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What is central heating cover?

Being without heating and hot water isn’t much fun – and always seems to happen at the worst possible time. Central heating cover could save you stress, hassle and money if you need repairs carrying out. Here’s what to watch out for…

Being without heating and hot water isn’t much fun – and always seems to happen at the worst possible time. Central heating cover could save you stress, hassle and money if you need repairs carrying out. Here’s what to watch out for…

Written by
Anna McEntee
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
4 min read
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What does central heating cover include?

Central heating insurance could cover the cost of repairs if your heating system breaks down. Unlike cover designed specifically for your boiler, a central heating plan normally extends to your gas pipework, radiators and other parts of the system. Having it could protect you from the unwanted expense of an emergency repair bill.

Cover varies among providers, but a typical central heating insurance policy may include:

  • Annual boiler servicing – regular central heating maintenance helps to keep your boiler and heating system in tip-top condition, meaning problems could be fixed before they become major issues.
  • Repairs to your gas central heating system – this might include the boiler, controls, radiators, pumps and hot water cylinder. Labour and parts will usually be covered, but read the policy carefully to see exactly what’s included.
  • A 24-hour emergency helpline – because you don’t want to have to wait for office hours to get your heating fixed.
  • Unlimited engineer call outs – which could be useful if your heating system is starting to get a little cranky in its old age.
Read our guide to boiler cover and care plans

What’s not covered by central heating insurance? 

Exclusions to your central heating cover will depend on the provider and type of plan you choose, but gas central heating cover probably won’t include:

  • Plumbing and water supply pipes 
  • Unblocking of drains and waste pipes 
  • Mains electrical wiring  
  • Faults caused by sludge, limescale or blockages   
  • Underfloor heating systems 
  • Leaking showers and taps   
  • Accidental damage or design faults.  

If you want to cover plumbing, drains and home electrics alongside your central heating system, you’ll need a more comprehensive home care package

Do I need central heating cover? 

This may depend on whether you’re a homeowner, tenant or landlord:

If you’re a homeowner

Fixing your boiler or heating can be very expensive. Boiler and central heating breakdown cover could help take the strain if you’d struggle to pay for repairs out of your own pocket. Plus, you could avoid the stress of phoning around trying to find a repair service at short notice as you can call the helpline on your policy 24/7.

It’s worth checking whether you already have some form of central heating or boiler cover with your home insurance. You might not need a standalone policy if you already have home emergency cover added to your policy.

If you rent your home

You won’t need central heating boiler cover as it’s the responsibility of your landlord to take care of all central heating repairs and servicing.

If you’re a landlord

You have a responsibility to keep your tenants safe, so you’ll need to handle any repairs to the central heating system and boiler in your rental property quickly. Even if you already have landlord emergency cover, you may decide you need a more comprehensive standalone policy to cover routine repairs and annual servicing.

Is my central heating covered under my boiler warranty? 

No. Your central heating system won’t be covered by your boiler warranty. The boiler warranty only covers repairs to the boiler itself.

When you have a new boiler fitted, you’ll be given a warranty from the manufacturer. This means that if the boiler develops a fault or breaks down during the warranty period, the manufacturer will repair it free of charge. However, if you get a repair bill for other parts of your central heating system, for example, the pipework, this won’t be covered under your boiler warranty.

It’s important to note that the warranty period will only last a certain number of years and there will be conditions attached. For instance, if your boiler breaks down because of problems found in other areas of your central heating system, you may not be covered. Plus, you’ll still have to pay for an annual service.

What do I need to look out for with central heating cover? 

When you compare boiler and central heating cover, it’s important to read the policy wording carefully to make sure you know exactly what it is you’re paying for.

Here’s what to look out for before you sign up:

  • Engineer call-outs – are there any restrictions or limits on the number of call outs you can make in a year? You may be charged for extra visits.
  • Call-out fee – there might be a fixed or voluntary charge to pay every time an engineer visits, usually referred to as a call-out fee or excess. The higher the call-out fee you choose, the less you’ll pay for your policy.
  • Boiler age – central heating systems over 10 years old will be more difficult to insure. While it should still be possible to get cover, it’s likely you’ll have less choice and it might cost you more.
  • Exclusions – central heating maintenance is important as most heating service plans don’t include repairs for damage from limescale build-up or sludge, and won’t pay out if you fail to get an annual boiler service.
  • Claim limits – some policies put limits on how much you can claim for in repairs each year. If you go over the limit, you may have to pay extra.
  • No-claim periods – some policies won’t pay out for claims made within the first few weeks of you taking out your plan. This is to prevent you taking out central heating cover to fix an existing problem.
  • Cancellation fee – if you’re switching from one heating cover provider to another, check you won’t be hit by a cancellation charge for ending the old policy.

How do I get central heating cover? 

You may be offered heating insurance by your energy supplier, but it’s always worth shopping around to make sure you get the right deal for you.

If you’re looking for a standalone boiler and central heating plan, Comparethemarket has partnered with Hometree, one of the UK’s top-rated home care providers, to help you find affordable cover.

Alternatively, you can normally add home emergency cover to your home insurance for an extra cost. Read the Ts&Cs carefully to make sure your central heating system is covered, as it might depend on the age of your boiler and getting it serviced every year. And double check whether your whole central heating system is covered or just the boiler and its controls.

Looking for boiler and central heating insurance?

If you’re a homeowner or landlord looking for cover for your boiler, central heating system or both, we’ve partnered with Hometree to help you find a great deal.

Get a quote

Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

Learn more about Anna

Kate Hughes - Insurance and finance expert

As an award-winning journalist, author and broadcast commentator, Kate has been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She’s the former Money Editor for The Independent. Her work has appeared across the UK broadsheets as well as a number of international titles. Kate brings her financial expertise to inform her readers on ways to save money. She’s also written a book. ‘Going Zero: One Family’s Journey to Zero Waste and a Greener Lifestyle’ is available now.

Learn more about Kate

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