Home emergency cover helps you avoid being hit with the cost of call-out fees, labour and parts if you need urgent repairs at your property.
In this article we’ll look at what’s classed as an emergency, the costs involved, and find out if it’s worth paying for home emergency cover.
What is Home Emergency Cover and how does it work?
A home emergency insurance policy covers your expenses for fixing urgent issues in your home, like an electrical failure or your boiler breaking down.
When you make a claim, the insurer sends out an approved engineer or plumber as quickly as possible to fix the issue, and they cover the bill for labour, parts and materials, up to an agreed maximum cost.
If your home is unsafe to stay in while the problem is fixed, your insurance may also cover overnight accommodation for you and your family, again at a cost agreed within the policy.
Is Home Emergency Cover and standard home insurance the same thing?
Home Emergency Cover is different from a standard home insurance policy because it is a type of insurance that covers the cost of calling out an engineer when you experience an emergency. Whether it’s a boiler breakdown or problem with your electrics, you’re covered if something goes wrong.
A standard home insurance policy covers the cost of repairing the damage caused by the incident, or replacing belongings. However, your home insurance policy wouldn’t generally cover the call-out of a qualified engineer in an emergency. Normally this would be something you would have to find and pay for in this situation, which can be costly.
It is possible that you can have a level of emergency cover as a part of or as an add-on to your home insurance, so it’s always worth checking if you have this already. However, this wouldn’t usually have the same standard of cover that you would get from a standalone policy.
What is included in home emergency cover?
The types of situations a home emergency policy could provide assistance on include:
- Plumbing and drainage issues
- Boiler and central heating breakdown
- Electrical failure
- Pest infestations, such as rats, mice, wasps and hornets in your home
- Security issues, like broken front door locks and lost house keys
- Roof damage after a storm that exposes your home
What isn’t covered by home emergency cover?
It’s like home emergency insurance won’t cover or include things like;
- Issues caused by lack of maintenance, poor handiwork, faulty design or wear and tear
- Breakdown of appliances like electric showers and air conditioning
- Faults resulting from hard water scale deposits, sludge or blockages
- Limitless claims in one policy year, unless it’s a policy specifically offering unlimited claims
- The total cost, if the urgent fix costs more than the maximum claim amount in callout charges, labour and parts, including VAT
- Power cuts due to external factors, like the National Grid, or problems with wiring outside of your home
- Boilers that are older than a certain number of years, or that haven’t been serviced, or that are still covered under warranty. Standalone policies may include an annual boiler service
- Emergencies that happen within 14 days of a policy start date
- Properties left unoccupied for over 30 or 60 days in a row, depending on your policy
- Making repairs beyond the emergency fix, if further work is needed. For that, you’ll need to make a claim on your home insurance
Why might I need Home Cover?
In an ideal world you’d hope that you don’t need cover, although you never know when an emergency might happen.
Let’s say, for example, one of your pipes bursts and floods your lounge. Sadly it happens up and down the country, especially in winter.
At this point, your home emergency cover would kick in – you’d make your claim, an appropriate professional would be called out to fix the broken pipe and take necessary steps to ensure you and your family’s safety.
So, really when you take out Home Cover, you’re gaining the peace of mind that your family and your home are protected, should an emergency crop up. You’re also removing the stress that a situation such as this may bring, safe in the knowledge that a fully qualified professional will be on the case as soon as possible.
Home Emergency Cover costs
The cost of your emergency cover will depend on what you are looking for. The cost will differ depending on which company you take out your policy with and the level of cover you require
For example, your cost can differ depending on the amount you can claim and the maximum number of claims you can make each year, so it’s important to consider what works best for you.
It’s also good to understand exactly what your provider considers to be an emergency. Some may cover both your boiler and heating system, while others may only cover your boiler.
Try and shop around, get a few different quotes and compare which home emergency cover suits you.
How much is Home Emergency Cover with HomeServe?
The cost of Emergency Cover with HomeServe will vary depending on what you are wanting to cover and the level of cover you are looking for.
The list below shows the type of cover and the minimum cost you can expect.
Boiler and heating cover from £8 a month with a free boiler service in your first year
- Cover your boiler against breakdowns.
- Repair central heating and gas supply pipe leaks.
- If we can’t fix your boiler, we’ll replace it.
Plumbing and drainage cover from £1 a month with an unlimited number of claims
- Covers leaks, blocked drains, sinks, taps and toilets.
- 12-month guarantee on most repairs.
Cover for landlords from £1 a month
- Cover for your boiler, plumbing and electrics.
- Option to include a CP12 Gas Safety Certificate.
- Your tenants can claim directly
Electrics cover from £3 a month with unlimited claims
- Covers your wiring, fusebox, sockets and switches.
- You’re even covered for repairs caused by DIY accidents.
“Why is HomeServe so expensive?”
When you compare the price of our cover against our competitors, you’re likely to find that when you consider the cost of the policy and what’s included in the policy, our prices match those within the current market.
Is Home Emergency Cover worth it?
Everyone’s circumstances are different, so it can depend on a lot of factors.
Essentially yes, home cover is worth it when you weigh up the pros and cons. Of course, there is a monthly payment to make at a time we are all watching our outgoings. But when you compare that to the cost of a hefty repair bill, or the stress of finding a tradesperson and knowing that someone has you covered in the worst case scenario, it’s worth the peace of mind knowing that you and your family are protected. For example, if a pipe was to burst in your home, it could cost an average of £180 to fix without cover*, but with Plumbing & Drainage Plus for £1 a month, you’d be covered with a £30 excess.
Ready to find home emergency cover suited to you?
If you’re interested in our home cover, we have a number of home emergency cover options suitable for everyone, including landlords.
* BCIS© Research, September 2022 (prices include labour, parts, call-out charges and VAT)
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