Insurers usually offer home emergency cover as an optional extra on their contents policies – you will either be charged extra on your standard annual premium, or pay a monthly subscription fee.
Some providers offer this kind of service free – for example More Than does, and Sheila’s Wheels currently offers home emergency cover at no extra charge for the first year. Home emergency cover gives you a helpline number to call if you need immediate help – for example if a pipe has burst, a window has been broken or if you’ve been the victim of storm damage.
Not all policies charge an excess, so you may not have to contribute to the cost of any call-out, but there is likely to be an upper limit – say £500 – on the value of work done. Check the small print before you sign up.
The insurer will send its own approved tradesperson to deal with your emergency. You will generally not be allowed to employ someone yourself and then claim the costs back from your policy provider.
Check also whether the policy offers cover against boiler breakdowns: not all of them do, and you may need to buy further separate insurance if you want to insure yourself against a central heating malfunction.
Find out more about home insurance