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Your boiler is likely one of the most used appliances in your home in winter. It can run for hours each day, working hard to keep your home warm and supplied with hot water for those chilly evenings. However, with so many moving parts, there is scope for things to go wrong, particularly if your boiler is over eight years old.
According to thisismoney.co.uk, nearly one-fifth of UK residents have experienced a broken boiler in the last 12 months and one in 10 people would need to rely on loans or credit cards to pay for the repairs.
So what do you do if your boiler stops working one day, leaving your radiators off and your water cold? You will want to get the situation rectified as quickly as possible and you may be able to claim the cost on your home insurance.
In most cases, standard home insurance will not cover the cost of fixing or replacing a broken boiler. Boiler breakdown is common and it’s most often caused by lack of good maintenance or regular servicing, so home insurance providers are understandably wary about offering cover for this issue.
It’s more likely that an insurance provider will pay for damage that has been caused by a faulty appliance, for example, damage caused by oil or water leaking from a domestic boiler. However, they will not pay for the repair or replacement of the appliance itself.
You may be able to take out additional cover with your home insurance provider that does cover your boiler. Check with them to see what it’s called, but it is usually named ‘boiler cover’ or ‘emergency home cover’. It generally doesn’t cost more than an extra £5 to £10 per month, but you could feel better knowing that you have the additional protection should your boiler break down.
This extra cover could include sending out emergency assistance if your main source of heating fails and paying towards the cost of a new boiler. However, do check the policy terms and conditions carefully. If you haven’t had your boiler serviced regularly or it’s stopped working because of its age, they may not pay out.
If you’re unsure whether you are covered, either check your policy documents, reading them through carefully, or call your insurance provider for more details.
There’s no good time for your boiler to kick the bucket, especially when you’re trying to sell a property. You can still sell your home with a broken boiler, however, potential buyers may be put off and it could take longer to sell. They would need to pay to have a new boiler installed and the work would need to be completed as soon as they move in.
You have a couple of options. The first is to pay to have the boiler fixed or replaced. While this may cost you money, your property would likely be more enticing to buyers and you could sell it more quickly. A new boiler would probably come with a two-, three- or five-year guarantee too, which could be even more desirable.
Your second option is to reduce the price of your property so that the buyers aren’t losing any money. For example, if your home is on the market for £200,000 and you’ve had a £2,000 quote to have the boiler replaced or fixed, you could reduce the price to £198,000 to reflect this quote. Doing this would be a nice gesture and would mean potential buyers would be less likely to be put off.
If you’re worried about this situation happening to you, you could get your boiler serviced before the property goes up for sale. This way, you and your buyers will know that it’s in fully working order, with a certificate to show when the work was carried out and the results.
Before you call someone to take a look at your boiler, you may want to do some troubleshooting of your own. There may be an issue that you’re able to solve or figure out on your own. For instance, the boiler screen may be showing a fault code that tells you what the issue is or you could have a problem like an airlock, which can be fixed by you without the need to call a heating engineer out.
If you’ve tried to resolve the problem on your own with no luck, you should get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer service team. They may be able to send out a suitably qualified heating engineer to resolve the problem.
No matter who you call to fix your boiler, you should always make sure that they are Gas-Safe registered.