Boiler care plans – everything you need to know
Boilercare – where you pay a monthly fee to cover yourself if your boiler packs up – is really just another kind of insurance.
And it can make lots of sense, because a breakdown is not only potentially very expensive, it can be seriously disruptive, especially if it happens in winter.
Certainly, a boilercare deal shouldn’t be confused with an extended warranty, which, in our experience, are rarely worth the money.
What’s different about boilercare, or should be, is that it’s insurance designed for one specific task – to get your boiler back to full working order as fast as possible.
There are lots of questions to consider before taking out boiler cover
What you should look for in a policy
We always say the same thing with insurance and we make no apology for it.
Don’t just automatically opt for the cheapest package on offer!
Price is, of course, a vital consideration, but it’s far more important to buy the right policy than the cheapest.
Whatever policy you look at there will be restrictions and limitations and this is where you need to focus.
One area in particular will be what amounts to an excess. It may be called something else, such as a call-out charge that’s paid every time you report a problem that needs an engineer to visit.
You’ll pay considerably more if you don’t opt for an excess.
Similarly, are there limits on the value of repairs during the life of the policy and /or for a single repair?
What about a cap on the frequency of call outs?
There may also be a clause that requires your boiler to have a periodic inspection – how much will that cost?
Is an annual inspection included?
What payout, if any, will there be if your boiler is deemed to be beyond repair?
These are the kinds of exclusions and clauses that will be found in the small print. It might be a pain to read, but it’s better than finding out the hard way (when your boiler conks out), that something you didn't know about was hidden there.
Top Tip: Check also that the model of your boiler and, especially, its age qualifies for cover. Some older models may be excluded.
Do you want peace of mind?
Working out the yearly cost of your monthly boilercare plan and factoring in any exclusions may lead you to conclude you can manage without cover and that you’d rather just take a risk.
It all comes down to peace of mind.
If you like the fact that you know if your boiler packs up in the height of winter – which is when they do tend to go wrong – you can be sure of having someone come round to fix it promptly, then a policy is definitely right for you.
But, if your boiler is new, what are the chances of it going wrong anyway?
Alternatively, if it’s very old, is it worth covering, which is effectively paying for it to be repaired, when it may be more economic to replace it all together?
Energy supplier’s cover
Many energy suppliers will offer you cover when you switch to them and their boilercare package may be fine; but it’s always worth comparing.
Make sure, though, that whoever is supplying cover will send out qualified and experienced engineers. Ensure they are members of the Gas Safety Register (the new name for Corgi), which is the country’s gas safety organisation.
As with all insurance, don’t sign up and then forget about it – especially at renewal time!
Always check to see if your premiums have risen and by how much – if it seems unreasonable or you’re not happy, then challenge it and check what else is on the market!
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