One year from now, it will be too late to put in a claim for payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation.
The deadline of midnight Thursday 29 August 2019 is set by the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority
(FCA), which is funding a major advertising campaign to make people aware of their time-limited right to claim money back.
Although it is called “compensation”, you just get back the premiums you should never have paid, plus interest.
The average redress is around £2,500, though some get far more.
According to the FCA, as many as 64 million payment protection PPI policies have been sold in the UK, mostly between 1990 and 2010. PPI was often added on to personal loans, mortgages and credit cards with the promise of meeting payments if you found that you were unable to. But the strict terms of the insurance were seldom explained, many people were excluded, and the borrower was given no real choice about whether to take it or not.
Recent court cases have revealed that profit margins were typically 75% or more. As a result, almost every sale was a mis-sale.
The banks and other lenders have paid out £32 billion in redress since April 2011, and payments are still being made – around £400 million every month.
There is, though, a dark side to this business. Claims firms are bombarding people with emails, texts, calls and letters to sell their services before the deadline. Some do a good job, but if you win they will charge up to a third or more of the redress you get. Others are little more than scams.
You almost never need to use a claims company, but if you do want one, never pay upfront and investigate their terms carefully.
Normally, you can claim yourself using resolver.co.uk/ppi, which takes you through the whole process and makes no charge. There is also a do-it-yourself guide at which.co.uk/ppi.
If your claim is rejected you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service financial-ombudsman.org.uk, which reverses about one in three rejected claims. It also has guides to claiming redress.