His insurance would not cover him because the motors were outside the premises. Hitendra Patel, who runs a store in Harold Hill, Essex, and who was previously an insurance broker and a chartered accountant, managed to claim for a remote unit.
"The compressor has to be caged," he said, "and I was covered under malicious damage. The gas pipe had been smashed and the compressor could have blown up overnight. The pipe had been cut with a hacksaw at the back of the premises outside a basement."
The police gave him a reference number and he was able to claim. He replaced it with an integral unit.
And Ian Hughes, affinity development manager for Bluefin Group, believes that his firm's Shopweb insurance policy might be the only one in the country that will cover contents fixed to the outside of the building. (Not the unfixed ones like flower racks and newspaper stands.)
"This cover grew out of several thefts of external CCTV cameras," says Ian. "Although goods in the open are not normally covered, I have checked with our underwriters and Arul would have been covered under this policy."