Covered! The Boiler and Dinner Out

Enjoying the comfort and warmth of my home abruptly ended as the heat stopped working. I double-checked the thermostat. It appeared to be working but the heat was only coming up intermittently. I called the plumbing company that recently installed a new thermostat. I suspected that this was the problem. It was not.

To my horror, the boiler/furnace had broken beyond repair, and we had to replace it. The plumbing company sent out a second plumber the following day to check again. The second plumber confirmed that a new unit was necessary. Working properly a week earlier, suddenly and unexpectedly we needed a new one.

Get A Second Opinion

Unfamiliar with boilers or furnaces, I called a second company. And, I made the right move. The second company confirmed the first company’s diagnosis that the unit required replacement. The reason for the boiler’s failure was an apparent electrical surge because of a power failure a few days earlier due to the snowstorm.

The first company had given me an estimate for a standard unit of about $12,625.00 and a green high efficiency unit of $12,861.00. The second company offered the same standard unit for $6,350.00 and a high efficiency unit for $7,550.00.

What a difference! The local gas company was offering rebates of up to $600.00 for the high efficiency units.

Since the damage to the boiler was storm-related, I reported the claim to my insurer and included the estimates. Our insurance covered this mechanical breakdown. They approved the purchase of the high efficiency unit, which should lower my gas bills.

Additionally, due to the boiler/furnace not working properly, I would not use the gas stove for cooking to limit the use of the damaged equipment. Consequently, my family and I ate some of our meals out. Because  my homeowners’ policy covers additional living expense, the insurance company paid for the outside meals.

What Does Your Homeowner Policy Cover?

Double-check your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy to be sure you have adequate coverage for all your belongings and property. Your insurance should cover replacement cost for both the building and the contents. Double-check the limit of liability for injuries to visitors, guests or damage to other people’s property to be sure it is adequate.

Insurance policy coverages are complex with products that are not always easy to understand and not automatically stacked in the insured’s favor. It helps to start with a trusted agent/broker. But, it is up to you to understand as much as you can. It is to that end I offer information. I want to shed light on these issues to help you become an informed insurance buyer and have the coverage you need for you, your family and your property.


Do not consider this article insurance advice. You should consult a licensed and reputable insurance broker who is familiar with your particular needs before purchasing insurance.