Here we look at the main steps in making payment protection insurance (PPI) claims.
- Track down your paperwork. Firstly, you may need to do this to establish whether you ever had PPI, and secondly to provide details of your policy. If you really canít find any paperwork, donít despair, as simply providing your name and address may be sufficient for the provider to locate your loan/PPI details. However, if it is more than six years since the sale, the provider is not obliged to retain such information.
- Write to your provider. Your complaint letter should include the reasons why you believe a mis-sale took place, and should state what you would like the provider to do to put things right.
- Your provider acknowledges the complaint. This should be done within five working days of receipt. The best acknowledgement letters will summarise their understanding of your complaint and invite you to correct any misunderstandings. If you disagree with their summary, or no acknowledgement letter arrives, contact the provider immediately.
- Your provider investigates the complaint. The provider should reach its decision based on the paperwork supplied by you and the provider, each partyís recollections of the transaction and for a telephone sale, any call recordings.
- The provider makes its decision. Your complaint may be rejected, upheld in part or upheld in full, and then you must decide whether to accept this decision and any compensation offered. Remember that a fair compensation offer should reflect the amount you paid in PPI premiums plus interest.
- You contact the FOS. If you are content with the providerís offer in step 5, the process ends there. However, large numbers of customers have been unhappy with providerís decisions on PPI complaints, and have gone to the FOS. The FOS can also get involved if the provider doesnít make a decision on the complaint within eight weeks. At this stage, you will need to complete the FOS PPI complaint form if you havenít already done so.
- The FOS investigates your complaint. As the provider did, the FOS will consider evidence supplied by both parties. The FOS resolves most complaints within a few months, but can take over a year.
- The FOS notifies you of its decision. Again your complaint may be upheld or rejected, and you need to decide whether to accept it.
- You ask for an ombudsman to review the decision. If you are content with the decision of the FOS adjudicator in step 8, the process ends there. However, you do have the option of asking for the case to be reviewed by one of the Ombudsmen employed by the FOS, although this will take several more months.
- Go to court. A significant majority of PPI claims have their complaint upheld at some stage of the process. However, if you have been unsuccessful at all these stages, your only option is to pursue the matter in a small claims court. You have the option of going to court at any stage of the process, however the FOS will not consider any case where legal proceedings have commenced. Pursuing the matter in court is difficult, as you need to prove that a breach of the law has taken place, and if you are unsuccessful, you will almost certainly have to pay your legal costs. The case of Barnes v Black Horse is a prominent example of a borrower losing a PPI legal claim against a lender
If you use a claims management company, you can expect assistance at every stage of the PPI Claims process.
All information presented in this article is accurate as of March 2013