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A quarter of households are worried about boiler breakdown this winter

10 November 2014
  • Average cost of boiler repairs £469
  • 12% of households with a boiler breakdown have paid bills of over £1,000
  • A fifth of households haven’t had their boiler serviced for 2 years or more

As we head into winter, a new survey* from, headline sponsors of the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, reveals that a quarter of householders are worried about their boiler breaking down and many would be left struggling to pay for the cost of repairs.

When questioned as how they might pay for a £300 repair bill for their boiler only 27% of those surveyed said that they had money set aside for such an emergency, 23% held specific boiler cover, while 10% would have to pay by credit card.

But many householders could have cover for emergency boiler or central heating repairs under their home buildings insurance.  Home emergency insurance covers household misfortunes, typically insuring against your boiler breaking down, plumbing or drainage trouble or, home security issues. It generally covers the cost of call-out, labour and materials for temporary or permanent repairs up to a maximum limit per claim.

The ‘boiler trouble’ consumer research, commissioned by, also found that:

  • 42% of those surveyed had experienced boiler trouble in last 3 years.  Of these, 22% required a complete replacement of their system, 19% had to have emergency repairs, and 54% needed just minor repairs;
  • The average cost of these repairs was £469 (12% had a bill of over £1,000);
  • Well over half (56%) of those surveyed said that they have had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months, but 9% haven’t had their system checked for over two years, while 11% admitted to never having had their boiler serviced
  • The level of cover varies from policy to policy, but most provide cover of £500 to £1,000.

Commenting on the findings, Jeremy Cryer’s energy spokesperson, said: “Boilers are one of the most expensive items in your home to replace or repair but, many people don’t give them a thought until they let them down.  We strongly advise people to have their system checked on an annual basis, this helps ensure that it is running safely and efficiently.

“Several energy suppliers offer specialist boiler insurance which covers you against the cost of emergency repairs and the price usually provides an annual service.  If you are considering insurance, you should check your household buildings insurance policy for home emergency cover first – because your boiler might already be protected.  But, while insurance covers the failure of, or accidents to, essential services to your home, policies generally exclude problems which result from systems not being properly maintained.  So, for example, the failure of boilers or heating systems are usually only covered when they have been inspected or serviced by a qualified person within the preceding 12 months.”

For more information on boiler and central heating cover visit


Notes to editors

*On 26 September 2014 an online survey was conducted among 2,002 randomly selected British adults age 18+ who are also Springboard United Kingdom Community members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current data on age, gender, region, and education from the most recent census data, to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of the UK. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

**Source: Defaqto Matrix of 329 home buildings insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (2 October 2014)