Rip-Off Repairs: Pensioners Pay Extra in Emergencies

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At a time when many homeowners face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs

A survey carried out by home emergency repair and insurance provider Homeserve, has revealed the full extent to which unscrupulous tradespeople will con pensioners into paying way over the odds for emergency repairs.

On average, it was found that older homeowners (55 and over) pay £382.33 more for a simple boiler repair than people aged under 55. Even more shocking were the prices quoted for emergency callouts to fix a boiler - £1015 compared to £632.68 for under 55's.

The survey suggests older customers routinely pay higher bills not only for boiler repairs but also central heating problems, gas leaks, door or window lock replacements and even roof repairs.

According to Homeserve, older people face a bill of £681.67 to fix their gas or central heating in an emergency. Under 55s are quoted an average £481.75 for an identical service - almost £200 cheaper.

The poll of 2000 homeowners also revealed approximately 80% of pensioners who experienced a home emergency last year did not have Insurance Cover in place for the unexpected expense.

"At a time when many homeowners face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs," commented Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive of Homeserve Membership. "We would therefore urge homeowners to ensure they have adequate cover in the event of an emergency, whether it's a separate emergency policy or part of their home insurance."

Older people are easy targets for rogue tradesmen with the number of pensioners living alone at an all-time high. Many pensioners are forced to live on a tight income with little to spend on home repairs.

While some argue older homeowners own larger houses and therefore have more to repair, Homeserve statistics show charges for basic jobs like fixing a boiler or attending to a gas leak vary wildly, particularly when you split the older people group from the rest.

It could be a good idea, based on these facts, for over-55's to take out insurance that protects them against most major emergencies that happen in the home. Homeserve's Complete Cover includes protection against problems with heating, plumbing, drainage, water and gas supply pipe, electrics, locks, pest contamination, roofing, glazing, and more. This means that customers are guaranteed a qualified tradesman when a repair is needed - for a set annual fee.

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Emma Harvey and Wai Lang Chu
Homeserve
0800 783 0951
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