Do you ever wonder – is boiler cover worth it?
Heating costs have crept up over the years and so have the costs of maintaining the heating system itself. If you are responsible for the maintenance of a boiler you will be aware that servicing, break down call outs, parts and labour costs all add up pretty quickly. But is there any other way rather than ad-hoc, bills at short notice, that often crop up when you could really do without them?
Well, there is…. Many companies offer boiler cover, a monthly subscription that covers various elements of the cost of maintaining boilers, but are they worth the money?
Is Boiler Cover Worth It?
This article will explore how such policies work, typical costs as well as weighing up if the policies are worth the fees.
How do Boiler Subscription Policies Work?
Put simply, boiler cover policies are insurance contracts. The monthly premiums will vary depending on the level of cover chosen and, in some circumstances, there are excess fees to pay when making a claim and also maximum pay outs, capping the level of cover. Depending on the company and their boiler cover pricing structure, the type of boiler and age of the system may also affect the premiums.
There are often four types of cover:
Boiler only cover – Commonly the most basic cover and therefore usually the cheapest option on the market, insuring the boiler and controls only. For example, if your boiler is broken down and you end up needing a new boiler, then this is where boiler cover can come in useful by either ensuring your boiler is repaired or securing you a replacement boiler.
Boiler and central heating cover – As above, with the additional cover for the rest of the heating system such as pipes, radiators and heating pumps.
Boiler, heating, plumbing, drains and home electrics cover – This is more of an extensive type of policy that also covers the drains, burst pipes, and electrical repairs, and as such is more of a pricey option.
Home emergency cover – This policy option provides cover in emergency situations such as a burst pipe causing an internal flood or broken boiler in cold weather.
There are differences between the cover options, therefore it is worth taking time to establish which type of policy suits your needs, as well as checking the policy for exclusions.
Also, it is common for insurance policies to apply an initial no-claims period to protect the insurance companies from the risk of policies being started just when a problem is identified, and therefore always note the duration of no-claims on the policy.
Also, it is worth noting that most insurance policies will not provide cover for boilers over seven years old and therefore if a policy is not in place already, self insurance may be the only option.
Elements to be Aware of When Considering is Boiler Cover worth it?
Do I Need Boiler Cover?
As with any purchase or policy, it is always worth asking yourself, do you need it?
Boiler cover is an optional expense, and in some situations the policy premiums may cost more than the benefits within the year, especially if the boiler is running smoothly and therefore may only require the annual service.
However, if the boiler is ageing and becoming temperamental, a policy may be worth considering for peace of mind and could save money depending on the average claims.
There are a range of circumstances that a boiler cover policy would not normally be recommended as follows:
Rental tenants – Often the landlord is responsible for maintaining the boiler and heating system and therefore as a rental tenant boiler policies are are not required.
Boiler under warranty – Before committing to a policy, it is worth checking if the boiler is under warranty and if so, what is included. As Energy Guide states, servicing would not usually be covered; however, it would not often be cost effective to take out a boiler cover policy for servicing the alone. As an example, an annual service typically sets a household back around £80, however boiler cover premiums could easily be over £200 a year.
Parts may be covered under a warranty however the labour required to fit replacement parts may not be, therefore in this scenario it would be worth considering the likelihood of a breakdown and decide if self-insuring is an option.
Boiler cover provided elsewhere –
It is also worth considering the elements that are not covered when considering getting a boiler cover policy. For example, any damage caused by a build up of limescale is often not covered, which depending on where you live, the condition of the water and limescale content is often a common cause of boiler fault.
Alike other insurance policies, the renewal offered to existing customers isn’t usually the most competitive and therefore it’s often worth shopping around to take advantage of any promotional offers for new customers.
Excesses and call out charges
As discussed, when seeking a boiler cover policy, it is important to check the terms for what is covered, any excess fees and call out charges. Thankfully, comparison websites such as uswitch and Money Supermarket, aid the process of shopping around and comparing terms between policies to easily view the differences and filter by desired features.
Other options – Self Insurance
As briefly mentioned, boiler cover is not a compulsory policy to have and therefore depending on the age and reliability of your boiler, you may consider self insuring by saving the cost of the monthly premiums into a different account.
Admittedly, self-Insurance can take a while to benefit as initially there would not be a large sum saved to call upon in the case of a break down, therefore this option needs to be evaluated in connection to the risks.
However, some breakdowns can be resolved fairly cost effectively with access to parts and a
Boiler Cover Summary
Unfortunately, it is not easy to establish whether boiler cover is worth the premiums in every scenario as it would depend on how often a claim is required, the cost of the excess charges and call outs as well as the cost of the policy itself.
However, boiler cover can be a helpful way to spread the cost of boiler servicing and repairs, especially for more expensive to fix boilers, such as combination boilers.
Is Boiler Cover Worth It? is a feature post