As the name suggests, home emergency cover is purchased to protect households from any sudden emergencies. Purchasing home emergency cover is designed to provide peace of mind for households through protecting vital household components such as the heating, plumbing and electrics.
What does Home Emergency cover include?
What is covered tends to vary depending on factors such as the monthly cost of the cover, the type of policy chosen and who is providing the cover. However, most home emergency cover policies will typically include the following:
- Boiler breakdown
- Central heating failure
- Loss of hot water or heating
- Plumbing problems, including burst pipes and drainage trouble
- Electrical including Repairs to wall and bulb sockets, light switches, fixtures, fuse boxes, etc.
- Roof damage
- Security issues
- Electrical failure and other emergency electricity issues
- Damage caused by extreme weather
- Key cover (door and car keys)
- Pest infestations
Do I need Home Emergency Insurance?
Home emergency cover gives you peace of mind, peace of mind that in the event of an emergency you have access to a telephone number and a fully qualified trades-person.
Whether you need home emergency cover is entirely down to you. It’s best to weigh up the risk of these emergencies occurring and then accessing whether this may be the cheaper option in the long-run.
Before any purchase, be sure to check that home emergency cover is not included in your home insurance policy. An estimated 15-20% of home insurance policies do cover home emergencies. Furthermore, if your current home insurance policy doesn’t include this cover, then it may be worth asking your provider whether this can be added for an additional fee.
Another type of insurance that may include some features of home emergency cover is contents insurance. It is best to read the policy details of any insurance or cover that you already possess, as this will ensure that you are not overpaying by being covered twice.
What’s more, be aware that if you are renting or not the homeowner then it is not your responsibility to buy cover. It is a good idea to discuss with the homeowner or your landlord the arrangements in place, in the event of an emergency.
What to take into consideration and what to look out for?
1. Look out for any repair fees or excesses that you may be required to pay before any emergency is dealt with. Ideally you want no repair fees or a compulsory excess. However this will likely mean paying higher monthly premiums.
2. Read the terms and policy details before committing to a purchase. This will enable you to identify any hidden costs and more importantly inform you of anything the policy may exclude. This will guarantee that you are fully insured on everything that you require. If you already have home emergency cover as part of a home insurance policy make sure to check this for exclusions as it may overlook certain emergencies.
3. Different cover providers will have differing opinions on what they class to be an emergency, so make sure to check what exactly is deemed an emergency.
4. Different policies may also have a limit on the number of complaints that can be made or a monetary limit on the cost of repairs (e.g. £1500 per repair). Also watch out for policies that may charge a call out fee or charge you for cost of labour and materials.
5. Be aware that if a policy includes boiler cover, it doesn’t necessary mean that your boiler will be fully covered. Some policies may decline to replace your boiler if it is damaged beyond repair and is more than a certain age (normally 7-8 years).
6. When selecting a policy it is also worth looking into the process of making a claim. How quick the process of making a claim is, is there a 24-hour helpline, is the helpline open 365 days of the year and how long does it typically take for an engineer to be sent out.
7. Lastly, most policies will have a minimum wait before a claim can be made. Providers do this to prevent customers claiming on emergencies that existed prior to taking out a policy. The length of time is typically 14 days before a claim can be made. You can find this information in the policy terms and conditions.