View Full Version : Home emergency cover policies

28th Mar 2018, 09:18
Looking to hear views on the benefits or other on home emergency cover insurance for heating, plumbing and electrics. Is it more economical to let things fail then get them fixed or pay out monthly to cover the risks?

Having read reviews on places like Trust Pilot it appears that it's really easy to sign up but very difficult to get a good outcome when needed.

Thomas coupling
28th Mar 2018, 09:42

It's one of those things in life under: Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

I forced myself to do it a couple of years ago because I had a leak during a cold snap while we were away!
Two things happened:
1. House in that area was badly damaged and
2. I couldn't get a plumber out fast enough because everyone wanted a plumber!

Since taking out this insurance, the same thing happened last month!
This time though, the bill for 2000 was paid immediately and a plumber was contacted within 20 minutes of finding the problem (through the insurance company).
Money wel spent I would say. Wouldn't live without it.

Having said that - only you can decide on the risks of NOT taking it out, based (probably) on the condition of your house and the size of the premium, perhaps?

PS: Don't worry about excesses.......there is excess insurance out there too ;)

28th Mar 2018, 10:12
All my stuff is covered by Domestic and General and Homeserve. Never had any probs and things fixed quickly. Peace of mind is worth a lot of money.

28th Mar 2018, 10:22
I have just about everything in the house covered by D&G. Last week I had a Neff oven repaired; a module had blown which would have cost 100+, innumerable other repairs including two replacement washing machines over about ten years plus free servicing for the boiler.

Can't complain. About five minutes waiting on the telephone to get a job number and then you make your own appointments with the repairers.

28th Mar 2018, 10:24
We've been with Homeserve via the regional Water Company for a few years, and always re-negotiate the price.
Twice had a problem with blocked drains, drain rodding guy turned up within an hour, tried everything, but decided the blockage was outside of the domestic property. He contacted the water authority and they turned up within 1 hours, and cleared the blockage, total time from call out to fix <2 hours, well worth 93/year

Pontius Navigator
28th Mar 2018, 12:28
I had a very satisfactory outcome with D&G though it took some work and I finished up with a replacement and no policy charge.

Essentially, I was sold a policy, even after the event, on the basis or repair or replace on like for like. They could not repair so they offered a replacement, and therein lay the problem.

Their like for like is a 'similar' product and not an identical spec. They could only source from 3 companies but the product was simply a badged item but otherwise was just a choice of one and it wouldn't fit.

I was able to source both the u/s part and a suitable replacement. They offered to cancel the policy and paid for the part.

28th Mar 2018, 18:34
'Which' magazine suggests that you forego emergency insurance and save the money for a rainy day, being as the average cost of a repair is less than the annual amount charged by a lot of providers. Whilst some companies will provide replacement boilers for example, there is a limit based upon their age. They won't replace anything older than 7 years in a lot of cases, just give you a contribution towards a replacement. So you would hope that you were covered but come time to claim, you would still end up with a huge bill.

Another one that catches people out is that there is an excess to pay for each claim (unless you pay a bigger annual fee to bring it to zero). So a small claim that could be fixed without parts within an hour would probably cost you the same as calling someone out yourself.

However, what you are really buying is peace of mind. Some people will say its worth it, others wouldn't.

Private jet
28th Mar 2018, 22:28
I was always told that insurance is something poor people need.

Thomas coupling
28th Mar 2018, 22:50
Define poor?

29th Mar 2018, 03:39
I was always told that insurance is something poor people need.

Insurance is something I am generally happy to pay for
in the hope that someone else has the misfortune to need to claim. I hope never to need any of that money back.

while noting that there is a 'taking the piss' threshold above which action needs to be taken.

29th Mar 2018, 09:38
Another approach, and one I trust in (I hope) is to get domestic appliances etc. put onto my contents insurance. Policy reads well, but I've never had to use it so far.
Fingers crossed.

Thomas coupling
29th Mar 2018, 11:08
Isn't it all about value for money?
I guess that's the defining line between rich and poor. If you are rich (whatever that means) you don't care if a burst pipe costs 60 or 6000. You just pay it.
But I enjoy the feeling of making my hard earned/invested cash - working hard.
So if I pay for instance 100/annum for such insurance cover and it saves me having to pay out 2000 for a solid oak floor. I am a very happy bunny!
Horses for courses. Some are nags and some are arabian stallions I guess.

29th Mar 2018, 14:39
Homeserve did my drains too; the blockage was just on the boundary of my property and they arrived very quickly. Haven't used 'quilted' bog roll since and problem hasn't recurred.
Reported a dripping mixer tap (washerless) in my kitchen to them on a saturday; they turned out sunday morning to fix it and ended up fitting a brand new tap at no extra charge.
Circuit breaker for my garden shed tripped out and couldn't be re-set. They turned out in about 12 hours and fixed it.

29th Mar 2018, 16:28
These policies are there to make organisation a profit, surely the best thing to do is just save or set aside so much a month for such events.

29th Mar 2018, 16:35
It's the luck of the game. The mechanical bits of white goods very rarely go wrong, it's the electronics. When they fizzle you are talking big money to the extent that is could be worth replacing it completely. We had a Neff combo microwave oven that did that after only four years. The quote was 950 so we binned it and bought a new one which is now insured at 4.60 a month. After two years it had had a new antennae and a door light module.

Don't talk about washing machines. We have had so many replacements that the hose connectors are wearing out.


29th Mar 2018, 16:39
It does not matter how much money you have sometimes the tradesmen are not available. Try a plumber in the middle of a winter freeze. In my experience when you have a contract they can always find someone.

29th Mar 2018, 16:54
These days we are told we need insurance for everything and even insure insurance!
I try to do avoid "Home Emergencies Insurance".

I've always done my own plumbing repairs and minor alterations since buying our first house over thirty years ago. Plumbing parts are inexpensive. BTW, anyone can set themselves up as a "Plumber". Judging by the work done by some in houses on a local housing estate, it's easy to get yourself a contract even if you have very little knowledge!

Appliance failures? I usually buy parts online, replace them on a DIY basis. I repaired the lower heating element in the fitted fan oven with a part costing less than 25, arrived in less than 36 hours. Took about fifteen minutes to fit it.

Obviously, to comply with building regs, gas plumbing requires a certified fitter so I would never attempt that. Other things I wouldn't mess with are electrics but our local electrician (son of my wife's friend) can do those.

The central heating gas boiler has a parts and labour service contract.

29th Mar 2018, 20:02
I agree with Shytorque to a certain extent. I used to fix everything in the house from ovens to dishwashers but the technology has changed. The good old mechanical switching for a washing machine program has been replaced by a circuit board and that may not be the problem; you have to have the manufacturers code reader to find out.#

Pontius Navigator
29th Mar 2018, 20:05
rogerg, agree but once you have a plumber, hang onto him. We had a burst. Son in law capped off the leak and a local plumber about 200 yards away did a first rate repair. We have now used him several times for upgrade work rather than emergency repair. However that last emergency he was not available.

Another plumber came, said first floor bathroom floor would have to come up but henever followed through with a quote. Our local man came back. did the repair through the hole in the ceiling, and first rate job.