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The step-by-step guide to claiming back PPI

The PPI mis-selling scandal has been well publicised in recent times with many new companies offering to help you claim back the money you are owed for a fee, but many people aren’t aware that you don’t have to go to a claims company to claim this money back. If you are interested in claiming back PPI yourself, you will need to do the following:

Check your paperwork

Before you start to claim back your PPI, you need to ensure that you have a valid claim. You are only eligible to claim back PPI if it has been mis-sold to you.

You should check for any credit accounts you have that have a PPI policy on them. If you don’t have paperwork to hand or if the account has been closed you can check your credit report to see what loans and credit cards you have had. This can cost as little as £2 from Experian.

Check that your PPI policy was mis-sold to you:

You need to ensure that your PPI was mis-sold to you. Your PPI would be classed as mis-sold if:

  • You were told that it was compulsory
  • The creditor didn’t make it clear to you that it was optional, or explain any cooling off period
  • The creditor implied or stated it would be more expensive without the insurance
  • The creditor implied or insisted that taking out the policy to qualify for the product
  • The creditor was very pushy when selling the product to the point where you felt you couldn’t say no
  • The creditor would not let you continue with the application without agreeing to the PPI policy
  • You were sold cover that you were not eligible for, i.e., unemployment cover when you were already unemployed.
  • You were self employed and the policy did not cover self employed people
  • You were not informed that the policy does not cover pre-existing medical conditions (if applicable)
  • Your agreement had a pre-ticked box meaning you had to opt out of the service (some pre-July 2007 agreements had these)

Write to your lender

Once you have established that you have a valid claim you need to write to your lender. Download a copy of the consumer questionnaire from The Financial Ombudsman; fill it in and then send it to your lender.

If your claim is accepted, your lender should get back to you and refund your money.

Write to the Financial Ombudsman

If your claim is rejected but you believe that you have a valid claim, go to the Financial Ombudsman and make a formal complaint using the complaint form that you can download here.

If you are turned down by the Financial Ombudsman, you can ask for a formal decision to be made by one of the 41 actual Ombudsmen at the service.

After that, while the finance company must accept the Ombudsman’s decision, you still have the right to take the company to court.

It’s also worth noting that if you feel the Ombudsman hasn’t handled your case correctly, e.g., there have been unnecessary delays, you can refer it to the Ombudsman’s Service Review Team.

When won't the easy route work?

The Ombudsman can only help with complaints about FSA regulated companies. All PPI sales from Jan 2005 are regulated by the Ombudsman, but some earlier policies aren’t. Any provider that was FSA regulated before this will be covered by the Ombudsman. So all banks and building society loans should be fine.

For PPI obtained in 2004 or earlier and the provider wasn’t FSA regulated (e.g., car dealerships or some hire purchase arrangements), the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction. This makes reclaiming trickier, though it’s still worth trying

Call the Ombudsman and check, as it can help where lenders signed up to its voluntary scheme or were regulated by the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC).

Call the Ombudsman to check – it’ll put you in touch with others that may be able to help, e.g., the Finance & Leasing AssociationAssociation of British Insurers or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if your lender’s gone bust.

Using a claims management company

We believe consumers should have a choice as to whether they process the claim themselves or use a claims management company

If you feel unable to process the application yourself, do call us as we can point you in the direction of a number of regulated and compliant claims management companies who can certainly help to make the process easier.

Contact us on 0800 0851 825

Watch the video below to see The Debt Advisor’s MD Beverley Budsworth discussing PPI claims on BBC News.