2012 was a bumper year for PPI repayments which saw claims rocket to a staggering £13 billion. Yet a report this week revealed that over the past 16 years consumers spent around £50bn on PPI repayments so far is a mere drop in the ocean. It also means that there are still millions of people who haven’t made a claim. If you’re one of those people who have had PPI but are unsure if you should start a claim, here are five reasons why you should.
- You’re entitled to it
The most important thing to remember when it comes to PPI repayments is that you are entitled to it – you are simply claiming back what was yours in the first place. Some people even think it’s dishonest but the only ones being dishonest were the banks who actively mis-sold PPI to customers despite knowing they’d never be able to make a claim, such as the self-employed and people with long-term illnesses. Sales staff earned huge commissions on the product and even went as far as adding to customer’s loan and credit cards without their knowledge. Last year, in a bid to stem growing complaints, the Chief Executive of Lloyds Banking Group claimed that 50% of claims are fraudulent. Don’t let that fool you, the Financial Ombudsman, who deals with cases turned down by the banks, takes 1,500 complaints per day and upholds 8 out of 10 of them.
2. There’s no time limit
A very common reason why people don’t make a claim is because they think it’s too late. This is because some claim companies look for accounts that were only active in the past six years. The reason for this is that banks destroy account information after six years. You can ask your bank to look up accounts during this period or, if you’re not comfortable with that, you can find your account information on your credit report using a company like Experian or Equifax that offer free 30-day trials. If you have an older account but still have the details you can still make start a claim no matter how old it is. The only time the ‘six-year-rule’ applies is if you don’t have your account details as the files will no longer exist.
3. You won’t be penalised by your bank
It’s understandable that customers are wary about making a claim as they are worried that their bank will penalise them by revoking or cancelling their loan or credit cards if they make a claim. As a customer you are protected by guidelines set by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) to stop banks from disadvantaging customers if they make a complaint.
4. It can help you get back on your feet financially
The average PPI repayment is around £3,000 though many are higher and have been as much as £142,000 which came from a customer reclaiming PPI repayments on several accounts. This alone is reason enough to claim.
5. It’s quicker and easier than you think
Finally many people haven’t started a claim because they feel like it’s a daunting task. Luckily this is no longer the case. For a long time it was quite complicated to make a PPI claim because the banks used many delay tactics to put off claimants. This changed in 2010 when banks were ordered to repay customers by the High Court. Now it’s much quicker and easier – from starting a claim to receiving a repayment takes 8-12 weeks. All you need is the account numbers and to answer some simple questions about how the policy was sold to you.
This post was written by a claims handler at PPI claims company Gladstone Brookes.