Have you ever had a mortgage, credit card or loan? If so, you may have been mis-sold PPI.
There’s a chance you were sold PPI without even knowing - in some cases salespeople didn’t explain these policies when they were sold.
If you’ve not checked for PPI, you might be missing out on a lot of money - but time is running out to make a claim.
What is PPI?
Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) was added to finance products including credit cards, store cards, personal loans, car loans and mortgages between 1980 and 2010.
It was intended to protect people if they were struggling to keep up with their payments due to illness or unemployment, but it was widely mis-sold.
For some, PPI may have been unsuitable for them, with others have been pressured into buying it or unaware that they had it.
Some people were sold policies that would never end up paying out due to them being self-employed or retired, while some were told it was compulsory.
After this wide mis-selling of PPI was discovered, lenders set aside £45 billion to pay out in compensation - with around £35 billion having been paid out to claimants so far.
The average customer payout for loan PPI compensation is around £2,000, according to The Money Advice Service.
How do I claim?
The Money Advice Service suggests that you should firstly, find all the relevant documents you have and make copies, including anything that shows you’ve taken out a policy and shows you making payments for it.
If you’re not sure whether a document is relevant, you should still copy it.
You can use the Money Advice Service PPI complaints template letter to write a letter to the mortgage, loan or credit card provider who sold you the PPI or you can fill in the questionnaire which most of the banks have on their own websites.
This standard form is also used by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Send all the documents you think might be relevant and explain why you think you were mis-sold PPI.
The Money Advice Service states: “If you don’t get a response or decision within eight weeks, send a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
“The Ombudsman will ask you to fill out a questionnaire to decide whether or not you’ve been mis-sold PPI.”
You can also claim via the Money Saving Expert free PPI reclaiming tool.
The very minimum you need to know is who the lender was, but if you're not sure of that, then you may be able to find this on your credit file.
You will also need to give your name (including the name used to take out loan/credit if different), current address and date of birth.
If you do have more information, such as details of the policy name, your address when you took it out, why you had it and why you think you were mis-sold, this may help to speed up the claim later on.
Martin Lewis said: "If you're not sure, just fill in the details anyway and check if you had PPI.
“I'm not encouraging you to make a spurious claim, more to just get in under the line and buy yourself more time to find out if you are due money later. If not, simply don't proceed any further later."
When is the deadline?
According to moneysavingexpert.com, the very last moment for submitting claims online with all major banks is 11.59pm on Thursday 29 August.
However, if you're going to do it by phone, the cut-off varies between 6pm and 11.59pm on the same day.
For postal submissions, some banks explain that it’s alright for you to post the letter on 29 August, with others requiring that they must have received it by then.
Any claims in person will need to be done within bank opening hours.
However, some banks may treat you checking if you have PPI as starting a complaint with regards to the deadline cutoff.
Moneysavingexpert.com said: “Banks used to treat a 'check whether you had PPI' and 'complaint about PPI' as separate things.
“Now most banks have agreed with regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that someone simply enquiring if they had PPI counts as starting a complaint for the purposes of the deadline.”
This article was originally published on our sister site, Lancashire Evening Post.