This is a review of HomeServe, whom I have had plumbing and draining insurance cover with for the past year. We found the company in our local telephone directory during an emergency moment (which I will explain below) and in fixing a problem had to take out a year's insurance.
I don't like paying for insurance that I think is beyond our need and think you can have cover for so many eventualities, it can get expensive. However, one evening when we were just settling down to have our tea, we noticed a drip on the ceiling downstairs, we investigated and found a nail through a pipe on the upstairs landing from when my DH had been fixing squeaky floorboards a few weeks earlier. He made the huge mistake of pulling out the nail and the drip turned into a spurt of water which was in a bedroom doorway and awkward to reach. No amount of putty or rags or towels could stop the water flow so we had a bit of a panic on our hands plus a six month old crying baby!
Woman takes action
After a while of taking turns holding the baby or sitting with our finger in the hole, I found myself holding the baby AND sitting with my finger in the hole. A few phone calls later and we discovered our normal house insurance did not cover the eventuality so I handed the hole over to my husband and went to phone a plumber (taking the baby with me!).
I picked the first full page advert I could see and rang the number to find it went to a call centre who were acting on behalf of HomeServe. I was expecting a callout fee on a Sunday night to be expensive so when they said that the fee we would pay would cover us for a whole year, I was just keen to get that immediate problem fixed.
We paid around £130 for the plumber to come out that night and he arrived around an hour later to fix our leak. This fee covered plumbing and draining cover for a year and then a week or so later the company called to try and get us to upgrade to some further water pipe coverage but I declined. We had no need to call out the company again during the year which finishes next month.
Our renewal arrived in the post priced at £99.96. Obviously it is cheaper for the year if you don't call on the same day you need them to attend! I decided not to renew purely because we were trying to cut our household costs and it's that 'extra' insurance policy. I wouldn't hesitate to use the company again and accept that we have to pay more in the emergency situation. We were offered further discount, quite a generous amount, when we called to cancel (as they automatically renew it if you don't cancel) which in more affluent times I would have gone with but not right now.
I was pleased with the efficiency of the call centre and the man that came to our house was polite and fixed the problem. By the time he left, it was midnight and we decided not to use the industrial dryers that were noisy due to having the baby. We managed to mop up most of the water using old towels and aimed a fan through the floorboards for a paranoid period afterwards. Luckily the ceiling did not collapse downstairs although the drip would have caused that eventually had we not spotted it.
I would recommend the HomeServe company as insurance providers and they have a good website with the contact details on. It can be difficult to find a plumber at short notice so they have a pool of them that will respond in an emergency. Although I didn't renew my policy, I would be happy to use this company again in the future should we need to. I thought the price for fixing our leak was very reasonable and felt reassured by their response times.