Landlord Boiler Cover Explained: How It Works, What It Costs, and Is It Worth It
Landlord boiler cover is a policy that covers the costs of emergency repairs to boilers in buy-to-rent properties. Landlord’s boiler cover gives you peace of mind that your tenant’s boiler is taken care of and saves you money on potentially expensive repairs. You pay a monthly fee as a landlord, and your provider covers the costs of any repairs as well as an annual service and Gas Safe inspection, depending on the terms of your policy.
Virtually all boiler cover policies for landlords include an annual service and a Gas Safety inspection. It is possible to purchase bundled policies that include coverage for central heating, plumbing and drainage, electrics, and even home security. Common exclusions in landlord boiler cover policies are accidental damage, pre-existing damage, poorly maintained systems, and rare boiler models. Some landlord boiler cover policies charge you an excess (also known as a “call-out fee”) whenever your provider makes repairs. Opting not to pay an excess in exchange for higher monthly fees is an option many people take.
You are not required to take out boiler cover as a landlord. However, the law compels you to provide an annual Gas Safety inspection which is included in most boiler cover policies. Taking out a boiler cover policy is often more economical as it saves you from costly one-off repair bills and covers the costs of an annual service.
You likely already have boiler cover as a part of a landlord insurance policy or broader emergency repair coverage. Your tenants do not need to take out boiler cover, as you are responsible for the proper functioning of your property’s boiler.
British Gas, HomeServe, EDF Energy, and YourRepair provide the best landlord boiler cover policies.
Below, we explain how landlord boiler cover works, highlight its inclusions and exclusions, walk you through its costs, and list the best landlord boiler cover providers in 2023.
What is boiler cover for landlords?
Boiler cover for landlords is a type of insurance that covers emergency boiler repairs in buy-to-let properties. Boiler cover is often bundled with other coverage policies, such as central heating and emergency home coverage.
Most landlord boiler cover plans include an annual boiler service and gas safety inspection, which are a requirement of many boiler warranties. Landlords are obligated by law to pass an annual gas safety inspection.
A key benefit of boiler cover for landlords is that the provider arranges for certified technicians to carry out repairs as soon as a boiler emergency is phoned in. The landlord would have to coordinate the repairs themselves (and often wait longer for available technicians) without the convenience of the boiler cover helpline.
How does landlord’s boiler cover work?
Landlord boiler cover works by providing the following two services in exchange for a monthly premium.
- Emergency boiler repairs: A Gas Safe technician visits your property and repairs your tenant’s boiler when it breaks. You may have to pay a call-out fee every time the boiler care provider dispatches an engineer, and you’re able to determine what this call-out fee is before you sign up for a care plan. Generally, the higher the call-out, the lower the monthly premiums, and vice versa.
- Annual service and Landlord Gas Safety Record: Almost all boiler cover policies for landlords include the cost of annual boiler service and a Landlord Gas Safety Record (formerly known as “CP12”). Getting the Landlord Gas Safety Record is a legal requirement for landlords.
What does landlords’ boiler cover include?
Landlords’ boiler cover includes emergency repair coverage for a range of boiler-associated equipment, and the exact coverage terms vary based on your policy of choice and the provider. However, most basic landlord boiler cover policies include the following three items.
- Boiler and controls emergency repairs: Boiler cover pays for the cost of repairing the boiler itself but won’t always cover the pipes and radiators.
- Gas safety inspections. Almost all landlord boiler cover policies include the annual Gas Safety inspection you are legally required to complete as a landlord. Make sure they provide you with a Landlord Gas Safety Record to prove you’ve fulfilled your obligation.
- Annual boiler service. An annual boiler service is a requirement of most boiler warranty policies, and most landlord boiler cover policies include this as standard.
Comprehensive landlord cover plans include any or all of the five items below on top of boiler breakdown coverage and gas safety inspections.
- Central heating emergency repairs: Some policies bundle boiler cover with central heating cover. Such care plans include protection for your whole heating system, including pipes, radiators, towel rails, and cylinders.
- Plumbing and drainage: British Gas’ HomeCare Classic and HomeCare Complete include emergency repair coverage for plumbing and drainage systems.
- Electrical Emergencies & Breakdown. British Gas’ HomeCare Complete covers repairs to electrical wiring, fuse boards, and electrical fittings.
- Home Security. HomeServe’s Heating, Plumbing, and Electrics Plus package includes cover for lost keys to external doors and boarding up broken windows. YourRepair’s Complete Plus also covers security and locks.
- Replacement Boilers. Some policies cover the cost of replacing a boiler if they cannot repair the unit or if the repairs would be more expensive than replacing the boiler. For example, EDF Energy Boiler Cover includes coverage for the cost of replacing a boiler worth up to £750 but excludes installation and delivery costs.
What does landlord boiler cover exclude?
Landlord boiler cover generally excludes the following six items.
- Sludge or limescale removal: Sludge is metallic debris that floats around the heating system, and limescale is a mineral that accumulates in the boiler’s components. Both sludge and limescale cause blockages and damage to boiler parts. Care providers do not cover damage from either sludge or limescale because these issues are so common.
- Accidental or malicious damage: Most care providers do not cover problems that arise from human actions, whether intentional or not.
- Pre-existing boiler problems: The majority of landlord boiler cover plans providers do not protect policyholders from issues that predate the contract. However, some specialist repair insurance policies cover the costs of repairing an already damaged boiler and its subsequent maintenance.
- Rare and obsolete boiler models: Rare boiler models are expensive to fix and difficult to find parts for, so many landlord boiler cover providers exclude uncommon and obsolete models and manufacturers. Potterton and Sime are examples of boiler manufacturers that the majority of care providers refuse to cover.
- Badly maintained systems: Boiler cover companies generally exclude coverage for systems that have not been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. For example, boilers that have not been serviced annually may not be eligible for coverage.
- Improperly installed boilers: Boilers that are not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions or industry best practices are generally ineligible for coverage.
- Faults in the first few weeks of coverage: Almost all landlord cover plans exclude faults that occur within the first 14 days of taking out a policy. This waiting period is in place to prevent landlords from taking out cover once after an emergency has occurred and making an immediate claim.
Can I get landlord boiler cover for an old boiler?
Yes, you can get landlord boiler cover for an old boiler, but your options may be limited. Many providers impose an upper limit on your boiler’s age, typically around 15 years. For example, EDF Energy’s boiler coverage requires that your boiler is in good working order and under the age of 15 when you take out the plan.
When taking out boiler cover, bear in mind that an older boiler is likely to break more frequently. So, it’s a good idea to opt for a policy with low or no excess payments if you’re covering an old boiler. Replacing a boiler that’s about to hit the 15-year age limit is generally a wise idea, as a modern replacement boiler comes with a warranty and is bound to be more energy-efficient.
How soon can I make a claim after taking out boiler cover?
How soon you can make a claim after taking out boiler cover depends on the policy terms. Most policies have a no-claims period that ranges between 15 and 30 days. This waiting period is designed to prevent people from taking out a policy after their boiler breaks down.
Can I have boiler cover for multiple properties?
Yes, you can have boiler cover for multiple properties. Multi-property boiler coverage plans are more complex than single-property plans, and you may have to negotiate them directly with providers. For example, British Gas offers HomeCare policies that cover up to 9 properties on a single policy. However, you need to call British Gas and arrange a unique package if you have more than 10 properties.
Do landlords need boiler cover?
No, landlords do not need boiler cover — there’s no law on the books making landlord boiler cover mandatory. However, it’s a good idea for landlords to protect their tenants’ boilers with a cover policy for three reasons. Firstly, boiler cover helps landlords repair their tenants’ boilers promptly. By law, a landlord is obligated to repair their tenants’ boiler within 24 hours if it does not produce heat or hot water. Second, landlord boiler cover includes annual, legally-mandated service and gas safety inspection. The cost of a one-off gas safety inspection generally comes close to the annual cost of landlord boiler cover. So, it makes sense to take out the cover and protect the boiler against breakdowns, too. Thirdly, boiler cover helps landlords mitigate the cost of one-off boiler repairs.
Do you need landlord boiler cover if your boiler’s under warranty?
No, you do not need landlord boiler cover if your boiler is under warranty. However, most warranties require an annual boiler service and proper maintenance. Taking out boiler cover that includes an annual service, especially if it also bundles other insurance options, is often the most cost-effective option.
Does landlord boiler cover save you money?
Yes, landlord boiler cover saves you money for two reasons. Firstly, the average cost of repairing a boiler in the UK is just over £200, whilst cheaper boiler cover policies run as low as £120 a year. Second, landlord boiler cover includes the cost of annual service and gas safety inspection, and paying for cover is often more economical than paying for these services out-of-pocket.
Does landlord insurance cover boilers?
Yes, some landlord insurance covers boilers and central heating systems. Landlord insurance is more comprehensive than standard boiler cover and frequently includes buildings and contents insurance, fire and flood insurance, property owners liability, and tenant default insurance.
Do tenants need boiler cover?
No, tenants do not need boiler cover. Landlords are responsible for repairs to the boiler, heating, pipes, gas appliances, and other breakable parts of a rental property. It is the landlord’s decision whether or not to get boiler cover. Either way, landlords are responsible for emergency repairs to the boiler and gas safety in the flats they rent out.
How much does landlord boiler cover cost?
Landlord boiler cover costs range from £9 to £30 a month. Budget options, like 24|7 HomeRescue Landlord Boiler Cover, cost a little over £10 a month. At the higher end, British Gas Homecare Basic costs £21.00 a month, while the company’s premium package, Homecare Complete, costs £29.00 per month. These prices are guidelines and vary depending on the following X factors.
- Provider: Established national companies, such as British Gas, generally charge more for cover than their lesser-known competitors.
- Boiler types: System and regular boilers cost more to cover than their combi counterparts because their systems comprise more moving parts. For example, regular and system boilers require hot water cylinders to operate, whilst combi boilers do not. The additional component that requires coverage drives up the cost of the policy.
- Boiler age: Older boilers cost more to cover because they’re more prone to breakdowns.
- Water mineral content: Properties in areas with hard water pay more for boiler cover because the water there is more likely to cause limescale damage.
What’s the best landlord boiler cover?
The best landlord boiler cover policies are offered by the following four providers.
- WarmZilla: WarmZilla have recently gotten into the boiler cover market, and their landlord plans have some of the most competitive offerings in terms of £0 excess premiums.
- YourRepair: YourRepair provide the best overall boiler cover plans for landlords. YourRepair’s landlord boiler plans are flexible, comprehensive, and their technicians have an outstanding, 95% first-repair success rate.
- 24|7 Home Rescue: 24|7 Home Rescue offer some of the most affordable boiler care plans for landlords. The company’s least expensive, basic plan protects your tenants’ boilers from breakdowns for just £11.99/month (and there’s usually a steep discount on these plans).
- British Gas: British Gas offer the best deals for landlords operating multiple properties and boast the quality care team of an established, national provider.