Find out how you can complain – for free – about the way you were sold payment protection insurance (PPI) and claim back money you’ve paid for your policy.
PPI was designed to cover debt or credit repayments in certain circumstances where you can’t make them yourself, such as redundancy or where you cannot work due to accident, illness, disability or death. Find out more about PPI and what it can cover.
PPI is now rarely sold but we found that in the past it was often mis-sold. You can complain about the way PPI was sold and may be able to claim back money you’ve paid for your policy.
We have set a deadline of 29 August 2019 to complain about the sale of their PPI policy – you will not be able to complain after this date. Find out why we set this deadline.
How to complain about PPI
You can complain to your bank, lender or other provider about the sale of PPI yourself – and avoid paying a claims management company – by following these 4 steps:
- Check if you have or had PPI
- Consider whether to complain about PPI
- Make the complaint yourself – for free
- Wait up to 8 weeks for a final response from your provider
Step 1: Check if you have or had PPI
If you have taken out a loan, mortgage, credit card or store card, or bought something on credit such as a car, you may have been sold PPI.
Check your original paperwork, including the terms and conditions, and more recent statements to see if ‘PPI’ or ‘payment protection insurance’ is mentioned.
The product may also be called loan protection, credit insurance, loan repayment insurance, ASU (accident, sickness and unemployment) insurance, account cover or payment cover. Other names can also be used.
It may appear on your statements as an additional charge next to repayment information.
It is best to check your paperwork first but if you still aren’t sure whether you had PPI, or you don’t have any paperwork, you can call or write to your bank, lender or other provider to ask if you have or had a policy.
Step 2: Consider whether to complain about PPI
If you think you have or had PPI, there are now two reasons why you might want to complain about the way it was sold:
- PPI mis-selling: complain that PPI was mis-sold to you
- Undisclosed high commission (sometimes called ‘Plevin’): complain that your provider earned a high level of commission from your PPI but didn’t tell you this when you bought it
You can complain if you think you were mis-sold PPI, which is likely if you experienced any of the following:
- you were pressured into buying PPI
- you were told you must have PPI
- you were advised to buy PPI that did not suit your circumstances
- you were promised a cheaper rate if you bought PPI
- you were told your loan or credit application was more likely to be accepted if you bought PPI
- PPI was added without telling you, including where it was added in a pre-ticked box so you had to opt out rather than opt in
- you were self-employed, unemployed or retired but advised to buy PPI
- you had a pre-existing medical condition at the time of buying PPI
- you were advised that a pre-existing medical condition was (or was not) included in your PPI
- it was not made clear that you would pay interest on the PPI if it was added to your loan
- it was not made clear that the PPI policy would end before the loan or credit was repaid
There are other reasons you may have been mis-sold PPI. If you still aren’t sure if it was mis-sold you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Although there is now a deadline of 29 August 2019, some people will have an earlier deadline to complain about mis-selling of PPI. This is most likely to affect you if you previously received a letter from your provider about failings in the way PPI was sold to you or you have made a claim on your policy.
If you are unhappy about the sale of your PPI you should act now and complain to your provider.
If you can no longer complain about being mis-sold PPI you may still be able to complain about undisclosed high commission.
Undisclosed high commission
There is a new basis for complaining under rules we introduced following the Supreme Court decision in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Limited.
You may now be able to complain if you think your provider earned a high level of commission from your PPI and this was not made clear to you when you bought it.
It means you may be entitled to compensation even if you were not mis-sold PPI.
It is unlikely you would have been told how much of your PPI payments were to cover commission charges, so if you have concerns you should think about making a complaint.
If you have not complained about PPI and want to complain about undisclosed high commission, you should consider:
- whether you may also have been mis-sold PPI. Your provider will consider undisclosed high commission as part of a mis-selling complaint even if you don’t mention it
If you have already complained about being mis-sold PPI you should be aware that:
- if your complaint was rejected you may be able to make a new complaint about undisclosed high commission – contact your provider
- if your complaint was successful and you received some or all of your money back, you will not receive further compensation for a complaint about undisclosed high commission as there is no remaining loss that you need to be compensated for
- if you complained about PPI after late 2015, your provider should already have told you in writing whether it will consider undisclosed high commission as part of your complaint – check your paperwork or contact your provider if you aren’t sure
These new rules only apply to PPI policies that covered repayments on credit agreements – such as loans, mortgages and credit cards – where money was owed, or potentially owed, on or after 6 April 2008. If PPI was sold to you on a loan that you paid off in full before 6 April 2008, you cannot complain about undisclosed high commission.
If you had PPI on a credit card, note that you may still be able to complain about undisclosed high commission even if you stopped using your credit card before 6 April 2008.
Step 3: Make the complaint yourself – for free
You can complain to your bank, lender or other provider about the sale of PPI yourself and avoid paying a claims company to complain for you.
You can usually complain by phone, post or – for some providers – on their website.
Although complaining is a simple process, you should be prepared to provide information to support your complaint, such as:
- your contact details
- when you bought your PPI policy and your circumstances at the time, such as employment status
- an explanation of why you are complaining (see step 2)
The more information you provide, the easier and quicker it will be for your provider to review your complaint. But you can still complain even if you can’t find your paperwork.
If you want to post your complaint you can use a free PPI complaint form (DOC) provided by the Financial Ombudsman Service. Many providers also offer their own PPI complaint form that you can use.
Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if you need help understanding or filling in a complaint form.
Providers that no longer exist
If you were sold PPI after 14 January 2005 by a bank, lender or another provider that now does not exist, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) may be able to help – find out if the FSCS can help you.
Using a claims company
You could pay to use a claims company, which are also known as claims management companies (CMCs), claims firms or claims handlers, to make a complaint on your behalf.
Claims companies may charge an upfront cost but many charge a fee which can be as much as 30% of the amount refunded. A 30% fee would mean you pay the claims company a £1,500 fee out of a £5,000 refund, rather than receiving the full amount if you submit the complaint yourself.
If you decide to use a claims company you should read the terms and conditions carefully and make sure you understand what it will cost you. You should also check if a claims company is authorised, on the Ministry of Justice’s Authorised Business Register.
Step 4: Wait up to 8 weeks for a response
Banks, lenders and other providers we regulate will acknowledge that they have received your complaint.
They must then send either a final decision in writing within 8 weeks of your complaint to tell you whether it has been successful, or explain why they need more time to look into it.
If you want help understanding the final decision or you would like it in a different format, you should contact your bank, lender or other provider.
What to do if you disagree with the final decision
If you are not happy with the final decision you receive from your bank, lender or other provider, or you do not get a response within 8 weeks, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Financial Ombudsman Service will contact both you and your provider to find out what has happened, and then decide if your provider has treated you fairly.
It is important you contact the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months of your provider sending its final decision, or it may not be able to deal with your complaint.
You can use the free PPI complaint form (DOC) to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.
You will still be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service after the 29 August 2019 deadline if you complained to your provider before that date and it is within 6 months of receiving your final decision letter.
Contact us about PPI
If you want help understanding the information on this page or your options, you can call us on 0800 111 6768 or see other ways to contact us.
Note that we cannot give advice about your individual circumstances or help you complain about the sale of PPI.