Does this sound familiar? “My boiler broke down on Friday evening. As you can imagine, it was a miserable experience to take cold showers in my cold house; the kids complained a lot that weekend! I couldn’t get a heating engineer until late Monday afternoon and had to take the day off to wait for him. It was an easy fix, but the part was over a hundred quid!”
They might wish they had known about the HomeServe Boiler Cover before they forked out good money for expensive repairs instead of paying monthly for boiler insurance.
Most of us don’t think about our gas boiler or plumbing until it goes wrong; you aren’t the only one who takes it for granted. Unless you’ve been stung with a bill recently and looked at the home cover, you might not know what the options are, but we’re here to help.
We always advise using skilled and reputable local engineers over national ones here at Heat Geek; there are a few reasons for this, both economical (in the wider sense) and the quality of the end solution.
But the large nationals do have their place; if you simply don’t want the hassle of finding an engineer, and time of arrival is of high importance, then HomeServe Boiler Cover may be for you.
While different services vary among different companies, boiler cover, in general, allows you to swiftly call a plumber or heating engineer in case of breakdowns or leaks and reduces the cost of boiler repair. In some cases, the coverage extends to your overall home heating system, plumbing and more. Boilers are the most essential part of a home except the roof so maintaining a comfortable temperature in the temperamental weather of the UK can be crucial, and so it’s important to many to have peace of mind should the worst happen.
If your boiler is over seven years old or hasn’t been maintained regularly, you should begin thinking about boiler insurance, as older and neglected units are more likely to break down. Even if your machine isn’t old, you should consider getting a boiler cover if its warranty has run out. If you have a new boiler under warranty, you’re good. You don’t have to worry about the boiler until the warranty runs out, but you may want cover for the radiators, drainage etc. If you require a guaranteed speedy service, a large national like HomeServe boiler cover would be a good idea as they have a very large network over the country.
If you still have a manufacturer’s warranty on the boiler covering replacement parts or repair free of charge, you don’t need a boiler cover. Warranty is essentially covered by the boiler company, which is for between two and twelve years from new, depending on the manufacturer. Of course, if you’re a heating engineer or know someone who is, you could most likely rely on your or your friend’s expertise for boiler repair for the cost of a cup of tea or a pint. Boiler cover often works out more expensive than reactive repairs, so if you're looking at overall value, perhaps not the best idea.
If you don’t have a boiler warranty or have a god-like neighbour in the form of a gas engineer, you could do what most people do — remain optimistic about the longevity and invincibility of your boiler and hope it doesn’t break down. This option would save you money by forgoing boiler cover or servicing, but it leaves you vulnerable in case your metal mortal boiler breaks down. This scenario is the most common we encounter as heating professionals, we take no pleasure in telling people that the lack of attention is the reason they have to replace a five-year-old boiler. The cheapest boiler in the world will outlast the most expensive if the cheapest one is installed well and maintained by a specialist and the most expensive one is chucked on the wall by a builder.
The first detail you should know is what type of boiler you have. It might seem complicated but really there are only three main kinds of boilers — combination (combi), system, and heat only (or “OV” for open vent). Combination boilers create hot water and heat from a single unit, the hot water is heated via a plate heat exchanger. System boilers have a pump, expansion vessel and diverter valve like a combi but store the water with an external cylinder. The heat-only boiler is very basic and just creates the heat for your central heating system and hot water to be stored and used later.
If you don’t know what kind of boiler you have it could make the process of getting boiler cover more difficult, it’s less common now but some companies might not work on older or obscure boiler models. Don’t worry though, the customer services team will be able to talk you through the process of identifying your boiler and other heating components, the boiler manual will be a good place to start or if that is no longer in the home then a data badge on the boiler will give either a G.C number or at least a make and model. Familiarising yourself with your boiler and system will be useful regardless of the care plan.
Boiler cover may seem the same as boiler insurance, but they are two separate things. Boiler cover is an insurance policy or service agreement covering boiler breakdowns and other home emergencies as it can be extended to your central heating system and plumbing as mentioned above. Generally, home assistant companies like HomeServe provide boiler or home cover.
Some boiler companies offer cheaper monthly or annual boiler cover prices depending on if you’re willing to pay an excess — the amount paid upfront should your boiler break down. The higher the excess, the cheaper the monthly cover payments and vice versa.
Boiler warranties are different as they will only cover the appliance itself, if an external pump or valve breaks then that will have to be paid for. Warranties are fulfilled almost always by the manufacturer or an appointed agent.
The company provides basic boiler service up to cover essentially any issue in your home. They offer five total service packages ranging from £8 to £18 monthly. After you’ve been with HomeServe for six months, if one of their engineers can’t fix your boiler and it’s under seven years old, they’ll replace it. Now they won’t do this for everyone of course, they have guidelines otherwise they would go bust but if you have the right cover and you find yourself stuck, then this could be a real (figurative) lifesaver.
HomeServe is one of the UK’s leading home assistant companies, right next to the other giant British Gas (read the review here) and to a lesser extent Worcester Bosch, according to Which? These are the three biggest options in the U.K. in 2021.
In summary, the HomeServe Boiler Cover would be best for people with older boilers and without a manufacturer’s warranty. If you have a fairly new boiler and are covered by warranty or you are confident that it was installed well, you probably don’t need this service.
As mentioned previously, HomeServe offers five cover packages. All of them include boiler service in the cover. The first package has a £100 excess, and all other packages have a £60 excess.
The first package is the Gas Boiler Breakdown Cover. It includes a free service cost in the first year of purchasing this — which I think is great if you’re unsure of continuing HomeServe’s services. This package includes a gas boiler and gas supply pipe cover, costing you £8 a month. What’s not covered is faulty radiators, water pipes, tanks and cylinders external to your boiler and the gas pipe leading into your meter.
The second package is the Gas Central Heating Cover for £13.50 a month. Service costs are free in the first year with this package, and it also covers gas boiler, gas central heating, and gas supply pipe repairs. Excluded are gas pipes leading to your meter and plumbing and drainage problems. You can claim as frequently as you want. As long as your boiler isn’t beyond economical repair, there’s no claims value limit. A gas supply pipe claim has a £4,000 limit.
The Plumbing & Heating package covers the gas boiler, gas central heating, gas supply pipe, plumbing and drainage and the water supply pipe. It costs £14.50 monthly, with a free service in the first year. Guttering, showers, soakaways, shared drains and gas pipes leading to the meter are not included in this coverage. You can take out claims as many times as you like, but there’s a £4,000 limit per claim.
The fourth package is called Plumbing, Heating & Electrics and costs £16 a month. Along with a free service in the first year, this package covers your gas boiler, gas central heating, gas supply pipe, plumbing, drainage, water supply pipe and electrics. Household appliances, showers, gutters, soakaways, shared drains and the gas pipe leading into your meter are not included. Each claim has a £4,000 limit, and you can take out as many claims as you want.
The fifth and final package, HomeServe Heating, Plumbing & Electrics Plus, covers the gas boiler, gas central heating, gas supply pipe, plumbing and drainage, water supply pipe, electrics, pest infestations, security and roofing. The package costs £18 a month, with the service cost included in the first year.
All of these packages allow you to pick and choose what services best suit your living situation, which means you don’t have to pay for pest services if you don’t want to. The combined packages are also nice if you want to avoid outsourcing services to multiple companies for, say, plumbing and also pest services. Everything is wrapped up in one neat bowtie in the HomeServe Heating, Plumbing & Electrics Plus package.
The costs fit into the budget of most families, giving you peace of mind over your home’s most essential utilities and needs. Even if you think you can forgo plumbing and electric concerns, a warm house is important. The cheap cost ensures everyone gets it. I feel these packages are a great way for HomeServe to not only serve people’s homes but people’s financial situations and personal preferences as well.
HomeServe also offers on-call services for non-customers who still need repairs. Just go to their website, enter what you need to be fixed and your postcode and an expert engineer will come out to your home. If you experience frequent breakdowns, a HomeServe expert can inspect your boiler and offer a free quote as to what a new one would cost. Should you buy from HomeServe, you could get a top-tier energy-efficient boiler with a thermostat at a fixed price.
While HomeServe is committed to providing quick boiler service, they prioritise vulnerable customers like the elderly or families with small children.
We’ve searched the internet and found a generally positive review of HomeServe Boiler Cover plans. They have a “Great” rating on a trusted customer review site, and more people support the company than dislike them in reviews. Below, a customer named Isherwood praises the company’s high-quality service.
Linda Miller liked the overall speedy service.
And MLJ Cleaver recommends HomeServe to any homeowner.
However, some people, such as C Simcock, experienced difficulty using HomeServe Boiler Cover. This person describes waiting all day for a repair only to have their service cancelled.
While some people are bound to have bad experiences at some point, there’s a reason HomeServe has a 71% rating for “Excellent” service.
If you don’t like what HomeServe has to offer, there are still further options for you.
A local boiler cover or repair business. This kind of business may be more or less expensive than HomeServe depending on where you live. For example, Hereford Heating Ltd could give you boiler breakdown repairs for £75 and provide same-day service.
Local shops will usually provide cheap repairs when you need them rather than paying for monthly boiler cover. However, it’s unlikely one boiler repair shop will also handle electrical or plumbing repairs, so the cost of going to different local specialists could add up. This would be less convenient than paying the monthly cover for, say, HomeServe’s Heating, Plumbing & Electrics Plus package for various home needs.
British Gas is a bit more expensive than HomeServe and doesn’t offer as many services. British Gas also has a “Bad” rating on the same customer review site giving HomeServe an “Excellent” rating. However, British Gas is still one of the UK’s top boiler cover and repair services and can provide quick, high-quality service within 24 hours. One of their advantages over HomeServe Boiler Cover is that you can pay for your cover annually rather than monthly. You can check out their boiler services on their website.
This company works with over 4,000 local, independent engineers to provide 24/7 boiler repair services. The company offers four services ranging from the boiler and central heating services along with an annual boiler service from £13 a month. The most expensive monthly cover is £21 a month and offers more services than HomeServe’s most expensive package. Corgi HomePlan could be a good choice for people who want comprehensive peace of mind over common home concerns at an affordable price. Check out what they offer on their website.
Don’t be like me and be stuck without a working boiler. HomeServe offers comprehensive boiler cover and repairs in addition to other services to make your homework as efficient as possible. HomeServe is rated highly on trusted customer review sites and provides affordable monthly home cover that any family can afford. If you want to see for yourself what HomeServe offers, check out their website.
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