If you’ve been researching the different types of Home Cover, you may find you’re left asking a few questions.
In this article we’ll look to answer the questions you have and to try and give you some clear direction about picking the right cover for your home.
You may already be aware that there are many benefits to Home Cover. But if you’re looking for some further reading, you can find out exactly what they are by looking at our simple guide which explains all the Benefits of Home Cover.
But before you do that, let’s go through some of the basics about Home Cover.
Home Cover or Home Emergency Cover are different from your normal home and contents insurance. With Home Cover you’re covering against emergencies at your home, whether it’s plumbing and drainage, an electrics repair or even a heating emergency.
When you make a claim for Home Cover, 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.
What is Home Emergency Cover?
Home Emergency Cover is pretty much what it says on the tin. In simple terms, it’s insurance cover in case you have an emergency at your home.
Usually this covers things like electrical faults or boiler breakdowns, but this can vary depending on which company you get your Home Cover with and what level of cover you purchase.
Regardless of what it is you get cover for, the idea is that if something goes wrong at your home, you make a claim and the insurer sends out an approved tradesperson as soon as possible to fix the problem. When your claim is approved, the bill for labour, parts and materials are covered up to an agreed amount.
What counts as a home emergency?
A home emergency, as defined in most policies, is a sudden and unforeseen incident in the home that needs to be fixed as soon as possible because:
- You’ve lost essential services, such as mains drainage, heating, lighting or water
- Your property has become permanently damaged, dangerous or uninhabitable
- Your health and wellbeing could be at risk
What is covered by our Home Emergency Cover?
When you take out our Home Emergency Cover you will be covered for the following:
- 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 is not covered by our home emergency cover?
Unfortunately, we can’t cover everything, so our policies do come with some exclusions.
In many cases, these are things such as:
- Faulty or poorly looked after appliances
Issues caused by lack of maintenance, poor handiwork, faulty design or wear and tear
- Breakdown of appliances
A breakdown of appliances such as electric showers and air conditioning
- Blockages and hard water deposits
Faults resulting from hard water scale deposits, sludge or blockages
- Number of claims
Limitless claims in one policy year, unless it’s a policy specifically offering unlimited claims
- Repair costs higher than maximum claim
The total cost, if the urgent fix costs more than the maximum claim amount in callout charges, labour and parts, including VAT
- Power cuts or power outages
Power cuts due to external factors, like the National Grid, or problems with wiring outside of your home
- Old or unserviced boilers
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 in the first two weeks
Emergencies that happen within 14 days of a policy start date
- Unoccupied properties
Properties left unoccupied for over 30 or 60 days in a row, depending on your policy
- Major repairs
Making repairs beyond the emergency fix, if further work is needed. For that, you’ll need to make a claim on your home insurance
How can I prevent home emergencies?
Of course, emergencies do happen. But there are a number of tasks you can tick off to significantly reduce the probability of them happening to you:
- Annual boiler service
Have an annual boiler service by a Gas Safe registered engineer
- Maintain your taps and pipes
Repair dripping taps and check lagging in pipes and tanks is secure
- Locate your stopcock
Know where your stopcock is located, so you can quickly stop your water supply at the mains if needed
- Watch out for blockages
Don’t put food, coffee grounds, oil and fat down the kitchen sink, as it may cause drainage issues and blockages that lead to plumbing problems
- Clear your gutters annually
Clear your gutters once a year – built-up leaf sludge can cause problems. Contact HomeServe if you need any help
- Check your electrics
Get any electrical issues checked out by a qualified electrician asap, including:
- Noisy fuse box
- Switches that keep tripping
- Flickering lights
- Worn cables and cords
- Discoloration of sockets
If you have concerns about an accident occurring at your home, you may be interested in our Householders Accident Plan, which covers you, your family and friends should something happen at your home.
Home Cover FAQ’s
Do I need home emergency cover?
Everyone’s circumstances are different, so whether you need Home Emergency Cover can depend on a lot of factors.
Essentially yes, you should consider home cover. When you weigh up the pros and cons, of course, there is a monthly payment to make.
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 were 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.
If you’d like to discover more, you can read our guide titled, Is Home Emergency Cover worth it?
Does home insurance cover home emergencies?
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.
I rent my home, do I need Home Emergency Cover?
You’re only eligible for Home Emergency Cover if you’re the homeowner. If you rent your property then your landlord may have Home Emergency Cover for landlords, which will make sure your home is covered if a problem arises.
How can I buy home emergency cover?
If Home Cover sounds like something you’d like to explore further, then take a look at what HomeServe has to offer. On this page you can look closely at exactly what our cover includes and make sure it is right for you.
Whatever your home needs, we’ve got you covered with our Home Emergency Cover.