What's in this article?
With the Money Advice Service reporting that 33% of adults have no savings at all, boiler cover could be the difference between a warm winter or plummeting into debt, should your boiler break down. Paying in monthly to a boiler cover plan would mean that most costs would be paid for in the event of a boiler emergency, meaning you wouldn't need to dive into the overdraft.
However, depending on your circumstances, boiler cover could be a waste of money. You may already be covered, or be better off saving up yourself.
According to Which?, customers in the UK pay an average of £247 per year on boiler insurance. That means that over 5 years, you'll fork out over £1200 on the off chance your boiler should break down.
If you're the type who's good at saving, its likely to be better value for money to just save up a pot of money to take care of the boiler. Without paying an added premium to an insurance company, you can spend the excess money however you like.
Read the small print
Though you may not expect it, paying an excess is common with boiler cover. Check before you sign anything how much your excess will be.
The second thing to look out for is the claims limit. Most insurers will publish a limit on how much they will pay out for different boiler faults and repairs. Get an idea of average prices for boiler repairs, and make sure that your insurance company will be willing to cover it
The most basic boiler cover should include a 24 hour call out, and cover for the costs of most common boiler faults.
If you can spend more, for around £350 a year, you can get a completely comprehensive cover including the costs of labour, parts and repairs, and even plumbing, drainage and wiring problems. The cover should include an annual service and maintenance, too.
Be aware that some policies will have a limit on the number of call outs per year, so if your boiler is prone to breaking down, you may not always be covered.
Is it needed?
You might not know it, but your boiler may already be covered. Take a look at your boiler's warranty - with some lasting up to 10 years, it may be that you've already got a contingency for a boiler break down. However, some warranties can only be claimed if the boiler has been serviced every year, without this it could be void.
Don't forget that if you live in a rented property, it's up to the landlord to arrange boiler insurance and get any issues fixed, so you won't need to arrange any cover.
It could also be worth checking the fine print on your home insurance policy - it might cover your boiler too. Just take note of the policy's wording, because you might only be covered in certain circumstances or during particular months of the year. You should also bear in mind any restrictions; for instance, only boilers up to a certain age may be covered.
The cost of your cover will vary depending on the age and make of your boiler. If your boiler is getting on, and developing faults regularly, it may be actually be cheaper to buy a new boiler through a finance plan, rather than pay for expensive boiler cover.
All new boilers come with a warranty plan, meaning you'll be covered for up to 10 years against any faults which may develop in the future.