Loan Payment Protection Insurance Still Facing Problems

by : Simon Burgess

Despite the fact that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigated the payment protection insurance (PPI) sector and set out guidelines which those selling the cover were to follow, over 4,000 cases of mis-selling are being investigated in 2007. While this fact alone is bad enough, the figure is twice that of the year before, giving consumers cause for concern when buying loan payment protection insurance.

It was hoped that mis-selling would cease following on from the FSA, Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission investigations, but with the figure doubling it seems that much more has to be done if mis-selling is to end. The majority of mis-selling occurs with the high street lenders who sell the cover alongside their loans, putting huge profits ahead of the consumer's best interests. Loan protection is a huge profit maker which rakes in over £4 billion a year and greedy high street lenders do not want to lose this profit margin.

A far better way to purchase loan payment protection insurance is to take out the cover with a standalone specialist provider. Always make sure when taking out a loan or credit card that the cover has not been included because although this should be mentioned it has been known to have been included without the consumer being aware. A specialist provider will be more ethical and will make sure the consumer has access to the key facts of the cover and so known about the exclusions which could stop them from being eligible to claim. Common exclusions include if you only work part time, suffer a pre-existing illness, are of retirement age or are self-employed but there can be others.

Once you have checked the exclusions to determine if loan payment protection insurance would be suitable then cover could begin to provide you with a tax free income from between the 31st and 90th day of being out of work. If you continued to be out of work then the cover would provide you with an income to take care of your monthly loan repayments for between 12 and 24 months. This would give you great peace of mind and help to keep you out of debt at the very least.

A change for the better is on the horizon with the introduction of comparison tables in March 2008. It is hoped that the comparison tables will lead to the family of protection policies being more transparent to the consumer and so are able to decide which product would be more suitable. This will be achieved by a series of questions which the consumer will answer and lead to the right payment protection product. Along with this information will be given regarding the exclusions and also the total cost of the protection which means the consumer is able to make an informed decision regarding the suitability of the product.

While the comparison charts are a step in the right direction when it comes to the consumer getting the right advice they cannot replace the advice and information an independent specialist provider can give. They also cannot change the fact that a standalone provider will offer the cheapest premiums for loan payment protection insurance which can save you hundreds of pounds on the cover.