Boiler Insurance

By: Keira Parker

If you've had to fork out hundreds of pounds for emergency heating repairs, or had to go days with no hot water or heating, you'll know just how costly your central heating system can be.

This is why many people choose central home heating insurance - because you never know when you'll need emergency assistance.

Whose is responsible for your heating?

If you own your own home - and live in it - then it's your responsibility to maintain your heating system and arrange your annual boiler safety check.

However, if you rent your property - both privately or through your local council, it's your landlord's responsibility to fix any problems in your heating system and you don't need .

If you own your home but have recently had a new boiler fitted, check to see if it's covered under warranty before taking out insurance for it.

Your central heating cover

If you do want heating cover, you don't have to take it from the company that supplies your gas and electricity or the one that fitted your boiler as it might not be the most competitive on the market, or offer the kind of you want.

Make sure you shop around and compare package features as well as the price to ensure you get cover that suits you.

What it covers

Central boiler insurance varies widely from one provider to the next so comparing can be difficult.

Always keep your needs and your budget in mind; try a comparison site which offers advice and compares the different plans side by side.

Basic plans cover just your boiler and controls, with your full heating system, plumbing and even electrics included as you move up the scale.

Some companies also include your annual boiler safety check which will help recover some of the cost if you don't otherwise make a claim.

What to look out for:

Make sure you know how many callouts you're covered for during the course of the year as some insurance is limited. You can take help from companies like British Gas Home Care to find out relevant details about this kind of insurance.

Among other things, you will also need to know if you have access to a 24 hour emergency line, what your provider considers being an emergency and whether your boiler will be excluded because of age or model. Also check whether a 30 day no claims period applies.

Do you really need it?

If you have a relatively new boiler and heating system, where you don't expect to have to call an engineer, you might be better off not paying a monthly fee and just shelling out the ?200 or so it costs in an unlikely emergency.

If your worry is more about having to fork out that much in one go, you could set up a standing order for around ?20 a month to go into a high interest savings account. That way you have an emergency fund in case something does go wrong - while earning interest and peace of mind as long as nothing does.

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