American Express 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 American Express 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 American Express as an add-on to the loan or an overdraft product.
American Express 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 American Express PPI policies were sold without the consumer even aware that PPI was added onto their loan. Some consumers claim that American Express informed them that their application for a loan, credit card or mortgage would be declined if they didn't take out American Express payment protection insurance. In some cases this led to fear of losing a loan and the borrower would accept the American Express PPI even though they may not of even needed it.
American Express 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 American Express?
- If you were ever unable to work throughout the term of your American Express PPI policy due to the pre-existing medical condition, you would not have been covered by the American Express PPI policy.
- Were you older than the upper age limit for your American Express PPI policy?
- If American Express 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 American Express 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 American Express, with no pressure or hard selling.
- Were you led to believe that the American Express PPI policy was compulsory to your finance agreement?
- If a PPI policy was required for the finance agreement, American Express should have made you aware that you had the right to shop around OR if you had pre-existing cover elsewhere, American Express should not have sold you another PPI policy.
- Did American Express 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 American Express about the exclusions, or circumstances in which you couldn’t claim, you may have been mis-sold your American Express PPI policy.
- Did American Express enquire if you had PPI cover elsewhere that would of covered repayments?
- American Express should have asked if you had pre-existing PPI cover elsewhere as this would have been sufficient.
- Did American Express 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 American Express, you were mis-sold and are due a PPI refund.
- Were you aware that American Express had added PPI to your agreement?
- If you were not aware PPI had been added to your agreement by American Express, it may have been added without your consent or it may have been opt-out box which was not obvious.
- Did American Express make you aware about cancelling your PPI policy?
- You should have been made aware by American Express that you had the right to cancel your PPI policy within the cooling off period.
- Was the term of your American Express PPI cover shorter than the term of the finance agreement AND did American Express not explain that there would be a period of no PPI cover towards the end of your finance agreement?
- If American Express did not explain that you would be unprotected for any period of time throughout the finance agreement, you have been mis-sold your American Express PPI policy.
- When you were sold your PPI policy by American Express, were you unemployed, self-employed or retired?
- If you were unemployed, self-employed or retired when American Express sold you your PPI policy, you would not have been covered and therefore the American Express PPI policy would have been of no benefit to you.
- Was the total cost of the American Express PPI policy clearly explained to you at the point of sale?
- American Express 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.
If you have a successful PPI complaint against American Express upheld, you would be entitled to a full refund PPI paid to American Express, a full refund of any interest charged on the PPI by American Express and a compensation interest of 8% per annum on both of those combined.