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Home Emergency Assist FAQs

Got a question? We've tried to cover off the most frequently asked questions, but if you can't find the answer to your question, please get in touch.

Coronavirus Questions

If you suffer an emergency breakdown which is covered under your home emergency policy, you should still get in touch with us as normal within 48 hours of the emergency occurring.

Our claims team will be asking you a series of questions regarding your health before we send out an engineer and we’ll be asking our engineers the same questions to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible, Similarly, if our engineers attend your property and feel that either your health or their health may be impacted if the appointment were to go ahead, they may delay this.

We’re working hard to ensure we can help people who aren’t self-isolating and experience an emergency, but please let us know if you think you could be at risk so we can take proper safety precautions. Contact our claims team and we’ll do our best to find a way to help.

The safety of both our customers and our engineers is our highest priority. If someone in your house is self-isolating and it’s not an emergency, then we’ll rearrange for an engineer to attend after the recommended self-isolation period is over.

If it is an emergency and we can’t attend due to a member of your household self-isolating, we are offering a video-call service where possible, for plumbing and heating issues. This may include showing you how to reset or re-pressure your boiler or isolate a leaking toilet/sink. Please call the claims line as normal (within 48 hours) to report your issue and we’ll do our best to help.

If your home emergency cover includes non-emergency call outs and you have a problem which is not an emergency, we will be able to offer support and advice over the phone. However, we will be reserving our engineers for emergency call outs only.

We’ll only reschedule appointments if it’s unavoidable and we’ll always let you know in advance. If you don’t hear from us, you can assume your appointment is going ahead as planned. We’ll do our best to offer you the same level of support you usually get, but there are challenging times ahead. We may be short-staffed at times if engineers need to self-isolate. If that happens, we may have to prioritise emergency cases over routine appointments.

In accordance with the new government guidelines issued over the weekend, we’re unfortunately unable to service your boiler for the duration of the lockdown period. This is to keep you and our engineers as safe as possible.

We’ll continue to book services in, but only for appointments after 2 December 2020. We will be contacting any customers who are scheduled during this lockdown period and reschedule where possible.

Please be assured we’re doing everything we can to complete any outstanding boiler services as quickly as possible and we thank you for your patience during these difficult times.

If you have an appliance which breaks down, you can log your claim online within 72 hours of the issue occurring.

We’ll do our best to send an engineer at the earliest opportunity but if you’re self-isolating, we’ll arrange an engineer to attend after the recommended self-isolation period is over.

We may experience a high volume of calls due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and so that we can better assist you, please only phone if you have a query that requires an answer urgently. If you have a non-urgent query, please contact us via live chat or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

In the event of a government imposed ‘lockdown’, our services may be reduced so please bear with us during these uncertain times. If you need to make any changes to your policy at this point, you would need to contact us via live chat or email.

The safety of both our customers and engineers is our top priority so we’ve put safeguards in place to ensure everyone is kept safe while social distancing.

Before we book your engineer’s appointment

We’ll ask you a series of questions regarding your health before we send out an engineer and we’ll be asking our engineers the same questions to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible.

On the day

Our engineers will take extra precautions on the day of your appointment, including:

  • Handwashing before, during and after their visit
  • Wearing PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • Not asking you to sign anything (our engineers will instead ask for your verbal confirmation and sign on your behalf)
  • Social distancing: we ask that you stay in a different room (or maintain a 2 meter distance) from our engineers
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General Questions

Your cover will commence on the day we process your application, but claims cannot be made in the first 14 days of cover. Claims under Appliance cover cannot be made within the first 28 days. This helps to prevent claims being made for pre-existing problems which in turn helps us to keep our prices lower. We can then pass these savings on to you, our customers.

Call our customer service helpline on 0333 00 34 999 to make any changes to your contact details.

You can choose from several call out fee options, depending on your personal circumstances which you will see once you’ve got a quote.  Generally the higher the call out fee you choose, the lower your premium will be.

Please note, there’s also a compulsory £60 call out fee on all claims made within the 90 days of the start date of the policy (this does not apply if you’ve included a voluntary excess or to Boiler and Central Heating claims).

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call one of our friendly advisors on 0333 00 32 999.

You can download our Home Emergency Cover and Appliance Cover terms and conditions, and policy wording here.  For copies of your policy schedule, call us on 0333 00 34 999 or email to: customerservice@homemergencyassist.com and we will arrange for a new set to be sent out to you.

Occasionally Firefox can present an issue with our documents.  We would suggest either saving your policy documents to your desktop and opening them from there with the relevant software, or view our website through an alternative internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari.

Your Home Emergency Cover and/or Appliance Cover policy is set up as a rolling contract to give you added peace of mind that you are always going to be covered.  This means that, at the anniversary of the policy (the renewal date), we will automatically renew the cover unless we receive a letter or notification from you to cancel the policy before the expiry date. We will always send you a reminder of this once every 12 months at least 2 weeks prior to the anniversary.

For both our Home Emergency Insurance and Appliance Cover there is a 14 day cooling off period on the policy.  If you change your mind within that period, any monies debited from you will be refunded.  If your policy is cancelled either within or after the cancellation period and you have made a claim, your policy will be cancelled immediately but you will still be required to pay the full year’s premium.

To cancel or transfer your policy into another name, please write to us at the address below or email to: customerservice@homeemergencyassist.com.  Please let us know the reason for cancellation or amendment.

Customer Services Department
Home Emergency Assist
Holland House
20 Oxford Road
Bournemouth
BH8 8EZ

Please be aware that a £35 Administration fee applies outside of the initial 14 day cooling off period during both the first 12 months and at renewal.

  • If you have Home Emergency cover,  your policy is underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Plc.
  • If your Appliance policy has a commencement date or has renewed on or after 1st April 2019, your policy is underwritten by Novus Underwriting Ltd on behalf of Helvetia Schweizerische Versicherungsgesellschaft in Liechtenstein AG; otherwise your policy is underwritten by UK General Insurance Ltd on behalf of Great Lakes (UK) SE.

 

Your policy is arranged by and administered by Home Emergency Assist.  Home Emergency Assist is an Appointed Representative of Insure Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ref: 584710.

We will transfer your policy if you move, free of charge.  Call us on 0333 00 34 999 and the change can take effect immediately if required.  Please note, we do not cover properties with pre-existing emergency issues.

We offer several different options for payment.  You can choose to pay monthly or annually.  We accept all major credit and debit cards, except American Express cards. You can also opt to pay by Direct Debit through our chosen financing partner, PremFina (an APR charge will be applied).  All of our prices are inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax and VAT at the current rates where applicable.

You can buy online through our website or by calling us on 0333 00 32 999.  It’s quick, easy and immediate cover is available.

Switching your home emergency cover to us couldn’t be simpler.  Call us on 0333 00 32 999 and we can set up your cover straight away.  We will also provide you with a change of insurer form for you to send to your existing provider, making it easy to cancel your existing arrangement and move over to us.

Home Emergency Assist are a specialist provider of home emergency and appliance insurance. We’re an alternative to HomeServe and British Gas amongst others in the home emergency market and we have a friendly UK-based call centre down on the sunny south coast in Bournemouth.

Please note:

  • If your Home Emergency policy has a commencement date or has renewed on or after 1st April 2019, your policy is underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Plc; otherwise your policy is underwritten by UK General Insurance Ltd on behalf of Great Lakes Insurance (UK) SE.
  • If you have Appliance cover, your policy is underwritten by UK General Insurance Ltd on behalf of Great Lakes Insurance (UK) SE.

 

Your policy is arranged by and administered by Home Emergency Assist.  Home Emergency Assist is an Appointed Representative of Insure Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ref: 584710.

Insurance Premium Tax is a government tax on various types of insurance policy including car, home and travel which every insurance provider has to charge.

Government changes to IPT could unavoidably increase your quote.

The Annual Percentage Rate is the official rate used to help you understand the cost of borrowing from a particular lender. All lenders have to let you know what their APR is before you sign any credit agreements.

APR is expressed as a percentage of the amount you’ve borrowed.

The safety of our customers and our staff is important to us, so we’re making every effort to work as normal during the coronavirus outbreak.

You can read our dedicated Covid-19 FAQ page to find out more about how we’re working during social distancing and the lockdown currently in place.

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Home Emergency Cover

Home Emergency cover provides protection for a range of unexpected household emergencies including burst pipes, blocked drains, heating system breakdown, drainage problems, electrical wiring, property security, roofing and pests.  An approved contractor will attend to and resolve the situation, preventing the possibility of further costly damage to your home.

Learn more about what home emergency cover is at Home Emergency Assist.

An emergency is classed as a sudden or unforeseen event which, if not dealt with quickly would:

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

Emergencies would include the complete loss of heating and/or hot water or failure of your plumbing and drainage system.

A non-emergency (or breakdown) is a sudden and unforeseen malfunction which results in the unit or system no longer working or operating correctly.

Non-emergencies would include repairing dripping taps, replacement of leaking pipes and thermostats/temperature timings.

This is only available with our Premium Home Emergency insurance packages.

Home insurance generally does not cover mechanical or electrical faults and breakdowns.  Your home insurance usually covers the damage caused by a home emergency, but does not necessarily cover the repair of the emergency itself.  Check your existing home insurance policy to see if you have any elements of emergency cover included.

We offer cover for a range of home emergencies and services including: plumbing and drainage insurance, boiler and central heating cover, gas and electrical supply cover, home security cover including pest infestation, appliance cover, boiler servicing and gas safety checks.

Discover more about what home emergency cover includes at Home Emergency Assist.

It gives you added peace of mind that in the event of a domestic emergency, you can in one phone call to Home Emergency Assist have access to an extensive network of professionally qualified tradesmen who are ready to assist you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, resolving the emergency situation and preventing any further damage to your home.

Learn more about why home emergency cover is worth it.

No,  this type of policy does not cover the general maintenance of your home.

Yes, where a permanent repair is completed, we’ll guarantee the work for 12 months from the date of the claim.

Although we can’t cover you for pre-existing faults with our home emergency cover, if you speak to us today, we can put you in contact with our network of fully qualified engineers to help resolve your problems on a ‘pay on use’ basis. This means you’d be responsible for all costs involved.

After your issue has been resolved, if you then choose to take out home emergency cover for future breakdowns, we’d be happy to help.

Learn more about how we can help with existing problems and our ‘pay on use’ service.

Yes if you are a homeowner.  We offer a variety of packages – take a look through our website to see which one would be right for you, or if you prefer you can tailor a package to your individual needs.  Call us on 0333 00 32 999 to discuss the options.  We are open 8am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm on Friday and 8am to 2:30pm on Saturdays. Please note that cover does not extend to pre-existing faults or conditions.

Find out more about how home emergency cover can protect your home.

No, our home emergency cover is only available to homeowners so as a tenant you don’t qualify for this policy. We’re also unable to cover social or housing association tenants.  If you’re a council tenant, repairs are dealt with by the council.  If you purchased your home in conjunction with a Housing Association, you’re eligible to apply for this cover, however we recommend that you check your responsibilities for the property first with your Housing Association.

Yes, if the property (flat or house) is your main permanent place of residence and is owned and occupied by you and your family as a private residence.

We cannot cover properties in the following circumstances:

  • It’s used for commercial reasons
  • It’s property is rented/used as a bedsit or multiple occupancy
  • It’s unoccupied for a period of more than 60 consecutive days
  • It’s a park home or mobile home (whether owned or rented)

Yes, absolutely!  We only work with fully accredited tradesmen.  All tradesmen are carefully vetted and have to supply us with copies of their public liability certificates.  We also validate their trade qualifications and all tradesmen that work with us agree to work towards attaining our high service standards.

Making a claim couldn’t be easier.  If you experience an emergency, simply call our claims helpline on 0330 124 4532.  The helpline for Home Emergency claims is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can visit our dedicated claims page to find out more about the process and for the contact numbers you’ll need to make a claim.

Please note, you need to report all claims within 48 hours of the emergency occurring. Claims reported after this will not be accepted.

We aim to deliver a vetted and qualified tradesman. We aim to schedule any visits promptly, but at a mutually beneficial time. If your claim is an emergency, you’ll be given priority.

We cover wasps’ nests, hornets’ nests, rats and/or mice.

Your Home Emergency Cover price depends on a variety of factors. We’ve put together a helpful ‘pricing explained’ guide so you can see the criteria your quote is based on.

When you purchase Home Emergency or Appliance cover from us, you may pay an introductory price. So, if your Home Emergency or Appliance price has changed recently, it may be because your introductory price and any associated discounts no longer apply.

Your renewal price will reflect the risk and cost of covering your boiler, central heating, plumbing, drainage or appliances etc, but we’ll try to make sure you don’t see a big price increase in one go. Instead, we’ll try to spread any price rise over a few years.

For more information on what can affect the price of your policy, visit our Pricing Explained page.

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Boiler & Central Heating Cover

It covers your boiler including all manufacturers fitted components within the boiler together with the pump, motorised valves, thermostat, time, temperature and pressure controls in the event of a breakdown, so you would not have to pay any fees for call out, parts or labour.  Home Emergency Assist also have options to cover your central heating and we can also offer an annual gas boiler service.

Learn more about what boiler insurance covers.

Any incidents occuring in the first 14 days of your policy start date will not be covered and you can’t claim for any pre-existing boiler issues or those which occur during the waiting period.

Any incident under the Boiler Replacement Contribution that occurs in the first 6 months after the policy start date is not covered.

You can read our Enhanced Insurance Product Information leaflet for more information or visit our important documents page.

If you are a homeowner with a gas or LPG boiler you can buy this cover.  Council, housing association and private tenants and landlords or anyone with any other type of boiler (including oil) cannot purchase this cover.

In your policy pack you will have received a boiler service form.  Simply complete and return this and one of our engineers will contact you to book a convenient time and date for your service.

We aim to complete our boiler servicing between April and September to ensure our engineers are free to respond to emergencies during the winter months.

You can read our article about what a boiler service involves for more information about what to expect.

We cover gas and LPG boilers.

If your boiler should fail a gas safety check, we will provide you with advice to remedy the situation and ensure you know what measures need to be taken to ensure your boiler is gas safe. This work will not be covered under your insurance policy.

We’ll contribute up to a maximum of 50% of the market value towards the cost of a brand new like-for-like replacement, or the amount paid on the receipt (whichever is lower). This is subject to a limit of £500 and only available on receipt of your original proof of purchase.

For more information on what will be covered, please read our Policy Documents (Boiler Replacement Contribution can be found under Section J).

If you can smell gas, immediately call the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999 to report a suspected gas leak, and follow these guidelines to keep you and your family safe:

  • Open all doors and windows;
  • Turn off your gas supply at the mains and leave it switched off until you have been advised by a Gas Safety Engineer that it is safe to turn it back on;
  • Do not light matches, cigarette lighters or naked flames such as candles;
  • Do not smoke;
  • Avoid turning on light switches or anything electrical.

Learn more about what to do if your boiler smells like gas.

Our UK-based claims team answer 90% of calls within 20 seconds and fix up to 99% of emergencies during the first call-out (this does depend on the specialism).

Typically, an engineer is deployed within four hours (on average) of your phone call and 70% of all jobs are booked whilst you’re on hold, taking less than 15 minutes on average from the start of the first call.

The claim line is open 24/7 365 days a year to ensure a dedicated emergency service should you need us.

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Plumbing & Drainage Cover

This can differ from property to property.  To clarify who is responsible for your underground water supply, you can check the Ofwat website at https://www.ofwat.gov.uk.

We can offer water supply pipe cover as part of a Plumbing and Drainage home emergency insurance package.

No, we don’t cover Saniflo or other macerator-based systems.

No, we’re not able to cover swimming pools.

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Appliance Cover

You can choose to cover appliances from the following list:

Yes, at Home Emergency Assist, we offer both individual home appliance cover and multi appliance insurance (up to 10 appliances) to cater for everyone’s needs.

Home appliance insurance offers you complete protection for your home appliances in case they suffer a full breakdown. We offer washing machine, fridge freezer, tumble dryer insurance and more as part of our home appliance cover.

If you’re worried about a particular home appliance in your home and its potential to break down, our individual home appliance cover can offer full protection. However, you have the option to insure up to ten home appliances with our multi appliance insurance, giving you peace of mind across the board.

What are the benefits of multi appliance insurance? 

  • Discounted prices: with our multi appliance insurance, you can get discounted prices for purchasing protection for more than one appliance. This means you are getting even more peace of mind for an affordable price! This makes our multi appliance insurance a very cost effective option for saving money in the long run.
  • Complete peace of mind: multi appliance insurance gives you even more peace of mind that you won’t have fork out thousands of pounds on repair (or replacement!) bills when a home appliance breaks down.
  • Reduced down time: if a home appliance breaks down, our home appliance cover ensure that you don’t have to suffer without your home appliances. Our qualified engineers can visit your home in no time at all to ensure your home appliance is back up and running again.

Learn more about home appliance cover at Home Emergency Assist from just £3.99 per month. Get a quote online today!

Yes, our policy does offer a discount for covering more than one appliance.

If you buy one appliance, you’ll pay from £4.99 a month*. If you purchase cover for two or more appliances, the cost per item will decrease to be from £3.99 per month*.

*Price excludes APR and is based on £95 excess.

Making a claim couldn’t be easier.  If you experience an appliance breakdown, simply fill out the online claims submission form, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Please note, you need to report all claims as soon as reasonably possible. However, if your product breaks down within the first 28 days of the policy starting, it will not be covered under this policy.

A claim should be made within 72 hours of the product breaking down.  However, if your product breaks down within the first 28 days of the policy starting, it will not be covered under this policy.

Yes, this policy includes cover for accidental damage to your selected appliances.

You’re covered for up to £2,500 per year, and there’s no limit on the number of claims you can make.

Our appliance cover can be put into place alongside or once the manufacturers guarantee has expired. Generally manufacturers’ guarantees are only for 12 months and cover repair or replacement but it’s unlikely to cover accidental damage as our policy does.

If your product has been recalled, this wouldn’t be covered under your appliance insurance. You would need to follow the guidelines issued by the product manufacturer in this instance.

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How-to Guides

Please note, we can only give you basic advice on this page to do the job yourself. Make sure you use the right tools and protective equipment to avoid hurting yourself or damaging your home.

Despite a dishwasher being a cleaning appliance, it doesn’t stay as clean as you might think! Your dishes might be sparkling, but there are plenty of hidden areas inside a dishwasher where grime can build up. To keep your dishwasher in excellent condition, we recommend cleaning it once a month. The good news is that it’s quick and easy with no fuss involved. Read our handy guide to find out how to clean your dishwasher.

Cleaning your washing machine regularly is key to making sure it works efficiently and effectively.

If you’d like to find out more, read our guide to cleaning your washing machine.

We would suggest you test your boiler in the Autumn before the weather really turns cold.  Just turn it on long enough to check the radiators heat up.  Next, arrange a boiler service which will identify any problems and ensure you get these dealt with in time for the first cold spell.  We can arrange a boiler service for you as part of certain cover plans we offer.

Read our blog post on caring for your boiler and central heating over Christmas for more information.

Limescale can build up inside your boiler and although this is completely normal, it’s important to routinely descale your boiler to keep it in tip-top shape as it can have a negative effect on the lifespan of your boiler and the effectiveness of your central heating system.

If you’re interested in finding out how a Gas Safe Registered engineer would descale a boiler, read our helpful guide.

Bleeding your radiators ensure that they can reach maximum heat. When the top of your radiator feels cold but the bottom is warm, this indicates that trapped air needs releasing (or ‘bleeding’) to improve flow.

Although it may seem like a daunting task, it’s quite simple with our handy step-by-step guide.

If your plumbing freezes or springs a leak, you’ll need to shut off your water supply in order to make repairs. You’ll also need to do this when replacing fixtures, changing pipes or performing any general maintenance. Follow this simple guide to turning off your water:

  1. You may be able to shut off the water to individual areas (and in this case you won’t have to turn off your water at the mains). Look for a shut off valve close to the damaged pipe/area you want to shut down water to. These are usually hidden behind or under fixtures
  2. If you find you can’t shut off the water to a particular area, you’ll need to locate your stopcock. This is usually found under your kitchen sink but if you’re having trouble finding it, trace the pipes back from your tap until you find a valve on the main water supply
  3. Turn the stopcock clockwise to turn the water supply off

As condensate pipes often run outside your property, they are prone to freezing over the winter and even the most well-maintained boiler will struggle to work if this happens.

If you’d like to find out more, read our guide to thawing a frozen condensate pipe.

If your sink has become slow to drain or stops draining completely, there’s likely to be a blockage somewhere in the waste pipe.

We’ve put together a guide for how to clear a blocked sink.

We know it’s not a pleasant job, but it’s worth knowing how to unblock your toilet.

We’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide on how to clear a blocked toilet.

If the water in your shower or bath isn’t draining, the chances are that you’ve got a blockage.

We’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide on how to clear a blocked shower or bath.

A dripping tap isn’t just annoying – it can waste more than 5,300 litres of water a year!

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you tackle the problem.

Do you know what to do if you have a blown fuse?

We’re put together a handy guide for you to repair a fuse.

This common plumbing problem will happen to all of us at some point, but there are a few things you can try before you call out a plumber.

Read our step-by-step guide for finding a solution yourself.

We know it may be simple, but if you’ve just moved into your first home and aren’t sure how to do it, we’re here to help.

Read our step-by-step guide for fitting/changing a lightbulb.

Complete Home Emergency Cover from Home Emergency Assist covers you in the event of an infestation of rats, mice, wasps and hornets in your home (or buildings attached to your home).

In the meantime though, we’ve put together a guide to help you protect your home from all manner of pests.

If you have no heating or hot water and you can’t get your boiler pilot light to reignite, follow our simple guide for troubleshooting this problem.

Installing smoke detectors in your home is one of the most important steps towards keeping you and your family safe. Read our step-by-step guide to find how to install your smoke alarm.

Detecting a water leak within your home doesn’t have to be difficult. Read our step-by-step guide to find out how.

If you find yourself without heating or hot water, there may be a problem with your boiler’s pressure. Read our handy guide to find out how to top up your boiler pressure.