Gas boiler insurance gives you the security of having your boiler and central heating checked regularly and knowing that someone will come if it breaks down.
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There's nothing worse in the depths of winter than having your boiler quit on you. Luckily with boiler insurance you can make sure you're always covered should the worse happen, but why should you get boiler insurance, which type is right for you, and how can you ensure you don't pay over the odds?
Why get boiler insurance?
If you'd like the security of having your boiler and central heating checked regularly and knowing that someone will come round in case of a boiler breakdown, then you should consider heating cover.
Boiler cover typically comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes, but generally it ensures you are visited by a trained engineer in the event of something going wrong with your boiler either being repaired or replaced.
Your energy supplier may offer boiler breakdown and more general cover, but you should compare prices to get the right deal for you.
Which boiler insurance is right for me?
Prices and what exactly is included in the heating or boiler insurance varies hugely. Your plan will depend on what type of boiler and heating system you have.
If you have an older boiler purchased more than 15 years ago you may find boiler cover limited, with only certain insurers covering you and for much higher premiums.
Most boiler cover will have maximum cover amounts (say £1,500) which you may also want to consider in relation to the cost of replacing your current boiler.
One of the most important features of any boiler insurance policy is annual servicing, whereby a qualified engineer will inspect your boiler and correct any minor issues once a year.
Cheap boiler cover for your gas boiler
If you have a standard gas boiler, you should look for heating cover that covers some or all of the following:
Repairs to your boiler - parts and labour in case of boiler breakdown
A contribution towards the replacement of a system if it is considered beyond repair (normally with a set limit)
A certain or unlimited number of claims in a set year
It's also vital that you ensure any boiler cover agreement you enter into is with qualified boiler engineers. If in doubt ask to see identification and look for the yellow triangle demonstrating that they are a member of the Gas Safe Register.
The Gas Safe Register, or Corgi as it was previously known, is the UK's official gas safety body. You should only ever allow engineers on the Gas Safety Register work on your boiler to ensure your safety.
Comparing cheap boiler cover is easy with the uSwitch boiler cover comparison tool.
As you'll see, there are lots of different heating cover plans available to choose from. To make the decision process easier, use our cheap boiler cover comparison service now to find a deal that matches your requirements and guard against boiler breakdowns.
What to watch out for
While boiler cover is there to ensure peace of mind so you never have to worry about your boiler losing heat, there are a few tell-tale signs that your boiler may be struggling and a few simple solutions for the small things.
The most obvious sign that something is wrong with your boiler is clearly when the heating no longer works, or when there's no hot water, but before things get to this stage there are other symptoms.
One is the pressure reading of your boiler. If the pressure keeps dropping or rising this is a good sign that something is wrong and it may be time to get it looked at as pre-emptive measure.
Another clear sign something may be wrong is if the pilot light flame is anything other than clear blue. If you have a yellow or orange flame it's certainly time to call the repairman.
You should also be aware of any unusual sounds like hissing or clunking. You should also be aware if your gas usage goes up, even though your habits stay the same, then it's a good indication of a problem.
If your problem stops working during cold weather there's also a good chance it's down to frozen pipes, in which case there may be something you can do something about it.
If you have a condensing boiler, the most common type, then a common culprit is the condensate pipe. You can tell if this is the case if you hear a faint bubbling sound from the pipe, or if there's a sign on your boiler indicating as such.
You can solve this by warming some water in a kettle, standing away from the wall, and pouring water over the pipe after it's cooled down slightly. Don't pour boiling water as it may crack the pipe.
While this solution may work in the short term it may not solve things over a prolonged period of cold weather. In that case you may look at insulating the pipes.
Saving on heating
You can easily save money on heating by draught-proofing, loft insulation and wall insulation.
Draught-proofing is the easiest and cheapest way to keep your heat inside your home. Just look for gaps and cracks around windows and doors, as well as letterboxes and chimneys for draughts. The great thing about draught-proofing is that these draughts can be stopped by a simple visit to the DIY store.
Loft insulation is slightly more complex but you may also be able to install it yourself, while wall insulation is best left to the experts. You can read more on our insulation guide pages.