Compare home emergency policies for your humble abode
You've got two main options with how you take out home emergency cover: buy it as part of your home insurance policy, or buy separate home emergency cover from a dedicated provider.
It can prove cost-effective to get it included with your home insurance policy - some providers will include it as standard in the cost and others will let you pay extra to add it.
But some people prefer to take out a specialist home emergency policy because when water's pouring through the ceiling, time's of the essence.
GoCompare’s home insurance expert, Ryan Fulthorpe says: "In an emergency, getting someone in quickly to deal with the problem is critical and can help save further damage.
"This is why most home emergency providers have a 24-hour helpline to give policyholders access to approved tradesmen, whatever time of day or night their emergency occurs."
- Home emergency cover can be arranged from a variety of sources – don't double up on cover by paying for it twice!
- Consider whether you already have such cover through your home insurance, or through another source such as a packaged bank account
- Comparing standalone home emergency policies through GoCompare can help you see how much cover costs
Home insurance with home emergency cover
Whether you choose to buy a separate home emergency policy or not, no one wants to be throwing money away so you should check what cover you already have on your home insurance policy.
Some policies automatically include home emergency cover at no extra cost, while others allow you to pay extra to add this cover.
According to 384 home insurance policies checked on independent financial researcher Defaqto on 11 March, 2019, 77% had home emergency cover available. But it was only included as standard - for no additional charge - on 25% of policies.
What's covered by home emergency insurance?
This'll depend on the individual policy and how much you want to pay.
With a dedicated home emergency policy you'll usually be able to 'build your own' cover, choosing to include just what you need.
Home emergency cover included with home insurance will usually just include a standard list of perils, so you'll need to check the policy wording to make sure it has the cover you need.
A home emergency policy will typically cover some or all of the following:
- Boiler breakdown
- Central heating failure
- Loss of hot water
- Plumbing problems, including burst pipes
- Drainage trouble
- Electrical failure
- Roof damage caused by extreme weather
- Security issues – especially compromised doors and windows
Some policies will also offer cover for additional things such as lost keys, appliance breakdown and/or infestation by pests such as wasps or rats.
Cover may include the provision of alternative accommodation in the event of a major problem at your property.
Do I need home emergency insurance?
The first thing to do is to check your existing home insurance policy – you may already have the cover that you need.
If your home insurance doesn't cover you, or only offers cover for some of the perils listed, you may want to consider an additional home emergency policy to fill any gaps.
Consider the age and condition of your boiler and other essential services too, whether they're covered by guarantees, and how reliable you consider them to be.
Ultimately the decision on whether to take out emergency cover is down to you weighing up the pros and cons.
What exclusions should I look out for?
Be sure to check whether there's a maximum price placed on the value of repairs and find out whether call-out charges, parts and labour are included.
If cover is bought alongside home insurance, check whether an incident would affect your no-claims discount.
If that's the case, it would impact on the cost of insuring your house when you come to renew.
Be clear about the service you'd expect in an emergency – whether your insurer will find the qualified tradesperson, for example – and the timescale within which you should expect help.
Consider also the definition of an emergency. For example, most people would class a blocked toilet within this category. But if you have more than one toilet in the house, an insurer may see it differently.