Time's running out if you want to make a claim for mis-sold PPI

Did you have payment protection insurance in the past you've been meaning to complain about '“ or are you unsure whether you've had it?

You can complain on the websites of many firms, as well as by phone, post or by going into a bank branch. Photograph: PA

Well now’s the time to decide whether or not you want to make a complaint. Put it off for much longer and it could be too late – the deadline for PPI complaints is August 29, 2019.

More than £27 billion has been paid out so far since rules were introduced in 2011 – and complaining could well be less hassle than you think. There’s no need to pay a company to make the claim for you as plenty of free help is available, but here’s our guide:

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What products might you have had that could have had PPI added?

As many as 64 million PPI policies have been sold in the UK, mostly between 1990 and 2010, so there’s a wide range of products where PPI could have been added.

You may have had PPI alongside a personal loan, for example, or a credit card, store card, mortgage, or through a big purchase bought on credit, such as a sofa or car finance. You may have had a home shopping account, such as a catalogue account, which had PPI added.

Why might you be entitled to cash?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that PPI was often mis-sold in the past. Telltale signs you were mis-sold include if you felt under pressure to buy PPI or were told you had to have it, or you were told you were more likely to be accepted for a loan or credit if you bought PPI.

Another warning sign could be if you were advised to buy PPI despite being self-employed, unemployed or retired. In some cases, PPI was also added to people’s policies without them agreeing to it at all – so you may have had PPI even if there was no discussion about it.

As well as mis-selling, you may also be able to make a claim if whoever sold you the policy earned a high level of commission from the sale of PPI, but didn’t tell you when you bought it.

What should you do if you have a complaint?

Firstly, get your evidence in order. Go through any old paperwork which may have details such as account numbers, details of who the policy was with and old addresses. If you haven’t got much paperwork, you can also contact the firm you think you had PPI with to ask for any details they may have.

To whom should you complain?

In the first instance, contact the financial business that sold you the PPI. Give as much detail as you can and explain why you think you are entitled to your money back.

You can complain on the websites of many firms, as well as by phone, post or by going into a bank branch. Some providers may have since changed their name or owner.

If you aren’t sure, you can email the FCA at [email protected] Consumer help bodies like MoneySavingExpert.com and Citizens Advice have free help and information on their websites which can help you to compile a letter of complaint.

What if you’re not happy with what the firm says or your complaint is rejected?

After the firm has had a reasonable chance to look into the complaint, if you’re still not happy, you can go to the free, independent Financial Ombudsman Service, which can take a fresh look.