First Direct payment protection insurance (PPI), also known as loan repayment insurance, credit insurance or credit protection insurance was designed so that the borrower could make repayments to First Direct if they were unable to earn income to service the debt. This shouldn't be confused with income protection insurance which is not usually attached to a debt. PPI was widely sold by First Direct as an add-on to the loan or an overdraft product.
First Direct PPI usually covered payments for a minimum of 12 months, this gave the borrower enough time to find alternative means of making repayments such as going back to work.
Some First Direct PPI policies were sold without the consumer even aware that PPI was added onto their loan. Some consumers claim that First Direct informed them that their application for a loan, credit card or mortgage would be declined if they didn't take out First Direct payment protection insurance. In some cases this led to fear of losing a loan and the borrower would accept the First Direct PPI even though they may not of even needed it.
First Direct may have mis-sold you PPI if any of the below statements are relevant to you at the point of sale:
- Did you have a pre-existing medical condition at time you were sold your PPI policy by First Direct?
- If you were ever unable to work throughout the term of your First Direct PPI policy due to the pre-existing medical condition, you would not have been covered by the First Direct PPI policy.
- Were you older than the upper age limit for your First Direct PPI policy?
- If First Direct had an upper age limit on the PPI policy and you were above this set age, you would not have been covered.
- Did you feel pressured into purchasing the First Direct PPI policy?
- A simple assessment of your personal circumstances to determine if PPI was of any benefit to you should have been carried out by First Direct, with no pressure or hard selling.
- Did First Direct make you aware of any exclusions or circumstances in which you would not be eligible to make a claim?
- If you weren’t told by First Direct about the exclusions, or circumstances in which you couldn’t claim, you may have been mis-sold your First Direct PPI policy.
- Did First Direct make you aware that part of your PPI premiums may have been paid as commission?
- The Plevin ruling means that if over 50% of your PPI premiums were paid in commission to First Direct, you were mis-sold and are due a PPI refund.
- Was the term of your First Direct PPI cover shorter than the term of the finance agreement AND did First Direct not explain that there would be a period of no PPI cover towards the end of your finance agreement?
- If First Direct did not explain that you would be unprotected for any period of time throughout the finance agreement, you have been mis-sold your First Direct PPI policy.
- Were you led to believe that the First Direct PPI policy was compulsory to your finance agreement?
- If a PPI policy was required for the finance agreement, First Direct should have made you aware that you had the right to shop around OR if you had pre-existing cover elsewhere, First Direct should not have sold you another PPI policy.
- When you were sold your PPI policy by First Direct, were you unemployed, self-employed or retired?
- If you were unemployed, self-employed or retired when First Direct sold you your PPI policy, you would not have been covered and therefore the First Direct PPI policy would have been of no benefit to you.
- Were you aware that First Direct had added PPI to your agreement?
- If you were not aware PPI had been added to your agreement by First Direct, it may have been added without your consent or it may have been opt-out box which was not obvious.
- Was the total cost of the First Direct PPI policy clearly explained to you at the point of sale?
- First Direct should have explained every aspect of any costs relating to your PPI agreement. Failure to do so would be considered a big mis-selling factor.
- Did First Direct make you aware about cancelling your PPI policy?
- You should have been made aware by First Direct that you had the right to cancel your PPI policy within the cooling off period.
- Did First Direct enquire if you had PPI cover elsewhere that would of covered repayments?
- First Direct should have asked if you had pre-existing PPI cover elsewhere as this would have been sufficient.
If you have a successful PPI complaint against First Direct upheld, you would be entitled to a full refund PPI paid to First Direct, a full refund of any interest charged on the PPI by First Direct and a compensation interest of 8% per annum on both of those combined.