40% Drop In Heating Cover Could Leave Consumers Out In The Cold
on: November 3, 2009, 7:32 am
gamble: number of people taking out heating cover on their boilers
has dropped 40% in the last year
•Safety gamble: 42% ignore industry safety advice to get
boilers checked once a year, risking carbon monoxide poisioning
•No peace of mind: two thirds of households (65%) don't
have any form of emergency heating cover
•Paying the price: nearly one in three boilers breaks down
within six years of being installed, cost of replacing four key
boiler parts can reach £1200.
winter bites and with people still feeling the bitter chill of
recession, new research from uSwitch.com, the independent price
and comparison switching service, reveals a 40% drop in the number
of people taking out or renewing heating cover compared to this
time last year. As a result more than two thirds (65%) of households
do not have any type of heating or boiler cover in place, potentially
taking a risk with their finances and their health.
one in three boilers breaks down within six years of being installed,
and the cost of repair can spiral up to £1,200 to replace
the four key boiler parts. In comparison, the average yearly cost
of heating cover comes in at £122 or just over £10
this isn't the only risk. Gas boilers should be serviced every
year to minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisioning, but 42%
of households ignore these guidelines. Worryingly, one in ten
- almost three million households - have never had their boiler
serviced while the same number again have only ever had their
boiler looked at when it's gone wrong. According to the Gas Safe
Register (which has taken over from Corgi), in the last year 14
people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning and 234 have suffered
health problems after being exposed to the deadly gas. Recommended
counter measures include having an annual gas safety check and
installing a carbon monoxide alarm.
Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com,
says: "Household budgets continue to be stretched, but what
seems like an easy saving could cost you dearly in the long term.
Those who have cancelled or decided against cover might think
they are just taking a chance with their money, but if they are
also not getting their boiler checked they are taking a chance
with their health.
cover can start from as little as GBP5.99 per month and some policies
also provide a free annual gas safety check as part of the service.
As well as offering peace of mind it also means busy householders
will be prompted to book in a service every year."
Marples concludes: "Key to getting good value from any service
is to do your homework first and boiler cover is no exception.
Before signing up read the terms and conditions and make sure
you understand the policy properly. You do not want to fall foul
of small print in the event of a claim."
For more information please contact:
Jo Ganly 0207 802 2980 / firstname.lastname@example.org
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison
and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas,
electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband,
digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and
car insurance. http://www.uswitch.com