service is a good way to keep your boiler in tip-top condition. An annual check-up will usually be enough to make sure things are working normally. During the inspection, a Gas Safe Engineer will carry out a visual check of your boiler's internal workings and controls. Most boiler insurance packages include a free annual boiler check.
Can I switch my boiler insurance provider?
Yes, there's no need to stay loyal to any one boiler insurance provider. Switching is sometimes a good way to save money, but you need to check the terms of your agreement, as policies usually last for a year. End yours early and there could be a cancellation fee to pay. So you can either pay and switch, or wait until the policy expires.