Well that`s just typical isn`t it? Your old combi boilers had an easy time of it recently, a heatwave followed by a long Indian summer, the hardest it`s had to work in the last six months is when you had a quick shower in a morning. But when the weather`s gone cold and the nights are drawing in the damned things take to rattling and banging and in the morning your warm and gentle wakeup call turns into an evil icy blast that has you screaming like a banshee and heaving your breath back in.
Oh joy the boilers given up the ghost, it`s freezing cold and your bills are already going up - why does this never happen in summer? Or when you don`t have to look your best or when you`re too hot and actually need to cool down? Well let`s be honest even if there was a convenient time for your boiler to pack up (which there isn`t by the way) it would wait until it was inconvenient all the same.
So what now, unless you happen to be a gas engineer or are best mates with one you`re going to have to call someone out to fix it. Then run the gauntlet of men in overalls sucking in air through their teeth telling you that it`s gonna cost ya / dunno how long the parts are gonna take to come / might as well scrap it and get a new one - delete as appropriate….!
So the man in the overalls has been and delivered the bad news, your boiler could be fixed but it`s so old that he just can`t get the parts anymore. Time to get a new boiler then but how much is that going to cost? Well the people at lovemoney seem to think that you`re looking at the business end of £2500 if you go through good old British Gas, whereas the heating hub suggest £1995 for a straight swap is more like it. Either way we`re not talking tiny numbers here and if you`ve just received your little angel`s Christmas list you may wish you`d taken out boiler cover.
So how much does it cost to cover your boiler? Well at Which Magazine seen to think a basic annual cost is on average around £110, well that sounds ok doesn`t it? Certainly better than £2000 for a new boiler but wait, that`s not your only cost to consider you see that an insurance policy for a working machine comes in with terms and conditions and chief amongst them is servicing. So how does one service a boiler I hear you ask, well one doesn`t unless one is a gas safe engineer in which case you probably don`t need boiler cover anyway. What you do is get a service engineer in and pay another £140, hmm suddenly that £110 spread over a year just more than doubled and how many times is your boiler going to breakdown anyway? Might as well just put a by each month just in case.....may be worth it, ultimately it is down to personal choice and if you have the funds in the bank to pay for one in any case.
Of course it`s not just your boiler that can bring your central heating to a grinding halt, there`s a whole network of pipes, radiators, valves, switches and thermostats all sat there just waiting to ruin your day and we are really sorry but many basic boiler cover isn`t going to help with any of that. Unless you`re a plumber / electrician and all round clever clogs engineer you really need to consider covering the whole central heating system and again going off what the guys at Which magazine say, including the service costs you could be looking at an annual cost between £330 and £365. Ok a pound a day, £30 per month hmmm not so bad but it`s going to eat into your spending money.
Well here`s some food for thought, the people at ciyam tell us that across the UK we spent £787,000,000 on central heating repairs in 2016. According to Uswitch the average repair bill was £270 but some poor souls ended up shelling out as much as £1250 to get their old boiler up and running - yikes, suddenly £365 doesn`t sound like such a raw deal. But remember, the heating rarely packs up during a heatwave so time it right when you start your cover.
So do you have to pay through the nose to keep Jack Frost from nipping at it? Well British Gas say that they`ll do an annual service from £79.30 (emphasis on from) (all figures as at Nov 2018) but you have to answer a whole bunch of questions to find out how far from £79.30 this is likely to be. Homeserve are a bit more upfront and promise to service your boiler of £84 in the first year but don`t say anything about the second year. To be honest though these are the national boys, we`d suggest checking with your local gas safe engineer before signing up to an annual plan.
This is all well and good if you happen to be catering for you and yours but what do you do if you`re a landlord with half a dozen central heating systems to worry about. Well my friend unless you`re rich and don`t mind being woken up at all hours in the winter with calls from cold and grumpy tenants you need some serious boiler cover. Now I realise that any landlord reading this just exclaimed, well let`s go with no kidding but to those entering the buy to let market or letting a house out for the first time it might be something that you didn`t consider too much when you set the rent but an extra £365 a year per house? That`s a fair bite out of your profit especially if the boilers in your houses are getting a bit middle aged.
Of course being the first point of contact for every little problem that your tenant comes across can be tedious and I`m not just talking central heating now, there`s blocked drains, wonky windows, leaky roofs, drafty doors and dodgy wiring to keep you awake at night. Well here`s some good news, those knights in shining armour at British Gas and Homeserve have a plan designed just for you, and if that`s not your cup of tea there`s always the ever charming Winston Wolf waiting to roar up your driveway in his red Toyota with all the might of Direct Line behind him.
It seems that there are no end of insurers ready to offer a helping hand, for a price so we suggest that you ring around, check the net and consult the meerkat. Whatever you need to do - always get the best price do it, because the one thing we noticed is that there`s plenty of competition out there.
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