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Not Getting Heating System Cover 'Can Cost Consumers Dear'

Oct 12, 2007
By failing to take out emergency heating cover millions of Britons could be set for monetary hardship this winter, it has been suggested.

The news comes as research carried out by uSwitch reveals that only just over a quarter (28 per cent) of consumers have such protection in place should their boiler or heating system break down. Meanwhile, 43 per cent of respondents do not get their boiler serviced every year, while one in five never have such checks carried out. And with some 64 million pounds to be wasted on repairs this winter, the price comparison website suggested that more adults could see themselves developing difficulties with other areas of their finances such as loans and credit cards.

Overall, it was stated that about one out of three boilers break down within six years of being installed. The price comparison website also suggested that those requiring a main heat exchanger could encounter the most financial strain as the part costs an average repair price of 468 pounds 55p. Meanwhile, a new cylinder could set consumers back by 405 pounds 69p, with replacement fans and radiators both valued at more than 200 pounds each.

In addition, consumers may also find themselves under financial pressure in paying back loans and other demands on their finances due to the cost of paying for repairmen. In London, the hourly rate for a plumber stands at some 76 pounds 47p, over three times as much as that charged in the north-west of England (22 pounds 70p). Comparatively, plumbers in Yorkshire charge some 17 pounds 70p per hour.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy for uSwitch, said: "Household budgets are stretched so tight that it's very tempting to try to make a quick saving by not bothering to cover things like your boiler. Unfortunately this small saving can end up costing you dear - if your boiler packs up this winter you are likely to be facing a 500 pounds bill, plus the misery of trying to get somebody out quickly to sort it out for you - not much fun in the middle of winter."

She also stated that many Britons are "put off" as they mistakenly believe that they have to take out boiler cover via their energy supplier. However, she stated that consumers can arrange this separately, allowing them the opportunity to make sure they get the most competitively-priced deal possible.

"But, at the very least, consumers should consider the old saying that prevention is better than cure - even if you cannot afford cover it is still important to have your boiler inspected once a year to try and avoid problems before they occur. Failure to do this could damage your health and your wealth," Ms Robinson added.

As a result, taking the time to get sufficient heating cover now could be advisable for those consumers looking to avoid encountering monetary difficulties should they have to pay for heating repairs during the colder months, with a home improvement loan one possible option of funding such moves. Earlier this year, research carried out by moneysupermarket indicated that two-fifths of those looking to improve their home have either taken out a personal loan or some other form of borrowing to finance renovation projects. Head of mortgages Louise Cuming suggested that many people take out credit with the view of increasing the value of their property and advised they should take the time to search for the most competitive loan possible.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 stop finance shop where visitors can apply for UK secured loans and also focuses on personal loansand bad credit loans for UK residents.
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