A home emergency plan covers a variety of practical home emergencies. For example, the home emergency cover is intended to cover the costs of emergency repairs to your main utilities—electricity, water, and gas. The difference between home emergency cover and home insurance is that home insurance usually covers risks such as fires, natural disasters, liabilities, and theft. On the other hand, home emergency plans provide assistance and coverage for the inevitable wear and tear and breakdown of household items.
For example, if your pipe burst or a boiler fails, having a home emergency cover in place can be a huge relief in dealing with the situation quickly and covering any repair costs. If you require urgent repairs in your home, home emergency cover can help cover the costs of call-out fees, labor, and the needed parts.
Of course, there is always the option to find a company that helps you quickly service home breakdowns and care for your home. Such companies offer cover for home breakdown costs, maintenance services, concierge support, home care reminders, online troubleshooting, and more in an affordable monthly plan. They’ll be there for you if something breaks, but they’ll also help you keep things from going wrong in the first place.
However, if you are considering purchasing a home emergency cover as an optional add-on or standalone policy, we’ve examined the average cost to help you decide.
Standalone home emergency plans
A standalone home emergency plan's average annual cost is between $55 and $350. If you choose a premium plan, you'll get coverage for the major categories of heating, boiler, electrics, pest control, plumbing, and home security. Standalone policies can be better since they provide more customized, extensive coverage than an optional add-on to your home insurance. However, if you purchase standalone coverage, be prepared to pay more. Also, it would probably mean dealing with two insurance companies if the problem causes damage to your home.
Standalone plans costing less than $250 a year typically don't include an annual boiler service or financial help if you need to replace it. More expensive plans include these things, too. However, even if your insurance doesn't cover it, you should have your boiler serviced once a year. This is essential for ensuring your boiler's proper operation and because home emergency plans don't cover a boiler if it hasn't been serviced in the last year.
Add-on to your home insurance plan
It's typically charged as a flat fee in addition to your standard home insurance coverage. Prices vary according to the extent of the home emergency coverage. The amount you can claim and the number of claims you can make a year differ from provider to provider. Furthermore, the emergencies covered will also differ. For example, some providers offer coverage of your heating system and boiler, while others will only cover your heating system.
On average, adding a home emergency cover to your home insurance costs around $60 or more. However, if you want to file a claim, you'll only have to deal with one insurance company. You can pay monthly or annually, and the payment is made by credit card.
How to reduce the cost of home emergency cover
Follow these simple tips to ensure you aren’t paying more than necessary:
- Check your home insurance policy to ensure you aren’t double paying for things you're already covered for.
- Opt for an annual payment plan instead of a monthly one.
- Compare providers to ensure you're getting the best deal, but don’t forget that it isn’t only about getting the cheapest option possible; it’s about value.
- Check if there are any claim limits on how many times you can claim annually, and check the cost.
In addition, the best way to save on the cost of home emergency cover is to keep your property in good condition. Clear your gutters and drains regularly. You can also re-pressurize the boilers and get them serviced. And don’t forget to bleed the radiators. Be careful not to block your drains, and regularly check your pipes.
Home emergency cover, like home insurance, protects your home against unexpected events. Of course, it's the kind of policy you hope you'll never need. While it isn't necessary, it's worth considering if you would be left in the dark due to a power outage or broken boiler.
The costs associated with unexpected electrical issues or plumbing could be enormous. So, it's worth paying for home emergency cover that works best for you.