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Boiler insurance

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What does boiler insurance cover?

Boiler insurance can cover the costs of getting your boiler fixed or replaced if it breaks down.  
Depending on the policy you choose, boiler insurance can cover the costs of: 

  • engineer call-out charges 
  • labour and parts 
  • replacement if your boiler is under a certain age and beyond economical repair 
  • annual servicing as part of a boiler service plan 

What are the different types of boiler cover?

Boiler insurance can vary among insurance providers, so it’s a good idea to shop around and compare to get the level of cover you want. The three main types of boiler insurance are:

Boiler-only cover
The most basic type of cover, which only covers the boiler and its controls.

Boiler and central heating cover
This covers repairs to your boiler and anything to do with your central heating system, like radiators, pipes and pumps.

Some boiler and central heating policies also include an annual service and safety check. If this isn’t included, you may be able to add it on as an extra.

Home emergency cover
This is designed to protect you against a boiler breakdown alongside other home emergencies, such as a broken window.  A home emergency is typically defined as something that may cause permanent damage to your property, could make your home unsafe or poses a risk to your health. You can usually buy home emergency cover as an add-on to your home insurance policy, or you can buy it separately. 

Home emergency cover will typically cover the costs of resolving the emergency situation, but is unlikely to pay out for any additional costs unless clearly set out in the policy. Some home emergency plans won’t allow you to claim for the first 7 to 30 days after starting the cover. And, typically, boilers that don’t get an annual service are excluded.

Do I need boiler cover?

You won’t need boiler cover if you’re renting, as it’s the responsibility of the landlord to take care of boiler repairs and servicing.  
If you own your home, or you’re a landlord, boiler cover could save you paying out for expensive repairs, so it’s certainly worth considering.  
But check your home insurance first. Some policies may include boiler cover as part of a home emergency add-on. If this is the case, you might not need to take out separate protection for your boiler.

Frequently asked questions

How can I find boiler insurance?

You could choose to take out separate boiler insurance cover or add it to your existing home insurance policy. If want to add cover to an existing policy, then look to add on home emergency cover, but check that boiler breakdown is included before you buy.  

Remember, home emergency cover typically offers limited cover in comparison to a boiler policy. It may have restrictions on when you can claim for a broken boiler (usually restricted to the winter months) and might not cover things like having your boiler serviced. 

If you’re looking for total peace of mind, some insurance providers of standalone home emergency cover will also include an annual boiler service, for an additional fee. You may even have the option to cover your entire heating system. 

If you have a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee, check what help you’re entitled to if something goes wrong. Any insurance you buy should supplement whatever protection you already have, if any. 

Does boiler cover start straight away?

Most insurance policies include an initial no-claims period, which could be the first 7-30 days, depending on your provider.  

This means that you won’t be able to claim on your policy if your boiler breaks down during that initial period.

Is there a limit on how much I can claim?

Again, this can depend on the policy and level of cover you choose.  
Some policies have an annual maximum limit, while others are unlimited.  

What else do I need to look out for?

Each insurance policy has different terms and conditions, so read the policy wording carefully before you buy.  
Things to look out for include: 

  • boiler age – some providers won’t offer cover if your boiler is more than ten years old. You may also find it hard to renew your policy when your boiler reaches a certain age.  
  • exclusions – some service plans don’t include cover for damage due to limescale build-up or a system flush due to ‘sludge’.  
  • the initial no-claims period – how long before you can make a claim? 
  • claim limits – are there any limits on how much you can claim for in a year and, if so, what are they?
  • engineer call-outs – how long will you have to wait for an engineer to come out? Is there a limit to the amount of call-outs you can have in a year? 

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

The main difference is that insurance providers offering boiler cover are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If your provider goes bust, you’ll be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.  
Service agreements aren’t regulated by the FCA, so if the company you’ve signed up with goes bust, you might not be financially protected.  

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

If you have boiler insurance or home emergency cover, your provider should always be your first port of call if there’s a problem. Most insurance providers have a 24-hour helpline for emergencies.   

If you don’t have 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. 

How long should a boiler last?

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

How much will it cost to fix or replace a boiler?

The typical cost to repair a boiler is £150-210, but it could cost you as much as £500 if more than one part needs to be replaced. Fitting a brand-new boiler can set you back anywhere between £1,400 and upwards of £4,500.

In rented accommodation, is a boiler the responsibility of the landlord or tenant?

The boiler is usually the landlord’s responsibility. Because of this, insurance providers won’t normally offer boiler cover to non-homeowners. 

Can I insure my boiler even if it’s old?

The lifespan of a boiler will depend on how heavily it’s used and whether it‘s given regular servicing, but you should expect your boiler to last 10-15 years if it’s properly looked-after. If your boiler is older than 15 years, you may struggle to find insurance, or you may have to pay a higher premium. Any age restrictions should be included in the policy wording.

Do I need to service my boiler?

Regardless of whether it’s insured or not, your boiler will definitely benefit from a regular service. Most boiler companies recommend a service at least  once every year. It’s usually a condition of your insurance or warranty to have the boiler serviced every year. You can also opt for standalone home emergency cover that gives you the option of including an annual service.

How much will it cost to service my boiler?

The average cost of a boiler service is £70-130. 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. 

Can I change my energy supplier if I have boiler cover?

Yes, you can change your energy supplier whenever you like. Your insurance is completely separate from your energy supply and it pays to shop around, to make sure your energy tariff is still right for you. 

Where can I find boiler insurance cover?

Unfortunately, you can’t compare standalone boiler insurance with us. But if you’re looking to add home emergency cover to your home insurance policy, then we can help. It’s also worth comparing providers when your home insurance is due for renewal, to see if you can find a cheaper deal on existing home emergency cover. 

What do I need to get a home insurance quote?

When you start a quote with us, we’ll need some basic information including: 

  • your personal details 
  • details about your property 
  • the type of cover you want.

Home emergency cover can be added as an optional extra to your home insurance policy. 

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**Correct as of May 2020. 
***On average it can take less than 12 minutes to complete a home insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in May 2020. 
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Chris King

Home insurance expert

What our expert says...

“It’s worth being extra vigilant when looking to take out home emergency or boiler cover to ensure you know what conditions you’ll need to adhere to. Watch out for types and age of boiler that aren’t included, for example oil boilers aren’t always covered, to ensure you’re not left cold and with a hefty bill to pay should you need to make a claim.”

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