If someone drives into the back of your car while you are stationary, you wouldn’t expect to be penalised by your insurer would you? At least, I didn’t – but that’s exactly what happened to me.

The incident happened last summer when a van driver turned into the entrance to the car park I was parked just outside of (in a marked bay), damaging the rear bumper and paintwork of my VW Golf. The van driver admitted fault and we swapped insurance details.

I contacted my insurer, Elephant.co.uk, which is part of the Admiral group, and it swiftly sorted out repairs to my car and, some time later, claimed successfully from the van driver’s insurer. I asked before I made the claim whether it would affect my premium – although I assumed it wouldn’t as I wasn’t at fault – and was assured it wouldn’t.

Yesterday I was given a renewal quote and it has risen from approximately £450 a year to just over £750. Car insurance premiums have been rising steadily, but I hadn’t expected an increase of quite that much. In fact, I had assumed that my six years no-claims bonus would ensure I was paying roughly the same, which had been the case for the past five years.

So I asked Elephant: why the hefty rise? The lady I spoke to in the renewals department told me it was because of the incident last summer. Although it had been resolved and registered as a no-fault claim, the Admiral group charge higher premiums whether drivers are at fault or not. Apparently, now I have made a claim Admiral considers that statistically I am more likely to make another claim in the future.

And the increased insurance premium is not confined to the damaged vehicle: one of my colleagues, whose car was damaged by vandals last autumn while parked in London (the wing mirror on the pavement side was smashed off), found that although her car insurance premium was unaffected, when she came to insure a horsebox that will never be parked in London the insurer insisted on taking this previous – and in 30 years of driving, only – claim into account.

I suggested to Admiral that maybe I shouldn’t have claimed at all and paid for the damage myself, but was I informed that I am legally obliged to report any incident to my insurer, whether I pursue the claim or not. So damned if I do or damned if I don’t.

Apparently, the member of staff in the insurance claims department who told me my premium would be unaffected must have meant my existing premium, not my renewal premium. Admiral has since told me not all of the rise was due to the claim: some of it is a reflection of the fact I haggled my insurance premium down by £100 last year. I tried the same this time and was told they could only reduce it by about £30.

I have since learned that this practice of increasing premiums for not-at-fault drivers is not confined to Admiral – a number of insurers do it. But a number don’t, and I have already been given a renewal quote from Direct Line for slightly less than £350. GoCompare offered me quotes on the basis of no-claims and then on a no-fault claim. It found that Sheila’s Wheels, for example, will cover me for £315.91, which includes an uplift for my no-fault claim of £26.61 – considerably less than Elephant wants to charge me. Nine out of 10 of the insurers it quoted would apply an uplift to my premium of between £6 and £27; one would not.

I have always shopped around on price, but if this has taught me one thing it is to look for providers that don’t penalise customers for having their cars damaged through no fault of their own.

What do you think? Have you ever been the victim of a no-fault claim price rise, and if so do you think the practice is fair? Have you ever had your premium raised for another reason you consider unfair?