What is Home Emergency Cover and How Does It Work?

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 1st December 2023
Posted on 30th November 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

Have you ever experienced a boiler breakdown in the middle of winter or a burst pipe flooding your floor? These unexpected home emergencies can be both stressful and costly. “

What is home emergency cover?” you may ask. Home emergency cover may be the solution you need to protect your home and wallet. But what exactly is it, and is it worth it for you?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of home emergency cover, how to assess your needs, compare options, how to get the right cover and more.

What is Home Emergency Cover Summary

  • Home emergency cover is like an insurance policy designed to provide quick assistance for unexpected home issues.
  • Assess homeowner, landlord or renter status and existing policies before making a purchase, and compare cover levels & the all important pricing when shopping for options.
  • Consider potential better alternatives such as boiler insurance or appliance insurance, customer testimonials/reviews, and expert opinions when deciding on the right protection.

Understanding Home Emergency Cover

A home is a sanctuary, but it’s also prone to unforeseen issues such as blocked drains, burst pipes, or malfunctioning boilers. Enter home emergency cover – an insurance policy designed to provide rapid assistance for urgent home issues.

But how does it differ from standard home insurance? Home emergency cover focuses on covering call-out fees, labour costs, parts, and materials for temporary fixes, while home insurance typically covers permanent damage to your property.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of home emergency cover and determine if having home emergency cover worth the investment, or if you need home emergency cover at all.

Definition of Home Emergency Cover

Home emergency cover, also often wrongly called home emergency insurance, is a policy that provides fast assistance for home emergencies, such as boiler breakdowns, plumbing problems, electrical failures, and security breaches.

What does home emergency cover include? It covers call-out fees and repairs, aiming to render your home safe and secure as quickly as possible.

Imagine a burst pipe causing water damage to your carpet – home emergency cover would help you address the issue immediately, preventing further damage and keeping your home safe for you and your family.

Common Emergencies Covered

When considering to get home emergency cover, it’s essential to understand the common emergencies that these policies typically cover.

Boiler breakdowns are a prime example and cause the most headaches and baltic nights. The last thing you want during a cold winter night is to be left without heating and hot water. Home emergency cover can save the day by covering the cost of repairs and getting your boiler up and running as soon as possible.

Other annoyingly and pesky common emergencies include plumbing issues like burst pipes and blocked drains, electrical failures that could leave you in the dark, and security breaches such as broken windows or locks.

Knowing that your home emergency cover policy has your back in these situations provides invaluable peace of mind.

Assessing Your Needs for Home Emergency Cover

Before you rush to buy home emergency cover, it’s should be right at the top of your list to assess your needs based on your homeowner or renter status and any existing insurance policies you may already have. This will help you determine whether home emergency cover is a worthwhile investment and ensure that you’re not paying for duplicate coverage.

Let’s explore the factors that can influence your need for home emergency cover.

Homeowners vs. Renters

As a homeowner, home emergency cover can provide a sense of security, knowing that help is just a phone call away should an unexpected issue arise. This type of cover can help manage the cost of repairs for emergencies, such as boiler breakdowns, plumbing issues, and electrical failures. Additionally, it grants access to a 24/7 helpline and emergency repairs, which can be invaluable when facing urgent home problems.

On the flip side, if you’re a renter, home emergency cover may not be necessary. This is because of the Landlord boiler cover, as in most cases, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to arrange home emergency cover included in your rent for the cost of repairs or call out charges for any unforeseen home emergencies.

Therefore, renters can save money and avoid purchasing unnecessary coverage by confirming that their landlord has appropriate insurance in place.

Existing Insurance Policies

Before considering a separate home emergency cover policy, take a moment to review your existing home insurance policy. Some home emergency insurance providers may already include emergency home insurance in their packages, or you can add home emergency cover as an additional option.

By checking your current policy, you can avoid paying for duplicate coverage and ensure that you’re only paying for the protection you need.

Comparing Home Emergency Cover Options

Now that you have a better understanding of home emergency cover and have assessed your needs, it’s time to compare your options. Different providers may offer varying coverage levels, pricing, and policy terms.

In the next sections, we will explore the differences between standalone policies and add-ons to home insurance, as well as discuss coverage levels and pricing to help you make an informed decision.

Standalone Policies vs. Add-ons

When comparing home emergency cover options, you’ll come across both standalone home emergency cover policies and add-ons to existing home insurance. Standalone policies generally offer more extensive cover, but may be more expensive.

On the other hand, adding home emergency cover to your existing home insurance policy can be more affordable, but the coverage may be limited.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider your specific needs and budget when choosing between the two.

Coverage Levels and Pricing

Coverage levels and pricing for home emergency cover can vary significantly among different providers.

Some policies may only cover the basics, such as boiler breakdowns and plumbing emergencies, while others can provide more comprehensive coverage that includes electrical failures, security breaches, and even alternative accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable due to an emergency.

To find the best fit for your needs and budget, always, and we mean this, always make sure to shop around and compare policies. Look for a policy that provides adequate coverage for potential emergencies without breaking the bank.

Keep in mind that while a lower-cost policy may be tempting, it may not offer the level of protection you need in the event of an emergency. It’s always wise to strike a balance between cost and coverage to ensure your home and finances are adequately protected.

Limitations and Exclusions of Home Emergency Cover

As with any insurance policy, home emergency cover comes with its limitations and exclusions. Understanding these restrictions is vital to ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs and can help avoid any surprises when making a claim.

Let’s explore some common limitations and exclusions found in home emergency cover policies.

Claim Limits

Claim limits refer to the maximum amount of money that can be claimed for a particular emergency or policy. For example, a standard home emergency cover policy may only allow you to claim up to £250 per emergency, with a maximum of £500 per year.

It’s essential to review the claim limits of your chosen policy to ensure that it provides adequate coverage for potential costs associated with what some home emergency policies limit.

Call-out Restrictions

Some home emergency cover policies may restrict the number of call-outs or claims allowed within a certain period. This could mean that if you’ve already reached the maximum number of call-outs for the year, any additional emergencies may not be covered by your policy.

Review the call-out restrictions in your insurance provider policy to ensure you have sufficient coverage for any potential home emergencies.

Maintenance and Wear-and-Tear Exclusions

Home emergency cover typically doesn’t cover wear and tear or damages resulting from poor maintenance. This means that if an emergency is caused by a lack of upkeep or general wear and tear, your policy might not cover the cost of urgent repairs or replacements.

Regular maintenance of your home’s essential systems, such as plumbing, central heating system, and electrics, is another thing to add to the list to ensure that your home emergency cover remains valid and effective in the event of an electrical failure.

Preventing Home Emergencies

While home emergency cover can provide valuable protection in the event of an emergency, prevention is always better than cure. By performing routine maintenance and implementing home security measures, you can really start to minimise the risk of home emergencies and avoid the stress and costs associated with repairs.

Let’s really get down to it and explore some of the more important steps you can take to prevent home emergencies costing the earth.

Routine Maintenance

Regular cleaning of gutters, the all-important annual boiler service, and maintaining your plumbing systems can go a long way in preventing home emergencies. For example, keeping your gutters clean can prevent water damage to your roof and walls, while regular boiler servicing can help identify potential issues before they escalate into costly breakdowns.

By staying on top of routine maintenance, you can keep your home in good condition and drastically lower the chance or the risk of emergencies.

Home Security Measures

Implementing home security measures can also help prevent security-related emergencies, such as break-ins or vandalism. Installing security devices like deadbolts, window locks, security cameras, and motion sensors can not only deter criminals, but also provide added protection for your home and family.

Regularly maintaining locks and other security features also ensures that they remain effective in keeping your home safe.

Making a Claim on Your Home Emergency Cover

In the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim on your home emergency cover, it’s obviously far better to know the process and what’s required of you. From contacting your provider to providing documentation and evidence, let’s explore the steps you need to take when making a claim on your home emergency cover.

The first step is to contact your provider. You should do this as soon as possible after the event.

Contacting Your Provider

The first step in making a claim on your home emergency cover is to contact your provider’s emergency helpline or use their online/app options to report the problem. Be prepared to provide information about the issue, your name, postcode, and policy number.

Your provider will then offer guidance on the next steps and may send a professional to assess the situation and carry out any necessary repairs. Always be mindful of how many call outs you have per year, plus remember any claim from an insurance provider may affect your no claims bonus which can be part of comprehensive policies.

This may mean you pay extra the next time you renew with the insurance providers.

Documentation and Evidence

When making a claim, it’s essential to provide any required documentation or evidence to support your claim, such as photos of the damage or receipts for repairs. This information will help your provider assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action.

Be sure to keep all relevant documents and evidence in a safe place, as you may need them for future reference or to support future claims.

Alternatives to Home Emergency Cover

While home emergency cover can provide valuable protection for unexpected home issues, it’s not the only option available. Depending on your specific needs, you may find that alternatives like boiler insurance or home appliance insurance offer more focused coverage for your home’s essential systems and appliances.

Let’s explore these alternatives and how they might better suit your needs.

Boiler Insurance

Boiler insurance is a type of home emergency cover specifically designed to protect your boiler in case of breakdown or complete failure. This type of insurance can cover the costs of repairs or replacement of your boiler, ensuring that you’re not left without heating and hot water during a cold snap.

If your primary concern is your boiler’s performance and reliability, boiler insurance may be a better fit for your needs than a more general home emergency cover policy.

Be aware that this is different to boiler cover, which you can read about here in our guide to boiler cover, breakdown cover and insurance plans.

Home Appliance Insurance

Home appliance insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for the repairs of various home appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers. This type of insurance can cover the cost of call-out fees, labour, parts, and replacement should your appliance break down unexpectedly.

If you’re more concerned about the performance and lifespan of your home appliances, home appliance insurance might be a more suitable alternative to home emergency cover.

Customer Testimonials and Reviews

When evaluating and weighing up all the top home emergency cover providers, customer testimonials and reviews can offer valuable insight into the quality and reliability of their services. By reviewing the experiences of other customers, you can gain a better understanding of the provider’s responsiveness, quality of repairs, and overall customer satisfaction.

Be sure to consider these testimonials and reviews when making your decision to ensure that you choose a provider that will be there for you when you need them most.

Expert Opinions

Seeking expert opinions on home emergency cover can also be beneficial in guiding your decision-making process. Industry professionals can offer valuable advice on whether home emergency cover is necessary and what to look for in a policy.

Taking the time to consult with experts and gather their insights can help you make a more informed decision about your home emergency cover needs and ensure that you’re adequately protected.


In conclusion, home emergency cover can provide invaluable protection and peace of mind against unexpected home issues. By assessing your needs, comparing options, and considering alternatives, you can find the right policy to suit your specific situation.

Remember to perform routine maintenance and implement home security measures to prevent home emergencies and keep your home in tip-top shape. With the right home emergency cover in place, you can rest easy knowing that help is just a phone call away when you need it most.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth having home emergency cover?

Home emergency cover can provide peace of mind, covering the cost of call-out fees, labour and parts if urgent repairs are needed. It typically covers alternative accommodation, electrical failure, drainage and plumbing issues, pest infestation, roof damage, broken locks and lost keys – all of which could end up costing a lot of money if not covered.

It’s worth checking if home emergency cover is included in your policy before making any necessary repairs.

Is home emergency cover the same as boiler cover?

No, home emergency cover and boiler cover are not the same. Home emergency policies may include boiler breakdowns in their cover, however, you may find better protection and higher claims limits with boiler cover or boiler insurance policies that include a free annual boiler service.

Does home emergency cover a leaking toilet?

Yes, home emergency cover typically includes coverage for a leaking toilet, including damage caused by blocked or broken pipes and waste.

Is home emergency Cover any good?

Home emergency cover can provide helpful protection from unexpected call-out fees and repairs, though it won’t cover damages caused by the emergency.

Considering the potential costs of repairing a broken boiler or similar, home emergency cover may be worth considering depending on your circumstances.

What are some common emergencies covered by home emergency cover?

Common emergencies covered by home emergency cover include boiler breakdowns, plumbing issues, electrical failures, and security breaches.

Written by
James Elston
James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
Posted on: 30th November 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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