Can I get boiler cover for older boilers?

Can I get boiler cover for older boilers?

16 January 2021

The costs of boiler breakdowns are pretty clear. Surveys by uSwitch are confirmed by Which? consumer reports and backed by the AA. The average repair bill after a breakdown callout is well over £300. (£314 At the time of the last survey) and about 1 in 5 boilers breakdown every year. That means the average modern boiler needs two emergency callouts in the course of a typical 10 year lifespan. And the total national bill is a staggering £725 million.

Some of us can afford that but a lot of us can’t. Now that our chimneys have been capped. That doesn’t leave vulnerable families with many good options. With money tight, weighing the risks and costs of boiler insurance has never been more important. But that is where it gets difficult. Boiler vendors want to sell new boilers, governments care more about looking green than about you freezing to death. And insurance companies tend to be rather clever with the small print. Unless you are an engineer or have a crystal ball. It is very difficult to compare boiler cover costs with the likely cost of actual repairs.

Two ways to compare boiler cover costs

One sound piece of advice is to ask an engineer. They know which brands are unreliable. What is likely to go wrong with them and when it will probably happen. Engineers are rarely trying to sell you anything; it isn’t their job. The second important piece of advice is to compare boiler cover terms and conditions carefully. Using a boiler cover comparison site. Here are a few tips to help you make the best choices.

The truth about boiler reliability and value

Although energy efficiency has improved. The durability of boilers has declined over the last fifty years. When first installed into our post-war houses, they were regarded as permanent fixtures. With tanks concealed behind brickwork or lifted into lofts before the rooves were lowered on. There were few components to go wrong and the metalwork was thick and heavy. By comparison, a modern combi has numerous valves, solenoids, seals, sensors, pumps, manifolds, PCBs, thermostats and timers. They are built to be compact and lightweight.

Advocates of today’s boilers always promise to cut your bills through improved energy efficiency. When replacing a very old boiler with a new one, it is true you could save as much as £250 per year in fuel, but if your boiler installation costs £2,500 and lasts 10 years you have saved nothing.

The point you should remember is this – it is very important to look after boilers and make them last as long as possible. A good maintenance contract makes more sense than a succession of new boilers. If your guarantees and insurance only last 5 years and it dies after 6, you got a poor deal, but if good maintenance keeps it going for 20 years you had a bargain.

Whether you get your service contract through a boiler supplier or on the open insurance market. It will always include a requirement to have regular maintenance. The maintenance element is always good value (prevention is better than cure) but the insurance element needs scrutiny.

Boiler cover comparison

The ideal service contract depends on the particular boiler and its age. That’s why you should always use a boiler cover comparison site that helps you study their differences in detail.

Boilers 0-5 years old are unlikely to breakdown unless under-powered. Wrongly-fitted or neglected, but your warranty will cover most eventualities. You are unlikely to benefit from comprehensive insurance until they are 5-10 years old. According to consumer group ‘Which?’, fully comprehensive boiler cover on boilers under 10 years old is only economically beneficial to 6% of customers. However, maintenance is still important: without it, you will have difficulty getting insurance when the boiler is older.

Don’t pay for insurance on things already covered by your warranty and/or home insurance.

Boilers over 10 years old are more difficult to insure with a new insurer. This is because they will not know how well the boiler has been maintained. However, an existing insurer will usually extend cover to 15 years. Beware of changes in the small print such as exclusions, excesses and caps. There is little value in a policy that still makes you pay a large amount to repair an old boiler. Check boiler reviews to see what faults other owners are having. If that fault is likely but not covered. Replacing the boiler early could be a cheaper option.

Some boilers over 15 years old will last almost forever if well looked after. But insurers won’t insure a model that isn’t on their list. Battleship boilers from the 1980s will fail eventually through metal corrosion but it can be inhibited by water treatment and occasional flushing. The better boiler companies will be happy to provide annual maintenance without charging you for insurance you may never need.

Compare often!

As with many modern contracts. Some companies increase your premiums if you stay loyal. Always price compare before you renew! Bright Compare has you covered for any of your comparison needs. 


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