Does my home insurance cover boilers— this is one of the first questions on homeowners’ minds when a boiler breaks down.
Sadly most home insurance policies do not cover boilers as standard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t insure your heating system.
Here is all you need to know about boilers and insurance.
As mentioned above, most home insurance companies do not include boiler cover in their standard buildings, contents or combined insurance policies.
They might pay for the damages caused by a faulty boiler (such as a water leak or oil leak) but they will not cover the actual cost of repairing the device.
Boilers are one of the most used appliances in the home, especially in winter. As a result, they are the most prone to breaking—almost 17% of all households have reported a broken boiler in past years, which is one of the reasons insurers are reluctant to include boiler cover as standard.
There are two ways you can get your boiler insured: by adding boiler cover to your home insurance or opting for Home Emergency Cover.
Even though home insurance policies do not include boiler cover, you can purchase boiler and central heating insurance as an optional extra. This usually covers the repairs to your boiler in case it breaks down. More specifically it will reimburse you for the cost of:
Bear in mind that not all insurers will cover an older appliance or an oil or LNG boiler. In this case, you would need a stand-alone policy.
A standalone home boiler insurance will cover:
Boiler cover should include all types of boilers, from gas and combined to condensing and oil-powered, but you still need to check the particulars to see if your boiler qualifies.
What is not included in boiler insurance?
However, as is the case with other damages around the home, such as a leaking roof or a burst pipe, your insurance will not cover you for damages caused by regular wear and tear or inadequate maintenance.
Other exclusions may include:
In addition, there might be some limitations in place regarding
There might be a waiting period (ranging from a few days to a few weeks) between taking out the policy and being able to make a claim.
A home emergency cover is typically offered as a stand-alone contract, although many of the best UK home insurance companies are providing it as an extra to a standard home insurance policy.
Home Emergency Cover is designed to help homeowners with unplanned expenses. It will pay for the cost of repairing your boiler, parts and labour, as well as plumbing, drainage, electric supply issues and other problems classified as home emergencies.
What is not included in a Home Emergency Cover?
Not all insurers offer the same terms and conditions in their home emergency cover package. For instance, most insurance companies will not cover costs resulting from accidental damage (this is another add-on you can purchase), DIY or faulty workmanship, nor will they pay for a boiler that is over 15 years old or has not been serviced in over a year.
Similarly, while the majority will include alternative accommodation as part of the package, they might limit you to one or two call-outs a year.
This means you must carefully read the fine print and compare as many quotes as possible before taking out a home insurance policy.
While both cover repairs for a broken boiler, the former also includes flood damage, pest infestations and other home emergencies and should be used in case of an actual emergency—for example, if the damage is so severe that the home is uninhabitable. For non-urgent repairs, you can use your home insurance.
Another difference is that home energy cover does not include ongoing maintenance and annual servicing.
Finally, boiler coverage has lower limits as home emergency cover often restricts policyholders to a certain number of claims throughout the policy term.
Although boiler cover is not a legal obligation and you can always organise or pay for repairs yourself, having boiler insurance will help you better manage the cost and stress of unexpended breakdowns in the rental home.
However, just as with home insurance, companies offering landlord insurance are not likely to include this in their standard policies. That said, some do, so ask around before you take out coverage.
Some home insurance companies do include boiler cover as standard. Check with your insurer before taking out a new policy or going for an expensive add-on.
Even if boiler cover is not included in your insurance, it still pays to contact your existing insurers first—you might get a significant discount if you upgrade your policy.
Energy supplies like British Gas offer boiler cove—but if you switch providers (as 400,000 UK customers did last year, energy statistics report), your policy will likely get cancelled.
Generally, insurers will not offer boiler cover for old boilers, especially ones that are nearing an average lifespan of 15 years. Even if they do, the cost of insurance will be higher. Before you look into insurance quotes for an older boiler, consider how much a new one would cost—it might be more cost-effective to replace an ageing boiler with a new, energy-efficient model.
If you claim government benefits or have low income, you could qualify for a boiler grant that may cover the cost of repairs or pay towards a new boiler.
Depending on the age and type of boiler you should get it serviced at least once a year or once in two years—this will not only ensure that the device is in good condition, but it will also increase its efficiency.
If you notice signs that your boiler might be breaking down (unusual sounds, underperformance, extinguished pilot light) call a gas-safe engineer who will check it and give recommendations.
It may seem obvious, but if your boiler stops working, the first thing to do is check if the warranty is still valid. Standard warranties cover one to two years, while extended warranties can go on for five to ten years. Keep in mind that just like insurance, your warranty will not be valid if the boiler has not been serviced by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
In short: yes. If you are a homeowner or landlord, having home emergency cover can help you deal with an emergency boiler breakdown—from paying for alternative accommodation to sending out an emergency plumber. That said, if you are renting, there is no need to pay extra—home insurance cover for boiler breakdowns is the landlord’s responsibility.
Before you start comparing insurance quotes, though, check your policy or contact your insurer—the answer to the question ‘does home insurance cover boilers’ could be positive, in which case you might not need to take out an expensive policy.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.