Emergencies do happen when you least expect them, and if you are not adequately prepared to handle them, they can wear you down. This article evaluates home emergency cover for homeowners and the benefits of taking out a policy.
What is Home Emergency Cover?
As the name suggests, this is a cover that caters for home emergencies such as boiler breakdown. It pays for the cost of callouts, labour and materials. Some coverage extends to the cost of accommodation in cases where the homeowner has to find another place to stay due to the emergency. Home emergency cover, such as the plans provided by Certi, is an essential requirement for every homeowner. Certi are a UK company offering boiler and home emergency cover with unlimited claims and a 24-hour helpline, so they are worth checking out.
The nature and number of emergencies covered is different for every service provider. Examples include boiler breakdown, plumbing and drainage issues, security issues (locks, doors and windows), power supply, pest infestation, roof damage, central heating, gas supply issues, lost keys and appliance damage. Some policies will limit the number of claims you can make in a year, whereas others offer unlimited claims. Also, a service provider may fail to cover emergencies where there is no proper maintenance. Therefore, ensure that there is ongoing maintenance in your home to avoid such disappointments. Some other exclusions include emergencies not reported soon enough, claims arising a few weeks after registering the policy, and repairs done without the insurer’s approval.
Do You Need an Emergency Cover if You Already Have Homeowners’ Insurance?
To determine whether you need an emergency cover, look at your home insurance policy. Some insurers will include home emergency as part of the standard cover, whereas others will have it as an optional add-on. If it is included in the standard cover, be sure to check the emergencies included. This is because it will not be possible to claim emergencies that are not listed by your insurance company.
If it is an optional add on, you can either get that or you could look at offers by companies that specialise in home emergency plans. When comparing the two, check the costs, areas covered, cover limitations, excess to pay, and the type of emergencies you anticipate in your home. Also, don’t forget to check the response time. Where an add-on is cheaper, but it doesn’t cover all your needs or has many limitations, you can consider shopping for emergency needs elsewhere. Also, where emergencies are included in the standard cover, but your need is more than what is covered, consider a standalone home emergency plan to cover the extra needs.
Benefits of an Emergency Cover
The key benefit of taking such a cover is that your home emergencies will be handled immediately. Once you apply for the cover, you will be given a number to call in case of an emergency. The service provider will then send a professional to your house to fix the issue. If you hire your own contractor, the service provider may not pay for the cost. Therefore, follow the guidelines and wait for the insurer’s expert to arrive, unless you don’t mind paying for the repairs yourself. Another benefit of home emergency covers is that they are not expensive. You can get coverage for as low as £5 per month or £60 for a year. A single boiler repair can go up to £500 and thus this is something worth investing in.
Evaluating a Home Emergency Cover Provider
You should not commit to any plan without checking the reputation of the provider. If you don’t do your homework well, you can pay money every month to a company that will leave you stranded when you have an emergency. Therefore, before you sign up with a company, it would be a good idea to check what other homeowners have to say about them. Avoid emergency cover providers with a poor response or those who fail to pay for claims as promised. Reading reviews on the internet can help you in identifying such companies. You can find providers online or you could ask for recommendations from fellow homeowners who have similar plans for their properties.
When getting a home emergency plan, ensure that you read the document well before committing yourself. Avoid paying for coverage you do not need. For instance, don’t pay for roof repairs with a standalone home emergency plan if this is already covered in your home insurance.
You should also never pay for boiler coverage or appliance coverage for new boilers and appliances where the warranty is still in date. Also, note that some covers may have some limits. For instance, when you are getting a boiler cover, check if the insurer has any restrictions in regards to the boiler’s age.
Additionally, check if there are any limits on cost of repairs and seasons. Some policies may not cover the entire cost and so you should check this to ensure you are prepared to cover costs that go above the limit. Having an emergency fund can help in covering such unexpected costs.
Now you know the benefits of home emergency cover, there should be nothing stopping you from shopping around for the right policy today.