For many British households, the winter season is one of those times when boilers break down and according to British gas, this can happen every 20 seconds. This means that many homeowners are paying over the odds to repair broken boilers with new figures showing that the average cost is now estimated at £185.
Experts are warning that homeowners choosing to take out heating cover with their energy provider in order to have their boiler serviced in the event of a breakdown could be paying more. At the same time, industry sources say that taking out a heating cover would normally mean that boiler maintenance services are covered in the policy, although many people are not aware and end up paying extra money.
Alternatively installing a new boiler means that you would normally receive a one-year warranty which covers for any breakdowns. However for many homeowners, the advice from industry experts is to ensure that they check that their home insurance policy takes care of boiler repairs costs before taking extra insurance.
Ensuring that policy covers emergency
Insurers such as Prudential are known to offer home insurance policies that have home emergency cover whose features include call-out fees, parts, labour and materials worth £250 per call-out for emergencies relating to the boiler.
Prudential’s home insurance policy also offers protection during emergencies relating to electricity supply, drainage and internal plumbing in addition to doors, locks, and windows. According to the insurer, claims made on this part of cover will not affect no claims discount.
Another insurance provider, Legal & General provides additional cover of up to £150 for labour costs, call-out fees and materials to be used in emergencies relating to a burst pipe or central heating failure.
In cases where emergency cover is not included in a home insurance policy, homeowners have the option of paying an additional £4 or £5 a month. Insurance provider esure offers a home insurance policy which costs around £36 a year in premiums.
The esure policy offers cover worth up to £500 for emergency call-out charges relating to heating repairs and up to two hours of labour costs. Additionally, the esure policy covers the cost of any materials and parts of up to £100 in value. boiler installation St Albans
Is ‘self insuring’ the way to go?
Homeowners should also be aware that a number of policies cap the amount of cover each year, one such example is Domestic & General’s HeatGuard Silver Plan which costs £9.50 a month and where homeowners are allowed unlimited number of claims every year, however, the maximum amount they can claim each year is £1,500.
Reports suggest that ‘self insuring’ which involves paying a small amount of money each month into a savings account for boiler related emergencies, could soon be a popular practice among homeowners. With the ongoing credit crunch, homeowners who have boilers that are more than 15 years old could find themselves vulnerable as many insurance providers are reluctant to cover very old boilers.
Boilers which require constant maintenance services are worth replacing, says the Energy Saving Trust, and homeowners are urged to consider energy-efficient condensing model which will help keep bills low, saving money in the long term. It is also important that homeowners check the exact date when the policy begins because some policies come with a minimum of 30 days waiting period before the cover begins.