Cold home - British Gas HomeCare

A Guide to British Gas HomeCare

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When it comes to home appliances, there’s a lot to consider. It’s not just about whether the plumbing works okay or if a combi boiler is the right choice for your needs. You want to be sure that everything will survive the winter without making a huge dent in your finances.  

Sometimes that one-off expense is manageable, but then you have to wonder if investing in a service like British Gas HomeCare is a better option. There are pros and cons to the different schemes on offer, but at the end of the day you have to decide how much you want and actually need this kind of security. 

Keep reading for a full description of what British Gas is willing to give you for a set monthly fee. At the same time, take note of other factors that can help you make that all-important decision: is British Gas HomeCare worth it? 

Contents 

What is British Gas HomeCare? 

This is the energy company’s insurance cover for all the home services it provides. Whether you’re worried about the central heating, drains or electrics, British Gas is ready and happy to save the day – for a price. Through a range of four packages – One, Two, Three and Four – HomeCare covers almost everything you’d need to keep you house in top working order, including maintenance and repairs.  

The extent of these services depends on the package you buy and whether you rent or own your property. British Gas basically serves as a safety net when something goes wrong with your home’s appliances or even the building itself. The HomeCare insurance cover would suit landlords as much as tenants. So, think about what you need and explore what options are available. 

Pay close attention to what British Gas doesn’t cover. These exceptions include not taking responsibility for pre-existing sludge or damage to the system. But they also won’t handle replacing taps, radiators, water filters and other household parts. We’ll go through the downsides of HomeCare in more detail. So, keep reading for a full understanding of what you’d signing up for as a British Gas customer. 

Is insurance cover necessary? 

Home insurance cover - British Gas HomeCare
Home insurance cover – British Gas HomeCare

When the weather turns cold, you want to know that your boiler isn’t going to suddenly break down. If it does, you’d also feel safer having an expert on speed dial, someone who can immediately tell what the problem is and how to repair it. It’s a matter of security and giving yourself peace of mind while struggling with a dozen other matters in your life. 

HomeCare was created to address this very need. However, it’s not the only insurance out there, which makes researching the topic that much more important. The state of your home and bank account depends on it. So, why even bother with this kind of cover? The answer is: convenience. 

Maybe you’re an engineer yourself. Maybe you know exactly how your home’s systems work and, especially, how to install and maintain them. If that’s not the case, having an expert a phone call away can be a lifesaver.  

Even though a manual is provided with new installations, DIY is probably not the best way to deal with the problems of specialised equipment, like combi boilers. It may be cheaper than hiring a professional, but trying to troubleshoot something you don’t fully understand can easily lead to greater damage – and expense.  

Another plus to consider is that a home insurance cover like HomeCare could turn out cheaper than individually paying for every breakdown that happens around the house. Why waste time searching for tradespeople and worrying about costs? All you could be doing is ringing up the people who actually installed the hardware and sit back as they take care of everything. For the right household, it’s a smart and convenient service. 

Alternative cover options 

It’s wise to look at other avenues available to you when it comes to protecting your home and possessions from mishaps. Self-insurance is something you could do anyway to cover any problem that comes your way. Just gradually fill up a savings account and don’t touch it until disaster strikes. The downside to this is that you’re still paying for everything, just in a more organised way.  

If you’d rather stick with proper home insurance, there are dozens of other providers beyond British Gas. Saga offers buildings cover of up to £1 million and contents cover of £75,000 or £100,000. Check out other reliable companies like LV, Churchill and M&S for relevant security. You may find that their services and perks are far more worthwhile than British Gas.  

Home emergency cover is a lesser class of security that could be included in various home insurance policies anyway. While exploring all these options, it would be helpful if you wrote down exactly what each entails, so you don’t end up investing in cover you already have. Home emergency, for example, is for exactly that: a burst pipe, faulty boiler, damaged roof and so on.  

But then you can get a simple boiler cover, if that’s your main concern. You can also find it combined with central heating services. These policies won’t be able to pay for the maintenance of pipes or electrics, but at least one vital part of your home’s system will be secured and at a much smaller cost.  

Other home emergency and boiler cover providers 

After HomeCare, 24|7 Home Rescue is the next cheapest option. For an annual £149.64 – only available with a £95 excess – you get similar cover for heating, plumbing and electric emergencies to British Gas. But reducing the excess increases the fee. No excess equals to £239.88 per year. Still cheaper than HomeCare One. 

EDF Energy has the next cheapest option for £14.76 per month and an excess of £95, amounting to around £177.12 annually. This brand is especially popular for its deals. Currently, there’s a 15% discount if you sign up before the 28th of February. But, even if you miss it, many other perks will present themselves. 

A final suggestion is PlusHeat. Its services start with a basic plan costing around £178.80 per year. It covers boilers and their controls, central heating, plumbing, electrics and drainage. You can upgrade it with security for gas fires, white goods and cookers, which come at additional cost but greater convenience. 

How much does British Gas Homecare cost? 

Budgeting tips - British Gas HomeCare
Budgeting tips – British Gas HomeCare

You have four schemes of increasing value to choose from. Each comes with its own bunch of advantages that might just tick all the boxes you need from an insurance cover. It helps if you sit down and make a list of your concerns. Keep it close as you take a look at each of the HomeCare ranges.  

With £60 excess 

Packages Price/month Total Annual Cost Total with Direct Debit Discount
HomeCare One £14  £168  £156 
HomeCare Two  £17  £204  £192 
HomeCare Three  £21  £252  £240 
HomeCare Four  £23.50  £282  £270 

With no excess 

Packages  Price/month Total Annual Cost Total with Direct Debit Discount
HomeCare One  £20.50  £246  £234 
HomeCare Two  £24  £288  £276 
HomeCare Three  £33  £396  £384 
HomeCare Four  £38  £456  £444 

You can also choose a £99 excess. Whatever you go for affects the exact quote you’ll receive. Your location, payment method and other factors come into play too. 

Monthly vs annual payments 

Paying annually is definitely more economic, however, as it comes with discounts. 

For example, not including an excess in your HomeCare Two and choosing to pay monthly, can cost you £288 by the end of the year. But an annual payment via Direct Debit includes a £12 discount, so the same package would come to £276.  

The calculations for a package with the £60 excess amount to £204 if you pay per month. But then Direct Debit plus annual payments reduces the cost to £194 total. On top of all this, British Gas gives out gift cards to customers on HomeCare Two to Four, ranging from £10 to £75. 

A major downside to the British Gas insurance cover is that the annual cost skyrockets after the first year. Another incentive to check out the services of a few more providers, if only to get the best deal possible. 

What does British Gas cover? 

Electrics cover - British Gas HomeCare
Electrics cover – British Gas HomeCare

Rid yourself of the stress of unexpected breakdowns. That’s what this service was made for. Each package includes parts and labour in the price, as well as unlimited callouts. Also expect a visit every 12 months to make sure all your systems – boiler, central heating, gas appliances – are working right and don’t need repairs. Of course, the better the package the more services you get to enjoy. 

HomeCare One 

  • Boiler service 
  • Boiler and controls 

HomeCare Two 

  • Boiler service 
  • Boiler and controls 
  • Central heating 

HomeCare Three 

  • Boiler service 
  • Boiler and controls  
  • Central heating 
  • Plumbing 
  • Drains 

HomeCare Four 

  • Boiler service 
  • Boiler and controls  
  • Central heating 
  • Plumbing 
  • Drains 
  • Home electrics 

What’s not covered? 

  • Repair or replacement of taps, showers, central heating systems, smart equipment, flues and electrical radiator parts 
  • Damage from limescale or anything involving pre-existing scale and sludge 
  • Boiler design faults 
  • Water softeners, filters, meters, drains or pressure equipment 
  • Guttering and drainage 
  • Electric wiring, showers, domestic and security equipment 
  • Kitchen and cooking appliances 
  • Unpacking and installing or disconnecting and disposing of old equipment 
  • Any system outside the main house 
  • Second-hand appliances 

Advantages 

If you live in an old property or tend to have the heating on regularly, a HomeCare package may come in handy when things break down. Just ring them up and book an emergency visit. Their expertise on a huge range of common household problems is a key advantage to signing up with British Gas. And so is the peace of mind that comes with it all year round.  

Also, the different packages are designed to satisfy different customers’ household habits without costing them too much. Value for money is the company’s concern as much as yours. With good research and planning before investing you can make sure you get the best deal for your household. 

Disadvantages 

First off, it’s an extra expense you may not want on a regular basis, especially if you only have breakdowns once or twice a year. You could just as easily save up for sudden breakdowns and use that money to hire a service when needed. The occasional boiler repair will likely cost up to a couple hundred pounds, but it would be a one-off investment you won’t need to think about again – at least for a long while.  

Another disadvantage is that British Gas won’t necessarily repair anything when you call them out. Depending on what the problem is and how much time it’s going to take to fix, the process can take longer and cost more than if you hired an independent tradesperson. And keep in mind that the annual check-up is exactly that – an inspection of your home’s systems. If a specific service isn’t already included, it must be booked separately. 

Is HomeCare worth investing in? 

Choosing insurance cover - British Gas HomeCare
Choosing insurance cover – British Gas HomeCare

As far as insurance cover goes, this one has a lot to offer and is definitely worth considering. The cost of the different packages is reasonable, considering the range of services British Gas HomeCare covers. At the end of the day, you probably won’t regret having the company on speed-dial when things go wrong around the house. 

However, what it all boils down to is how likely you are to make good use of the investment. Reviews are mixed in terms of what you’re getting from British Gas. Some existing customers praise HomeCare’s quick and helpful response, as well as the quality of repairs. Others agree that there are issues with customer service, including long waiting times.  

Based on your house’s requirements, judge for yourself the pros and cons of sticking with one-off services vs accepting the security of British Gas. If you do go for the latter, don’t expect your experience to be completely hassle-free.  

Our HomeCare Pick 

With all this information, it’s not easy to come to a simple conclusion that would fit everyone’s circumstances. However, we do suggest that you don’t waste your time and funds on HomeCare One when there are so many other providers offering the same calibre of services at an even smaller price. 

HomeCare Two and Three have more value for money, covering a better range of likely emergencies. The first option could be combined with one-off independent services to come to a cheaper overall cost than HomeCare Three or Four. These last plans would be sound investments for, say, a big family home in need of constant, all-round maintenance.  

Now you know the basics of how British Gas HomeCare works and how to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. Have personal experiences to share? We’d love to hear from you @Quotatis

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Electra Nanou

Electra Nanou is a Content Marketing Intern at Quotatis. She writes a range of digital content related to products and services, while striving to make every online experience as pleasant and helpful as possible.