Two million people who were flogged worthless card security insurance from Sentinel should watch for a claim form in the post, as letters begin to be sent today.
The High Court last month approved a redress scheme for customers mis-sold card Affinion – often branded Sentinel insurance in 2005 or later, after it was backed by a customer vote (see the High Court approves Sentinel redress scheme MSE News story).
If you were mis-sold this card security insurance and have already received two letters in the post, keep an eye out for a third letter. These are being sent to eligible customers from today until mid-September.
The letter will ask whether you want to be considered for redress. It'll include a claim form that has to be completed, signed and returned in the envelope provided before 18 March 2016 – see our Sentinel Card Protection guide for full details and template statements you can use to reclaim.
If you don't send the original claim form back, you won't get a refund. Even if you didn't vote you can still claim compensation, although if you do this and you're an existing customer, your cover will be cancelled.
'Don't bin your letter by confusing it for spam. It's the real thing'
Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, says: "If you're one of the two million who were flogged this often worthless insurance you should get your claim in, it could net you £200+. It's vital you don't bin your letter by confusing it for spam. It's the real thing.
"While an automatic redress scheme similar to CPP should be welcomed, with CPP, many didn't believe it. We were inundated with people who thought the letters were PPI spam and chucked them away – only a third who were due money claimed it.
"The FCA has also followed the short seven month time frame, which was proven not to be long enough last time."
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Will I automatically get my money back?
It's too early to say if people will automatically get their money back, however, this scheme is similar to last year's CPP redress programme, and we only heard of one person who claimed and failed to get their money back. So simply making a reclaim should mean you get your money back.
Once you've sent your form, you should receive a written response within eight weeks letting you know whether or not you're entitled to compensation. If you haven't heard within this time, you can chase by calling 0800 678 1930.
How much will I get?
You'll get the money you paid in premiums, minus any money paid out by the policy. You'll also get interest calculated at 8% per year. All redress payments will be paid by cheque.
I didn't vote, or I voted against it. Can I still claim?
Yes. Even if you didn't vote on the redress scheme, or if you voted against it, you'll still be able to make a claim. You should keep an eye on the post for a letter.
I haven't had a letter, am I still eligible to claim?
If you haven't received a letter from Sentinel, but think you're eligible for your money back, it may be due to something simple such as it has an incorrect address for you. If you think this is the case, contact the scheme on 0800 678 1930.
What's the problem with Affinion/Sentinel?
You may be entitled to £100s back if you got Affinion card protection directly or via one of 11 banks and card issuers, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Santander.
The problem is that the 'card security' part of some of these products, which covered fraudulent use if a card was lost or stolen, was completely unnecessary as card issuers are typically responsible for fraudulent transactions.
What happens next?
Here's a timeline of the key events taking place next:
- 18 August 2015 – 18 March 2016: A seven-month claim period takes place. You'll receive a claim form no later than mid-September 2015.
- Mid-January – start of February 2016: Reminder letters for people to claim ahead of the deadline will be sent out.
- 19 September 2016: Extended claim period for exceptional cases ends. As an example, if you've been out of the country for a long period, the deadline could be extended for you.