Confusion over protection policies could leave homeowners with expensive bills

Gas Safe Register has teamed up with TV property expert Martin Roberts and TV consumer rights expert Martyn James to warn homeowners of the financial and safety implications of not regularly servicing and safety checking their boilers. Spring is a good time to take action after a winter of usage, says the Register.

New research for Gas Safe found that more than half of homeowners (54%) could see their gas boiler protection policy claim or warranty rejected because they underestimated some of the typical clauses of home insurance emergency cover policies and warranties1.

The research also found that one in five homeowners wouldn’t be able to afford to pay more than £1,000 for an emergency home repair without relying on a loan or help from others. More than one-third couldn’t afford to pay more than £2,000 on an emergency repair.

However, one in ten have had an insurance claim rejected – often due to simple errors that make the policy invalid. Policies and warranties may not be valid if a boiler has not been serviced every year, meaning that it isn’t covered for repair or replacement.

One-quarter of homeowners say they’ve never read their policy in full and 15% claim it confuses them, but Gas Safe Register’s team of experts is encouraging everyone to get up to scratch on the T&Cs to avoid being left out of pocket and potentially without hot water and heating for a boiler-related issue.

Martyn James, who is a consumer rights expert, columnist and presenter, says: “It’s vital to make sure you’ve had an annual gas safety check and service by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you haven’t, it could invalidate a future claim. Without it, you’re potentially risking having to pay for one of the heftiest home appliance costs should something go wrong.

“None of us can afford to assume we’re covered for the unexpected, so understanding those T&Cs could save you a lot of money in the long run. A small investment in a service check now, could save you – potentially – from thousands of pounds worth of major repair bills down the line.”

Homes and property TV expert Martin Roberts adds: “I know we’re all looking forward to switching off the heating and easing up on our fuel usage. But the best way of being prepared for future cold snaps is to get ahead with maintenance and get your boiler serviced during the spring months, rather than waiting until it’s in heavy need again.”

Between them, they have come up with a way to encourage households to stay SAFE this spring:
S: Stay alert to the ‘silent killer’. Make sure you’ve got an audible carbon monoxide alarm. It could save your life.
A: Always make sure all gas appliances are regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home, ask for a copy of the current landlord’s gas safety record.
F: Find a Gas Safe registered engineer by searching your postcode, town or city. Use Gas Safe Register’s website online search or call 0800 408 5500.
E: Ensure you understand the terms of your boiler cover. Familiarise yourself with the details of your home emergency cover or boiler warranty, including what is covered and any stipulations.

1 Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Gas Safe Register. OnePoll surveyed 2,000 UK homeowners who have gas appliances in their home between 19th and 25th February 2024.

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