British Gas is planning to provide all its 14 million gas and electricity customers with free insurance to cover unpaid bills in the event of accidental death.
It claims to be the first utility company to offer the service, which launches on November 1, free to customers. St Andrew’s Insurance Company, one of the insurers on the Automobile Association (AA) insurance services panel, will provide the insurance. The AA is owned by Centrica, the holding company of British Gas.
Gas-only and electricity-only British Gas customers will have cover of £360 under the scheme, while buyers of both gas and electricity will be provided with £600-worth of cover.
In the event of death, any outstanding bills will be written off up to the value of the cover. If the cover exceeds the amount outstanding under the bill or bills, the balance will be sent to the deceased relatives for payment of other bills.
Full details of the new scheme will be sent to British Gas customers with their electricity and gas bills. It will be administered through a dedicated helpline and be available to all its customers automatically without the need for form-filling.
Mike Alexander, managing director of British Gas, says: “We hope this measure will remove at least once source of worry for families during already trying times.”