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Home Emergency Cover

Home emergency cover can provide you with the peace of mind you need should you have an emergency at home. It will help you fix the problem and to pay for it. Here is our useful guide to help you understand a little bit more about home emergency insurance.

In this guide:

What is home emergency cover?

If something goes wrong in your home that could immediately affect your safety, then home emergency cover can provide you with access to a 24-hour helpline, as well as professional help from an engineer, electrician or plumber who can help you to fix urgent issues.

Where normal home insurance policies might cover you for damage to your home and belongings due to theft, flooding or a fire, it’s unlikely to help you if you need your locks changed, your boiler fixed, or a burst pipe repaired. Home emergency insurance gives you both fast response and financial cover in a household emergency. A registered tradesperson will be sent out to you and paid for by your insurer so that you don’t have to worry about the quality, cost or speed of repairing your home.

Do you need home emergency cover?

Home emergency insurance typically covers you for incidents that:

  • Make your home unsafe or cause permanent damage to it
  • Create a risk to your health or wellbeing
  • Make your home vulnerable to thieves

Home insurance policies can include emergency cover as standard, so it’s important to check your home insurance policy before you purchase home emergency cover. If your home insurance does not include emergency cover and you wish to include it, you can either pay extra to add it to your existing policy or choose to take out a separate policy. You may also wish to check that you are sufficiently covered if you do have emergency cover included in an existing home insurance policy.

You only need home emergency cover if you own your own home. If you are a tenant, your landlord is responsible for dealing with emergencies. If you are a landlord there are specialised landlord home emergency policies you can get, rather than a standard policy.

What does home emergency insurance cover?

Home emergency cover can protect you against a number of different events depending on what level of cover you choose. You’ll be covered for call-out costs, parts needed for repair and labour costs. Although remember that any further work needed on the affected area may not be covered. Scenarios that can be covered include:

  • Boiler breakages
  • Central heating failure
  • Burst pipes
  • Lost keys
  • Internal plumbing issues
  • Drainage problems
  • Roof damage
  • Electrical failure
  • Broken doors and windows
  • Pest infestations

Some insurance providers will be specific about what they pay out for, so be sure to check exactly what you will be covered for before you agree on a policy.

Different providers will have different agreements for the service they provide that will change a number of factors. For example, the promise of response speed may change depending on the provider. Most home emergency cover policies will only require a premium, but make sure you double-check whether any excess will be required on top of the premium you pay.

Make sure you check the fine print of your policy as even when certain emergency situations are included, there may be limits and exclusions added. There can be maximum limits on the cost of repair, the number of repairs or callouts per year and the total value of claims per year. Common exclusions such as age limits for boilers or lack of maintenance are also often included in home emergency insurance policies.

How do I claim?

As soon as you have an emergency make sure you call the insurer’s helpline. The insurer will then make arrangements and a tradesperson should then be with you within 24 hours.

Make sure that you don’t try to repair the problems yourself or call a separate tradesperson to repair the problem as you will not be covered for the costs.

How much does it cost?

The price of home emergency cover varies depending on how comprehensive you want it to be. It’s often cheaper to add emergency cover to your existing home insurance policy. However, claiming on your home insurance can require you to pay an excess and you may lose your no-claims bonus, as always check the terms and conditions.

When choosing a policy think about what specific areas you want to be covered for and make sure you only get the cover you need. Be sure to compare multiple providers so that you find the right policy for you. Try using our online home insurance comparison tool to find the best deal today.