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The deadline for claiming compensation on mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policies has been set: 29th August 2019. So if YOU’RE entitled to redress, you now only have two years to act – if you haven’t already done so.
So how can you check if you’re eligible? How do you go about making a claim? And do you really need to use a claims management firm? We explain all in this simple guide.
How does the deadline work?
If you have a case for claiming PPI compensation, you must make sure your lender receives your complaint by 29th August 2019. Any complaint received thereafter will not be considered. If a complaint made before the deadline is rejected, you can still appeal afterwards. It is advisable to make your complaint as soon as possible because it can take some time for lenders to process claims and this could be made harder by an inevitable spike in claims before the deadline.
Am I entitled to compensation?
The High Court ruled in 2011 that anyone who has been mis-sold a PPI policy can claim a refund of all premiums plus additional interest and statutory compensation of 8%. Banks, building societies and other credit companies routinely sold PPI policies to customers wishing to borrow money through a range of products, including;
- credit cards
- store cards
- personal loans
- car finance
If you bought any of these products in the 1990s or 2000s (up to 2011), it is worth checking to see if you have a case.
PPI was designed to cover payments on credit products if borrowers could no longer meet them due to illness or unemployment. Here are some reasons why you may have been mis-sold a policy;
- you were told it was compulsory
- conditions were not fully explained to you
- you already had income insurance elsewhere (i.e. through your employer)
- the insurance term was shorter than your loan
- you were self-employed, unemployed or retired and the policy came with unemployment cover or the full conditions weren’t explained to you
- you had a medical history that would have prevented you from making a claim.
The critical factor for firms deciding whether to award compensation is what you were told at the point you were sold the product. If you can argue that you were given insufficient or misleading information about how the policy worked, you may have a case, although it does help to provide a specific reason from the above as to why you believe you were mis-sold PPI.
The Plevin route
Even if you don’t fit the criteria above, or have had previous complaints rejected, your complaint may still be valid if your lender took more than 50% of your PPI cost as commission without you being told and if your policy has been active since 2008. It follows a court case in 2014, which saw bank customer Susan Plevin successfully argue that she was entitled to compensation on this basis. Lenders will now have to consider this when deciding when to award compensation and contact potential claimants to let them know of this route. You can now use this argument when making a PPI claim.
How can I prove my case?
You can check whether you took out PPI by following a number of steps;
- go back through old product documents and look for any mentions of insurance products.
- check old bank statements for payments called “payment cover”, “protection plan”, “loan protection” and similar names
- check your credit report. It should list live payments even on closed accounts. You can obtain a statutory copy for £2 or use a free credit checking service
- if you know the lender who sold you PPI but don’t have the documentation, you can contact them to request details (there may be a very small cost involved). You can also contact lenders and ask if you took out PPI with them. Often, you only need basic product details to obtain the information. It can be harder to do this with older policies as banks don’t always keep complete records of historic products, but persist in asking.
It should become apparent as to whether the PPI was mis-sold, particularly when twinned with reliable recollections about what was (or wasn’t) said when you were sold the product.
How can I claim?
Once you have the information you need, write to the PPI complaints arm of your lender (its address should be clearly advertised) with your PPI policy number, the date you bought it and the reason(s) you think it was mis-sold. Attach copies of any relevant statements or documents. Be polite, succinct and to the point. Your lender is required to deal with the complaint within 8 weeks. If you do not hear from them, or you are unhappy with the outcome, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Services within 6 months. Its ruling on your case is final.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme can pay PPI claims in relation to failed firms. The scheme has an online claims facility that allows you to track your claim, and you’ll recieve 100% of your eligible compensation if your claims is successful because the FSCS does not charge consumers to use its service. Visit the FSCS claims portal and find out more about making a claim here.
If you have a PPI claim against Welcome Financial Services orWilmslow Financial Services PLC, you should contact FSCS Customer Services team directly on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100 (select option 3 for new and existing PPI claims).
Do I need to use a claims management firm?
Some people prefer to let a claims management firm do the work for them. But you will pay a big price for that convenience – usually 25 per cent of your compensation. It is free and relatively easy to make a PPI claim yourself. If you are going to use a CMC, make sure you understand the full costs involved, whether you will have to pay money upfront and whether the company is regulated by the Ministry of Justice or a professional body like the Law Society.
Even if your complaint is rejected the first time, try again. Many claimants have been successful on appeal. Using the same method, explain why you think your case is still valid and state that you will go to the Financial Ombudsman Service if your claim isn't accepted.
The Financial Conduct Authority has everything you need to know about PPI
Find out more about why you might be elidgeable to make a claim, how to make a complaint about PPI plus other help and support. Visit www.fca.org.uk/ppi/