Landlord Boiler Cover & Insurance – Is It Worth It?

Landlord Boiler Cover

I could easily cry when I think about how much I’ve spent on repairing and replacing boilers over the years. I don’t even think the phrase “small fortune” does any justice.

After being a landlord for several years, you tend to realise the importance of a good quality boiler and the usefulness of landlord boiler cover. Of course, the quick learners won’t need as many years! Alas, my ignorance caused me to unnecessarily swindle away more money than I care to think about. So to right my wrong, I’m going to do my best to stop other landlords from making the same mistakes as I did.

So in this blog post, I want to attend to the following issues:

  • Explain what boiler cover for landlords is
  • Share my [horrid] experiences with boilers in rental properties
  • Discuss whether you need it boiler cover in your rental properties (not every landlord does!)
  • Types of boiler covers available
  • Compare a few popular boiler cover plans available today
  • Share my top tips for getting the best boiler cover for you

Sounds good? Let’s do this!

What is boiler cover for landlords?

Pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Landlord boiler cover is one of many insurance types available for landlords, designed to specifically cover the boiler and central heating systems in buy-to-let properties.

Generally, landlord boiler cover will include:

  • Boiler & central heating repairs
  • Annual boiler service
  • Annual gas safety inspection (this is legally required by landlords)
  • Parts & labour
  • Emergency callouts / helpline

My [horrid] experiences with boilers in rental properties

I touched on my trauma in the intro, but I guess I’ll throw some meat on the bones to give you some context. Perhaps reliving the horror will also be part of my rehabilitation, since I’m still scorned by my experiences.

I have many stories, but I’ll cover the one that stings the most.

I remember one winter when two boilers in two different rental properties packed up and died during the same week. I had *already* spent a small fortune trying to patch these Frankensteins’ back together, by replacing various parts. Parts that were discontinued and hard to get a hold of, no less.

I thought:

  • It will be cheaper to continue replacing the parts than to replace the boiler itself
  • Committing to a boiler cover plan is a mugs game

I was wrong on both accounts.

Yes, yes, in hindsight, I was an utter fool.

Firstly, I should have replaced the boilers long ago instead of treating them like true classic technological marvels, that warranted continuous restoration. They weren’t. They were literally shitty old boilers on their last legs, itching to topple over. But I kept glueing new legs back on.

Secondly, a boiler cover plan would have saved me money (although, I still would have needed to replace the boilers).

Ultimately, I was throwing money at polishing a turd. Eventually the penny did drop, and I came to terms with the fact that repairing old and poor quality boilers is a false economy.

Long story short, I ended up replacing the two boilers to the tune of £8k (and that doesn’t include the amount I spent on maintenance over the years). OUCH!

Yes, it hurt, but I learned two very invaluable lessons which I try and impart on all landlords today:

Do you need landlord boiler cover?

I can’t answer that for you, but I’ll share my thoughts, which will hopefully help you make your own decision based on your circumstances.

  • Landlord boiler cover is not a legal requirement. So it is completely optional.
  • Boilers can be an absolute nightmare when they break down, because it usually means the tenant has no access to hot water or heat. A broken boiler is highly disruptive to everyday living, and if landlords don’t act fast to resolve the issue, it usually results in bad relations with the tenant (understandably so). A boiler care plan can certainly speed up resolution and provide convenience for landlords and tenants.
  • A boiler is probably the last appliance I would want to breakdown, particularly during winter, because without a cover plan, finding a reliable engineer during peak season can be soul-destroying.
  • Do you have an old boiler which frequently breaks down, or inevitability seems like it’s about to? Replacing the boiler might be the safest and cheapest option (in the long-run), but depending on your circumstances, boiler cover might also be a reasonable option.

    Side note, providers often have a limit on how old your boiler can be to qualify for boiler cover (it’s usually around 7 years).

  • If you want the peace of mind of knowing that you have emergency cover for your boiler, whether it be for an old or new boiler, or whether you’re on holiday or at home, then a policy with boiler cover seems like the ideal solution. The reality is, one of the biggest selling points of boiler cover is the stress and hassle it can alleviate.
  • I’ve personally renewed and terminated boiler cover plans for the same boiler for various reasons. Similarly, I regularly do the same for Rent Guarantee Insurance (RGI) for certain tenants. So my point is, it’s easy enough to cancel the policy if it doesn’t prove its worth.

In my opinion, getting a quality boiler from the offset is always the best way to go. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way.

A workhorse boiler by a reputable brand (e.g. Worcester Bosch, Vaillant etc.) should keep maintenance to a minimum, as long as it’s used properly and serviced regularly.

A boiler cover plan is not a substitute for a quality boiler, but what it does provide is convenience and peace of mind for the landlord [and tenant].

The types of boiler covers available

Depending on the provider, you’ll have access to various boiler cover plans, some more comprehensive than others. But generally, you’ll come across two types:

  • Boiler only: this plan will only cover your boiler and controls, but it won’t include pipes or radiators
  • Home Maintenance & Emergency: this is a far more comprehensive package, which usually covers all aspects of home maintenance, including boilers, heating, plumbing, electrics, and more.

    In short, boiler cover comes included as part of an overall package. I’ve written a completely separate blog post on Landlord Maintenance & Emergency Cover because it’s a different animal.

Compare popular boiler cover plans

Landlord Boiler Care Plans
SupplierRatingDetailsPrice
Rating

4.5

Reviews.co.uk
‘Boiler’ Plan
  • No call-out fees
  • Annual boiler service
  • Landlord gas safety inspection (CP12 Certificate)
  • Gas Boiler & controls repairs (thermostats, frost stats, clocks, timers and programmers)
  • Unlimited number of call-outs
  • No limit on the value of each repair including all parts and labour

More packages and options available from Your Repair, starting from £12 per month.

Price

No call-out fees

£21Inc VATPer month

More Info
15% Discount Code: PVL15
Rating

4.6

TrustPilot Reviews
‘Your Boiler’ Plan
  • No call-out fees
  • Annual Boiler Service
  • Landlord gas safety inspection (CP12 Certificate)
  • Gas Boiler & controls repairs (radiators, cylinders, or valves related to your central heating)
  • Includes all parts and labour
  • Unlimited number of call-outs
  • 90% of call-outs within 24 hours (including evenings & weekends)

More packages and options available from Hometree, starting from £17.45 per month

Price

No call-out fees

£27.40Inc VATPer month

More info
Rating

4.6

TrustPilot Reviews
‘Landlord Boiler Care’ Plan
  • No call-out fees
  • Annual Boiler Service
  • Landlord gas safety inspection (CP12 Certificate)
  • Unlimited claims
  • Unlimited emergency repairs, with cover up to £1,000 per claim

More packages and options available from 24/7 Home Rescue, starting from £11.99 per month

Price

No call-out fees

£31.99Inc VATPer month

More Info

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each supplier up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from their website for the most up-to-date information.

Annual gas safety inspection (CP12 Certificate) is worth approximately £70 by itself.

My top tips for getting the best landlord boiler cover for you

  • When getting a quote, ensure you check if there is an excess fee – this can dramatically impact the price you pay for your policy! The boiler plans I featured above have no excess fees.
  • Most suppliers will offer a saving if you pay one year upfront, as opposed to monthly, so check to see the difference.
  • Inform your insurer of any changes of circumstance – Insurers are notorious for finding ways to withhold from paying out when a claim is filed. If they can find a reason not to pay out, they will, so it’s in your best interest not to give them one.

    If there’s ever a change in circumstance which your insurer should be aware of, inform them immediately so they can update your policy. Failing to do so could invalidate your policy!

  • Call-out limits – many policies cap the amount of call-outs you’re entitled to per year, so be aware of what your policy offers. If you anticipate large volumes of call-outs (based on historic events), you may want to opt for a policy which includes unlimited call-outs.

    That said, a limit of 8 call-outs per year (for example) can still save you a butt-load.

  • Parts/replacement coverage – be clear on what your policy covers, particularly when concerning part(s) replacements (e.g. new for old), as opposed to only covering the restoration of old/faulty parts.
  • System modification – check to see if your boiler is covered despite any modifications that may have been made since it was first installed, as this is often used as an excuse for insurance companies to void claims/policies. Getting written confirmation is advised.

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