Posted on 18 March 2020

How To Compare Home Emergency Cover Effectively

Home emergency insurance means you have cover if something goes wrong in your home, like a broken boiler, burst pipes or plumbing problems.

Home insurance will typically cover you for the damage an emergency causes but not all home insurance policies will provide cover for the emergency itself so it’s worth checking to ensure you’re protecting should the worst occur.

As with all types of insurance, there are different levels of cover available so it’s worth thinking about the types of things you want to be covered for and focus on these when making your decision.

How To Compare Home Emergency Cover Effectively

Home emergency insurance means you have cover if something goes wrong in your home, like a broken boiler, burst pipes or plumbing problems.

Home insurance will typically cover you for the damage an emergency causes but not all home insurance policies will provide cover for the emergency itself so it’s worth checking to ensure you’re protected should the worst occur.

As with all types of insurance, there are different levels of cover available so it’s worth thinking about the types of things you want to be covered for and focus on these when making your decision.

What’s classed as an emergency?

Most insurance companies will define an emergency as something that could:

  • Render the home unsafe or insecure
  • Damage or cause further damage to the home
  • Cause personal risk to you/cause a health and safety risk to others

Make sure you check the individual insurance company’s documents to ensure you’re happy with their definition of what an emergency would be.

What’s covered?

Home emergency cover varies depending on how much you pay and the level of cover which is provided. Depending on the individual policy, home emergency cover can protect against the following:

  • Loss of heat/hot water
  • Burst pipes
  • Blocked drains
  • Failure to the electrics
  • Broken doors/windows
  • Lost keys
  • Pest infestation

Some policies will also offer a financial contribution towards a new boiler if yours breaks down and can’t be repaired.

When researching your options, you’ll need to make sure that you have access to a 24/7 helpline/claim line as part of your policy so that should the worst happen, you have access to a network of fully qualified engineers who can put it right for you.

What’s not covered?

Even if something is covered, you may find there are limits to the amount you can claim.

There could be limits to:

  • The total cost per call out
  • The total cost of claims per year
  • The number of call-outs you can make a year

Common exclusions on home emergency cover are:

  • Claims occurring within the first 14 days of the policy being taken out
  • Emergencies occurring due to pre-existing faults, poor maintenance or wear and tear
  • Non-residential properties (i.e. commercial and/or rented properties)
  • Park homes and mobile homes
  • Boilers over 15 years old

Home Emergency Policy Vs Home Insurance Add -On

Some insurance companies will offer a home emergency ‘add-on’ to their standard home insurance. These are typically a little cheaper but aren’t as comprehensive as a standalone home emergency policy. We have gone into more detail in our blog post Home Emergency Cover Vs Home Insurance Add On.

Service contract vs insurance policy

Make sure you check whether you’re buying a service contract or an insurance policy. A service contract is an agreement between you and the provider or manufacturer that it will cover the cost of any repair work should it go wrong.

Unlike an insurance policy, service contracts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and so you’ll have limited protection should the company fail to fulfil its agreement. For that reason, a home emergency insurance policy is generally a safer option; it’s always worth checking that the insurer you’re planning to buy from is regulated.

Optional Extras

As with other insurance policies, you’ll be able to choose an optional excess; this is an amount of money payable in the event you need to claim on your home emergency cover. The higher the excess, the cheaper the policy will be.

You can also generally choose to include an annual boiler service if you take out a home emergency policy for an additional fee. These will be completed in line with Gas Safety Regulations and are typically completed between April and September to ensure engineers are available to respond to emergencies in the colder months.

To find out more about our boiler with central heating cover and how our other types of cover are here to solve your home emergencies, including plumbing and drains and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes!

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