A new survey from Gocompare.com has revealed that a quarter of householders are worried about their boiler breaking down and many would be left struggling to pay for the cost of repairs.
When questioned as to how they might pay for a £300 repair bill for their boiler only 27% of those surveyed said that they had money set aside for such an emergency, 23% held specific boiler cover, while ten per cent would have to pay by credit card.
But many householders could have cover for emergency boiler or central heating repairs under their home buildings insurance. Home emergency insurance covers household misfortunes, typically insuring against your boiler breaking down, plumbing or drainage trouble or, home security issues. It generally covers the cost of call-out, labour and materials for temporary or permanent repairs up to a maximum limit per claim.
Gocompare.com reviewed over 300 policies and found that the majority (71%) provide cover for home emergencies as either a standard feature (20%) or as an upgrade for an additional fee (51%). Of those policies providing cover for home emergencies, 98% cover the home’s main central heating system and 72% provide insurance against hot water failure.
The ‘boiler trouble’ consumer research, commissioned by Gocompare.com, also found that:
•42% of those surveyed had experienced boiler trouble in last three years. Of these, 22% required a complete replacement of their system, 19% had to have emergency repairs, and 54% needed just minor repairs;
•The average cost of these repairs was £469 (12% had a bill of over £1,000);
•Well over half (56%) of those surveyed said that they have had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months, but nine per cent haven’t had their system checked for over two years, while 11% admitted to never having had their boiler serviced
•The level of cover varies from policy to policy, but most provide cover of £500 to £1,000.
Jeremy Cryer, Gocompare.com’s energy spokesperson, said: “Boilers are one of the most expensive items in your home to replace or repair but, many people don’t give them a thought until they let them down. We strongly advise people to have their system checked on an annual basis, this helps ensure that it is running safely and efficiently.
“Several energy suppliers offer specialist boiler insurance which covers you against the cost of emergency repairs and the price usually provides an annual service. If you are considering insurance, you should check your household buildings insurance policy for home emergency cover first – because your boiler might already be protected. But, while insurance covers the failure of, or accidents to, essential services to your home, policies generally exclude problems, which result from systems not being properly maintained. So, for example, the failure of boilers or heating systems are usually only covered when they have been inspected or serviced by a qualified person within the preceding 12 months.”