• Kitchen accidental damage claims rise over 15% during The Great British Bake Off season
  • Fire (not soggy bottoms) is still a big risk in the kitchen – nearly two in five (38%) of fire claims handled by Ageas in 2015 started in the kitchen
  • Overall cooker and oven accidental damage claims have fallen by 58% since 2013
  • Oven hobs, oven doors and kitchen floors are often the casualties in the kitchen


With the final challenge taking place tonight, The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) could be doing more than just improving the nation’s Victoria sponge. During the weeks* it is on our TV screens, accidental damage claims for oven and cooker incidents, have risen by over 15% in 2015, according to analysis** by Ageas, one of the UK’s leading home insurers.

Claims related to fires in the kitchen are also cause for concern. Of all the fire claims handled by Ageas in 2015, a staggering nearly two in five (38%) started in the kitchen with nearly a third (31%) of those starting in a cooking pan. In addition to those related to cooking or baking, Ageas also sees a worrying proportion of fire claims linked to electrical appliances – in fact 20% of fire claims Ageas handled in 2015 were electrical fires.

Although Ageas has identified a trend in claims spikes during GBBO, overall the number of accidental damage claims has been sliced by 58% since 2013. This has occurred as the viewing figures for the show have grown – in 2013 the final attracted 9.45 million viewers compared to 13.86 million for the first episode of series seven in 2016.

While many claims relate to hot dishes being dropped on ceramic hobs, oven doors or kitchen floors, slips and falls onto cookers are not uncommon, as well as forgetful chefs cremating their cuisine and ruining their appliances in the process! Other claims included:

  • A customer in Bristol heard a noise and noticed that a glass hob on his freestanding cooker cracked for no apparent reason;
  • A man in Scotland discovered two mysterious pieces of burning coal on the floor after hearing a bang from the kitchen;
  • An oven glass door exploded unexpectedly in a home in Peterborough;
  • While taking the family dinner out of the oven, a customer in Southend on Sea dropped it on the kitchen floor. Takeaway anyone?

Rob Hopkins, Head of Household Claims at Ageas comments: “We know that Mary Berry and the team inspire people to try new things in the kitchen, but our figures suggest that the Bake Off could be giving rise to more than new baking creations. We’ve seen claims rise during the weeks when the show’s on air – but also welcome that overall, accidental damage claims have fallen. Our biggest concern, however, is the substantial number of fires that start in the kitchen, particularly as nearly a third of UK homes damaged by a fire don’t have a fire detector fitted. This is the simplest way to protect the home and family and we urge homeowners not just to get fire alarms fitted, but to test them at least once a month too.”

*12 Bake Off weeks analysed (allowing for different scheduling times each year) – August/Sept/October.

**Ageas analysed claims data from 2013, 2014 and 2015