We Compare Boiler Cover Costs and Boiler Insurance Plans
How much does boiler cover cost? Who provides the best boiler cover? Who provides the most comprehensive central heating cover? Who provides the least comprehensive boiler breakdown cover? What is Home Emergency Cover? What is the difference between a Boiler Insurance Plan and a Boiler Service Agreement?
We have the answers! Welcome, to a true comparison of boiler cover policies.
There are seemingly lots of websites ‘comparing’ boiler policies, but they are only really comparing the face value of the policy. We have dug deep into the Terms and Conditions of 11 companies offering boiler cover, home emergency cover, boiler insurance and boiler home care plans. We have looked at boiler Insurance policies from 7 mainstream providers (British Gas, Homeserve, Aviva, Corgi, AA, npower and Reactive) and Service Agreements from 4 mainstream providers (247 Home Rescue, Certi, Your Repair Home Plan and Scottish Power) to give the ULTIMATE comparison of boiler cover.
Where the Terms and Conditions of the policy provider have not been 100% clear, we have phoned the company, usually on three or four occasions, to try to be absolutely sure of what they offer.
The comparison table below considers ‘Boiler + Central Heating + Annual Service’ packages WITHOUT an excess, so we know we are absolutely comparing like for like. We have broken the cover down into common sections: Boiler, Flue, Hot Water System, Heating System Controls, Radiators, Valves and System Pipework, Gas Pipe, Boiler Replacement, Claim Thresholds plus a few miscellaneous items. All insurance policies and service agreements share many exclusions to their cover and these are detailed in the box below each section.
Below the table is our review of the policies. We have also summarised where you can go to find cover for unconventional heating systems and components. Finally, we explain the difference between a Boiler Insurance Policy and a Boiler Service Agreement.
|British Gas||Home serve||Aviva||AA Home Services||Corgi||npower||Reactive||Scottish Power||247 Home Rescue||Certi||Your Repair Home Plan|
|Insurance Policy or Service Agreement||Insurance policy||Insurance policy||Insurance policy||Insurance policy||Insurance policy||Insurance policy||Insurance policy||Service Agreement||Service agreement||Service Agreement||Service Agreement|
|Breakdown of the boiler and central heating system plus annual service||Home Care 2||Gas central heating breakdown with service||Aviva Response - Heating||Central Heating Response Plus||Home Plan Starter||Boiler and Heating Cover Plus||Home Heating Plus||Boiler Care Plus||Boiler Breakdown Standard Package||Home Plan 200||Your Care 20|
|Boilers over 7 years old||
|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||•||✔||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|OTHER TYPES OF BOILER COVERED|
|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)||✔||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||✔||•|
|HEATING SYSTEM CONTROLS|
|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.||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|RADIATORS, RADIATOR VALVES AND SYSTEM PIPEWORK|
|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||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||✔||•||•||✔||✔|
|TOWEL RAILS AND DECORATIVE RADIATORS|
|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||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|GAS PIPE CLAIMS|
|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||•||•||•||•||✔||•||•||•||•||•||•|
What were our findings?
Well, this exercise has been such an eye opener! 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.
So who provides the best value and who provides the least value?
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.
The worst value provider was Your Repair Home Plan, who did not cover the flue, replacing the hot water tank, reinstatement of floors following gas pipe repairs and charged to drain down and refill for a leak. They offered almost cheapest cover at £180 per annum, but for just £41 more you could have a much more comprehensive policy with Homeserve.
Who has the best boiler policy for unconventional systems?
If you have a warm air unit, LPG system, back boiler, unvented hot water tank, internet controls, buried pipework and/or a 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|
What is Home Emergency Cover?
Home emergency cover will cover more than just the boiler, for example leaks from the cold water pipes or a burnt electrical circuit. It is designed to help in emergencies only that are causing damage, preventing the services from working or are dangerous.
Finally, what is the difference between a Boiler Insurance Policy and a Boiler Service Agreement?
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.