Why Get a Boiler Cover?
£270 is spent for repairs on average every time a boiler breaks down in a UK home. Unfortunately, most boiler breakdowns do not occur until the winter months have arrived and the boilers have become extremely important.
For many household owners, this is a huge cost to pay for, especially because it comes up as an unplanned emergency. While your boiler doesn’t necessarily breakdown every so often, research suggests that about 18% (about one-fifth) of all UK homes suffer at least one boiler breakdown every year. When this emergency arrives, many are torn between using their savings, credit cards or paycheck to fix their boilers.
Does getting boiler cover take care of the problem? Boiler cover gives you access to engineers who would repair your boiler in the case of an emergency service. Offered by a number of energy suppliers and heating companies, boiler cover usually includes an annual service of your system – whether or not there has been a breakdown.
British Gas, power and Scottish Power are major energy suppliers that also provide boiler cover for consumers. Comparison website uSwitch has found that only a few power consumers pay for boiler cover. It is understandable that many would avoid any extra costs given the hard financial times we find ourselves, however, as many as 13 per cent of those who experience heating emergencies have resorted to paying up for repairs through loans and credit cards.
Boilers can be expensive to fix
Although the average boiler repair cost has been pegged at £270, some surveyed by uSwitch admitted to paying above £1,250 for their repairs. This reveals a lot about the expected cost of a boiler repair. A functional boiler can easily be taken for granted, but a breakdown during the winter months can leave you and your family shivering, forcing you to shell out the required funds to fix it.
Despite the immediate concern about reduced savings, a central heating system is generally expensive, and can be very expensive to repair when broken. Boiler cover can go for as little as £5 per month, although some covers with better perks – such as gas fire cover and no excess payments – can get around the £20 mark. This is considerably cheaper when considering the lower pressure this broken payment will have on your pocket.
However, you want to keep in mind that what you get from boiler cover differs. Cover limits vary depending on the age and the condition of your boiler. This means that you may not be able to receive a complete claim for your repair. For the most part, your claim would not completely cover two breakdowns in a year too. Still, it reduces drastically how much you’d have to pay for any repairs.
Annual servicing keeps your boiler intact
Although boiler covers vary from one package to the next and from one provider to the next, there is one variable that is present in every boiler cover you may purchase – annual service. Your cover provider would rather not have your boiler breakdown. As a result, they promise to come around your home and service your boiler once every year.
Regularly servicing your boiler before or after the winter months will prepare it for the next season, helping it to function properly. Servicing your central heating system might also reveal problems you would otherwise have missed. With these problems addressed, you not only save yourself from the nightmare of a breakdown, you also prolong the lifespan of your system.
Peace of mind despite the very worst
Buying boiler cover might not seem like the smartest of moves, most especially when it happens that your boiler does not breakdown during the year. In fact, it might seem like a loss. But the benefits you get from boiler cover goes beyond just that. By paying the spread out monthly premium on your cover, you “buy” yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are covered in the case of any emergencies.
You save yourself the time and hassle that comes with having a boiler breakdown. If your boiler cover is meant to carry the entire cost of a breakdown, you can be sure that you wouldn’t have to pay a penny in the case of a breakdown. At the very worst though, you would have to pay a little to cover the excess costs on your cover. This allows you remain calm even when the worst happens to your boiler in the winter months.
A typical service charge on a standard combination boiler is about £60-£80. If nothing goes wrong with your boiler, paying a one-time service charge yearly will be cheaper than buying cover. But that changes when there is a problem. Then you will need to hire an engineer to fix your boiler if you’ve got no boiler cover.
B&Q Energy Services, for instance, charge £79 for an hour’s work, should you be willing to wait up to 36 hours on a weekday for an engineer call-out. This cost increases to £179 with a six hour wait period over the weekend. However, this does not factor in the cost of extra required parts, nor does it cover for extra hours required for the repairs.
This simple example above illustrates just how much you can save when you buy a boiler cover. Should your boiler breakdown, cover will prove to be the ultimate savings package, offering your free maintenance service without a breakdown, and cost savings when one occurs.
Do you need boiler cover?
The question of whether you need boiler cover might ultimately come down to personal preference. However, before you decide on whether getting boiler cover is important, it is vital that you first check if your home insurance covers you in cases of an emergency boiler breakdown.
Certain home insurance policies offer as much as £500 per claim in free annual home emergency cover. This emergency coverage covers everything from lost keys to broken boilers, so long as you can immediately prove that it is an emergency.
So, although a boiler breakdown might be covered, it has to be on a cold day, and the boiler has to be your only heating alternative. However, a boiler breakdown on a warm day will not be considered an emergency and the policy wouldn’t cover you in such an instance.
Note, too, that not all home insurance policies might offer you this leverage. If your policy does not offer you such coverage, you would still have to pay the costs of repairs during a breakdown. If you have decided to get boiler cover, be sure to check what exactly it is you are buying. Your boiler cover should be a year-round policy.
Beyond that, though, you want to be clear on the number of call-outs you will be entitled to yearly and/or the amount you can lay claim to in a year. While it might seem like a lot when you first start paying for one, boiler cover will ultimately prove to be a cost-saving option.