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A guide to boiler cover

Homeowners in the UK paid out over £725 million in unexpected boiler repair bills in 2017[1]. Research by uSwitch revealed that one in five households had a boiler breakdown at least once in 12 months[2]

Having boiler and central heating cover can put your mind at rest. Should your boiler break down, you wouldn’t be left with an expensive repair bill. In this guide, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about boiler cover and how to get the best policy for you. 

Do I need boiler cover?

If you rent your home, you shouldn’t need boiler and central heating cover, as they are your landlord’s responsibility. 

If you are a homeowner and are concerned about whether you’d be able to afford having your boiler fixed or even replaced, you may want to get boiler cover.  Before you do, check that it’s not already covered by your home insurance policy. 

Some insurers include boiler cover as standard, while some may offer it as an optional extra. When deciding whether to get boiler cover, you may want to consider the age and condition of your boiler and central heating system. If they are only a few years old, they may be covered by a guarantee. 

If you have never had any issues, you may feel that the risk of something going wrong is only slim, whereas if your boiler is prone to breaking down, you may feel that boiler cover would really help. Ultimately, whether to take out boiler cover or not is a decision only you can make. 

Is boiler cover more expensive than paying for repairs myself?

This depends on what repairs are needed. If your boiler breaks down and can’t be fixed, for instance, having cover could save you from having to pay out thousands of pounds for a replacement boiler. 

In other circumstances – for instance, if everything goes well and you don’t need to make a claim - you may find that it could have been more cost effective to not have paid for boiler cover, but at least you’ll know you would have been covered if anything had happened. 

That being said, some insurers do have exclusions if your boiler/central heating system is old and may not pay for replacements if they can’t be fixed, so it’s always worth checking your policy documents thoroughly. 

When you have boiler cover, you don’t have the hassle of trying to find tradesmen, as everything is arranged for you. The engineer your insurer sends will be on the Gas Safe Register[3], which is essential. You should never attempt to repair your boiler or central heating yourself, or have someone else who isn’t on the register do so. 

Comparing boiler policies and cover levels

To get the best price, it’s always a good idea to compare policies and cover levels offered by different insurers. You want the cover to be adequate for your needs. 

If you have an older boiler or your boiler is unreliable, you may benefit the most from having a comprehensive boiler cover policy. If you have a boiler that is only a few years old (but isn’t covered under a guarantee), you may feel that basic cover is okay. 

Boiler cover is often cheaper in the first year, so it may be worth shopping around for quotes once your policy is up for renewal. Otherwise you could end up paying more than you need to. 

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