Everyone is talking about payment protection insurance, but what is it and what's all the fuss about?
For more than thirty years Payment Protection Insurance has been sold by lenders to customers taking out credit cards, mortgages and loans. The cover is designed as a financial fall back, stepping in to take over repayments if the policyholder cannot work due to redundancy, accident or ill health.
The cover has traditional been big business for the banks raking in over £5 billion a year. There are currently more than 20 million active policies in the UK and it is estimated that every home has, at one time or another, had a PPI policy. For years PPI has provided a lucrative additional revenue stream for lenders, but it has been hit by controversy in recent times. A catalogue of failings has been uncovered and now thousands of unhappy customers are reclaiming PPI.
It all started in 2005 when The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) submitted a 'super complaint' regarding the PPI industry. The complaint alleged that the cover was over-priced and provided very little real protection. They found that rather than providing a financial safety net for many policyholders, PPI actually made their vulnerable position worse by significantly increasing their level of debt. The complaint also claimed that numerous policies had been mis-sold and drew attention to the low level of payouts made against PPI policies with as little as 15% of people being able to make a successful claim. The CAB's complaint drew many people's attention to the PPI scandal and the number of disgruntled customers reclaiming PPI rose significantly.
As a result of the CAB's complaint The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and The Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigated and found a catalogue of failures. It warned the industry as a whole that it needed to improve and fined some of the worst offenders. Below is a list of some of the lenders who were fined for mis-selling cover. In most cases these lenders were accused of failing to correctly train staff or to put in place processes to protect customers from being mis-sold unsuitable cover. If you have bought loan insurance from any of these lenders you may have been mis-sold insurance and could start reclaiming PPI today.
- Alliance and Leicester - fined £7 million.
- Capital One - fined £175,000.
- Egg - fined £721,000.
- GE Capital - fined £610,000.
- HFC Bank, trading as Household Bank and Beneficial Finance - fined £1,085,000.
- Liverpool Victoria - fined £840,000
- Loans.co.uk - fined £455,000.
The CAB, OFT and FSA highlighted a variety of different ways in which payment protection insurance cover was mis-sold. Below is a list of some of the most common methods of mis-selling. If you mis-sold a policy in one of these ways you could begin reclaiming PPI from your lender today.
- Customers who were unemployed, retired or in full time education were sold cover. PPI, fundamentally, covers for loss of income from employment - if you were not employed you should not have been sold a policy.
- Customers who were sold a policy with no clear explanation of the terms and conditions of the cover. If your lender did not fully explain the terms and conditions to you, you were not given adequate information to make an informed decision and could begin reclaiming PPI today.
- Customers who were told they had to have the cover or that it would improve their chances of being approved for the loan. Both of these statements are untrue.
- Customers who had a pre-existing medical condition were sold PPI. Most policies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions. If you were not asked about your health then your lender failed to adequately assess your suitability for the cover and you should start reclaiming PPI today.
There is no limit to the number of PPI claims you can make and you can even make a claim if you have already paid off your loan or no longer use your credit card. So far we have helped more than 60,000 customers and reclaimed more than £50 million. We aim to make reclaiming PPI as simple as possible and we work on a NO Win No Fee basis. To get started fill out the quick claim form above or, to find out more about mis-sold PPI, call our friendly customer care team on 0207 471 2000.
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