With the winter now in full swing (apparently, we’re in line for 120 days of snow over the next few months which is certainly something to look forward to), it’s time to turn your thoughts to what you would do if you had a serious problem at home, such as boiler breakdown.

It’s vital that you can keep your homes throughout the colder months and to that end, having something like home emergency cover in place could be an excellent idea. This will help to pay out in an emergency if, for example, your boiler does breakdown and you need someone to come out immediately to fix it. You can also use this kind of cover for issues like loss of power supply, lost keys, home security, roof damage and problems with your drains, pipes or toilets.

What you do need to be careful of when choosing your policy is that some insurers will put seasonal restrictions in place, so you may not be covered between May and August for example. Claims can also be limited to just £500 and while this may be sufficient to cover repairs of your boiler, it certainly won’t be enough if you need to replace the appliance completely.

Some providers will also put a limit on the number of claims that can be made in one year and you should note that if you do need to claim above this limit it could have a knock-on effect on your home insurance and your no claims discount if you have one.

In addition, while home emergency cover does sound as though you’ll have someone sent round if a problem does rear its head, you’ve actually got no guarantee that you’ll get an immediate response in the event of an emergency. Bad weather, for example, could cause a delay so having a backup plan would certainly be advisable as well.

What is interesting to note is that recent research from Gocompare.com has found that 77 per cent of home insurance policies actually already offer home emergency cover, with one-fifth of these automatically including it… so check your policies before you take out additional cover as you could find you’re paying for something twice.

The price comparison site’s Ben Wilson said: “Insurance only provides a financial safety-net for unforeseen events and policies typically exclude cover for problems which are a result of systems not being properly maintained. So we strongly recommend that people have their central heating systems checked on an annual basis. This will help ensure that it is running safely and efficiently.”

To that end, give  boiler repairs company Home Services Assistance a quick phone call if you’ve just realised you’ve not had your boiler serviced this year. With winter now upon us, you really do need to make sure that your appliances are in good working order or you could find yourself out in the cold sooner rather than later.