Great news! The money which was taken from customers by unscrupulous banks is being returned to them. Following the High Court’s decision, banks have set aside billions of pounds to be repaid to customers who were mis sold Payment Protection insurance through aggressive sales tactics – and customers are claiming in droves.

But like most things to do with financial institutions, it can be a lengthy and complicated process. So how do you know if you should make the claim yourself or if you should hire someone to do it for you?

You Should Make the Claim Yourself If…

The first thing to consider is how old your policy is. There has been a time limit placed on making a Payment Protection Insurance claim; you’ll need to make the claim within six years of the policy’s issue for it to be valid. There is, however, a loophole: if you only became aware that you might have grounds to complain, then you have three years from that point to make your claim. If your policy is fairly recent, you stand a good chance of being able to claim your cash back.

The second thing to consider is whether you have all the paperwork from the policy. Paperwork plays a huge role in all claims and you will likely be required to produce documentation.

Finally, you need to consider if you’re comfortable with making the claim yourself – you’ll need to be confident dealing with big financial institutions, good with numbers, comfortable with your legal rights and well-organised.

If this is you – excellent! Submit a complaint to the financial institution that sold you the policy and expect a response acknowledging your complaint within five days. From this point, the bank has eight weeks to determine if your claim is valid. If you are dissatisfied with the bank’s response, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service within six months, who will then review your case and make a ruling. In 75% of cases, the FOS rules in favour of the customer, but there is a large backlog of cases.

You Should Hire a Professional If…

If you’re not comfortable dealing with the banks, or if you don’t have the time or inclination to make the claim yourself, or if the claim is particularly complicated, you should consider hiring a professional to take care of the process for you. Professional firms are experienced in dealing with these claims and can expedite the process.

Many firms work on a no-win, no-fee basis which is convenient since it minimises your risk. Make sure you find out what percentage they will take and that you are dealing with a reputable firm. They’ll guide you through the process and take care of the paperwork.