We have found that comparison websites do not provide a ‘like for like’ comparison of boiler cover based on what is included and excluded in the policy. For that you need to review the small print… a difficult task, but we have done it. We have dug deep into the Terms and Conditions of 11 providers to bring you a true comparison of boiler cover policies, based on what they actually cover. The results reveal who truely offers the best boiler cover. Are you debating whether to take out boiler cover or replace your old boiler? It's hard to know when the time is right. Read our other 'insider guide' on when to Repair or Replace Your Boiler.
We Compare Boiler Cover | To find the Best Boiler Cover
Overview of Boiler Cover
|A breakdown of the boiler||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Attempt to repair noisey boilers||✔||✔||✔||•||•||•||•||✔||•||✔||•|
|Fit parts supplied by home owners*||✔||✔||✔||•||•||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•|
|Repair/Replace flue upto 1m in length||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||•||✔||•||✔||•|
|Repair/Replace OVER 1m in length||•||✔||✔||•||•||•||•||✔||•||✔||•|
|Repair/Replace vertical flue+||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||•||✔||•||✔||•|
|Repair/replace open flued appliances||•||✔||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Repair warm air unit & vents||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Repair LPG (bottled gas/propone) boiler||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Repair back boiler and integral gas fire||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||•||•||✔||✔||✔||•|
|Repair/replace leaking water tanks or cylinder||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||•||✔||•|
|Repair/replace an immersion or cylinder stat||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||•||✔||✔|
|Repair/replace any pumps and controls||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||•||✔||✔|
|Pressurised/mains pressure/unvented hot water tanks (eg megaflow tanks)||✔||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||✔||•|
|External controls e.g. programmer & thermostat||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔|
|Motorised zone valve(s) outside boiler||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Central heating/circulating pump (outside boiler)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Repairing or a like for like replacement of an internet connected controls, thermostats & valves.||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Repair faulty radiator||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Replace faulty radiator||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔|
|Repair/replace leaking radiator valves||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔|
|System pipeworkconnecting the heating system||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔||✔|
|Buried pipe, reinstate walls and floors||✔||✔||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Cost of draining down the system and refilling||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•|
|Adding chemicals (inhibitor) where systems has been drained to fix a leak under the policy||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||•||✔||✔||✔||✔||•|
|Feed & expansion cistern/tank/vessel or filling loop||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||•||✔||✔|
|Repairs to magnetic filters||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||✔||✔|
|Repairs ON FIRST DISCOVERY of damage caused by sludge/scale/rust within the system or damage caused by any other chemical composition of the water;||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||•||✔||✔||•||•||•|
|Bleading/venting rads/removing airlocks/balancing /repressuring the system**||✔||•||•||•||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||•|
|Repair/replace condense pump outside the boiler||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||✔||✔|
|Repairing or a like for like replacement of a non-standard radiator (e.g. cast-iron, decorative, customised, or those which curve with the profile of a wall)||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Fitting customer supplied non-standard radiator||•||•||•||✔||✔||•||✔||•||•||✔||•|
|Option to pay the difference to fit non-standard radiator||✔||•||•||•||•||•||✔||✔||•||•||•|
|Repair/replacement of a leaking gas supply pipe upto and including 35mm and not made of steel or iron||✔||✔||✔||•||•||✔||✔||•||✔||✔||✔|
|Repair/replace gas supply pipe upto and including 35mm INCLUDING pipework made of steel or iron||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Unlimited number of claims for works to Gas Supply Pipe||✔||✔||✔||•||•||✔||✔||•||✔||✔||✔|
|Claim limit for gas supply pipe claim||No Cap||£4,000||£4,000||NA||NA||£1,500||£1,000||NA||£1,000||£2,000||No Cap|
|Reinstatement of floor coverings and making good but not necessarily to original standards||Yes £1000 for making good in addition to cost of repair||Yes within maximum £4k claim amount||Yes within maximum £4k claim amount||NA||NA||No||No||NA||No||No||No|
|Unlimited number of claims||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Monetary cap (if any) for amount of claim (providing boiler is not BER)||No Cap||No Cap||No Cap||No Cap||£300 for the first 3 months £2,000 thereafter||All parts, £1,500 in labour charges over policy period||£1,000 per claim||No Cap||No Cap||No cap||£250 cap for first three months, no limit thereafter|
|A replacement boiler, including installation cost, if the policy provider cannot repair it, it's less than seven years old and you are six months into your service agreement||✔||✔||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||✔||✔|
|A replacement boiler, excluding installation cost, if the policy provider cannot repair it, it's more than seven years old and you are six months into your service agreement||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||✔||•|
|A financial contribution to the installation of a new boiler if MORE than 7 years old||•||•||£500||£250||•||£150||£250||•||•||•||•|
|A financial contribution to the installation of a new boiler if LESS than 7 years old||•||•||•||£500||•||£150||£250||•||•||•||•|
|A replacement for your boiler if the policy provider cannot repair it and its between seven and ten years old, it was installed by the policy provider and continusously covered by them||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|A replacement for your boiler if it caught fire or exploded, providing you gave us access to carry out your annual service every year since we first covered you||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Financial contribution for alternative accommodation and travel if your home is uninhabitable (T&CS apply)||£500||NA||NA||£150 per night, 7 nights||•||•||✔||•||•||•||•|
|Provision of temporary electrical heaters if unable to get heating operationa||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||•||✔||✔||✔||✔||•|
|NON-HEATING SERVICES (CANNOT BE EXCLUDED FROM THE COVER)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Internal mains electrical wiring, fuse board and circuit breakers, sockets and switches||•||•||•||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•|
Based on our own research, we have provide a guide below to who we think provides the best boiler cover, depending on your circumstances. We felt British Gas, Homeserve and Aviva provided incredible value giving comprehensive coverage for conventional gas heating systems. They seemed genuinely ready to help and were flexible in respect of fitting customer supplied parts. Corgi provided a great combined boiler and electrics policy, although they did exclude the gas pipe from the heating cover. Certi provided the best home emergency service agreement at a great price.
|Boiler Cover Provider||Annual Cost|
|Best Boiler Cover Overall||British Gas||£240|
|Most Comprehensive Boiler Cover||British Gas||£240|
|Best Value Boiler Cover||Homeserve / Aviva||£221|
|Best Home Emergency Cover||Certi||£192|
|Best Boiler and Electrics Cover||Corgi||£240|
|Best Central Heating Cover||British Gas||£240|
|Best LPG Boiler Cover||British Gas||£240|
|Best Boiler Breakdown Cover||Homeserve / Aviva||£221|
If you have a warm air unit, LPG system, back boiler, unvented hot water tank, internet controls, buried pipework and/or an extended flue then your options are more limited, but you can find cover. The table below sets out who to go to for each option:
|Warm air unit||British Gas|
|LPG System||British Gas or Corgi|
|Back boiler||British Gas, Homeserve, Aviva, AA, Scottish Power and Certi|
|Unvented hot water system||British Gas, Certi|
|Internet controls||British Gas, AA|
|Buried pipework||British Gas, Homeserve or Aviva|
|Extended flues||Homeserve, Aviva, Scottish Flue and Certi|
Boiler Cover: An insurance policy or service agreement that covers you for breakdowns to your boiler, which can be extended to your central heating system
Boiler Insurance: An insurance backed policy that covers your boiler in the event of a breakdown, which can be extended to your central heating system. Boiler Insurance is FCA regulated and complaints can be referred to the Finance Ombudsman.
Boiler Service Agreement: A contract between you and the service provider to attend in the event of a boiler breakdown or a problem that results in a loss of service to your central heating system. Not regulated by the FCA and complaints are handled internally.
Home Emergency Cover: Usually a service agreement that covers you in the event of a breakdown to your boiler or other problem resulting in a loss of service, i.e. no heating. These policies often include other services such as cold water pipes and electrics but exclude a lot of the items covered by Boiler Insurance policies.
Central Heating Cover: An insurance policy or service agreement that covers your central heating system, for example radiators and pipework. Most commonly an 'add-on'; to boiler cover. If you have a regular boiler you may wish to consider an 'add-on' central heating policy so that your hole system is covered.
Boiler Breakdown Cover: An insurance policy or service agreement that covers you in the event your boiler stops working.
Boiler Excess: Many providers offer lower annual charges if you pay an excess, usually £50 - £90
per call out.
A Boiler Insurance Policy is, as the name suggests, insurance backed and as such these policies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Complaints can be made about the policy and the provider to the FCA and Finance Ombudsmen.
Boiler Service Agreements are contracts between you and the provider and are outside the remit of the FCA and Financial Ombudsmen. These companies only have an internal complaints procedure.
This exercise has been very revealing. For the seven Boiler Insurance Providers, prices ranged from £203.88 (AA) - £269.76 (npower), with British Gas about in the middle at £240.
The Service Agreement Providers tended to focus on ‘emergency call outs’ so did not cover non essential items. For this reason the Service Agreement Providers where generally cheaper, with prices ranging from £176.40 - £192. However their exclusions were often much boarder, often omitting the flue, gas pipe, buried system pipework and/or replacing the hot water tank. One even excluded the cost of ‘draining down’ the system and refilling in the event of repairing a leak. That said, some were on a par with some of the less comprehensive insurance providers in terms of cover, but for less money.
We were surprised to see that the most expensive policy – npower – did not include the flue and came with a £1,500 labour cap on claims. British Gas on the other hand, £29.76 per year cheaper, provided the most comprehensive cover, including covering most flues, making good on gas pipe reinstatement, replacement of internet controls and no cap on claims.
British Gas, Homeserve and Aviva all offered lots of nice ‘bells and whistles’ on their policies, including attending ‘noisy boilers’, intermittent faults, fitting customer supplied parts and radiators not covered by the policy, accidental damage cover, reinstatement of walls and floors and financial assistance with boiler replacement once ‘beyond economic repair’. The Boiler Service Providers (with the exception of Scottish Power) were very much focused around ‘emergency assistance’ so minor faults that did not prevent the system from providing heating and/or hot water were often not covered.
Corgi, whilst not providing the most comprehensive boiler and heating cover, including the exclusion of the gas pipe, did include quite a nice electrical cover, but on balance a more comprehensive heating system policy would likely be preferable to many customers.