The deadline for filing PPI claims is now expected to be enforced from June 2019, despite the earlier proposal of Spring 2018. June 2019 is now possibly the cut-off date, after which PPI claims will not be upheld by banks. So if you have taken out a loan, store card, credit card, mortgage or car finance then it may be a suitable time for you to check for any PPI policy that may have been mis-sold to you. It is inevitably expected that PPI claims companies are due to get extremely busy with claims as the deadline approaches so it is highly advisable that you begin this procedure soon to ensure your claim is fulfilled before the deadline takes effect.
PPI was sold alongside a variety of financial products
PPI, an abbreviation for Payment Protection Insurance is a policy that has for many years been attached to loans, mortgages or credit cards taken out from banks or other financial institutions. It ensures that payment of instalments would continue on behalf of the insured person if they became financially incapable of repaying them themselves because of health reasons, injuries or unemployment. It provides cover for a limited duration which is usually 12 months.
The PPI policy attached to credit cards or store cards ensures that the minimum amount due is covered for a certain duration after which the person is expected to get back to work and make the remaining payments.
With all the controversy surrounding this insurance, it is easy to assume that PPI is a bad product. But for a person who may genuinely require such cover, this policy can be a potential life saver as it can prevent a person from going into financial debt. The benefits are many and vastly depend on the terms and conditions that are specified in the policy.
However, issues surrounding PPI occurred when policies began to be mis-sold via various tactics, resulting in many people wrongly paying for PPI which they would not have chosen, given the unedited and correct information, which would not have been beneficial to the clients, or which posed various other problems.
What was in it for the banks?
As many as 34 million PPI policies are believed to have been mis-sold. The Lloyds group alone is responsible for more than a third of these mis-sold PPI policies. This makes us curious to know why banks were willing to risk their reputation, flogging such worthless PPI policies. The answer to this question is: high profitability. Since these policies were commonly sold to people who were not even eligible to claim on them in the future, the premiums paid by the consumer was a direct profit for the lender. These policies have been worth at least £50bn and the policies sold by the Lloyds group have been estimated at £20bn. The huge incentives and fear of being reviewed for underperformance drove the sales staff of banks to sell as many PPI policies as possible even if it meant resorting to unfair tactics.
Why you should act soon
Those who believe there is plenty of time to file your PPI claim may be in for a surprise, and not a pleasant one.
In August 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority came up with a proposal to impose a deadline for PPI claims to be filed. This proposal has been met with a lot of protests as the popular belief is that it is more likely to benefit the banks rather than the consumers. Banks and other financial institutions are obviously in favour of a deadline as they are desperately seeking an end to the compensations that continue to haunt their profit margins. As the deadline is well over two years from now the intention behind the proposal is to provide PPI consumers with sufficient time to reclaim even if they were to discover today that they have been mis-sold the insurance.
Despite the level of awareness created, there are many who have not carried out adequate research to know for sure whether they have signed up for PPI or not. Such people should take just a few minutes from their schedule to either go through all their bank statements and policies to ascertain if they are affected by this scandal or alternatively complete a very simple free check with a specialist claims management company like i-Smart. iSmart simply need your contact details to send you some very simple forms that only require your name, date of birth, address at the time of the borrowing and the name of the lender. Everything from there is handled by iSmart, they don’t need old account details to deal with your situation.
Lacking adequate information? Don’t worry!
Many people have inhibitions about reclaiming PPI because they do not have much evidence or are unable to recall certain details. But this should not discourage them from going ahead with their claim.
Most of our clients did not have the required information to file a PPI reclaim but there are ways in which we are able to obtain this information.
If you are unaware of ever purchasing a PPI policy then go through all your old loan and mortgage statements and look for terms that may suggest a cover for payments such as 'protection plan', 'loan protection', 'loan care' or something similar.
There have been instances of people realising after almost 20 years that they have been sold this insurance. In such cases, it is possible to not have complete information since it is unlikely that a person will maintain such old records. So to make sure that you have indeed taken out a PPI policy, you should check your credit files.
Banks usually charge a minimal amount of £2 to make these credit reports available to their customers. There are many sources such as Equifax, Callcredit and Experian that can provide you this information at a small cost. www.noddle.co.uk provide a FREE credit report.
If you are sure about having a PPI policy but cannot find the relevant paperwork, then you should simply contact the lender for details. Do not panic if you cannot find the relevant documents as there are ways you can get hold of it. The lenders can provide you with a copy of your agreement or Terms & Conditions. You only need to make sure that the Terms & Conditions are those that were valid at the time when you purchased the policy.
If your bank account is still open, then it is possible to obtain a copy of your agreement for £1. There are many banks which may not ask for this processing fee. For security reasons this amount should not be given away as cash but as a cheque.
If your bank account has been closed, then do not panic. A complete breakdown of your whole account can be obtained for £10. You should specifically mention that you are seeking details about this insurance.
ppi.co.uk have reclaimed refunds as far back as the 1980’s
If you have copies of the paperwork then there are no time restrictions for when you can make a claim for a refund. It’s only for claims older than 6 six years without paperwork when problems can arise.
Banks are not required to keep records that are older than six years by the ‘statutes of limitations’. While there are lower chances of success with older loans, it is still possible to successfully reclaim if you have the required paperwork.
If in the last six years, the insurance was active then obtaining the paperwork should be easy.
PPI reclaim rejected? Do not be discouraged
Apart from mis-selling policies, misconduct on the part of banks involved rejecting claims that should have been accepted. We always hear stories of banks misleading their customers and not handling the complaints properly.
If you believe that you have not received a fair response by the banks, then you possess the right to approach the Financial Ombudsman. The lender too can be asked to look again into your case. So a rejection should not leave you thinking that you were not mis-sold the PPI policy.
If the bank’s final response was received within the last six months, then you can definitely contact the Ombudsman.
If, however the complaint was rejected more than six months ago, then it may not be so easy to begin with your claim again. The City regulator has laid down rules according to which the Ombudsman is not responsible for cases in which the final response letter has been received more than six months back.
There are certain cases in which your complaint may be considered such as a severe illness or the lender rejecting your original claim because required evidence could not be gathered.
If you have in your possession a document which clearly states that you have purchased the policy, then chances are high that your case will be reconsidered. If the bank tells you that you cannot reopen your case, then you can appeal against this decision in the Ombudsman.
Fines have been imposed on many banks for out rightly rejecting claims and thus there’s a fair chance that your case can be accepted again.
Lender gone bust or been taken over? You can still reclaim…
When a company takes over another it is responsible for paying off its old debts. However, there are exceptions; correspondence with the new company will let you know if the old firm is still liable or if the new firm will deal with your situation.
If the lender which mis-sold the insurance to you has gone bust, then the financial services compensation scheme must be contacted which can be done only if the lender was regulated by the FSA/FCA at the time.
Is it possible to reclaim on behalf of a deceased relative?
Any PPI taken out by a parent or family member who is no longer alive can still be reclaimed, provided there is the required paperwork. There may be difficulties in proving how the policy was mis-sold to the deceased person, but with appropriate guidance this issue can be resolved as well.
How you could have been mis-sold PPI?
At PPI.co.uk our experience with clients has revealed a few of the most common ways in which PPI was mis-sold to customers. They are as follows:
You were told it was mandatory:
- You were told that your chances of being granted the loan increased if you signed up for PPI.
- The salesperson did not make it clear to you that the policy was optional.
- You found the salesperson to be extremely pushy and he refused to let you continue with your application unless you signed the insurance agreement.
Sold to you without your knowledge:
- If you applied for loans online and there were pre-ticked boxes, then there is a fair possibility that the insurance was sold to you without your knowledge. However, if the full terms were provided then you cannot claim for PPI compensation as you were responsible for understanding those terms and conditions.
- If the PPI has been bought over the telephone or face-to-face, then it is the salesperson’s responsibility to explain the terms and conditions to the customer. It is also applicable if the customer bought the policy online but was later contacted by the sales team.
You were sold the wrong policy:
- If you already had an insurance cover through your employer and you informed the salesperson about it but he still insisted that you buy this policy.
- If the insurance term was shorter than the loan duration.
Unemployed, self-employed or retired?
- An unemployed or retired person is not eligible for the insurance unless it is specifically stated in the terms and conditions that it provides unemployment cover.
- If you are self-employed then you should check your policy and whether it makes you eligible for a pay-out incase your business goes bust. If you are not eligible for cover according to your policy and it was not brought to your attention, then it counts as mis-selling.
Past medical problems:
- If you have had medical problems in the past, then it is unlikely that your insurance will cover you for those medical conditions.
Your lender has been fined:
- If your lender has already been fined for mis-selling PPI policies, then it is possible that you too have been mis-sold the PPI policy.
A few case studies of successful PPI claims
Recently a father from Essex received over £82,000 as compensation for a mis-sold PPI. It was the result of a 16-month legal battle against Barclaycard. Like many other customers, he was unaware that the policy had been added and was shocked to discover that he had been making payments for an insurance he did not need.
A businesswoman from Hertfordshire has successfully claimed back £65,000 from the credit card company which had mis-sold the insurance to her. She had been paying premiums on one card since 1996 and another since 2001. She was ineligible to claim for PPI compensation as the policy covered her for illness or loss of a job when in fact she was self-employed.
A woman has received £142,000 as compensation for PPI policies on her credit cards. This remains to be one of the biggest pay-outs in the history of PPI compensations.
PPI.co.uk successfully retrieved thousands for one of our customers and you can read their story here.
Why choose us for your PPI reclaim?
At PPI.co.uk we have a wealth of experience in dealing with PPI claims since we have been in this industry for the best part of a decade. We understand that some cases can be more complex than the rest and for this reason we have a team of highly skilled professionals that are ready to accept these challenges and deliver performance. Our expertise will ensure that you are not underpaid by your banks but are compensated with what you rightfully deserve.
We’ve already discussed the potential PPI deadline, and there has never been a better time to claim what is rightfully owed to you. Contact us to begin your free PPI check today.