Understanding the jargon around “home cover” with home care provider Hometree
You might have noticed that one of the latest additions to our Directory is Hometree – a home care provider that offers boiler, heating and home care packages to homeowners and landlords across the UK.
We recognise, though, that some of the different terminology around home cover and protection can be confusing, so we’ve chatted to our friends at Hometree to help unpack what it all means.
What is “home cover”?
If you see the term “home cover”, that’s basically another way of referring to insurance for your property.
More likely than not, you will already have home insurance – sometimes known as “buildings insurance” – that covers the structure and permanent fixtures of your property. So, things like the roof, walls and windows.
You probably also have insurance for your belongings – “contents insurance” – covering the items you store in the home but that are not an integral part of it. So, think of contents insurance as protecting the items that you would take with you when moving to another property.
Depending on your policy, you may be covered if, for example, your home sustains damage due to a leaky boiler or pipe. However, if your boiler breaks down or requires a repair, you will usually need to have a separate home care plan to fix these kinds of problems.
So, what is a “home care plan”?
As mentioned above, a home care plan provides protection for the utilities and services in your home that aren’t already included in your buildings or contents insurance.
So, if you take out a home care plan, you might typically expect it to include protection against:
- Boiler repairs and breakdown
- Failure of central heating
- Loss of hot water
- Plumbing and water supply problems
- Blocked drains within your property boundaries
- Electrical failure.
Depending on your provider and package, you may also be protected against:
- Roof damage and necessary repairs
- Lost keys
- Pest infestations
- Security issues, such as broken windows.
As you would expect, what your plan includes will vary from one company to another – paying a higher premium will usually increase the amount of protection you receive.
There are certain features that nearly all providers will offer, such as having a 24/7 telephone helpline, and dealing with any request for an emergency call-out within just a few hours.
Look out for additional benefits that may help you decide between one provider and another. For example, all Hometree’s packages include evening and weekend call-outs, an annual boiler service, and a discount off the price of a new boiler if they’re ever unable to fix your current one.
And what’s the difference between boiler, heating and home care plans?
Hometree, like many providers, offers different tiers of care plan package depending on what level of protection you require. You can compare the options here.
Basically, you can pick from:
- Boiler Care: Protecting your gas boiler, flue and controls, as well as the annual boiler service
- Heating Care: Everything in the boiler care package, plus your wider central heating system
- Home Care: Everything in the heating care option, but also protecting your plumbing, drains and home electrics.
There are also different call-out fee options – that’s the fee you pay, once per fault, for the engineer to come out and diagnose and fix your problem.
If you want, you can choose a contract with a lower monthly or annual fee, but pay more each time you need a call out. Alternatively, you can pay a little more each month or year and not be charged any call-out fees at all.
There’s no right or wrong option – it’s partly a question of how you prefer to spread the costs – but if, for example, you have an older or more complex heating system, which is likely to require more attention, opting for a tariff with a zero call-out fee may give you better value in the end.
If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is to give Hometree a call – the freephone number is on the website – or request a callback.
That way, the Hometree team can take you through the different options, and, crucially, make sure that all the things you want protecting are protected – and, just as importantly, make sure that you’re not paying twice for services that are already included in your existing insurance packages.
All information cited here is correct at the time of publication. Please visit the Hometree website for all the latest updates.