The question of whether to buy annual boiler breakdown insurance is about guessing and gambling with the following variables:
- What are the chances that the boiler will breakdown this year?
- How much will the repair cost?
How Much Will It Cost to Repair a Boiler?
According to an article by Emma Lunn in The Saturday Times (U.K. 24/11/07) 1 in 3 boilers breakdown within 6 years and the average repair bill is £470. The article went on to state that insurance plans cost between £7 to £20. Payments made to the cheapest plan over the course of 6 years, therefore, will be slightly more than the average cost of repair and most boilers will not need a repair at all.
Which, the U.K. consumer magazine, printed similar results based on a survey of its readers. Paying breakdown cover would, on average, cost more than simply pay for the repairs.
Is Boiler Breakdown Insurance Too Expensive?
It would seem that insurance companies make plenty of profit whilst gullible people buy expensive breakdown cover. In a perfect world every homeowner would put aside £15 or so each month to cover boiler repairs and to save for the inevitable boiler replacement. There would be no need for insurance because the money saved would cover the bills. Looking at average statistics does not reflect reality in many cases, and breakdown cover could be perfect for many people.
Benefits of Breakdown Cover for Gas Central Heating
The level of insurance cover will be very different for different policies, they will not all offer the same benefits, however, are a number of scenarios which should be considered by the home owner or landlord.
- A major boiler repair might occur before enough of the money way saved to cover it.
- There may be many expensive repairs bills over the years.
- Some boilers will need to be replaced when out of warranty, but prematurely (life expectancy is 12 to 15 years).
- Boiler faults may occur out of normal working hours, at night or over the weekend or Christmas holiday period, therefore, the engineer callout charge might be higher than the average.
- Many families will not put aside the £15 each month but would also struggle to pay unexpected repair bills.
Who Should Buy Gas Boiler Insurance?
Insurance cover is not suitable for everyone. A new boiler will be covered by a manufacturers warranty, these can be up to 5 or 10 years as standard on certain parts of the appliance. A two year warranty is common.
It is probably ideal for:
- Someone who can afford to pay a small monthly sum but would struggle to pay a major and unexpected repair bill;
- Those with an older boiler;
- A landlord who wants piece of mind and an easy life, so that the tenants can make arrangements for repairs directly.
Saving Money on Heating Breakdown Cover
Two things to look out for when comparing central heating insurance quotations:
- A boiler should be serviced annually (manufacturers guidelines), does the insurance fee include a boiler service or is the home owner required to pay for one separately?
Can the cost of insurance be reduced by combining it with other insurance such as the household buildings and contents insurance?