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Boiler cover: questions and answers

If you've got questions about boiler or heating cover, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find the answers you’re looking for.
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What details do I need to give?

You only need to provide your postcode to compare plans on our site.

This information enables us to work out which plans you’re eligible for to help save you some money. We’ll only need some additional information if you decide to apply for a plan, including your contact and payment details.

We only ask for the information necessary to process your application. And you don't have to worry, as our application pages are secure. Just look for the padlock symbol and the letters 'https' at the beginning of the URL.

Are there any hidden charges?

No. Our service is free and doesn't affect the price of your boiler cover. The plan would cost the same if you went directly to the provider – the key advantage of going through us is that you’re able to compare as many providers as possible to find the most competitively priced product that meets your needs.

We make our money through the small commission we’re given by certain providers for introducing you to them. Nevertheless, we include all providers in your results and our commercial interests do not affect the way the plans are ranked.

How do I pay for my plan?

Most plans allow you to pay for your plan monthly, typically via direct debit. Some also allow you to pay for your policy in one lump sum at the time of taking out your policy, which could save you money overall by avoiding interest charges. You should see what choices are available to you when applying for the policy.

How long does it take to get cover?

Comparing and applying for heating cover is quick – it should take just 10 minutes from start to finish.

Once you’ve completed your application, we’ll send you a confirmation email with the details of your cover. Once your payment is processed, you’re usually subject to an initial no-claims or waiting period, which varies according to each provider, but is typically around 30 days. This period is specified in each plan when you click ‘Plan Details’ next to each policy on our site.

If I switch my energy supplier, will I lose my boiler cover?

No. Your boiler cover plan is completely independent of your energy supplier, so you are free to switch your gas and electricity as often as you like. It has no effect on your boiler cover.

What is (and isn't) covered?

What's included in your cover depends on which plan you choose. You can get cover for just your boiler and controls or your entire heating system.

Standard boiler or heating cover is designed to provide you with access to a registered engineer should your heating break down. It covers the costs of calling out an engineer, plus any parts and labour. All you have to pay is any excess quoted in your policy each time you make a claim. Many plans also provide you with a 24-7 helpline for help and advice, and some offer an annual boiler check-up and service for an additional premium.

Some deals offer unlimited cover, whereas others are capped at £1,000 or £1,500, so make sure you find a deal that offers sufficient cover.

This information is highlighted in your results table, so when you compare cover plans you can easily see what is and isn't included.

Must I pay an excess?

Most policies usually come with an excess – this varies from provider to provider but is usually no more than £100 and is clearly listed in our results tables when comparing plans and providers. You’ll need to pay this excess each time you call out an engineer during the course of your policy.

Some policies give you the option of reducing or removing the excess in return for paying higher monthly premiums. However, if you can afford to pay the excess, it usually works out better value to leave this in place unless you end up having to claim more than once or twice during the term of the policy.

Do I need to maintain my boiler?

Yes. Most policies assume your boiler is in “good working order” when you take out your policy, so boiler insurance won’t necessarily cover you if you don’t look after your boiler. Make sure it’s serviced annually – look for a cover policy that includes this if you don’t already have a service plan in place. 

Can I switch from my current cover?

If your policy is up for renewal, you don’t have to stick with the same insurer. In fact, it’s a good idea to compare policies each time your plan is due to expire so you’re getting the best value for money.

If you want to switch your plan to a new one before it expires, then things are a little more complicated. First, check the terms and conditions of your current cover before switching. Each provider has different cancellation procedures, and this could play a big role in whether switching is worth it or not.

If you pay monthly, the process may be as simple as contacting your current provider to inform it that you’re cancelling the policy. Don’t cancel your direct debit until you’ve performed this step and confirmed the policy has been cancelled.

If you’ve paid in advance, however, you should confirm that you'll get a pro-rata refund before you take out a new policy to ensure you’re not left out of pocket.

Can anyone get cover?

No. Boiler cover is not available on Uswitch if any of the following apply:

  • You rent your property or are a council tenant. Your landlord or the local council is responsible for your heating

  • You live in a mobile home or bedsit

  • You have more than seven bedrooms, as your output will be too high to be eligible

  • You use your property commercially.

You’ll also face more limited choices if your boiler is more than 15 years old as some insurers won't extend boiler cover to older models that are more likely to develop problems.

Can I get cover for an old boiler?

Yes. However, while you no longer have to report your boiler's age, boiler cover conditions may be dependent on whether the parts required to repair your boiler are available. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, replacing it with a new model should help cut your energy costs as well as provide you with more dependable heating and hot water.

Are all boilers and units eligible for cover?

There is cover available for most boilers and units, depending on their condition and whether parts are still available for them. You can check for yours in this list:

  • Conventional gas boilers

  • Condensing gas boilers

  • Combination gas boilers

  • Condensing combination gas boilers

  • Low water content boilers and system boilers

  • Electric storage heaters

  • Electric boilers

  • Warm air units

  • Solid fuel boilers

  • Conventional oil boilers

  • Condensing oil boilers

  • Combination oil boilers

  • Condensing combination oil boilers

If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you will have limited choices for getting cover.

Am I covered if I move house?

It depends on your boiler care provider. Check with its helpline to see if the policy is transferrable to a new address.

How much can I claim?

It depends on the cover you get. Some plans provide unlimited cover, whereas others are capped at £1,000 or £1,500, or limit the number of hours an engineer can spend on each callout.

When you compare cover on, the results will show you the maximum amount you can claim per year.

Is there a limit on the number of claims I can make?

Check your policy. Some place a limit, while others allow you to make unlimited claims throughout the course of your policy. Remember, however, that you’ll need to pay the excess fee for each callout you make, and that the number of callouts you make could affect the renewal premium you’re quoted for the following year’s cover.

When can I make a claim?

Once your cover starts you usually have an initial no-claim period during which you can’t make claims on your policy – typically 30 days. This is to prevent people from exploiting providers by getting cheap boiler insurance to cover an existing problem with their heating system.

What happens if my boiler can’t be repaired?

If your boiler is deemed beyond “economical repair” – in other words, it’s either impossible to repair or the cost of doing so is too great, your policy may agree to part-fund the purchase of a replacement boiler up to a maximum amount (typically £750, not including installation costs). Check your policy documents for details.

Are there alternatives to boiler cover?

You may be able to protect your boiler by adding home emergency cover to your home insurance contents policy, or choosing a home insurance policy that comes with it included. Home emergency cover provides protection against a wider range of problems, such as burst pipes or electrical issues, but is only designed for use in emergencies, so isn’t as comprehensive as dedicated boiler or central heating cover. 

What is termed an emergency?

Emergency situations don’t cover simple loss of hot water and heating (classed as urgent repair). Instead, emergencies cover situations more likely to cause damage to property, such as the sudden escape of water or uncontrollable water leaks that can’t be stopped by switching off the stop tap, and which cannot be contained for a specified period (such as seven hours) using a container to prevent further damage to your property.