Boiler Cover Explained – UK Guide
We all know that the UK is generally a ‘cold’ country, particularly during the winter months, our boilers are a lifesaver, but which Boiler Cover is the best one to choose?
Typically Boiler Cover
is a form of insurance, which covers both the fixing of your boiler and heating system, and the cost of servicing it too. Boiler Cover is generally paid on an annual or monthly basis.
For most people, having the correct boiler policy is highly recommended; the stress of having a boiler that is not working can be a terrible experience. The piece of mind you will have knowing an engineer is only a phone call way can be very reassuring.
What Boiler Cover is available in the UK?
In Britain you will find there tends to be only two types of boiler breakdown cover, these usually are:
- Policies which cover both the boiler itself and the boiler controls
- Policies which takes care of the whole heating system including hot water
It’s increasingly common to find that most boiler cover insurers will provide additional services (usually for an additional fee), these can include policy cover for drain blockages and plumbing for example.
As each insurance provider is different, you will find each one will offer different features and policies. This is why it’s certainly recommended to ‘shop around’ for the best deal.
Which Boiler Cover Insurance Should I Get?
Typically you will find that most insurance providers will have ‘boiler-only’ heating cover or a ‘full system’ cover. If your budget allows, it’s obviously a good idea to go for the full system heating cover, however let’s look at both of these in more detail:
- Full System Cover – This level of cover is the best you can get, it usually includes an engineer coming to your home and fixing the whole system if required. This can include a whole range of parts such as the pump, the flue, radiators and so on. What makes a full system heating policy ideal is it usually includes all ‘call-outs’, labour and parts. Most providers will also include a yearly ‘safety check and service’. However, to be on the safe side, it’s always recommended to read your insurers full terms and conditions, and additional documentation to see what applies to you.
- Boiler-Only Cover – This type of cover is an entry-level plan, it basically means should an issue occur with your boiler, an engineer would only fix the boiler and the controls, not other elements in your home such as radiators, etc. You should be aware however that some plans do not include certain parts, such as the pump. This obviously varies depending on your provider so read all the documentation you have been given. Equally, you should also be aware that this level of cover may not include an ‘annual service check’, generally it will be included however it sometimes isn’t. If you do select a boiler only insurance policy try to get one with the call-out, parts and labour covered as standard, so you don’t have any hidden or additional charges.
How is Boiler Cover Calculated?
Generally, boiler cover can vary in price depending on a number of different factors, these can be simple things such as how big your home is, the method you heat it and your boilers brand and age.
Equally, the type of cover you opt for will also have a bearing on the price you will need to pay. Obviously a ‘boiler only’ cover will usually be less than a full system policy.
It goes without saying that just like other forms of insurance, boiler plans are determined on a individual basis. You may find a friend or family member has a lower amount to pay, while you could have higher and vice-versa.
Always remember that if your budget can allow, select a full system policy with all parts, labour and maintenance included (this also needs to include annual ‘check ups’) with no extra charge. This will generally be the most expensive option, however for your own piece of mind, it could be worth it in the long run.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Boiler Cover Plan
Choosing the correct cover for your requirements can be tricky; obviously we all have different boilers, which can range in age and manufacturer. Generally these points should be considered when choosing the correct boiler insurance for your needs:
- Boiler Brand – The type of boiler you have, could affect the price you will pay. Generally speaking, Boilers installed by British Gas will be able to be insured by most insurance providers, unknown or ‘defunct’ manufacturers may present problems.
- Age - Typically, a ‘newer’ boiler should enjoy decent premiums, as more parts are available. You may find that older boilers are harder to insure. Generally, most insurance companies will have a ‘limit’ on the age of the boiler; some will be 15 years old, while others could be lower.
- Number of Call-Outs – You may find that some policies will limit the number of call-outs you can make over the duration of the policy. Some providers will set call-outs on a yearly basis, while others will set them on a duration basis. If it’s the latter, this means you may only be able to call an engineer out 5 times over a 5 year period for example.
- Parts and Labour – Arguably when a boiler or heating system presents a problem, the parts and labour cost can easy go into several hundreds of pounds. It’s always recommended to have a policy, which includes all parts and labour as standard without any extra charges or fees.
- No Claims Period – You may find that an insurer has a ‘no claims period’, this means you can’t claim until a certain date has been reached. For example, let’s say you take out a cover agreement on the 1st of November; the policy may have a 60-day no claim period. This means an engineer won’t come out to your home until after the 30th of December.
Boiler Cover Glossary – Terminology Explained
Sometimes the words used can seem like a foreign language, that’s why we’ve created this superb little glossary, so you can understand each phrase in more detail.
- Boiler – A boiler is part of a home’s wider central heating system. Designed to produce hot water and heat, it can be powered by gas, oil, fuel or electric.
- Boiler Cover – This is a form of insurance, which ‘covers’ the boiler, or the heating system should an problem occur.
- Call-Out – If your boiler breaks down, then you will need an engineer to come into your home to fix it. This is called a call-out.
- Flue – The boiler flue is a pipe that is used to remove the poisonous gasses which is released by the boiler.
- Labour – This represents the ‘man’ hours and time it takes to fix your boiler.
- Parts – This can be anything which is part of the boiler itself, such as the pump or part of the wider heating system such as the radiators.
- Pump – The pump is located inside of the Boiler, it ‘pumps’ both hot water and heat from the boiler to other parts of the heating system. Such as taps, showers, sinks and radiators.
Original Publication: 3 July 2017
Last Updated: 3 July 2017