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Why Now’s The Time to Sort Your PPI

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

With just 200 days until the 29 August compensation deadline, it’s high time you ransacked the attic and did something about your PPI.

It takes a couple of months to get a decision and things can only get busier as “six months to go to claim your PPI money” letters pebbledash the UK’s postboxes like ostentatious sneezers.

The average payout for mis-sold payment protection insurance is £2,000, and don’t think cos you’re Captain Sensible and wouldn’t have dreamed of insuring for something that probably wasn’t going to happen, that you don’t have PPI.

I am one of those people, and I think I’ve got three!

Even better, because I’m one of those people, it’s more likely I was mis-sold at least one of my three PPI policies (here’s hoping).

You’ve probably read that you only get PPI compensation if you were mis-sold. That used to be the case, and it’s true you get a lot more money if that’s you. But even if you weren’t, you should get something, due to Plevin, the Bosman ruling of PPI.

My PPI story

For me, PPI falls into the same category as building society windfalls and random share issues (Standard Life).

That of FREE money to whack in my online piggybank.

And I don’t know about you, but when a gift horse (too many animals) is looking me straight in the mouth, I don’t usually blink.

Unless taming that gift horse (double-down on the animals) is beset with all manner of hassles that I’m too busy to contemplate…

Back in the day

I first heard about PPI in Martin Lewis’s weekly newsletter a few years back. It didn’t seem urgent, and even Martin’s step-by-step how-to explanation sent my head spinning (seriously, it’s the Oracle, read it).

Back in 2017, I spotted that Nationwide had an online PPI enquiry form (the only one I could find at the time). Five minutes later, I pressed submit and waited.

Imagine my surprise when my tried-and-trusted current account provider sent me a letter to confirm I had indeed got a PPI policy on an unspecified product I’d long since forgotten about. “Just fill in this 50-page form and we’ll look into it,” (I paraphrase) they said.

The long grass held onto said form for 18 months until last week when I manfully stepped up to the PPI plate and said: “let’s do this chore.”

What prompted me?

Well, I got one of those letters, see. A few weeks back. You know the ones: “hand over 24% of the proceeds and we’ll take all the hassle out of things for you.”

(Note to self: keep letters like this for illustrative use in blog posts.)

Now, as many of you will know, I’m a keen member of the financial independence movement, a movement whose members believe that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing yourself.

So keen I’ve written a book about it.

But I must admit, even I was sorely tempted by the claims company’s entreaty. “Just fill in this one-page form and get some FREE money.” Easy.

A quick consult with Martin didn’t help either. “Do it yourself,” he said, yet I couldn’t help feeling that this was going to be an interminable Shackleton-esque ordeal I simply didn’t have the stomach for.

No stomach for PPI-endurance.

How wrong could I be? I’m here to tell you that the banks have got their act together with just over six months to go and the heat well and truly on them; and the process is pretty damn easy. It took me just six hours to break the back of it. Here’s what to do:

9 steps

  1. Wrack your brain/have a chat with your partner and work out any organisation you’ve ever borrowed money from. Write ’em down. They’re your most-likelies.
  2. You could have been mis-sold PPI when you got a loan, credit or store card, catalogue account, overdraft, car finance or mortgage. For the record, mine are a graduate loan from 1998 and two mortgages from 2004 and 2006. The longer ago the loan the better for you, because the organisation that mis-sold you PPI then needs to pay you interest on the compensation at, say 8% per annum. Eight per cent soon compounds nicely over a period of say 20 years.
  3. “PPI stands for payment protection insurance. It’s designed to cover your loan or credit card repayments for a year in the event of an accident, sickness or, in some cases, unemployment.” (Thanks, Martin, you the man.)
  4. If you did ransack the attic and couldn’t find anything (all my stuff like that was binned in The Great Declutter), don’t worry about it.
  5. Next, ring up the 10 main banks’ dedicated PPI lines (one of the drop-downs). There’s no arsing about with round-the-world trips and multiple keypad-number-inputting, call-waiting or buck-passing. You get straight through and need only be armed with your trusty name, date of birth and home addresses. The helpful bank folk will run a check for you.
  6. Yes, it really is that easy.
  7. Then, it’s up to you. With most of the helplines you can go through a series of short questions and they fill in a form their end to start the process. Alternatively, you can find the “PPI enquiry form” (here’s Santander’s) on their website. I prefer filling in the website form, but it’s helpful to speak to an actual human being first because they give you things like your account number, the date you took out the loan and what type of loan it was, which’ll make filling in the form easier (weird).
  8. Why contact all 10 banks if you can’t remember taking out a loan with any of them? Well, have you or your partner ever had a store card? Or a credit card? Or a loan for a sofa? It’s likely that one of the banks is now responsible for that storecard/credit card’s/now-defunct building society’s PPI compensation claims. So just scattergun them all. For the sake of 10 minutes each filling out 10 dead-easy forms, what have you got to lose?
  9. Last, remember that chat with your partner? Perhaps one of the firms you loaned money from isn’t covered by the big banks? If so, just google it and contact them direct. Take that, Land of Leather!

What happens next?

They’ll write a nice letter to you. Or email you. Or text or telephone you. Most will say no, do not darken our door henceforth, you did not have PPI with us you time-wasting fool (I paraphrase again).

But some will post you a weighty form that you have to fill in and return to them. They’re the ones you did have a PPI policy with. These are the “complaint forms”, designed (I’m convinced) to put you off. I’ve just done my first. Lloyds Bank. In most of the boxes I wrote “N/A”. It took me 15 minutes. It’s in the postbox now. Two more of them and I’m done.

Conclusion

No need to give a quarter of that FREE Money to a claims company. No need (in retrospect) to put off the task for a good 18 months. Every need to do it now and beat the rush.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

But if we get just one “average payout” of £2k, it’ll be the best Saturday’s work I’ve ever done.

David Sawyer is the bestselling author of RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F. U. Money, the first book to translate the millions-strong US financial independence movement to a UK context.

Available from one good bookstore (Amazon).

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Fiona Murray

    February 10, 2019

    Great post - sums up my position perfectly! I have had a lot of accounts and cards in the past. I can remember what most of them were, but then the thought of wading through it all seems like a huge chore. You have reassured me that it's not, so now my tax return is out of the way (thanks January!), I'm going to make this February's task. You've also flagged up the student loan which I hadn't considered, thank you. Fingers crossed!

    • Reply

      David Sawyer

      February 11, 2019

      Cheers Fiona, yeah, nothing ventured nothing gained. I think many people are in this position. Not wanting to give money to a claims company yet not getting round to completing the task themselves either. Glad it's given you the necessary shove. Best, Dave

  2. Reply

    Andrew

    February 18, 2019

    Thanks for the prompt. Not looking forward to trying to remember all the rental addresses of my younger days tho’.


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