Packaged Bank Accounts | Do I Need Travel Insurance?
If you are a traveller aged over 55 and use the travel insurance provided by your packaged bank account, there is a chance you may not be protected abroad.
Packaged bank accounts, where a monthly fee is paid in return for various benefits such as breakdown cover and travel insurance, are a popular option. An estimated 11 million people pay as much as £300 a year for current accounts with added benefits.
However, what some lenders have failed to properly explain to the customer is the alarming string of T&Cs attached to many of these benefits.
Often travel insurance policies, for instance, do not cover pre-existing medical conditions, specific sports and activities, travel to particular countries and continents, and various other factors noted in the fine print. As such, it’s very possible that your travel insurance could not in fact cover you on your next holiday at all.
Travel insurance is just one of the countless potentially confusing insurance policies sold alongside some packaged bank accounts in recent times. As packaged bank accounts are generic products, and not tailored to the individual, many people already have one or more of the insurances they offer in place (e.g. mobile phone insurance). Others aren’t even aware of all the perks their bank account provides, so effectively end up paying for a policy twice.
That is not to say that all packaged bank accounts are bad. Some can offer customers excellent value for money, depending on your circumstances. However, it is possible you were mis-sold a packaged bank account if:
- The product wasn’t fully explained
- You were told you were eligible to claim when you weren’t (e.g. due to age limits on travel insurance)
- You were not told the full cost or made aware of increased costs
- You were told your application (e.g. for an overdraft) wouldn’t be accepted unless you took an account
- You were told it would improve your credit score
- The bank was pushy and ‘wouldn’t take no for an answer’
- You were totally unaware that you even had a packaged bank account
- You were not aware of the ‘perks’ that came with your account
Paul Cahill, Head of Financial Claims at GWlegal, comments:
“It is thought that as many as one in five packaged bank accounts have been mis-sold - a pretty shocking figure!
“While the monthly fee you paid for your account may have been small, over the years it really does add up. For instance, if you paid £15 monthly for five years, you would be looking at a refund of around £900 plus interest.
“As almost all packaged bank accounts were ‘sold’ not ‘bought’, if you have one, and haven’t utilised the perks, there is a good chance you will be able to make a claim.”
The GWlegal service
We pay for a Subject Access Request for all our clients. This allows us to check all your financial agreements and see if any products, including packaged bank accounts, were mis-sold. This will also give us opportunity to see if there are any outstanding PPI policies for which you could be owed further compensation.
We work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, so there is no harm in at least finding out if you could have a claim,
Can I complain myself?
Sure. If you think you were mis-sold a packaged bank account and would like to pursue this independently, write to your bank. You should give your account details and clearly explain why you think you were mis-sold a product.
The problem is, many claims made directly to the bank by customers are wrongly rejected. For instance, the bank may claim that, as you once took a holiday and used the travel insurance policy provided, you don’t have the right to complain. This is not true. Just because you used a policy, does not mean it was right for you.
If your bank says you don’t have a valid claim or you don’t hear back from them in eight weeks, you can then use the Financial Ombudsman Service for free.
Of course, this process can be time-consuming and stressful.
An experienced and reputable solicitor, who understands how to quickly and efficiently deal with banks, could be the best option for you.
Who are GWlegal?
If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0345 373 3737 or email us at email@example.com with your question. Who are GWlegal? We’re a national firm with local values.
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Content correct at time of publication.