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Boiler cover & care plans

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What is boiler cover?  

Boiler cover could help you to pay for any repair bills if there’s a fault or breakdown with your boiler. Being without hot water and heating isn’t much fun, especially in winter – which is why it’s reassuring to know that faults could be sorted quickly with this type of policy. 

Many boiler cover policies also include an annual service to make sure your boiler is kept in good working order. 

What types of boiler cover are there? 

There are three main types of boiler breakdown cover you can choose from:

  • Boiler-only cover – covers the boiler and its controls – it might also include an annual boiler service plan.
  • Boiler and central heating cover – protects your boiler and central heating system, including pipes, radiators and pumps.
  • Full home care plan – the most comprehensive home breakdown package. It covers your boiler and central heating system, plus plumbing, drains and electrics. 

As you’d expect, the more you include in your policy, the more expensive it will be. 

Compare the Market has partnered with Hometree – one of the UK’s top-rated home care providers – to help you find a plan that’s suitable for you. 

How does boiler cover work?

Most boiler plans work like insurance. When you take out a policy, you’ll have the option to choose the level of cover you want and the excess or call-out fee – this is a payment you agree to make towards the cost of calling out an engineer. The higher the call-out fee you choose, the lower the cost of your policy.

You’ll be given a helpline number to call if your boiler breaks down. If you make a claim that’s covered by your policy, a Gas Safe-registered engineer will be sent to your home to try to fix the problem.

When buying boiler cover, check whether there are limits on how much you can claim and how many call-outs you can make in a year. 

Do I need boiler cover? 

You might want to consider boiler insurance if:

  • You own your home and boiler breakdown cover isn’t included in your home insurance. 
  • You’re a landlord and you need the peace of mind that an engineer will come out quickly if your tenants’ boiler breaks down.

You probably won’t need boiler cover if: 

  • You’re renting. It’s the responsibility of the landlord to take care of boiler repairs and servicing – including an annual gas safety check. 
  • You’ve just had a new boiler fitted. You should be covered for faults under the manufacturer’s warranty, although this may not extend to wider central heating problems. 
  • Your home insurance has a home emergency add-on that includes boiler cover.  
Author image Helen Phipps

What our expert says...

"When comparing boiler cover, it’s important to know what’s included and what isn’t. Boiler breakdown cover can be quite specific, so look out for any exclusions around the types of boilers and faults you can claim for, as well as any claims limit. If you have an annual limit of £1,000, then you'd need to pay any extra costs yourself." 

- Helen Phipps, Insurance expert

What does home boiler insurance cover?

Boiler insurance typically covers the cost of breakdowns and repairs. A good boiler cover policy could include:

  • Unlimited engineer call-out charges
  • Parts and labour
  • Annual boiler service
  • 24-hour emergency helpline
  • Discount on a new boiler if yours is beyond repair and needs to be replaced
  • Plumbing, drains and electrics.

What isn’t included in boiler cover?

Boiler policies can vary among providers, but they’re unlikely to cover:

  • Faults caused by sludge, limescale or blockages
  • Leaking showers and taps
  • Household appliances, like fridges and washing machines
  • Outdoor heating and electrics
  • Accidental damage or design faults.  

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What types of boiler can I get cover for? 

You should be able to find boiler cover for most types of boiler, including gas, combi and condensing boilers. However, it’s always best to double check that your boiler will be covered before taking out a policy, especially if it’s more than 10 years old. Some providers won’t cover oil-fired, LPG, electric or biomass boilers.

How much is boiler cover?

The cost of boiler insurance can vary a lot and will depend on the system you have installed and the level of cover you want.

To give you a general idea, basic premiums start from around £8 a month. The most comprehensive home care plans can cost around £20 a month.

Rather than automatically signing up with your energy provider, it’s worth shopping around and comparing prices to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

But do be aware that many providers offer an introductory discount to encourage you to sign up. They will then put up their prices after a few months or when your policy is up for renewal. 

How can I try to get the cheapest boiler cover?

Getting cover for heating breakdowns can be expensive, but there are several steps you can take to help reduce the cost of your boiler insurance.

  • Don’t over-insure – think about the level of cover you need. Extras like electrics, pipes and drainage may already be covered by your home insurance policy.
  • Pay annually – check whether you can save money by paying for a year’s boiler cover in one go, rather than spreading the cost in monthly payments.
  • Pay a call-out fee – this is a fee you pay for each call-out. It’s not usually compulsory but paying a fee will reduce the cost of your premium and could save you money overall.

Boiler maintenance tips

Your boiler cover might not pay out claims resulting from poor maintenance, like limescale build-up. It’s up to you to make sure your boiler is regularly maintained.

Follow these essential energy-saving tips to help keep your boiler in good condition:

  • Service your boiler annually – this is the best way to increase the lifespan of your boiler. It helps prevent damage and keeps it running efficiently.
  • Keep the pressure up – boilers don’t run properly when the pressure is too low. Check the pressure gauge on the front of your boiler to make sure it’s within the manufacturer’s recommended values, usually between the 1 and 1.5 bar. If you need to adjust it, follow the instructions in your handbook.
  • Make sure your boiler is set for warmth and efficiency – if you have a combi-boiler, check the flow temperature and adjust the settings if necessary.
  • Insulate your pipes – in cold weather, pipes can freeze over, making your heating inefficient or even causing a boiler breakdown. To stop this from happening, lag your pipes before winter sets in. You can buy ready-to-use lagging from DIY stores at a relatively low cost. 

Who is Hometree?

Hometree is one of the UK’s top-rated home care suppliers, not only because of its highly regarded customer service but also for its comprehensive home care plans.

Hometree provides homeowners and landlords with a range of simple and transparent boiler, central heating and home care plans. The company works with more than 5,000 qualified engineers and currently protects tens of thousands of homes across the UK.

Hometree promises unlimited call-outs, a 24-hour emergency helpline and no price hikes above inflation if you don’t make a claim.

What do I need to get a boiler cover quote?

Getting a quote with Hometree is easy. You’ll just need to:

  • Say whether you’re a homeowner or a landlord
  • Choose what level of cover you want
  • Provide some details about yourself, including your address and postcode.

Get a quote with Hometree

Frequently asked questions

Is boiler cover included in home insurance?

Your boiler should be covered if you have home insurance that includes home emergency cover as standard. If not, home emergency cover can be added as an optional extra to your home insurance policy or bought as a standalone policy.

While home emergency cover might not be boiler-specific, it will typically cover 24/7 emergency call-out fees and repair costs if your boiler breaks down. If you want more comprehensive and specific cover for your boiler, you might be better off with dedicated boiler cover.

Does boiler cover start straight away?

Most boiler cover policies include an initial no-claims period, which could be the first seven to 30 days, depending on your provider. This is largely to prevent people taking out cover on the day their boiler breaks down and then claiming for it straight away. With Hometree, you can’t arrange a call-out within the first 14 days of your contract starting.

Is there a limit on how much I can claim?

This depends on the policy and level of cover you choose. Some policies have an annual maximum limit, for example, £1,000 or £1,500, while others are unlimited.

Who do I call if there’s a problem with my boiler?

If you have boiler cover or home emergency cover, your provider should always be your first port of call if there’s a problem. Most providers have a 24-hour helpline for emergencies, and you may also be able to book an engineer online.

If you don’t have boiler cover, you’ll need to look for a suitably qualified tradesperson in your area.

With a gas boiler, you should check that the engineer is Gas Safe-registered and qualified to carry out boiler repairs. Alternatively, you can contact the boiler manufacturer. 

What happens if my boiler can’t be fixed?

If your boiler is beyond repair, you’ll often be offered a discount to fit a new one if you have boiler cover. Hometree will give you 15% off the cost of a new boiler as long as they install it.

How long should a boiler last?

You might expect your boiler to last between 10 and 15 years, typically. But they can often keep going much longer than that if they’re properly cared for with an annual service.

Can I get cover if my boiler and heating system is very old?

If your boiler and heating system are older than 10 years, you may struggle to find cover or you may have to pay a higher premium. Any age restrictions should be included in the policy wording.

However, if you choose boiler care from Hometree, there’s no age limit. 

Do I need to service my boiler?

Most boiler companies recommend a service at least once every year. It’s usually a condition of your cover or warranty to have the boiler serviced every year by an approved engineer. You can also opt for standalone home care cover that gives you the option of including an annual service.

A boiler service must be carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer, who will check for leaks and other problems, and make sure your boiler is working safely.

How much will it cost to service my boiler?

A gas boiler service will typically cost you somewhere between £80 and £120. But the price will depend on who you choose to do the service and how long it’s been since your boiler last had one. The cost of any new parts will be on top of this.

Is home emergency cover the same as home care cover?

No, they’re not the same. Home emergency cover is designed to protect you against a boiler breakdown alongside other home emergencies, like a broken window.

Home care cover helps to ensure the smooth running of your home and get you help in a non-emergency situation. For example, you might have an annual boiler service included in your policy.

What’s the difference between boiler insurance and a service agreement?

The main difference is that insurance providers offering boiler cover are regulated by financial watchdogs. This ensures they act fairly to protect policyholders and that their businesses are financially sound.

Our boiler cover partner Hometree is authorised and  regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means you should be protected if you get boiler cover.

Service agreements like boiler care plans aren’t regulated, so if the company you’ve signed up with becomes bankrupt, you might not be financially protected. You may also find it difficult to make a complaint about poor service.

Make sure you understand what you’re signing up to and whether it’s an insurance policy or not.

How long does a call-out take?

If it’s an emergency – for example, there’s a risk to your health or your home isn’t fit to live in – an engineer will normally be sent out to you within 24 hours. This isn’t guaranteed, though, and call-out times can vary among providers. If the problem isn’t urgent, you can usually book an appointment at a time to suit you.

How do I cancel my boiler cover?

You can cancel your plan by contacting your provider. Whether you’ll need to make any remaining payments for the period of your contract or pay a cancellation charge depends on your policy, so check your documents carefully.

Page last reviewed on 28 FEBRUARY 2024
by Helen Phipps