Why should you have landlord boiler cover?

by | Nov 24, 2022

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Introduction

Landlord boiler cover is debated whether it is worth it for landlords to pay the additional money to cover their boiler. On one hand, it is a vital piece of equipment in a property with tenants relying on the heating in a home above all other home conveniences. 

However, some landlords don’t protect their boilers and for good reason too. So, in this article, all will be revealed on whether you should have a landlord boiler cover in your home.

What is boiler cover for landlords?

A boiler cover is an additional cover that is taken out on a boiler to protect it against damage to a landlord’s property. Kind of like insurance for this piece of equipment.

A boiler being insured by landlord boiler cover

Is boiler cover currently a legal requirement?

No, a boiler cover isn’t required by law. However, having a gas safety check every year is required by law in order for the property to be considered safe and for the landlord to let out their property to tenants legally. In this check, the boiler will be looked at anyway.

Because of this, some landlords do not think boiler cover is worth it if they have to pass a gas safety check every year regardless and are confident about the health of their boiler.

Should you get a boiler cover as a tenant?

No, the boiler cover shouldn’t be paid for by tenants. It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain a safe home and it will also be the landlord’s responsibility to make sure everything in a property is working properly in the property which has a direct impact on a tenant’s welfare and safety.

In rare cases, a tenant may choose to get boiler cover in a property and take it out themself of their own personal preference but this in no way is mandatory or should be advised to you by a landlord. It would be more than enough for a tenant to just report any issues they find in the property instead. This will help the landlord out a great deal anyway.

What’s included in a landlord’s boiler cover?

There are different types of plans for landlord boiler cover depending on the company you go with and the policy they have. Typically, the cover can either be for the entire boiler unit or for the entire heating system as a whole. This would include the radiators and piping in a property for instance.

As well as this, the things that may differ in a policy may include:

  • Whether the cover for the boiler is an emergency cover
  • Whether an annual boiler service or gas safety check is included (needed anyway for landlords renting)
  • The number of call-outs that are provided in a year
  • Whether it will cover you if you change the boiler
  • The prevalence and extent of any excess fees
  • Whether there is a helpline to call in to

In addition to this, depending on the plan, you may get the labour costs covered. So if there is a boiler breakdown, you may still have to pay for a gas engineer’s time. Checking over the details with the company providing the boiler cover should give you the answer to this question.

It is useful to note that a landlord who wants to insure an older boiler will have to pay a lot more so there may not be a lot of covers included in the policy for an older boiler.

Are old boilers eligible for boiler cover?

There is a boiler cover for most boilers on the market. However, whether it is worth the cost of insuring an older boiler is up to the landlord.

An older boiler that shouldn’t be insured with landlord boiler cover

For example, if the cover for an older boiler is £1,000 for the year but it costs £1,500 for a new boiler, the landlord may just consider buying a new boiler which is less expensive than insuring the old boiler with a boiler cover. Doing things this way will mean the boiler is less likely to break down too.

In addition, because a gas safety check for landlords who are letting out their property is mandatory, these types of property have to be considered safe every year anyway. As a result, investing in a property with new equipment is worth it for landlords who want to let their property out to tenants for years to come.

Does landlord insurance cover boilers?

Sometimes, landlord insurance can cover boilers. However, it will depend on the type of policy. Just like home insurance covers a lot of different things in a home such as the furniture or the structural integrity of the property, what landlord insurance covers can differ as well.

If landlord insurance covers the boiler cover in a property, commonly it will not also cover the general maintenance and servicing that is conducted in a gas safety check in a property every year. So you would have to pay for this separately.

Who pays for landlord’s boiler cover?

A landlord should always pay for the landlord boiler cover of a property and if they ask a tenant to pay for this they can be in breach of their tenancy agreement. Unless this was specifically outlined in an agreement which would be very rare.

It is fine for a property manager to pay for landlord boiler cover on behalf of a landlord too but the key is the money should come from the rent collected from the landlord. Just like other costs that must be taken up like the insurance when buying a house or rent guarantee insurance. These are considered landlord’s expenses.

What is the price of a landlord’s boiler cover?

Like other types of insurance, there is an excess that has to be paid and then a normal premium price that covers the rest of the insurance. Typically, the higher the excess of the insurance (what the landlord agrees to pay upfront for damages) the lower the premium (the monthly cost) will be for the insurance policy.

As a result, a typical price for the cover of a home could be £20 per month with £60 excess for the most basic types of insurance. For homes that are perhaps larger and want more benefits included within the price they are willing to pay, they could pay up to £50 per month. 

However, a price like this would only be for a larger residential development. Check out the British Gas website here for an example of how these policies work and the pricing involved.

FAQs about landlord boiler cover

As you can imagine, with the topic of landlord boiler cover, there are often questions landlords should ask before taking out a policy like this. Hence, the below list goes over some of the most common questions asked.

What insurance is necessary for landlords?

There are a few insurances that are necessary for a landlord to let out their property legally. First of all, the landlord would be unlikely to gain approval for a mortgage without home insurance. Landlord’s insurance may also be necessary but certainly not required by law. Content insurance may be necessary if you want to protect the goods within a home.

A landlord agreeing to buy landlord boiler cover

What’s covered in my landlord’s cover?

To check the policies in the landlord cover, you can check the document that was given to you when you bought the insurance. Most insurance providers also have a helpline to call if you have any concerns about the cover. Otherwise, finding the email or physical document that tells you about your insurance policy would be a good idea.

What does plumbing and drainage cover protect?

Just like there are emergencies that might happen to a boiler, there are emergency repairs that may need to be conducted on the pipes, drains, sinks and toilets in a property.

Is there electronic cover for landlords?

Landlord insurance can include electronic cover as well as landlord boiler cover. This electronic cover will make sure the costs are covered in case there is an electrical fault or an appliance breaks down.

In addition, it may result in you having emergency access to an electrician who is able to come in and repair any property at a moment’s notice.

Does landlord insurance cover boiler replacement?

It depends, boiler cover may be included in landlord insurance and most of the time, it is. However, you will need to check the policy of your specific property in order to find out if the boiler is included.

If you want boiler cover to be included when you sign up for landlord cover or landlord insurance, you will need to find a specific policy that includes boiler cover in it.

Why is a boiler health check necessary?

Boiler health checks are necessary as they help a landlord stay on top of repairs and they also prevent periods in which a boiler isn’t working which will help with the general maintenance of a property.

For example, if there are tenants in property that have a broken boiler and it is like this for a long time, then the tenants may be able to ask the landlord to rehouse them as the landlord has the right to provide heating in a home under the landlords and tenant act 1954.

This can cause a landlord to have to pay a lot more in expenses for the welfare of tenants than necessary if they just looked after their boiler. So, a health check should be necessary if you think the breakdown of a boiler will cause significant disruption to your property business.

Having said this, boiler health checks are not mandatory by law. It is only necessary that there is a gas safety check that gives a landlord a gas safety certificate every year in a property which covers the health of a boiler anyway. Click here if you are not sure what the difference is between the two.

What should you do if you need to use landlord boiler cover?

If, for example, the boiler in a property breaks down and there is no heating in the property for tenants, the landlord will have to first, take note of all the relevant information they can gather from what has gone wrong such as the model of the boiler, if there are any things the landlord can spot that is visually wrong with the boiler and what parts of the property is effected.

After this, the landlord would be able to contact the insurer to report what they have found and the insurance provider should send out a qualified gas safety engineer who will conduct the necessary repairs.

From here, depending on what has gone wrong and the benefits of the boiler cover, the landlord may have to buy a replacement boiler or cover the costs of repair. But this will depend on the excess of the insurance they have agreed on.

A landlord making a phone call to their boiler cover insurance provider

Can my tenants contact the boiler cover insurer directly?

The short answer is, it depends on the property. If there is the kind of arrangement in place where a tenant can do and is comfortable to do so they should. However, the responsibility of the boiler ultimately falls with the landlord and anyone operating on their behalf.

It is not always the case that a tenant has the right contact information for the property and they know about the necessary information for the welfare of the property. Also, most of the time it is the landlord or property manager who will take out the cover so only they will have the relevant information that must be given to the insurer. 

In conclusion

Overall, the process of getting landlord boiler cover is quite interesting because there is no requirement by law for landlords to take it out. At the same time, there are clear advantages to taking out the cover such as a quick emergency service for a boiler if you need it. Hence, a landlord considering taking out landlord boiler cover should look at the property they have in detail and whey up the risk involved.

The cost of the insurance, in comparison to the number of tenants in the property, with the amount of cash they have available if something were to go wrong should all be looked at to make the right decision for the landlord.