Payment protection rip-off

Posing as customers, Protection Insurance phoned the top ten mortgage lenders to obtain a quote for a mortgage, making 100 calls in all, but without completing any transactions. Some lenders automatically included mortgage payment protection insurance in quotes without being asked. Some companies also failed to ensure that the policies were suitable for the buyer, refusing to send out policy documents, or failing to give the most basic explanation about what's covered, or most importantly what's not.

Commenting on the results,'s spokeswoman Sarah Kirby said: "This is shocking. If you need to make a claim you may not be covered because of these exclusions; or the benefits you receive could be limited.”

In the calls where mortgage payment protection insurance was mentioned, only 25% were given an explanation as to what it covers and, in 71% of conversations, the caller had to ask for the information. In addition, unless prompted, not a single caller was asked about their medical history or was told that pre-existing medical conditions wouldn't be covered as required by the ABI code of conduct. Only a third of callers were asked about any employment details - this is a major cause of problems when claims are made, especially for part-time or contract workers who may not be eligible for cover.