Boiler cover and heating insurance - all you need to know

If your boiler packs up, it’s not only cold, inconvenient and a hassle you could do without, but it can also be costly to fix. Unless you have insurance to cover it...

Published: May 27, 2022 at 2:31 pm
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We all know how chilly the winter months can be, so imagine you wake up one morning to find your boiler has given up on you and there’s no heating or hot water. This is definitely a job for the professionals, so if you don’t want to pay a small fortune for parts, labour and callout fees, not to mention having to wait days or weeks for an engineer to visit, it makes sense to take out boiler or central heating insurance.

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Do you need boiler insurance?

Boiler insurance covers all your costs in the event of your boiler breaking down. It gives peace of mind that a Gas Safety registered engineer will come quickly to assess the problem and fix it. Some insurance also includes an annual boiler service, which is essential for an efficient, safe boiler in good working condition, but not all policies do, so always check before you sign up.

Usually, you’re covered for any boiler repairs, including spare parts and labour, though some providers have a waiting period to prevent you from claiming at the start of a policy. If you are going to take out insurance, it’s best to get it in place sooner rather than later so you’re able to get help when you need it.

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Is boiler cover included in home insurance?

You may already be covered as part of your home insurance or home emergency cover so check first if boiler breakdown is included before taking out another policy. If it is, make sure it offers all the protection you think you’ll need.

You may not require separate insurance if you have recently bought a new boiler, as you should have a manufacturer’s warranty and these can last as long as 10 years. Register it as instructed and note down the warranty’s expiry date. For rental properties, any boiler or heating issues are the responsibility of your landlord.

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Full central heating insurance

As well as boiler cover, which protects the boiler and its controls in the event of it breaking down and leaving you without heating or hot water, you can also take out full central heating insurance. While it does cost more, it also covers plumbing and radiators. There are even fully comprehensive policies that also include electrics, drainage, roofs and pest infestation too.

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What does boiler insurance cover?

At its most basic, boiler insurance will cover the cost of a plumber to come out and fix the problem at any time of the day or night; as well as the cost of replacing broken or worn-out parts. Some policies also replace the boiler if it can’t be repaired, as well as providing an annual service. Cover will vary between providers, so shop around to see what you get for your money.

When it comes to getting the boiler serviced, Louise Murton, customer service director at Baxi Heating, recommends that it be serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. ‘An annual service is a condition of our boiler warranties,’she explains, ‘so if you need a repair while your AND boiler is still under warranty, you will need to provide your annual service reports to show
your warranty is still valid.’

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Boiler insurance prices

For prices, it’s best to compare cover online at one of the comparison sites such as uswitch.com, moneysupermarket.com, moneysavingexpert.com or gocompare. com. At the time of writing, we found cover from as little as 99p per month with 24/7 Home Rescue, which includes boiler breakdown, a £1000 claims limit, parts and labour and 24-hour callouts. Always shop around for cover that suits your needs and budget. A one-off service from a heating engineer should cost around £80.

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Pros and cons of heating insurance

Pros
  • Peace of mind should anything go wrong
  • Speedy service any time of the day or night
  • Parts and labour are covered so no unexpected costs
  • Some policies have no callout fees and an annual service included.
Cons
  • Possible waiting period after taking the policy out before you can claim
  • May be a limit on how long an engineer can spend on repairs
  • Could be restrictions on how many claims you can make per year
  • Boiler may be too old to qualify for cover, usually if it’s more than seven years’ old
  • Look out for excess charges or conditions such as having your heating system flushed before a contract can start

Authors

Hayley Gilbert is an award-winning interiors journalist with 25 years' experience writing about everything from blissful bathrooms to the coolest kitchens. Publications she has written for include Good Homes, Country Homes and Interiors, House Beautiful and The English Home.

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