Money: Ensure you’re insured for your boiler breaking down

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AS temperatures drop, home owners are being warned to check whether they have protection for their boiling and heating system.

Financial information business Defaqto found that of the home contents insurance policies on the market at the end of October, less than a fifth (19%) included cover for home emergencies, such as boiler breakdown, as standard. Buildings insurance doesn’t necessarily offer an alternative, with only a quarter (25%) of the policies on the market providing cover for home emergencies as standard.

For those looking to protect their homes this winter, around half of contents and buildings insurance policies on the market offer “home emergency” cover as an optional add-on.

Boiler breakdown insurance is specifically designed to protect a boiler against the cost of future breakdown. Primarily, these products cover the cost of any repairs to a boiler to get it up and running again but not necessarily replace it if it is broken, Defaqto says.

There may also be exclusions based on the age and power output of the boiler.

Home emergency insurance, meanwhile, is designed to help people who have been affected by an emergency to make their home safe again or reinstate essential services.

It offers more comprehensive cover than boiler breakdown insurance and can provide some peace of mind heading into the winter months when homes are at risks of central heating failure, burst pipes, electrical failure and roof damage caused by extreme weather.

Brian Brown, head of insight at Defaqto, says: “Modern boilers are expensive and the cost of having to replace one can be a nasty shock. If you don’t have the funds to pay for this, then a boiler breakdown policy that includes boiler replacement, may be a good option for you.”

Here are Defaqto’s top tips to protect yourself this winter:

l Check what cover you already have with your home insurance policy.

l Check for any exclusions, such as the age or power output of the boiler and whether it needs to be regularly serviced or inspected.

l If you bought your boiler within the last few years, check what cover the manufacturer gives as standard under the warranty, and check for any exclusions.

l If you have a heating system that is powered by an electric boiler, solar or solid fuel, check whether your policy includes cover for this as many do not.