With winter creeping up, the prospect of a boiler breaking down isn’t something any homeowner wants to think about. Boiler repairs are expensive, with the average cost of boiler repair standing at around £314, and it can often take weeks to arrange for a suitable engineer to come out. Many homeowners opt for boiler cover, which can protect them from pricey emergency call-out fees and additional costs for labour and materials. But boiler cover for old boilers can be hard to justify - why pay extra for something that’s on its last legs?
If you’re thinking about boiler cover for old boilers, is it really worth it?
The basics of boiler cover
Boiler cover is a small monthly or annual fee that will cover any emergency repairs you might need for your boiler in future. A good boiler cover insurance policy usually includes annual inspections, repairs and an unlimited number of call outs, so they’re especially useful if your boiler has needed repair in the past or tends to have unexpected faults.
Boiler cover plans will cover almost any type of boiler, including conventional gas, condensing gas, combination, oil and solid fuel. Cover plans can also cover central heating and plumbing, making it a good option for all-round insurance on your appliances.
Boiler cover for old boilers is slightly more complicated. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you might face limited choices with your insurance, as some companies won’t extend cover to older boilers that are more likely to have problems. Some insurance firms will also carry out an inspection if the boiler is more than seven years old, and they might refuse cover if it is in poor condition.
Boiler cover for old boilers can depend on the specific model of your boiler too - the parts of certain boilers are no longer in circulation, so conditions of your cover can depend on whether the company is still able to provide a fix.
Deciding on boiler cover can seem like a minefield - here’s what you need to know about choosing boiler cover for old boilers:
Getting started with boiler cover
If you’ve decided to go down the route of boiler cover, start by doing your research. Boiler cover can be included in a home insurance policy, but it might not leave you better off in practice: a policy from AA will include home emergency cover for an additional £24.99, but if you encounter a problem with your boiler, you can still be eligible to pay up to £250 per claim for call out charges, labour costs and additional parts or materials.
Find a boiler cover plan that doesn’t offer any excess charges and make sure the company seems trustworthy. Your energy provider might offer a policy for your boiler, but you can end up paying well over the odds - as an existing customer, they’re more likely to offer marked up prices on the assumption you’ll purchase out of ease. A reputable boiler cover plan will offer an annual inspection and safety checks in line with government regulations, which are particularly important if you have an older model of boiler.
Be aware that there may also be a period of time before the policy begins. It can be tempting to rush to insure something once you start finding problems, but with most providers you have to wait a minimum of 30 days before you can make a claim.
Boiler cover for old boilers - the benefits
The biggest benefit of boiler cover for old boilers is undoubtedly peace of mind. As with any boiler cover, having the insurance there can stop you worrying that you and your family will be faced with a cold home just as the winter temperatures kick in.
And peace of mind is enough for many people - British households currently spend around £1 billion a year on cover for their boilers and central heating.
Boiler cover for old boilers can also prove to be a good financial move if you do encounter a problem. Older boilers are much more susceptible to issues, and the fixes are likely to take more time and work. In 2015, 20% of people interviewed had experienced a major problem with their boiler and almost one in ten people had faced bills of over £1,000 for repairs. With boiler repair cover for old boilers, you won’t incur extra charges if your boiler repair takes more than an hour.
Are there better alternatives?
The prospect of a system breaking down is usually enough to scare people into buying boiler cover for old boilers. But buying into costly insurance policies often isn’t worth it: consumer group Which? found that two thirds of policyholders never make a claim.
One option is to instead make sure your boiler is well looked after, by having a local professional run an annual service. If your boiler is in relatively good shape, they should be able to fix any small faults they find. The older the boiler, however, the more you run the risk of encountering a serious problem between inspections and having to pay a lump sum for repairs.
The other option is to save up to buy a new and more reliable boiler. Modern boilers usually cost around £2,500 and provide both central heating and hot water. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a modern, A-rated condensing boiler will use a third less fuel than an old boiler, to provide the same amount of heat. This can cut CO2 emissions by a third and knock up to £250 off annual energy bills for most homes, compared to traditional boilers.
Finding a solution for your old boiler
It’s worth noting that while buying a new boiler might seem like the best option, it isn’t always the most practical. Many people can’t afford to spend a large amount of money in one go, even if their boiler is older than they would like. In these cases, boiler cover for old boilers is a worthwhile investment, and can offer the same peace of mind for a much smaller sum of money.
Choosing a company that offers a flexible pricing plan and has positive customer reviews can make your payments for boiler cover worthwhile.
Choose YourRepair Home Plan for your boiler cover
Approaching boiler cover for old boilers can be confusing. Some companies offer boiler cover at a premium price and some don’t offer it at all. At YourRepair, we service and repair any age of boiler and you won’t have to pay extra for parts and labour.
Your Repair is a fully independent company with access to over 5,000 Gas Safe Engineers, so we can have someone with you in a matter of hours if there’s an emergency. We’re proud to be an alternative to large energy providers and national insurance companies, and with us you can find a better service for less. Our customers agree - 97% have given us a five star rating.
Start protecting yourself against the expensive cost of boiler repair today. Browse our range of plans from basic boiler cover to boiler and central heating cover, or please contact us if you’d like to discuss something specific.