by Susan Paige
When it comes to PPI, most will have heard of the term but may not necessarily understand quite what it is or how they can go about claiming back what they’re owed. Whether you’re owed a few hundred, or a few thousand, PPI companies and financial advice services alike are ready to provide assistance with your potential claim, but where do you start? That’s what we’re exploring, below.
Have You Had PPI?
First things first, you need to work out whether you’ve actually had PPI. Given that one of the potential criteria for being mis-sold this policy is not being aware that you had it, it’s no surprise that more and more people are discovering that their loans or credit repayments included an additional, non-agreed fee for a payment protection insurance policy. For this reason, it’s best to check all loans or credit arrangements that you may have had in the past.
Most bank statements will have a clear indication as to whether you’ve been paying PPI, though in some cases you may have paid for your policy in one lump sum at the very beginning. In these cases, you can either check back far enough to determine whether this was the case or contact your lender directly for more information in regards to PPI and whether it was added to your policy.
What Counts As Mis-Sold PPI?
While not every PPI policy will have been mis-sold, there are a number of criteria that could entitle you to some form of compensation:
- If you weren’t informed that PPI was optional, or were led to believe that it was a compulsory purchase for your loan or credit arrangement, you were mis-sold PPI.
- If you were unaware of the addition of a PPI policy to your loan or credit, or were given insufficient information or weren’t specifically asked whether you wanted PPI cover, you may have been mis-sold PPI.
- If you weren’t given full information regarding the criteria for being able to make a claim, or were sold PPI despite being unable to meet these criteria (i.e. you were unemployed, retired, self-employed, had a pre-existing health condition, were above the upper age limit, or had another cover for keeping up with repayments) you may be eligible for compensation.
- If you believe your bank was taking over 50% of your PPI payments as commission, you may be entitled to claim under the Pevin rule.
Where Do I Start?
If you’re looking to claim for PPI, the first thing you can ideally do is contact your lender directly. In most cases, they will write to you first informing you of the possibility of a PPI claim, however, you can contact them first or in some cases, there are even online forms that make the claim process so much easier, all available on the company’s website.
If you’ve tried this in the past, you may be able to try a Financial Ombudsman Service (within 6 months of your claim) or re-submit the claim (after six months). Claims management companies may also be able to offer assistance.
Do I Need Any Paperwork?
While it’s not a necessity to have any paperwork, especially when submitting your claim directly through your lender, it can be useful to have this on hand regardless. If you don’t have access to your agreement terms any more, your lender is likely to have a copy that you can request under the Consumer Credit Act.
What If I Can’t Contact My Lender?
If your lender has gone bankrupt or is no longer available, your next step is to claim through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This particular service will ensure consumers are covered for liabilities of these insurers/lenders, so you may still be able to access what you’re owed. In some cases, this will be put through a parent company, or a new owner of a certain scheme or previously existing company.
The mis-selling of PPI was, unfortunately, a common issue that financial services are looking to fix and provide compensation for. It could be a matter of seeking out your own PPI compensation through a claim, but hopefully, this guide has given you a good place to start.