October was a bad month for appliances in our house. The dishwasher conked out – it was just 14 months old. Then the boiler died – just when the weather changed. When the boy’s Xbox started playing up I suspected poltergeists, but fortunately it fixed itself.
The dishwasher was still under the two year warranty and after lots of protracted phone calls, it’s been fixed: the motor had gone. Serves me right for buying a cheap dishwasher– I know someone with a 20 year old Miele still going strong. Anyway, mine is up and running – I didn’t in all truth miss it much.
The boiler was another matter. I had to buy a new one. Now we have lovely hot water and radiators and a flash looking machine purring away in the kitchen. It’s apparently a good make – not that I know anything about boilers – but it’s not going to last for ever. It is covered by a five year free warranty but I can extend that to 10 years for an extra £120 – which given that it covers all repairs and parts seems a good enough deal. I haven’t yet bought the extra years however: I’m nervous about shelling out for warranties. Appliances have a limited life – a man who came out to repair my fridge (which was under free warranty at the time) said that if you get five years out of a fridge, you’re doing well. So rather than pay for a warranty usually I’d just expect to replace an appliance when it goes bust. But boilers are horrendously expensive. I think I will pay up for the 10 years’ cover – and maybe start saving now for a new boiler in 10 years’ time because I’m sure it will die as soon as the warranty comes to an end.
What I would never do is take out a home emergency policy. These policies – often provided by energy companies – send out an expert if your boiler packs up or a plumber if your pipes burst, for example. You can also get cover as an add-on to home policies. According to Defaqto, 41% of home emergency plans don’t offer anything towards replacing a bust boiler. And MoneySuperMarket* says that if you haven’t had your boiler serviced in the last 12 months then your home emergency policy may not cover you. Personally, a phone number of a good plumber will do for me. However, if you do want cover then take a look at this very comprehensive article. And do check out for deals on comparison sites.
See our guide to home insurance here.