While payment protection insurance can be a valuable asset if you have loan or credit card repayments to make each month, it is not suitable for everyone. Some individuals would not benefit from taking out the cover because of the exclusions found in a policy.
The majority of payment protection policies have exclusions. Being in part-time employment, suffering from a pre-existing illness, or being retired or self-employed could all mean cover is not suitable. Providers can also add in other exclusions to the small print and reading the key facts of a policy is a necessity. If you shop with a specialist provider for your cover then the provider should give you all the facts you need to know before you buy. This means you can ensure that the product is right for your circumstances.
A payment protection plan pays out a tax-free sum of money each month after you have been out of work for a set period of time. The start date for payment varies from provider to provider but is normally within 30 to 90 days of being unable to attend your job. This could be due to suffering an accident, being ill or finding yourself unemployed through no fault of your own. Redundancy, for example, is one reason you could claim.
Once the policy holder has started to receive an income then they continue to do so for between 12 and 24 months, again depending on the provider. This means they have to worry less about being able to afford financial commitments or credit card or loan repayments.
When taking out a loan from the high street lender payment protection is usually offered at the time of borrowing. In the majority of cases this is not the ideal way to buy protection. High street lenders are known to charge high premiums for the luxury of having peace of mind. Even worse, in some cases they ‘push’ cover alongside the borrowing to those who would not be eligible for a pay-out should they make a claim.
When an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading revealed that mis-selling of payment protection products was rife among high street lenders, people lost faith in the product. The Office of Fair Trading highlighted the fact that lenders were not making it clear that people could shop around for a policy. Some lenders were misleading the consumer into believing that the application for the loan depended on them taking out a policy. At the same time, the lenders often give out very little information, which made understanding and comparing cover almost impossible.
Payment protection insurance taken with a standalone specialist provider removes the confusion associated with a policy. Providers do this by giving the facts in plain English. A specialist will also provide a quality product that can save you as much as 80% in comparison to the high-end quotes offered by some high street lenders. It is essential when comparing protection that you also compare the key facts because this is where you will find vital information regarding the cover you are taking out.
Simon Burgess is Managing Director of the award-winning British Insurance, a specialist provider of payment protection insurance, mortgage payment protection insurance and income protection insurance.
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