Have I Got PPI?

Have I Got PPI?

The news that major financial institutions are setting aside further billions of pounds to refund mis-sold payment protection insurance plans (PPI) has prompted many consumers in the UK to ask “Have I got PPI?”

Many consumers believe that the mis-selling of PPI was confined to banks offering mortgages, loans and credit card facilities; but high street stores such as Argos, Littlewoods, Land of Leather and Homebase have also been found guilty of mis-selling PPI.

This article aims to provide more information about how you can find the answer to “Have I Got PPI?”, whether you might qualify for a refund of PPI, and how to start a claim to get compensation for the mis-selling of PPI.

A Little Background about the Mis-Selling of PPI

Payment protection insurance (PPI) was first introduced in the 1980s as a safeguard for consumers who took out finance agreements in case they fell ill, lost their jobs or encountered any other misfortune which meant that the consumer was unable to continue repaying the agreement.

Up until 2007 many PPI policies required a lump-sum payments at the beginning of the finance agreement (often called a “single premium policy”), but these were eventually phased out for the more lucrative monthly payment policies which financial institutions could charge interest on if a payment was late.

By May 2008, 20 million PPI policies existed in the UK and as many as 7 million policies were being sold each year. However, the massive increase in PPI policies was not attributable to consumers taking precautions with their finances, but rather employees being incentivised to sell these lucrative policies for the benefit of the financial institution.

Consequently a great number of PPI policies were sold to consumers for whom the product was inappropriate – often without their knowledge – or attached to a loan on the pretence that credit facilities would not be extended to the consumer if they failed to protect their payments.

FSA Acts on PPI Mis-Selling

Reforms to the ways in which PPI could be sold were introduced by the Financial Services Authority in 2010, by which time procedures had already been introduced for consumers to complain to their finance company and obtain a refund if they had been mis-sold a PPI policy.

However, finance companies have been notoriously slow in handling consumer complaints and by October 2013 the Financial Ombudsman had received more than one million complaints about the mis-selling of PPI. At the beginning of 2014, 400,000 claims for the mis-selling of PPI were still being investigated by the Financial Ombudsman.

In addition to having their complaints ignored and their refund of PPI denied, consumers were also being undercompensated for the payments they had made – and in August 2014 the Financial Conduct Authority re-opened 2.5 million cases to investigate whether consumers had received the full refund of PPI to which they were entitled.

Who is Entitled to a Refund of PPI?

Any consumer who has entered into a PPI agreement – knowingly or unknowingly – may be entitled to a refund of PPI plus interest subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. These conditions include:

  • Not realising that PPI was attached to an account
  • Not being given the full terms and conditions of the PPI policy
  • Not being informed that PPI was optional
  • Not being advised that PPI could be obtained from other companies
  • Already having an occupational sick pay scheme – so you did not require PPI
  • If you were self-employed or retired at the time the PPI policy was taken out
  • Being informed that you had to take PPI in order to get a loan or credit card
  • Being sold a PPI policy without being asked about any pre-existing medical conditions

Claims for the mis-selling of PPI can recover any payments you have made in the past six years even if you have paid off the loan of credit card to which the PPI policy was attached. PPI paid by consumers who have now deceased is recoverable by the estate of the deceased, and even if you have already received compensation for being mis-sold PPI, you may be entitled to a further refund of PPI.

So, Have I Got PPI?

If you have a mortgage, a credit card, a store card or have made any substantial purchase on credit or HP since 2008 (including the purchase of a car from a dealership), it is more than likely that you have payment protection insurance.

Whether or not you are entitled to a refund of PPI will depend on the conditions under which the PPI policy was sold to you and whether it was an appropriate safeguard for your financial circumstances at the time.

If the answer to the question “Have I Got PPI?” is “yes”, it could be well worth your while making a claim. The premiums on PPI often ranged between 15% and 30% of the credit repayment and on large purchases this could amount to many thousands of pounds.

Let Us Check Whether you are Entitled to a Refund of PPI

Such was the systematic mis-selling of PPI over the past six to ten years that many consumers are unaware of “Have I Got PPI?” Fortunately we have set up a service through which consumers can establish whether or not they have PPI, whether they are entitled to a refund of PPI and how much compensation they might receive.

To take advantage of this service, you are invited to contact our dedicated advisors on the freephone number listed above or complete the enquiry form for a free, no obligation assessment of your claim. Our service is also available to consumers who have already received a refund of PPI to make sure that the compensation they received was accurate.

To date, financial institutions have put aside more than £23 billion to refund consumers that were mis-sold PPI. Make sure you receive your entitlement to compensation by contacting us today!