Looking to organise central heating cover, inc rads, hot water tank etc.
Prices vary quite dramatically, varying from about £7 per month (Cover Heat)
up to over £20 with British Gas. T&C state that the heating system must
have the recommended annual service. How much *roughly* is this for a
conventional gas boiler, hot water tank in airing cupboard etc?
Also seen cover from Powergen which heating cover includes an initial
inspection and service and annual inspection & service for about £9 per
month. However there is an excess of £50 payable on each repair. Others do
not have an excess.
The Powergen £9/month deal is a £50 fixed price repair not a £50 excess.
Pay £13/month to avoid the £50 charge. That's £48 a year or 1 fault. Most
systems don't break down as often but lemons do. A contract provider will
dump a lemon as soon as possible. PG say 7 years.
Not having a maintenance contract is quite a risk for a diy-newby. Fine if
you can manage without heating for a few days in winter while you faff
around trying to get an independent repairer turn up or get spares. Some
spares such as pcbs can be unreliable and bl**dy expensive. It's a risk
issue mainly and only you can decide.
Take a careful look at the small print in terms of what they provide and when.
BG's advertising of its offering gave the impression that their
"engineers" were like paramedics and hence would arrive and fix
problems in the next 10 minutes. They didn't actually *say* that
they do this, but the advertising gives the strong impression of that.
Therefore it might be reasonable to assume that a call first thing in
the morning might result in someone that day or later in the day for
someone the following day.
A few years back I had a BG contract and had need to call them to fix a
problem. At a not particularly busy time of year (early spring), they
were on 5-7 days response. That was before a "discussion" which
brought it down to three followed by a fix and a cancellation of the
Whether Powergen's contract is any better I don't know. Have a look
and see whether there is a contracted time commitment. It would be
surprising if there is.
Therefore, if you are seeking a peace of mind arrangement, this kind of
deal is not really going to provide it if your concern is time to fix.
You would be better off with an arrangement with a reliable local
fitter who would at least attempt to fit in your fix with his other
If you are looking for some kind of predictability of cost, then this
will give something of that, although if a repair becomes too
expensive, the weasel words may let them offer you something else which
may not be suitable.
From a financial perspective, you would almost certain be better off
having a household slush fund in the form of a high interest account
(relative term) into which you put money to pay for repairs and
replacements to domestic equipment.
Your opinion and as far as a description of the product, wrong. For example
the Powergen product is described as "Central Heating Care gives you
maintenance, repair and emergency breakdown protection for your gas boiler
and central heating system".
I agree the T&C is a bit light on teeth but if they don't deliver in
accordance with the product description You would easily find a claim to
The real issue is is there any other way to reliably get "emergency
service". I suspect not, but I'm listening.
As I acknowledged the T&C are silent on that issue. Hey its a sort of
insurance, so its woolly. But the offer is clear, a two hour timeslot
after one telephone call. Today, tomorrow, next week, who knows. My
point and question is what is the more responsive guaranteed emergency
service? The unasked question is at what cost.
I've never bothered with CH insurance as I installed it myself and can
cope with any repairs needed. Although it has only had one actual stoppage
of working in over 25 years. Other faults ( TRVs jamming, etc) were really
just mainentance issues which could be fixed as a non emergency.
But my brother has got insurance - BG - and he's certainly needed it.
Usually more than one emergency per year. And often not fixed for days -
with the system totally shut down. All these faults could have been fixed
there and then if BG had an adequate stock of spares for his common boiler
- but they don't.
Since most faults are of the common variety I'd like to see a company
offered a guaranteed response time and refund of the annual premium if the
fault can't be fixed within XX hours.
*Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
Although it has only had one actual stoppage
11 years and counting
Other faults ( TRVs jamming, etc) were really
Took BG numerous visits to fix non-emergency pressure loss on my mum's
system. All expansion vessels leak apparently. Eventually the fault was
fixed and it wasn't the expansion vessel. In between times the heating
failed because BG failed to ensure the expansion vessel was properly charged
at annual maintenance even though they knew the system exhibited a pressure
loss and they were wrongly claiming it was the expansion vessel and normal.
Not defending that near fraudulent ineptness but *still* waiting for anyone
to tell me where I can get my mum reliable emergency cover and at what
happy with that, though the faults that worry me are control board faults
because the spares are particularly expensive.
Could she get a recommendation from someone for a *good* local
If so then set up a direct debit into a savings account to cover
Pass on details of raden/geoff/CEC to plumber in case a board is
In my case (Worcester Bosch) I've decided the best plan is to ring the
service dept if the boiler goes wrong. £200 covers up to 3 part
replacements, and at least I know they'll have them on board. At £100+
for the Grundfoss pump with the Bosch label not very well glued to the
front, it's a no brainer IMO.
With our Saga home insurance we have Domestic Emergency Cover which
provides up to GBP750 for any call out, including, happily, central
heating / hot water breakdown. We have to have the system
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