20/09/2008 09:00:00

Seek advice before taking out insurance, consumer group advises

Consumers should seek independent financial advice before taking out insurance products such as payment protection insurance (PPI), urges consumer body Which?

Personal finance campaigner Lucy Widenka says people should not feel obliged to take out any insurance alongside financial products such as loans, credit cards and mortgages until they have spoken to an independent advisor.

They will need to protect all of their finances, not just one debt, she explains.

"If money is tight, you would be better off using money you would have used on credit card PPI and spending it on independent financial advice and more robust protection for your entire finances," Ms Widenka adds.

The Financial Services Authority has fined seven firms over poor PPI sales practices in the past year, including Land of Leather, HFC Bank, GE Capital Bank and Regency Mortgage Corporation.

It has also imposed a public censure on Eastern Western Motor Group and Cathedral Motor Company.