Does your home insurance leave you in the cold?
Just a fifth (21%) of home contents insurance policies and only a quarter (24%) of home buildings policies include cover for home emergencies, such as boiler breakdown, according to Defaqto.
Another alternative is to purchase a separate ‘standalone’ home emergency insurance. However, the financial information provider found that 52% of ‘home emergency’ policies do not offer anything towards the cost of replacing a boiler.
What are your options?
Boiler breakdown insurance is specifically designed to protect a boiler against the cost of future breakdown. These products cover the cost of any repairs to a boiler to get it up and running again but not necessarily replace it if it is broken. Many include an annual boiler service.
With a new boiler costing anywhere upwards of £1,000, 36% of policies available cover costs of at least £750 or more towards a replacement boiler, while a further 13 policies offer unlimited cover towards replacement. However, there will be exclusions based on the age and power output of the boiler.
Home emergency insurance covers a range of emergencies that affect the home. It is designed to help people who have been hit by an emergency to make their home safe again or reinstate essential services. It offers more comprehensive cover than boiler breakdown insurance and can provide some peace of mind heading into the winter months when homes are at risks of central heating failure, burst pipes, electrical failure and roof damage caused by extreme weather.
Home emergency insurance is sometimes added on to home contents and buildings insurance and packaged bank accounts or offered through utility providers, so check whether you already have cover in place and any exclusions, before buying a new policy.
Brian Brown, consumer finance expert at Defaqto, said: “As we are spending much more time at home this winter, having heating and hot water is more important than ever. In the past, you could pop round to a neighbour’s for a shower or go to a café to keep warm during the day if your boiler broke down, but these options don’t exist for most people now.
“Boilers are expensive and the cost of having to replace one can be a nasty shock. If you don’t have the funds to pay for this, then a boiler breakdown policy that helps towards boiler replacement could be a good option for you. Homeowners looking for a more comprehensive cover may find a home emergency policy provides greater comfort. However, the extent of cover can be limited. So it’s always worth checking the market to find a policy that’s right for your circumstances.”