29th August 2019 is the official cut-off date to claim PPI. No doubt many people will be saying “phew” — no more adverts or cold calls. But before you celebrate, have you spent time double checking your paperwork to learn if you were mis-sold a PPI policy?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) set the PPI deadline as a way to encourage those who have not yet claimed to do so. The advertising campaign for the deadline, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, launched in 2017 to give customers two years to process their claims before the cut-off date.
To date, the banks have paid £34 billion to customers for mis-sold PPI policies. Policies were frequently mis-sold alongside mortgages, loans and credit cards. If you had any of these before 2010, you could have been mis-sold a policy. Read below to find out how to check and claim PPI before the impending deadline at the end of August.
Have I Got PPI? Three Easy Ways to Check
Many successful claims were from people who forgot they ever had policies. Checking if you had PPI can be a simple process but relatively lengthy depending on your previous lenders. Here are three different ways to check if you ever had a PPI policy.
- Find your old financial paperwork — This is, by far, the easiest option. If you have previous financial statements or paperwork from opening an account, a PPI policy might be listed on it. It’s important to note that it could be listed under another name, such as loan cover, accident, sickness and unemployment cover (ASU) or card protector. If you have your paperwork with evidence of a policy, you can start your PPI claim as soon as possible.
- Contact the bank — If you remember the banks and lenders you’ve worked with in the past, you can contact them directly. Send them a letter detailing the financial product you had and ask if they can check for old policies attached. Not all banks will have a record, especially if your account was closed over six years ago.
- Contact a PPI claims company — Despite the bad press they receive, claims companies can effectively research your accounts to uncover any old PPI policies. If you don’t have the time or only vaguely remember which lenders you worked with, a claims company can try to find the rest for you.
If the bank or a PPI claims company reveals that you did have a PPI policy, you can then make a claim to the bank.
Claim PPI before the Deadline
So you had a PPI policy, but was it mis-sold? There are two categories that mis-sold PPI policies fall into. Check if either of these applies to you.
Mis-selling tactics — There were numerous mis-selling tactics used by bank employees to force people to purchase PPI. These include (but are not limited to) telling customers it was compulsory, saying the credit card/loan was more likely to be accepted, adding it automatically or not asking about employment history.
High levels of commission (Plevin) — If you remember buying PPI, you may still be able to claim about high levels of commission on your policy. A landmark PPI case means that those who had a high commission on their policy but were unaware at the time can now make a claim. This is referred to as the Plevin ruling, and if over 50% of your PPI policy was a commission, you can claim a PPI refund. It was common for major banks to have 67% commission on policies.
You must send your evidence along with the reason your PPI policy was mis-sold to the bank or lender. Some banks allow you to submit a PPI claim online (though you may need to send the evidence). Alternatively, a PPI claims company can do the work for you and claim PPI on your behalf. This option is ideal for those who don’t have the time to claim or can’t be bothered with the hassle. All companies must charge no more than 20% (plus VAT) on successful claims. The FCA now regulates all claims companies.
Once the bank has acknowledged that it has received your claim, it should respond with an outcome within eight weeks — though some banks have been known to take longer. It’s always worth taking the time to check before the looming deadline — you never know, you could be refunded a significant sum of money.