It has become associated with nuisance phone calls, but the clock is now ticking on payment protection insurance (PPI). The final date for claims for mis-sold PPI must be submitted by 29 August 2019.
You might think two years gives you plenty of time, but according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the majority of people mis-sold PPI are yet to make a claim.
With this in mind, the FCA has launched a major campaign to make sure everyone who was mis-sold PPI can claim their share of the £37 billion set aside by the banks for compensation.
With many of these policies being mis-sold mainly between 1990 and 2010, and with most people unaware they were being sold it to begin with, it's understandable why so many people have not made a claim.
So, here we guide you through the stages of claiming for mis-sold PPI, from finding out if you had it, to getting your compensation.
1. Did I have PPI?
PPI was mis-sold with a range of financial products including mortgages, credit cards and loans. So, if you bought any kind of financial product between 1990 and 2010, there is a possibility PPI was included and possibly mis-sold.
PPI was designed to ensure you were able to continue making the monthly repayments on your loan or credit agreement should you become sick or unemployed.
Mis-selling could have occurred if sales staff did not explain these policies properly, sold them to people who were not eligible to make a claim or as a condition of having a credit agreement approved. Some people were also not told that PPI was part of their credit agreement and may not have known they had a policy in place.
2. How can I find out if I had PPI?
Most of these PPI policies were mis-sold so long ago you might not even remember it.
Thankfully, if you still have the paperwork, it's quite easy to find out.
Look on your credit agreement documentation and see if 'payment cover', 'protection plan', 'loan protection', 'ASU' or 'loan care' are mentioned.
If they are, you were probably sold PPI and you can proceed to step 4.
3. I don't have the documentation
Don't worry, you're not the only one. You can still make a claim by writing directly to anyone you bought a financial product from.
4.How can I claim compensation?
First thing, there is rarely reason why you would need to use a claims management company. Yes, they might fill in all the paperwork for you, but they are likely to take a large slice of your compensation for what is very little work. If you have used one and were unhappy with the service, you can make a complaint against them.
So, what do you need to do?
First, if you still have the documentation, make copies so you can send them to the financial service provider who might have mis-sold you PPI.
Second, write a letter to them, include all the documentation you have copied and explain why you think you were mis-sold PPI. You can find a great letter template for this on the Money Advice Service website, or most banks have a questionnaire version on their websites.
If you don't have the documentation, you can still write to the provider asking them if PPI was included in your agreement.
Lastly, wait for a response. You should hear back within eight weeks. If you don't, send a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. They will ask you to fill in a form and decide if you were mis-sold PPI.
5. What's next?
Absolutely nothing. It's just that simple. Simply make a claim as we've told you above, and, if you've been mis-sold PPI, you will get compensation.
6. What if I've already made a claim?
There are two things you need to be aware of if you've already made a claim.
First, you might have been given a different deadline for your claim. The deadline you've already been told is the one you need to obey.
Second, if you've had a PPI claim turned down, it's worth making another claim as the criteria on how claims had been previously accessed may have changed.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.