Cash-strapped families are wasting thousands of pounds on boiler cover

Cash-strapped families are wasting thousands of pounds on boiler cover they don’t need as nine in ten houses would be better off paying for repairs, Which? research reveals

  • Nine in ten households would be better off if they ditched costly boiler cover
  • Half of customers said that they needed their boiler fixed in the past five years
  • But the analysis by Which? found it is cheaper to pay for repairs when needed

Cash-strapped families are paying thousands of pounds for boiler cover they don’t need, new research revealed.

Nine in ten households would be better off if they ditched the costly insurance policies and instead paid for repairs and services as and when they need them, according to analysis by Which?.

Half of customers surveyed by the consumer group said they had needed their boiler fixed at some point in the past five years, paying an average of £107 per repair.

With a typical annual service around £80, the combined cost was still £101 cheaper than the average boiler cover premium of £288.

Nine in ten households would be better off if they ditched costly boiler cover and instead paid for repairs and services when they needed them, according to research (stock photo)

Nine in ten households would be better off if they ditched costly boiler cover and instead paid for repairs and services when they needed them, according to research (stock photo)

Meanwhile, more than a third said their boiler hadn’t broken down at all in the last five years.

If their luck continued they could save as much as £3,000 over a decade, Which? said.

Even those who were unlucky enough to need a repair every year would still be more than £2,000 better off after ten years than if they paid for annual boiler cover.

In fact, just 6 per cent of customers benefited financially by having boiler cover, according to the survey of more than 7,000 Which? members. 

Despite this, nearly one in five said they had still paid for a policy.

Most said they did so for peace of mind as they feared being hit with an unaffordable repair bill out of the blue.

Yet many may be paying unnecessarily as their boiler is still covered by a warranty, Which? warned.

Others risk doubling up because they don’t realise that emergency boiler cover is already included in their home insurance policy. 

And even if the cover is not included as standard it may still work out cheaper to add it as an extra rather than purchase a standalone policy.

Half of customers surveyed by consumer group Which? had needed to get their boiler fixed during the past five years, paying an average of £107 per repair (stock photo)

Half of customers surveyed by consumer group Which? had needed to get their boiler fixed during the past five years, paying an average of £107 per repair (stock photo)

Harry Rose, editor of Which? magazine said: ‘Our analysis shows that boiler cover is rarely worth the money – with excessive premiums costing customers hundreds if not thousands of pounds more than if they paid for repairs and servicing themselves.

‘If you have boiler cover for peace of mind, there are simple steps you can take to get a better deal.’ 

Money Mail has previously exposed how many boiler insurance and home emergency policies have costly exclusions buried in the small print. 

Some may limit the number of claims customers can make each year, cap payouts, exclude certain repairs or refuse to cover older boilers altogether, for example. 

Insurers also routinely hike the price for loyal customers so policyholders should not allow their cover to automatically renew each year without first checking if they could get a cheaper deal.

Many households with boiler cover have also complained that they did not receive their service this year as promised because firms were unable to visit people’s properties during lockdown. 

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk