Does home insurance cover heat pumps?

Read on to see how the right home insurance can protect your eco-friendly heating system and help save you money.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 2 May 2023  | 3 mins read
Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

Heat pumps on the rise in the UK

A heat pump is a low-carbon, energy efficient way to heat your home and water. It’s also a cost-effective green alternative to gas boilers.

It works by capturing heat, or thermal energy, from outside your home. Then it uses electricity to compress, or concentrate, the heat so its temperature rises, and sends it pumping around your home’s heating and hot water system.

There are two main types of heat pumps: air source and ground source.

With an air source heat pump, heat from outside air is captured and drawn into the heating system. It’s the less expensive option and easier to install.

A ground source heat pump collects heat from the ground outside your home. You’ll need a large outside space for this type of system and it’ll cost more to install.

According to the Energy Saving Trust*, tens of thousands of heat pumps have already been installed throughout the UK. And, to meet 2050 net zero targets, the Government expects that millions of heat pumps will need to be installed in the next 10 to 15 years.

If you're eligible, you can get government help in the form of a grant to install a heat pump via the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in England and Wales. It offers £5,000 towards an air source heat pump and £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump.

Does home insurance cover heat pumps?

The components of heat pumps vary, depending on the type of system installed.

An air source heat pump looks similar to an air-conditioning unit. It’s installed outside your home, either fitted to a wall or on the ground, with space around it to capture and draw in air.

Ground source heat pumps use pipes buried in your garden and an indoor heat pump, about the size of a large standing fridge.

Both types of heating system should be covered by a buildings insurance policy as they’re generally regarded as a fixture and fitting, forming part of your property.

As such, your heat pump will be covered against things like storm and flood damage, fire, explosion, theft or attempted theft, malicious acts and vandalism, plus subsidence if your home has been damaged at the same time.

You should check carefully that your policy includes cover for heat pumps, though, as they may be excluded - if you’re unsure give your provider a call.

Are heat pumps covered under home emergency policies?

Home emergency cover is a type of insurance you buy as an add-on to your home insurance.

It pays for an authorised repairer to come to your home to deal with all sorts of home emergencies - including your heating system breaking down.

However, many home emergency policies specifically exclude any repair or replacement of air or ground source heat pumps. Some will cover them though, so it’s always best to check. It’s something to be aware of if you’re changing your heating system.

Am I covered for weather damage or falling trees?

Yes, your buildings insurance should cover any damage that happens as a result of fallen trees or branches. This usually won’t include damage that happens if you’re felling, lopping or topping trees, though.

How can I get covered if my policy excludes heat pumps?

If your policy won’t cover heat pumps, look at switching to a provider that does. You may be charged an exit or cancellation fee if you move mid-policy term.

Heat pumps should come with a warranty from the manufacturer. This could cover you for, say, five years for faulty parts.

You can also consider buying a service plan. This should include things like an annual service on your pump, call-outs for breakdowns or faults, technical support, cost (or reduced cost) of labour and parts.

How long do heat pumps last?

The life expectancy of a modern heat pump can be as much as 20 or 25 years if looked after well.

How to protect heat pumps from damage

Just as a gas boiler needs servicing regularly, it’s a good idea to have your heat pump serviced every year by a qualified technician. Some warranties require that you have an annual service to remain valid. It’s a good idea to get this done before winter so you can solve any issues before the temperature drops.

Check your manufacturer documents for recommended maintenance for your specific heat pump.

Generally, through the year you can do things like:

  • Clean and replace filters when required (check manual)
  • Remove dust from coils
  • Clean fan blades
  • Make sure the airflow to your air source pump isn’t obstructed - clear away grass, leaves and other debris

Does home insurance cover other renewable energy sources?

Yes, a buildings policy usually covers renewable technologies like fixed solar panels and small wind turbines.

Always check with your insurer though.

You’ll need to let your insurance provider know if you’re planning on installing any type of renewable energy in your property. It needs to know about any changes you make to your home as it may affect your premiums.

* According to the Energy Saving Trust in 2023