Does Home Insurance Cover My Underfloor Heating System?
Caeva O'Callaghan | October 13th, 2020
Underfloor heating will help keep your toes toasty warm during the long, cold winter months. But are you covered by your home insurance if anything happens to it?
Yes. Your underfloor heating system will be covered on your home insurance under your buildings cover. As with any other part of your home insurance, you will need to maintain it properly. This is so your insurance doesn’t become invalid in the event you need to make a claim.
And as with any other part of your buildings cover, your underfloor heating has cover against accidental damage. This will also include damage from leaks or escaping water.
In this article, we’ll cover questions such as:
- If I install underfloor heating, will this affect my home insurance?
- Does underfloor heating come under buildings or contents insurance?
- What risks are there with underfloor heating?
Insurance does not protect against negligence. As long as you take responsibility for your property and maintain it, your cover will be valid.
Install your underfloor heating properly
If you’re sick and tired of chilly floors during the cold Irish winter, underfloor heating may be the heating solution for you. Bringing an ambient warmth to even the coldest of homes, underfloor heating is fast becoming the system of choice for new builds.
Instead of radiators on the walls, underfloor heating creates a soft, rising warmth from underneath the structure of your floor. It has become incredibly popular in recent years, which might lead you to believe that it is a new concept. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Underfloor heating is a Roman invention, when fires were lit underneath floors to heat up mosaic tiles. Nowadays, we have energy efficient coils, which are far less dangerous and easier to control. It’s common in many new-build homes. It’s also relatively easy to retrofit to a property you already own.
But the first step towards enjoying your underfloor heating for years to come is making sure the installation is to a high standard. This may involve consulting the previous owners of the house if you can. Or, consulting any surveys that may have been done on the property, just for peace of mind. Or, it means contacting reputable tradesmen and not paying bottom dollar for a shoddy job.
Underfloor heating risks
As with any central heating system, underfloor heating comes with the risk of burst pipes or leaks. But you will not have cover for natural wear and tear, rust or anything that happens gradually. This is because you need to check and maintain your heating system as part of your responsibility as a homeowner.
An underfloor leak can be hard to identify and could even take months for you to notice in some cases. You may notice underfloor leaks by a constant filling of the water tank usually located in the attic or by a drop in the pressure within the heating system. Other indicators such as unexplained puddles of water appearing on the floor or strange new damp patches. Even with these indicators of a leak it can still be difficult to locate the problem, especially if it is located underneath a concrete floor slab for example.
The floor itself may never show any signs of damage. This is why you need to pay particular attention to any other indicators of leaks, such as inexplicably high water bills. Your floor may be concealing a leaking pipe. If you have any suspicions, plumbers and leak detection companies can help you find out what’s wrong by using specialist equipment to determine the location of the leak.
As with any insurance claim which relates to a leak, the source of the leak must be found in order for a claim to be paid out. Underfloor leaks are no exception, even though they can prove more difficult to locate.
How to insure underfloor heating
You must declare underfloor heating exists in your home when you take out your home insurance policy. Your provider will ask you how your home is heated, and if you lie or make a mistake while taking out your policy you may not be able to claim in the event something goes wrong.
Underfloor heating should not affect your home insurance premium too much. But, do keep in mind the necessary costs to repair or replace it should something go wrong. If you have replaced your old, worn-out central heating pipes with a brand new, top-of-the-range underfloor heating system, your premium would likely increase.
Call us today to discuss how your home’s heating system may affect your home insurance, as well as how much you pay for your policy.