Household Emergency Cover

Gerry McNally

Written by

Gerry McNally

Home Insurance Expert

Libby Goodsearles

Reviewed by

Libby Goodsearles

Head of Marketing

Less than 1 minute

Updated: 11 Jul 2024

What is home emergency cover?

Home emergency insurance provides 24/7 emergency assistance, in the event of unexpected incidents that require immediate help – such as power outages, burst pipes or leaks and damage to windows or doors that pose a security risk. It is designed to cover the cost of emergency callouts to specialist tradespeople such as electricians, plumbers and locksmiths, and the repairs they undertake. 

If you are a landlord please review this separate landlord home emergency page. Otherwise, please read on.  

Do I need home emergency cover?

Home Emergency is designed to provide a rapid response in the event of incidents such as electricity failure, faulty locks or vermin infestation. You can typically get an engineer at your home within four hours. Or, in the event of an uncontrollable leak in your home, an emergency plumber to your home, typically within two hours. 

The way to think about it is that Home Emergency insurance is designed to prevent or limit damage to your property (following an insured incident), whereas Buildings insurance is designed to reinstate your property (or cover the cost of reinstatement), after the event, to the condition it was in, prior to an insured incident occurring. 

At Homeprotect we see Home Emergency as a valuable, complementary product to our own Buildings Insurance. 

Home emergency cover levels

All Homeprotect policies come with our Basic Home Emergency as standard, provided at no cost to our customers. We also have an upgrade option, Full Home Emergency, which extends the type of home emergencies you can claim for.  

Basic Home Emergency covers the following insured incidents: 

  1. Plumbing and drainage incidents, where there is damage to, or blockage, breakage, or leaking of the drains or plumbing system that you are responsible for.
  2. Toilet failure incidents, where there has been impact damage to or mechanical failure of a toilet that results in complete loss of function (note: only considered an emergency if there is no other functioning toilet). 
  3. Toilet failure incidents, where there has been impact damage to or mechanical failure of a toilet that results in complete loss of function (note: only considered an emergency if there is no other functioning toilet). 
  4. Home security incidents, where there has been failure of or damage to external doors, windows or locks which has compromised the security of your property.
  5. Vermin infestation incidents, which prevents the use of the loft or one or more rooms in your property (note: cover provided for wasps’ and/or hornets’ nests, rats, mice, or grey squirrels).

If you choose to upgrade your cover to our Full Home Emergency, you will also have cover for the following additional insured incidents: 

  1. Heating incidents, where the main heating system in your property (e.g. gas boiler) fails to function (note: no cover is provided for solar heating, heat pumps or other warm air systems).
  2. Roof incidents, resulting in damage to the roof of your property where internal damage has been caused or is likely. 

One other benefit of upgrading to our Full Home Emergency is you can claim for  up to £300 (including VAT) for hotel accommodation, if your property is unhabitable overnight, following an insured incident. 

Compare cover levels using the table below.

Check our Policy Booklets for full details on each product.

Cover LevelsBasic coverFull cover
Policy typeIncluded as standardOptional upgrade
Total callout limit per year UnlimitedUnlimited
Cost per year£119.99
Emergency assistance claim limit£500£500
Hotel accommodation 
Hotel accommodation claim limit £300
Heating incidents (e.g. boiler failure) 
Roof damage (e.g. following a storm) 
Plumbing and drainage (e.g. blocked drains, burst pipes) 
Power failure (e.g. gas or electricity failure) 
Toilet failure (e.g. no usable toilet in your home) 
Home security (e.g. smashed windows, broken locks) 
Vermin infestation (e.g. rats or mice) 

There are exclusions and limitations to Home Emergency cover (both Basic and Full versions), including: 

  • A limit, per claim, of £500 (including VAT) for the call-out charge, labour costs, parts and materials 
  • No cover for issues which are considered normal day-to-day maintenance that you should carry out or pay for (e.g. servicing your boiler) 
  • No cover if a repair is uneconomical  
  • If there are risks to the health and safety of the contractor then a repair will not be attempted 
  • No reimbursement of costs you have incurred in relation to the incident that the insurer has not agreed 
  • No cover for any claim where the contractor attends your property at an agreed time, but there are no adults in attendance 
  • No cover for any claim where your property has been left unoccupied for more than 30 days (unless your property is noted as being unoccupied in your policy document) 
  • Anything else specifically excluded from the policy 
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How can I buy home emergency cover?

Basic home emergency cover is included in all Homeprotect regular home insurance policies. But to get the benefits afforded by full cover – such as your boiler breaking down – you need to upgrade to Full Home Emergency cover. The easiest way to do this is to simply select full cover whilst purchasing your quote online,  or ask to upgrade to it If you are buying over the phone. You can also call us after you’ve purchased your main policy to upgrade your Home Emergency cover. 

Existing Customer?

Your latest policy documents are available to view and download.

Your Questions Answered

Our home emergency insurance is provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited. You can find out more about DAS at 

Our Basic Home Emergency product does not cover the cost of repairing the main hot-water or central-heating system in your property.

Our Full Home Emergency product does cover the cost of repairing the main hot-water or central-heating system in your property (upto the £500 claim limit). This cover includes the pipes that connect components of the system.

The product doesn’t provide cover if your heating system is beyond economic repair or cannot be repaired. It won’t cover a replacement system.

Additionally, it won’t cover cold-water supply or drainage pipes, non-domestic heating or non-domestic hot water systems, or any form of solar heating or warm air system (e.g. heat pumps).

The emergency must be one of the insured events. For Basic Home Emergency that is:

  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Power failure
  • Toilet failure
  • Home security
  • Vermin infestation

For Full Emergency it is each of the insured events covered by Basic, together with:

  • Heating incidents
  • Roofing incidents

The insured event needs to be sudden, unexpected and require immediate corrective action to:

  • Prevent damage or further damage to your property; or
  • make your property secure; or
  • relieve unreasonable discomfort, risk to health or difficulty to the occupants

In the event of a Home Emergency – please call our 24/7 claims line – contact us here

No, you don’t have to pay the tradesperson. DAS will arrange and pay for a contractor to take action to resolve the emergency. The action taken will depend on what would be fair and reasonable in the circumstances and will be either to:

  • Carry out a temporary repair (or a permanent repair if this is no more expensive); or
  • Take other action, such as isolating a leaking component

Home Emergency cover is intended to deal with incidents that are sudden and unexpected. Incidents that result from wear and tear which you should have reasonably known about and resolved as part of home maintenance is not covered, either by Home Emergency or Buildings Insurance.

There is no limit to the number of claims you make per year on either our Basic or Full products. But for a claim to be accepted the incident does need to meet the criteria set out in the policy terms.

For Full Home Emergency cover, if your home remains uninhabitable overnight following an insured incident, DAS will pay up to £300 for hotel accommodation. The decision on whether your home is uninhabitable will take into account whether it would be fair and reasonable to remain in your home.

No. Please do not arrange for a contractor yourself, as this will not be covered. Once DAS have accepted your claim they will arrange for one of their approved contractors to help you as quickly as possible. DAS will tell you what to do next. 

  1. Turn off the stop-cock by rotating it clockwise until it is completely closed.
  2. Switch off your heating systems as soon as possible.
  3. Drain excess water from the system. You do this by turning on all the taps and flushing toilets multiple times, until the water stops coming through.
  4. If anything electrical has been affected by the flood, turn off the mains electricity immediately before approaching the wet area. If the flooding is near the mains switch then seek professional assistance and do not approach it.
  5. Check for bulges in the ceilings of rooms beneath the burst pipe, indicating trapped water. Place a bucket underneath the bulge and puncture it to control the drain.
  6. If the pipes require defrosting you should either thaw the pipes gently with a hair-dryer, or seek professional advice if required. Do not attempt to thaw pipes with the central heating as this can make things worse.
  7. Once the initial crisis is under control, you should contact us if you need to start a claim.

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