What is Home Emergency Cover?
Home Emergency Cover provides you with 24-hour access to qualified tradespeople when unexpected emergency repairs need to be made at home. You can add it as an option to your Home Insurance policy as an extra level of protection.
With Home Emergency Cover, you’ll get up to £500 (including VAT) towards call-outs for things like broken boilers, blocked drains and leaky gas pipes. This includes labour charges and the costs of any parts or materials needed to get your home back in working order.
What does Home Emergency Cover include?
In the colder months, a broken boiler can make a home inhabitable. Our Home Emergency Cover can pay the cost of a callout to repair boilers that are not working and leaks from the boiler — and if it’s beyond economical repair, you’ll get £250 towards a new one. Better still, there’s no age limit on the boilers we can cover.
Central heating cover
The loss of central heating can see the temperature in your home quickly plummet. With Home Emergency Cover, you’re protected for repairs to get your central heating up and running again. If we’re unable to fix the issue right away due to parts being required, you’ll get temporary heaters for you and your family to see you through in the meantime. Please note that cover can’t be provided for partial heating failures — such as a faulty radiator — as this does not constitute an emergency.
Plumbing and drainage cover
Have a drainage emergency? Get covered for plumber callouts and repairs to internal water pipe leaks, broken toilets, and blockages in your baths, showers and waste pipes.
Invasive pests can make life very unpleasant, which is why they need to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible. With Home Emergency Cover, the removal of mice, rats, grey squirrels, wasps and hornets from inside your home is included.
Internal gas pipe
Our insurers can cover leaks from the internal gas supply pipe in your home between the meter and a gas appliance. If you do suspect a gas leak, contact the National Gas Emergency number on 0800 111 999 first.
Why choose Swinton Home Emergency Cover?
There are several reasons why Home Emergency Cover from Swinton could be beneficial for you. Here are some of the key benefits you’ll get when you add it to your Home Insurance policy:
- No age restriction on boilers — Get your boiler repaired no matter how old it is.
- A high rate of first-visit fixes — Our customers have 89% of all emergencies fixed on the first visit (based on Swinton data gathered from August 2019 to August 2020).
- Fast callouts — Drain emergency cases are attended in four hours on average.
- 24-hour emergency helpline — Get help and advice whenever you need it.
- ‘Beyond economical repair’ cover for boilers — If your boiler can’t be repaired economically, you’ll get £250 towards a new one.
- Temporary heating — You’ll get temporary heaters if we can’t fix your heating on the first visit (as per the policy wording).
Swinton Home Emergency Cover is underwritten by the UK Branch of Inter Partner Assistance S.A. a Belgian firm authorised by the National Bank of Belgium. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.
Swinton Home Emergency cover is only available with a Swinton Home, Buildings or Contents Insurance policy and can be added to the policy at any time. If chosen, it forms part of the overall policy and so runs for the same term. Should you cancel your core policy, your Home Emergency Cover would cancel alongside it.
Provide us with the details of your emergency
When you call, our team will ask a series of questions about your emergency to help determine the best cause of action.
Wait for help to arrive
Your callout is arranged for you, so all you need to do is wait at home until a professional arrives.
Repairs are covered up to the value of £500 (including VAT), including labour and parts, as long as the callout meets the policy requirements.
Please note that claims within the first 14 days of your policy aren’t covered. Cover is provided for your house or flat that is your main residence used for domestic purposes only in the United Kingdom.
How to reduce the risk of a home emergency
While you can never 100% rule out the chances of a home emergency, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Get your boiler serviced regularly — By servicing your boiler at least once a year, you’ll be able to spot small issues before they become bigger problems. Please note that boilers that have not received the proper maintenance prior to a callout may not be covered in the event of a claim.
Keep boiler air vents clear — Get rid of any clutter around your boiler so that it can be ventilated properly. Look out for anything that blocks the air vents or external flues.
Keep your pipes warm in winter — When the temperature drops in winter, your pipes are at risk of freezing, creating blockages that can damage your central heating system. Install foam pipe insulation where it isn’t already present, and turn up the heating on your boiler to stop condensation building up.
Avoid pouring away fat and grease — One of the main causes of drainage issues is a build-up of fat that gets poured down the drain with your washing up. If you’ve been cooking food that’s left a lot of grease in the pan, wipe as much off as possible with a paper towel before you wash it.
Investigate any frequent fuse trips — If your fuses are tripping regularly, it could be an early sign of an electrical issue in your home. Have a professional electrician investigate this early to prevent it from becoming a more significant problem down the line.
Keep your home clean — Properly disposing of waste, washing recyclables and regularly picking up any bits of food that fall on the floor is one of the best ways to keep pests from invading your home.
Home Emergency Cover FAQs
Do I need Home Emergency Cover?
Home Emergency Cover isn’t a legal requirement. However, it is beneficial to homeowners who don’t want to be caught out having to pay a hefty bill should they need to make an emergency callout to their home.
Is Home Emergency Cover worth it?
Some emergency callouts can cost hundreds of pounds Thankfully, Swinton Home Emergency Cover can be added to your Home Insurance policy for as little as £49.99 annually and with no limit on the number of callouts you can make per year, you can make significant savings with Home Emergency Cover in place.
Does Home Emergency Cover affect my No Claims?
No — if you need to make a claim on your Home Emergency policy, your No Claims Bonus on your main Home Insurance policy will not be impacted. However, you may still need to claim on your Home Insurance for any damage caused by these issues. It’s also important to note that Home Emergency isn’t a maintenance contract where you can claim for day-to-day repairs such as a broken toilet seat or a dripping tap.
Do I need to pay an excess when I make a claim?
No, you don’t need to pay an excess when you make a valid claim through your Home Emergency Cover.
Does standard Home Insurance cover emergency boiler repairs?
No — standard Home Insurance policies from Swinton do not include emergency boiler repairs. This is only insured when you take out a Home Emergency Cover as an option on your Home Insurance policy.
How long should a boiler last?
A standard boiler should last you up to 15 years according to HomeServe. Boilers that don’t last this long often fail because of a lack of regular maintenance and servicing. Boilers that last longer than 15 years could be less efficient than newer models, a factor that should be considered in deciding whether to get a new boiler.
How often should a boiler be serviced?
Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct service intervals. If you have an issue with your boiler and it hasn’t been maintained to these instructions, this may affect whether your claim is successful as well as the manufacturer’s warranty if applicable.
Can I buy Home Emergency Cover as a standalone policy?
No, you can’t take out Swinton Home Emergency Cover as a standalone policy. However, you can add it to your existing Home Insurance policy mid-term. Please note that you will not be covered for the first 14 days of the policy.