You will be interested to find out that, if you happened to be one of the thousands of victims of the PPI mis-selling scandal, there's a very good chance that you may be able to recuperate the cash that was sneakily taken from you. The majority of banks have finally admitted that they were in the wrong, and have set aside funds accordingly to compensate those they mis-sold to in the first place.
However, given the underhanded way in which PPI has been mis-sold, banks and other financial institutions often included it on services and products such as credit cards and loans, without telling the customer that they had included it. Therefore, you could actually by a victim of mis-sold PPI and not even know it!
In some cases, banks and other credit lenders may have already contacted customers who they think may have been at risk of being mis-sold payment protection, so it's worth checking through your post to see if you have received any such correspondence. Otherwise, think back to any big financial services you've used – PPI could have been included on anything from credit cards, mortgages, bank loans and even hire-purchase agreements. If you can't remember the exact details, or can't remember if you have taken out a loan or credit card, then be sure to check your credit history. You can do this for a small fee of £2, or you can try signing up to one of the big credit agencies for a free trial (which includes a free look at your credit file). This will contain up to six years worth of information, and will give you all the details you need on any existing or previous credit agreements.
With the details from your credit file you can contact any banks or other lenders you have dealt with in the last six years to ask if you were subject to PPI protection. They may be able to tell you over the phone, or you could request the information in writing (enclose a cheque for the cost of £1 to cover any administrative costs for this). If, after 40 days, you've received no response, then go to the Information Commissioner for more advice, as they are there to ensure that companies respond promptly to those submitting PPI enquiries.
You should also be aware that PPI mis-selling could have occurred on any of your current loans or credit agreements, so if this is the case, check any paperwork you have in relation to these agreements. PPI is meant to be an insurance policy, but it can be referred to as an ‘ASU' (Accident, sickness, unemployment) policy, or some other type of cover or protection.
If, after your investigations, you have been able to determine that you were sold a policy, you then need to investigate whether or not is was actually mis-sold to you. If you didn't even realise you had it, then chances are you'd have a very good case for receiving compensation for the PPI paid, but there are other ways that a policy could have been mis-sold to you including:
It's important to point out that there is no deadline for you to put in a claim, but you're likely to find it a lot easier to do so if your policy was active during the past six years. Also, don't worry too much if you took out PPI via a verbal transaction – the pressure is on the banks to prove they provided you with the right information, not the other way around. Even if your lender has shut down or been subject to a takeover, their liabilities will still be insured so it could still be worth making a claim.