If you've taken out a personal loan, Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) can be an excellent investment. PPI will cover your debt repayments in the event that you're sick, suffer an accident or if you experience unexpected unemployment - and this could ultimately make a crucial difference to your long-term financial well being.
However, a recent study by consumer group “Which?" has found that many consumers could be at risk of unknowingly purchasing PPI when taking out a personal loan over the phone or via the internet. The research conducted by “Which?" found that more than half the number of personal quotes received on the telephone automatically included PPI, with a similar pattern emerging online. Out of all the banks surveyed, only one site made it clear to their customers that they could choose a personal loan with or without PPI before giving them a quote.
While PPI can provide a number of benefits to consumers with personal loans, it's important for borrowers to realise that it might not always be right for them. “Which? Money" Editor, Martyn Hocking, commented:
"PPI is not always suitable, yet our research shows that lenders are still extremely keen to sell it to us. By adding PPI to loan quotes automatically, people could be tricked into buying it regardless of whether they need it or not. "
He added, “If you're taking out a loan, make sure you know if the quotes you get include PPI - it's not compulsory so if you don’t want it, ask the lender to remove it. "
If you're hoping to take out a personal loan, don't let the threat of being tricked into buying PPI put you off shopping for loans online. There are a number of consumer comparison sites that will let you compare loans online. Through these sites, you'll be able to conduct your own personal loan search and evaluate which is the right one for your particular financial circumstances.
Moreover, you'll be able to establish which banks and financial institutions offer the best rates on PPI across the UK market; so if you're specifically looking for comprehensive payment protection insurance, you'll be able to establish how to go about acquiring the best cover for your personal loan. You can find information about PPI and the benefits it offers from a variety of online resources, including such bodies as the Financial Services Authority (www.fsa. gov.uk) and the Association of British Insurers (www.abi.org.uk). The more knowledge you have about PPI, the better equipped you'll be to assess whether you actually need it!
Andrew Regan is a freelance online journalist who lists travel and rugby among his list of interests.