Make sure your heating and hot water don’t break down
Published 14 October 2015 by Emily Bancroft
Don’t be left without heat this winter – make sure you’re protected!
We’re already feeling the cold weather starting to kick in and in just a few short weeks, we’ll be in the throes of winter. With some forecasts predicting that we could have one of the coldest winters on record, it’s likely that we’ll all be reaching to crank up the heating to the maximum soon.
But what if the worst happens – your boiler breaks and you’re left without heat or hot water. Would you have to pay out or risk being left in the cold for weeks on end? That all depends on whether or not you own your house – but make sure you’re protected against boiler breakdown this winter.
What can go wrong?
It can seem that as soon as the cold weather hits, your boiler is bound to stop working properly. And that’s not just bad luck – the lower temperatures and increased use of your heating when it gets cold means your boiler has to work overtime, so something is more likely to go wrong.
That doesn’t mean we’re advising you not to use your heating when it gets cold though. If you don’t turn up the heat during a cold snap, it could mean that your pipes are likely to freeze up and break and it will take your boiler longer to start working when you finally do turn it on. All of this means more work for your heating system – so a breakdown could be imminent.
If your boiler does break down, you’ll have to ring an engineer to come and fix it. A call out could cost you as much as £300 and what’s more, if it’s a weekend or a busy time, the engineer might not be able to come out right away – meaning you’ll all need to put on woolly jumpers and have lots of hot drinks!
Boiler breakdown cover
Getting boiler breakdown cover means you’ll be covered in the event of your heating system malfunctioning. You might already have this protection as part of your home insurance but if you don’t, you can get a separate policy.
By getting a boiler care policy from an insurance provider like Think Insure, you could cover the cost of repairs if something goes wrong with the boiler. If a qualified contractor thinks that it would just be cheaper to get a new boiler, you could get up to £500 towards this. At just £6.95 a month, it means you won’t have a massive payout if the boiler breaks down completely.
Don’t worry if you live in a rented property – the boiler’s not your responsibility to insure. Under the statute of section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, your landlord or their agent has to deal with any problems with the boiler in a reasonable amount of time, so chase them up if you’re stuck in the cold for a while. If there are any problems with this, you’ll be able to apply to the court for an order to get your landlord to fix the boiler.