When thieves ripped the catalytic converter out of Will West's car in broad daylight, he thought that was as bad as it could get.
The 40-year-old piano teacher had left his Honda Jazz safely in a multi-storey car park in Chichester, West Sussex while he went to give a music lesson. He was horrified on his return to find his car rendered unroadworthy.
But when Will contacted his insurer to make a claim, the situation became even worse. Like thousands of victims of this crime, he was told the theft was deemed a 'fault claim'. This means he would have to pay an excess amounting to hundreds of pounds to have the car fixed.
He would also lose his no-claims bonus, probably bumping up his next year's premiums by at least a quarter – a penalty that alone would add nearly £140 to the £554 cost of the average car premium.