Around 330,000 Express Gifts customers are in line for a share of £12.5m of compensation following an insurance mis-selling scandal.
Express Gifts, a direct mail order and online business with permission to sell general insurance products, has entered into an agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to compensate approximately 330,000 customers who were sold insurance that offered little or no value.
The insurance products sold by Express Gifts covered accidental damage and theft for all products bought from its Ace or Studio brands.
The insurance was called ‘Property Insurance’ from January 2005 to August 2008 and ‘Purchase Protection Insurance’ from September 2008 to May 2015, with premiums calculated as a percentage of the customer account balance. The company no longer offers this type of cover.
Mis-selling scandals are all too common. You can use our advice if you want to make a financial complaint.
Express Gifts insurance of nominal value
After conducting its own quality-assurance activity, the firm agreed with the FCA that the insurance it had sold did not provide adequate value to customers.
Although it covered all items purchased, in many cases, these were items of clothing, which most wouldn’t usually consider insuring.
Express Gifts compensation: how do I claim?
Express Gifts has said it will write to all affected customers with details of how they will be paid the redress due.
In a welcome move, the money will be sent automatically, so customers shouldn’t need to take any action.
This approach is a big improvement on previous mis-selling scandals, such as PPI, that put the onus on consumers to make a claim.
But if you have any questions, would like further information or your contact details have changed, the FCA recommends that you contact Express Gifts using the details provided on the firm’s website.
It’s now important that the FCA keep a keen eye on how the process progresses and ensures that all of the 330,000 customers affected get the money they are due.
Firms must take responsibility for dud financial products
Jonathan Davidson, director of supervision – retail and authorisations at the FCA, said: ‘It is good news for consumers that Express Gifts has reached agreement with us that this insurance was of low value to customers. It is important that firms offer value for money.
‘We expect firms to identify where insurance products of little or no value have been sold to customers, and take appropriate action.
‘There is a responsibility on firms, whether they are responsible for the design or the distribution of these products, to ensure the products offer value for their customers.’