A District Judge has upheld an insurance mis-selling claim brought by a customer who was ‘duped’ into taking out payment protection insurance (PPI) in relation to a hire purchase agreement for a new motor home.
District Judge Park accepted that the claimant had been ‘duped into buying something he did not want or order’. PPI had not been mentioned or discussed prior to the hire purchase agreement being signed and the claimant neither wanted nor needed such a policy.
When presented with paperwork by a motor dealer, who told him to ‘sign here, here and here’, the claimant had done just that, without reading the documents, the District Judge said.
The District Judge, sitting at Carlisle County Court, ordered the motor dealership (the second defendant) to reimburse the claimant the £1,578 cost of the policy, plus interest.
The judge said: ‘If I stand back and look at the realities of the situation, it is simply the case that the second defendant sold to the claimant something he did not want and did not know he was buying, and, it appears, concealed from him the fact that he was buying it.’
However, the judge dismissed the claimant’s plea that the finance company that stood behind the hire purchase agreement (the frst defendant) should also be held liable for his loss under the terms of the Consumer Credit Act.
The second defendant had not acted as the first defendant’s agent and the latter was entitled to believe that the claimant ‘knew what he was buying’, said the judge.
Rejecting arguments that there had been ‘an unfair relationship’ between the first defendant and the claimant, the judge said that it would be unreasonable to expect the first defendant to have done anything more than comply with its statutory duty to notify the claimant within 30 days of his right to cancel the PPI policy.
The judge said: ‘Why should the deception be laid at the door of the first defendant just because the second defendant arranged for the first defendant to finance the purchase?’
The claimant was awarded £1,578, plus interest, against the second defendant. However, his claim against the first defendant was dismissed.
If you have been mis-sold a financial product, you may be able to take action to recover your loss. Contact us for advice.