Check your household insurance
As well as covering damage caused by, for example, a burst pipe, some policies will cover boilers, plumbing and electrical repairs. Check your policy before signing up to a boiler insurance scheme.
If you are covered, it will probably be detailed in the policy under “home assistance” or “home emergency”. Bradford & Bingley, Co-operative Insurance and Sheila’s Wheels are among the insurers that include such cover - and policies offering this benefit may work out better value than buying separate assistance cover.
Avoid call-out fees
Specialist home assistance policies can cost from less than £100 a year and will cover call-outs of qualified tradespeople, as well as repairs, parts and labour. They can be very good value if you have an older boiler or poor-quality plumbing and wiring.
Utility companies often push their own cover but it is worth shopping around: you don’t have to buy from your energy supplier. Comparison services Uswitch.com, Energyhelpline.com and Moneysupermarket.com can all help find the cheapest stand-alone policies.