Top five PPI mis-selling tacticsReclaim PPI premiums now if you were a victim

10 May 2011

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Which? published an advert in The Times on 5 May calling on members of the British Bankers' Association to admit defeat over the PPI judicial review. They did so on 9 May.

Following the news that Britain’s banks have dropped their challenge to the ruling that will force them to pay out billions of pounds to consumers over mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), Which? Money experts have put together a list of the top five reasons why you might have a PPI claim.

Check out our list of top mis-selling tactics to see whether you might have been affected and find out how to start your for free.

1. You were self-employed, unemployed or retired when you took out PPI

If you didn’t have a job or were self-employed at the time you took out a PPI policy, check to see whether it includes unemployment cover. Most policies do, and if yours is one of them this part of the insurance is effectively worthless.

If you weren’t asked about your employment status when you first took out PPI or you made your situation clear and were sold the product anyway, there’s a strong chance you have a case for claiming back your premiums.

Also, most PPI policies have an upper age limit beyond which they will not pay out. So, if you were too old to make a claim when you first took out PPI you almost certainly have a claim – while if you have passed the age threshold while paying for your cover, you should seek repayment of the PPI premiums you have shelled out for since.

2. You were sold PPI even though you had a pre-existing medical condition

Pre-existing medical conditions are among the standard exclusions made under a vast array of insurance policies. In other words, very few types of cover will pay out if you need to make a claim because you become ill with a condition you have suffered from before – or with a condition that could be related back to a former sickness.

If you weren’t asked about your health when you were sold PPI, you may have a claim for mis-selling. Likewise, if there are exclusions in the terms and conditions of your policy that you weren’t told about (or that you were given incorrect information about) you could be due a payout. 

Some PPI policies will pay out when medical conditions strike, provided you have been symptom-free for a set period of time – in which case you are less likely to have been mis-sold PPI. Check the terms and conditions of your policy to be sure.

3. You thought PPI was compulsory or were advised to buy it

Some firms mis-sold PPI to consumers on the basis that it was compulsory when it was not, or allowed people to think they were less likely to have their loan or credit card application approved if they didn’t take out the cover.

If it wasn’t made clear to you that your PPI policy was optional or that it had a cooling off period, if you felt so pushed into buying the cover that you could not say no or if you were told your application for credit could not continue if you didn’t take out PPI, you may have a PPI claim.

Meanwhile, if you bought PPI after 14 January 2005 and were told it was ‘strongly recommended’ or had the product explained to you using similar terms, this counts as an ‘advised sale’. Unless you were issued a ‘demands and needs statement’ that sets out why your particular policy was recommended as suitable for you, you have grounds for complaint.

4. You were sold insurance that didn’t suit your circumstances

Until May 2009, most PPI policies were sold as ‘single premium’ cover, where the cost of the insurance was added onto your loan or finance agreement and you were forced to pay interest on this as well as the sum you had borrowed.

Most single premium PPI policies were set up to last for a standard five years – so if your loan or credit agreement was for longer than this, were you told you would not be covered throughout the whole period? If not, you should consider starting a PPI claim.

Meanwhile, if you took out a loan in joint names but only one person is covered under the PPI policy you have, you may also have been mis-sold.

If you already had some insurance cover in place – perhaps an employer’s income protection insurance policy – and the person who sold you PPI was aware of this before you signed up for the cover, you may also be able to get your money back.

5. You didn’t even know you had PPI…

Finally, you may have bought payment protection insurance without even knowing it.

Believe it or not, some old policy agreements used pre-ticked boxes that required consumers to request not to have PPI with their loans or credit agreements. This is unfair.

Check any credit card, finance or loan agreements you have and make sure you haven’t unwittingly been paying for PPI. If you have, you’ll have a case for reclaiming your money and should start your claim straightaway.

Reclaim PPI Premiums

If you think you were mis-sold PPI, the Which? website has all the information you need to help you reclaim your cash.

Visit our PPI guide for more information on this kind of insurance and how to go about getting your money back. We also have a handy online complaining tool that will help you generate and send your PPI complaint in just a few minutes.

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