Home emergency insurance – is it worth it?

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 at 10:00

Home emergency cover can bring you peace of mind for things like heating or electrical problems, but should you fork out the money? They can be a lot of money, are you best saving your cash?

What’s usually covered under this type of insurance?

There will be differences between policies, but in the main, they tend to cover you for:

• Problems with drains
• Boiler issues
• Plumbing problems
• Burst pipes
• Lost keys
• Pest infestation
• Central heating and hot water problems
• Electrical breakdown
• Door and window breakages
• Roof damage due to the weather
The insurance should cover you for the repairs to make good, and in some instances, to provide alternative accommodation until the issue is resolved.

What do I need to consider?

First of all, if you are letting your property through an agent, then check what provisions they already have in place. It may be that they provide this service as part of the fee that you pay. You don’t want to duplicate if you don’t have to!

Then check your existing home insurance policy for the property, some providers may include an element of emergency cover as standard. Again, you don’t want to be paying twice for the same thing. Even if it doesn’t, then you could look at purchasing this cover as an add-on to your policy, rather than paying out for a stand-alone policy, it might be a cheaper option.

Some bank accounts even offer home emergency insurance as part of a packaged service, so it’s worth just checking that option too.

What should I look for when purchasing home emergency insurance?

There’s a lot of variation between policies, and so you should really study what each one contains. Cheapest isn’t necessarily the option you should plump for on this occasion, as it could mean that something you expected to be covered, isn’t. So go through the policy documents with a fine tooth comb.

You should have a look at what the limit is for call-out charges, choose a low level, and you may still be liable for top-up costs. Check how much parts and labour are covered for too. Check the process, do you have to find a tradesperson, or will they provide someone for you?
Check what definition they class as an emergency, whether there are any limits to the number of call-outs, and if there is a limit on how old your boiler can be, as these are all typical exclusions you can find on a policy.

It’s a minefield out there! But if you would like some advice on how to prepare yourself against emergencies your tenant is likely to experience, please get in touch, I’m more than happy to help advise you.

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