Central heating boilers tend to have the irritating habit of breaking down when you least expect it and are the least prepared for it financially, which is why it’s so important to make sure that you have the right type of boiler cover. A good boiler cover policy will provide you with the peace of mind that no matter what goes wrong with your boiler at any time of the year, and no matter how much it would have cost you, you can get your boiler repaired or replaced at no additional cost to yourself. Since a faulty boiler can pose a massive health risk and hazard around your home, getting the right cover isn’t just important for protecting your finances, but also for keeping yourself and your family safe. Read on for our guide to choosing the right kind of boiler cover for your needs.
#1. Boiler Breakdown Cover:
If you are considering getting boiler breakdown cover, then here are some main things to consider:
You’ll need to think about how much of the system is covered; determine whether the cover will include both the boiler and the controls, and whether or not the pipes and radiators are included in the boiler breakdown cover. Bear in mind that some policies will only include the boiler and its controls, while others will offer a more extensive level of cover for the boiler, controls, radiators and pipes at a higher cost. For instance, Certi’s Value+ boiler cover which you can find here includes repairs of the pumps, fans, controls, leaking radiators and much more.
You should also consider that most policies today will only cover gas boilers, and it’s difficult to find cover for an oil-fired boiler.
You’ll also need to check how well the boiler breakdown cover is reviewed or rated. There is little point in going for the cheapest policy if it has an awful reputation when it comes to customer service. When purchasing boiler cover, it’s worth shopping around on different websites to see what previous and existing customers thought of the service and cover that they received and work out which would be the best option for your needs.
Finally, be aware of the different types of contract available; there are two main types of boiler cover. Insurance-based will cover the cost of any necessary repairs, while a service contract will usually include an annual check-up or boiler service in the price.
#2. Getting Cover with the Manufacturer:
Getting boiler cover from your boiler’s manufacturer is a popular option, and there are many benefits of doing so. Check with your manufacturer first before getting cover for your boiler, as they may offer you an extended warranty and/or a breakdown cover contract directly from them, which can be easier and cheaper than going with an external company in some instances. The main advantage of going with your boiler manufacturer is that they are more likely to continue covering the make and model of your boiler compared to external and independent companies, which will often change and update the list and range of boiler models that they will cover.
Whether you go with your manufacturer or an independent company, bear in mind that all insurance-based boiler cover contracts are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means that you will be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service if there is a problem. On the other hand, service contracts are not usually regulated in the same way, therefore you would need to contact a consumer organisation, such as Citizen’s Advice, if you encounter any issues.
#3. What to Look Out For:
Don’t get caught out when choosing boiler cover; getting familiar with your contract and understanding what is and isn’t covered will help you know what to expect in the event of any boiler emergencies and help you avoid any nasty financial surprises. Do your research on the polices offered; for example, most boiler cover companies will not typically cover your boiler if it is older than a certain age, which can be as low as seven years. Others will cover older boilers, however, there are certain conditions attached; for example, they will not replace your boiler if this is not an economical option i.e. once it’s older than a certain number of years. Some contracts will provide replacement cover for boilers up to ten years old, providing that they have been installed by that company and continuously insured from the day of purchase.
You’ll also need to look out for your no claims period – most policies will have a time period of between around fourteen and thirty days where cover will not be provided for your boiler. This clause exists to protect the companies by preventing people from taking out boiler cover as and when they need it, rather than taking it out before their boiler begins to shows signs of damage or wear. However, problems can easily spring up out of the blue, so it’s a wise idea to double check the no claims period and make sure that you are comfortable with it.
Finally, be aware of what counts as an emergency; this normally means winter breakdown problems, but make sure that you read the terms and conditions before signing up.
#4. What Cover Won’t Include:
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that boiler cover will include everything that could possibly go wrong with your boiler; there may be instances where cover will not be provided. It’s worth knowing that most policies will not provide cover for issues that are a direct result of the build-up of limescale, for example. If you live in a hard water area, this could be a real issue, so it’s worth looking into additional maintenance that you can do to prevent this from causing problems for you in the future.
The build-up of sludge in the central heating system is usually also excluded from the majority of boiler breakdown policies. A sludge build-up usually means that you will need to get the entire central heating system power flushed, which can cost hundreds of pounds. Regular boiler and central heating system maintenance and servicing will not prevent these problems from occurring completely, but will definitely help to keep the system in better condition and avoid any issues.
#5. Do I Really Need Boiler Cover?
Finally, you might be asking yourself whether or not boiler cover is something that you really need. The answer will of course depend on the type of boiler that you have, how old it is, and whether or not it is already covered by a warranty. For example, if you have a brand-new boiler that is covered for a few years with a manufacturer’s warranty, you may not need to worry about purchasing additional cover until your warranty runs out. However, even in this case, it may be worth looking into purchasing central heating cover, to provide you with peace of mind about your home’s entire system.
On the other hand, if you have an older boiler and central heating system, taking out the right level of cover is absolutely essential. This is especially true if your boiler is no longer within the age range of being covered by your manufacturer’s warranty; older boilers are more likely to encounter issues, and not having the right cover will leave you needing to pay for repairs or even a replacement from your own pocket, which can be a significant cost.
If you found this guide helpful, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.