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Boiler trouble can leave households with a £314 headache

With one-sixth of households expected to have switched their heating on, new research underlines the risks of not having boiler cover

A lack of boiler insurance could result in a £314 repair bill

A survey from uSwitch has shown that although close to a fifth of households suffered a boiler breakdown in 2012, resulting in an average repair cost of £314, only a third have adequate insurance.

Just over a quarter of those surveyed said they saw boiler cover as essential and a further 22% said cold winters mean it is increasingly important. In stark contrast, one tenth believe cover is not essential and 34% think it is too expensive.

Stretched finances holding Brits back

To further highlight the issue, more than one third of those who do not have insurance say they cannot afford it. However, with two in ten households having to shell out an average of £314 to repair their boilers in 2012, and insurance available from £52, it may well be worth reconsidering.

In this context, the survey found that 34% of survey participants were considering taking out insurance to guard against a surprise breakdown in winter. A third of those planning to purchase cover are doing so for peace of mind, whereas more than a quarter are worried their boiler may break down due to its age.

It is worth noting that some boiler cover, particularly the cheaper deals, carry an excess. This figure makes up the first part of the claim and is what you would be required to pay before the insurance company would cover additional costs. For example if your boiler will cost £300 to repair and your excess is £50, you would be required to pay the latter yourself.

Boiler cover plans


Plan Name

First Year Cost

Monthly Cost

Max. cover per year

Annual Boiler Service Included



Gas Boiler Breakdown Cover







Boiler care flexi






British Gas

HomeCare 100™







Home Comfort Standard Care





Source: Prices and information correct as of 03/10/2013. All plans cover boiler and controls. Based on a 5 year old Baxi Gas combination boiler with no existing cover in Nottingham. The above is a snapshot of national suppliers – local and regional suppliers are available too.

‘Going without boiler cover’ is a gamble

Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch, said: “In these cash-strapped times, going without boiler cover can seem like an easy saving to make. However, it is a gamble which can leave you out of pocket if your boiler packs up and you don’t have money spare to pay for repairs. The average repair bill last year was £314 – if this would be difficult for you to find then boiler cover could give you peace of mind.

“If boiler cover is the right option for you then it is vital to shop around for the best deal. It’s important to note that some of the cheapest plans carry an excess. If this would be difficult for you to pay then you might be better off going for a slightly more expensive option that doesn’t have an excess. Prices and the level of cover can vary, with some suppliers also including an annual boiler safety inspection. It’s also important to note that you are not obliged to take boiler cover through your gas supplier – you really are free to shop around for the cover that best suits your needs.”

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