British Gas boiler cover is a popular way of ensuring your boiler gets serviced. Here, we take a closer look at the HomeCare® range from the UK’s biggest energy supplier: British Gas
Boiler maintenance is one of the key issues facing homeowners today, particularly with so many properties across the UK containing older models that need regular servicing. There is nothing worse, particularly in the winter months, than having a boiler on the blink.
Here we take a look at the HomeCare® line of boiler cover from British Gas, including exact coverage and things you should be aware of.
What is the British Gas HomeCare® Range?
The British Gas HomeCare® range of central heating and boiler cover provides ongoing maintenance, servicing and cover for breakdown or repairs. With more than 6,500 Gas Safe-registered boiler engineers and a 24/7 manned helpline, you can rest assured that you're in safe hands when it comes to repairs.
As mentioned, HomeCare® is a range of products, so the level of care, extent of coverage, and therefore the price, will vary according to your needs. There are four bundles of products and services: British Gas Homecare 100™, British Gas Homecare 200™, British Gas Homecare 300™ and British Gas Homecare 400™. If you do not want a HomeCare® bundle, the products/services are also available individually. Let’s take a closer look.
British Gas Homecare 100™
British Gas HomeCare 100™ is the basic HomeCare® package and provides cover for your boiler and controls with an annual boiler service and a safety and energy efficiency test.
The prices are fixed for the first year and unlimited boiler call outs per year are included in all HomeCare® bundles, but watch out; your breakdown history will be taken into account in determing your next year's price.
British Gas HomeCare® 200, 300 and 400
British Gas Homecare 200™ is identical to 100 except for one difference — it includes repairs to your central heating system, radiators, pipework and hot water system.
British Gas Homecare 300™ product adds in coverage of your plumbing and drains, as well as your boiler, central heating system and an annual service visit.
HomeCare 300™ includes plumbing repairs to hot and cold water pipes, cold-water storage tanks, taps and seized stopcocks. Also included is the unblocking and repairing of drains and pipes (see Be aware section below).
HomeCare 400™ is the most comprehensive package offered by British Gas, and covers your home electrics and repairs to electrical wiring, fuse-boards and broken, damaged or faulty electrical fittings inside and outside your home.
All of the HomeCare® packages offer unlimited call outs per contract year and parts and labour come included (see Be aware section below).
All HomeCare® packages come with an annual boiler service that includes a safety and energy efficiency check, and provide replacement of the boiler if it can’t be repaired (again, see Be aware section below).
Alternatively, British Gas also offers Boiler and Controls breakdown cover and Central Heating Breakdown cover. These levels of cover do not include an annual service visit.
The price of the HomeCare® packages depends on which excess level you choose, as well as your postcode, because prices within the M25 may vary.
All HomeCare® bundles include parts and labour for call outs, but limits do apply, so make sure you read British Gas's terms and conditions.
Also, as mentioned above, while all bundles include unlimited call outs, your boiler breakdown history will be taken into account when setting your annual price for the next year.
There are some exclusions to these packages, such as shower repairs and removing sludge or hard-water scale from your boiler or central heating system. Also, replacing taps and shared drains are not included, as well as system improvements and electrical appliances.
A replacement boiler will be given if it's less than seven years old and can't be repaired. A replacement boiler will be provided if it's between seven and 10 years old and can't be repaired, as long as British Gas installed it and you have had a continuous agreement with British Gas for the life of the boiler.
Do you need boiler cover?
The most dangerous time for most boilers, particularly the most common condensing boilers, is winter, which is unfortunately when you are likely to need it most.
Luckily it's easy to do something about it, so there's no reason you should be left without heating and having to make expensive calls to your local plumber.
There are some basic things you can do though to prevent breakdowns from happening:
- If you leave your heating on constantly in winter it can help prevent the pipes from freezing. However, this isn’t very energy efficient, so if you do leave heating on more, make sure you set your thermostat to a lower temperature.
- Keep you boiler manual handy in case you need it in an emergency. If you can’t find it, don’t worry, you should be able to get a replacement from your boiler manufacturer.
- If you have a new boiler, try and look for the ‘automatic pump anti-seize function’ in the manual. This will spin the pump if your boiler hasn’t been used in a while, like in late autumn, and will prevent problems.
- If your boiler’s condensate pipe has frozen you may be able to fix the problem yourself. You can use warm (but not boiling) water to temporarily unfreeze the pipe, and lag it with insulation material. This may help get your boiler started again, but you may still need the experts.
For more information on central heating cover you can check out our dedicated guide page.