Home emergency cover

Compare home emergency policies to take care of your heating, plumbing and electrics

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What is home emergency cover?

Home emergency cover gives you access to a 24-hour helpline and tradespeople on hand to fix anything that could immediately affect your health or safety

You’ll get a fast response and financial cover to repair urgent issues with your boiler, heating system, plumbing or electrics.

It won’t cover the cost of putting right any damage caused to your home because of the emergency – you’ll need your home insurance for that.

Will my home insurance cover emergencies?

Home emergency cover isn’t always included on a standard home insurance policy.

If it isn’t, you can usually pay to add it as an extra. Otherwise, you can buy a stand-alone home emergency policy through us.

How to buy home emergency cover

There are two main ways to buy home emergency cover: with your home insurance, or as a stand-alone policy.

On a home insurance policy
As a separate policy

On a home insurance policy

You usually need to pay extra to include home emergency cover on your home insurance and it isn’t available on all policies.

According to Defaqto, only 24% of 383 buildings insurance policies include home emergency cover as standard, but it can be added for an additional cost to 53%[1]

Check your terms and conditions to see what you’re covered for.

Key points

  • Might be cheaper than buying a stand-alone policy
  • Only one company to deal with if you need to claim for the emergency and subsequent repairs
  • Coverage is often more limited than on a dedicated policy

As a separate policy

You might find that buying a dedicated home emergency policy costs a bit more than adding it to your home insurance, but you’ll be able to add as little or as much cover as you need.

So you could choose a basic policy for a low cost to just protect your boiler, or opt for one that covers heating, electrics, pipes, vermin damage and more.

You can even include an annual boiler service with some policies, which can work out good value.

Key points

  • Might be cheaper if you only want basic cover
  • Including a boiler service can be good value
  • You might have to deal with both the home emergency company and your home insurance provider to make a claim for an emergency and subsequent damage
  • The most comprehensive policies can work out expensive compared with adding it to your home insurance

Insurers pay out £1.8 million every day for escape of water claims.

For insurance that’ll stop the leak and repair the damage caused, you’ll need a home insurance policy that includes home emergency cover

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According to the ABI in Dec 2018

Does it cover all repairs?

No, it’ll only cover immediate fixes and not the repair work needed afterwards.

So, it’d cover the cost of an emergency plumber coming in to repair a burst pipe, but not the cost of replacing blown plaster on walls, or water-damaged wood flooring. Your home insurance might cover you for this though.

If any more work is needed after the immediate repairs - for example, to improve a heating system and avoid future problems - you'll have to cover the cost yourself

You’ll also need to keep your home in a good state of repair and make sure you carry out routine maintenance - your home emergency policy could refuse to pay out if an issue is caused by your negligence.

How much cover will you get?

You’ll be covered for:

  • Call out costs
  • Parts
  • Labour costs - although there’ll be a maximum limit on this

There’s usually a limit on the number of home emergency call outs you can make with a policy as well.

Emergencies you’ll be covered for:

You can get home emergency cover for the most important things that can go wrong in your home.

Boilers

Cover your boiler and all its buttons and dials against breakdowns.

Find out more >

Heating

This’ll help just in case your heating system fails, leaving you with a chilly home or no hot water.

Plumbing

Protects you if your pipes, flushes and storage tanks leak or break.

Electrics

If your electricity fails, and your house is uninhabitable, home emergency cover will pay for a tradesperson to come and fix the immediate problem.

Home security

Cover your windows, doors and locks after breakages or break-ins.

Roof

If your roof is damaged, home emergency insurance can cover the cost of urgent fixes.

Pests

Cover to remove infestations of insects or vermin.

How do I claim on my home emergency cover?

Call the emergency helpline as soon as you notice the problem.

Depending on how serious the problem is, a tradesperson should be with you within a few hours – no more than 24.

If you also have home insurance, someone from your insurance provider might come out to assess the damage too if you’re making a claim.

Don’t try to sort out repairs for yourself if you want to make a claim on your home emergency policy - if you get a local tradesperson to come out to you directly instead, you won’t be covered.

How to cut the cost of home emergency cover

Check out our seven handy hints to cut the cost of home emergency cover:

  1. Pay annually

    It’s usually cheaper to pay in one go

  2. Get work guaranteed

    Check whether repairs are protected under a guarantee

  3. Keep your home in good order

    Properly maintain your property and its contents to avoid unnecessary claims

  4. Only get the cover you need

    If you don’t need it for your boiler, don’t get it

  5. Don’t double up on cover

    Make sure it isn’t included as part of your home insurance

  6. Compare prices

    We can help you find the right policy

Frequently asked questions

  • What counts as an emergency?

    Anything that impacts your immediate safety or health.

    Risks that leave your home unsafe or at risk of further damage are also covered.

  • Do I have to pay an excess when I make a home emergency claim?

    It depends on your policy - check when you take it out if there’s an excess and that you can afford to pay it.

  • Do I need home emergency cover if I rent?

    No, your landlord should deal with any emergencies you have.

    They don’t need to have home emergency cover by law but it can help to keep landlord-tenant relationships on track if there’s a problem with the heating, plumbing or electrics.

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[1]Last checked 10 June 2019

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