The claims culture has hit the UK in the last 2 years for financial products with over 1000 claims companies getting authorized by the MOJ but what does this really mean for the consumer and what type of products should the consumer be looking to for possibly being missold moving forward.
The first thing the consumer needs to be aware of is that all companies have to be regulated by the ministry of justice to carry out claims activities in the UK and if they are not then they should not use them. To find out if a company is registered simply follow this link and it will take you to the MOJ register where you can find out if they are registered or not. https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/search.aspx
This will ensure you are using a legitimate company to deal with your claim if you choose to do so.
As we all know payment protection insurance has been in the headlines for nearly 2 years as millions of people have been missold it but many people have also lost out as a result of the Banks actions when dealing with their claims so here is what you should do if you are making a claim.
Never give up and take it all the way to the Financial Ombudsman as all the major Banks have an appalling record for this type of claim at the Ombudsman and more claims are upheld at this stage in favour of the consumer than the Banks so do not stop your claim simply because the bank says you were not missold.
In our experience none of the major banks advised consumers that they had an option to purchase the insurance from another source which simply means every case was missold and you should include this as one of the reasons if you are making the claim by yourself.
Next let’s cover the myth that people like Martin Lewis has created that ppi claims are simple and we should not be using claims management companies to deal with our claims.
If you do not hold any paperwork and are unsure if you had ppi added to your finance agreement then you need to do a DSAR letter first to the finance company or bank to obtain your file which will cost you £10.
Once you have the file you need to check and see if ppi was added to the agreement and if so you then need to write a letter of complaint outlining why you feel it was missold and include the Ombudsman questionnaire with your letter which currently is 8 pages long.
You have to have some knowledge of the exclusions of this type of policy to see if it would have applied to you which will build up your case for being missold in the first place.
Next your complaint is not upheld by the Bank or finance company so to take it to the next stage you need to complete the Ombudsman’s other claim form and the send this along with the initial ppi questionnaire and the decision letter to the financial ombudsman.
Oh there may be another stage if the Ombudsman does not uphold your complaint in the first instance which is their appeal process and again you will have to show reasons why you think the initial decision was wrong.
So we can all see the process is not easy for millions of people as we just need to look at the Ombudsman’s figures which in December 2012 showed they were receiving 5000 complaints per day relating to ppi.
While I agree with Martin Lewis and Which Magazine that many claims companies are charging far too much for their service I do not agree that people should be doing it alone and here is the reasons why.
People may have several financial products with their Bank which I have seen first hand and some of these may have also been missold to the consumer but if the consumer is unsure what to look for then they could be missing out on large amounts of compensation. I personally did a DSAR for 2 clients from the same family and after the PPI Claims were sorted out the family got in excess of £25,000 in compensation for being missold other financial products.
How many other people who have made a claim on their ppi for being missold have lost out as a result and this is the reason I believe both Martin Lewis and Which magazine were wrong in their stance of encouraging people to make their claims by themselves. As I said I totally agree with their stance that claims companies were charging far too much for the service and 25% and above and would have much preferred if they had encouraged people to use the services of good companies that offered acceptable fees as I think it would have been in all consumers’ interests and seen many of them potentially get more compensation as a result of being missold other products.
The clients that I have referred to above were both missold FSAVC pensions which they would never have been aware of and as a result the compensation for this alone was in excess of £10,000 then they were missold their protection policies which resulted in just under £20,000 compensation and also their investment was missold which resulted in even more compensation.
Had they made the ppi claims by themselves they would have missed out on this further compensation which is a clear reason people should not be doing ppi claims by themselves.
PPI claims made simple is a myth for most people so do not be caught out and if you want to make a ppi reclaim then use a claims company but do not pay more than 15% for their service.
Other Financial Claims you may have
Other financial products you should be looking at to see if they have been missold to you while you are checking for ppi include
Life insurance you will be surprised at how many of these policies have been missold in the past. Common reasons include single people with no reason or desire to leave an estate on their death, people who have reviewable premiums and were unaware of it is another reason it may have been missold.
Whole of life insurance policy is another product that has been widely missold to people especially if the premiums are escalating as many are unaware and will not be able to afford these increases in retirement.
Investments are another common missold product and I have lost count of how many people have been told they have a cash ISA with their bank only to find out it is invested in stocks and shares or told it is low risk when in reality it is high risk and does not match their attitude to risk.
People advised Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contribution Pensions or FSAVCs as they are commonly known when they already had a final salary pension at work and would have been better advised to join that instead of the FSAVC scheme.
All of the above I have encountered for clients by simply applying for a DSAR request so you can see the importance of doing your ppi claim the correct way as it can unearth huge potential for people all for one simple cost of £10.
It is frightening to consider the amount of people who has taken Martin Lewis ppi advice and Which Magazines advice and making their claim by themselves without requesting the file using the DSAR.
One thing I am sure of is that those people who have done so will have left millions of pounds in genuine compensation with the banks as they have not checked their files correctly.
The good news for those people is they can still check their file for the potential of being missold other financial products by simply doing a DSAR request to the bank and checking for other financial claims even after they have received compensation for mis sold ppi.
If you would like further information or help then please contact us and we will be happy to assist you and remember this service comes on a no win no fee basis and the success fee is only 15% plus VAT on any successful claim.
Start the process today as you could be owed thousands from the Banks for being missold other products.