Cooking up a Culinary Catastrophe

More people than ever seem to be opting for a 'quiet night in' rather than find their entertainment at local restaurants. But according to a new survey from AA Insurance, staying at home seems to be costing Brits up to £1.5 billion a year, because of accidents.

DIY Delia

Nearly half (46.2%) of all those questioned in the survey say they are choosing to stay at home and order takeaways or re-discovering the art of home cooking thanks to celebrity chef TV programmes, rather than eating out.

This trend has also been spotted by the nation's supermarkets, which are offering deals on restaurant-quality, take-home ready meals and wines at a fraction of restaurant prices.

However, with nine out of ten homeowners admitting they have suffered culinary mishaps costing on average £100 a year, staying in can cost more than they bargained for!

With stains and breakages an inevitable hazard of eating at home, homeowners are having to put their hands in their pockets more often in attempt to rectify their culinary disasters. The AA Insurance research discovered the top accidents are:

  • china/glass breakages (51.8%)
  • food stains (43%)
  • red wine spills (33.6%)
  • cooking accidents eg small fires (25%)

Take away stains

Food stains can be very difficult to get out. In fact, in a test carried out by AA Insurance staff on a piece of Wilton carpet showed that an accident with an Indian takeaway was the worst: our chicken jalfrezi left a permanent orange stain on the stone-coloured carpet!

As the recession stretches family budgets AA Insurance believes people will increasingly be finding their entertainment at home. With 88% of people surveyed saying they have less disposable income and are becoming more cautious about spending money, dining out is one of the first things to go.

Says Chay Collins, head of AA Home Insurance: "With a greater inclination to stay at home, domestic accidents become increasingly likely. But rather than using the accidental damage clause in their home contents insurance policies, homeowners are spending far more money either attempting to fix the problem themselves (37.7%), or buying a replacement item (19.6%).

"This survey clearly shows that Brits are becoming more cautious about spending money – yet by trying to save they end up forking out more for putting home mishaps right. Only 5% of those surveyed attempted to claim for accidental damage following a disaster and fewer than half of home owners have an extension to their contents policy that enable them to claim for accidental damage."

Collins adds: "Now might be a good time to check that you have an accidental damage extension on your home policy as the risk of having to make a claim is clearly increasing – and it could save you a lot of money in the longer term."

So it pays to shop around to find the best home insurance cover. Why not get a quote from the AA.

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