Insurers blackball HBOS staff from PPI

Nia Williams

September 25, 2008

For many HBOS staff, finding PPI cover is proving exceptionally difficult and leading insurers are refusing to offer policies to these individuals, according to Burgesses.

Following the announced merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS, thousands of staff are likely to be made redundant as the two operations rationalise their branch network and administration activities. However for staff worried about protecting their financial security, finding PPI insurance is becoming a real problem.

Sara-Ann Burgess, managing director at PPI specialist Burgesses, says it is a disgrace that insurers are refusing to cover those who need their help most. “This approach is typical of how the big banks and insurers have behaved in the PPI market for years. They have been quick to profit by selling over priced policies to customers who in many cases were not even been eligible to claim on the insurance. Now when genuine people, with genuine fears come to take out cover they are refused.”

Burgess said that the looming job cuts at HBOS were no reason for the staff to be blackballed by insurers. At the moment there has been no announcement on how many jobs will be lost, or where they will be lost. As such writing off applications for cover from all HBOS staff was unacceptable.

“Fortunately this profit hungry approach is not taken by everyone in the PPI market and there are still providers out there genuinely committed to helping customers. Independent intermediaries like British Insurance are able to source policies from across the market and will be able to help those who are being turned away by other providers,” said Burgess.

In fact, given that the major financial institutions were the worst offenders when it came to over pricing their policies, Burgess said it was likely even the most vulnerable customers would be able to not only find cover, but also save money by working with a firm such as British Insurance.

“After years of profiteering, the biggest players are starting to pull up the ladder and leave customers who need their help behind. PPI is there to protect people in the face of redundancy and it strikes me as sharp practice for the likes of these insurers to be refusing applications from staff at companies going through turbulent times.”

She added: “Are we going to get to a situation where the big providers will simply not cover staff working at estate agents, property developers or construction firms because they are going through a difficult period?”

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