What would you do if your boiler decides to suddenly pack up? Here's all you need to know to get you prepared.
Most of us give little thought to our boilers when they are working as they should be.
But it's a very different story if you've ever had the misfortune of having your heating suddenly pack up because of a breakdown.
Boilers are generally more robust than most items in the home, but when they go wrong, they can be ruinously expensive to repair.
Regardless of whether you have a shiny new boiler, or still have your old model, there is always the risk of it breaking down, so it's worth planning ahead.
Plan ahead for a boiler breakdown
First off, you can simply opt to call out a heating engineer to carry out boiler repairs as and when you need them - although you could end up paying through the nose for this.
The second option is an insurance policy which can help cover the cost of call out and repairs - but go down this route and it's crucial to do your research, as cover can vary considerably.
While the most obvious option is to plump for the heating cover offered by your energy provider, be warned that these policies can be overpriced - plus you could end up duplicating on cover you already have.
Check your existing home insurance policy, and if you're not already covered, check with your insurer, as most will allow customers to add home emergency cover to their standard policy for just a few extra pounds each month.
Is a specialist boiler policy best?
If you're looking for more comprehensive cover for your boiler, consider a specialist boiler policy.
Many of the big energy providers offer specialist boiler policies.
But once again, don't buy from your energy provider without looking at the alternatives.
Also bear in mind that lower-cost policies often have a higher excess for repairs - or restrictions on the number of repairs you can claim for in a year - so check the small print before settling on the cheapest quote.
Boiler cover checklist
If you're planning to take out a boiler policy, the key is to do your research.
Consider whether you want boiler-only cover or cover for your central heating system and plumbing, and decide if such things such as unlimited call-outs and no excess on repairs are important to you.
Also note that some brands of boiler may not be covered, and that most exclude models that are more than 15 years old.
And finally, before signing up to any policy, make sure you check your paperwork as, if you have a relatively new boiler, it will have come with a warranty that typically lasts for one or two years for parts and labour.