What Is Gap Insurance and How Does It Work?

If your automobile is damaged or stolen, and you owe more than the car’s depreciated worth, gap insurance might help you pay down your loan. “Loan/lease gap coverage” is another name for gap insurance.

Only the original borrower or leaseholder on a new car is eligible for this sort of coverage. Difference insurance bridges the gap between your car’s depreciated value and the amount you still owe on it.

Why do I require Gap Insurance? 

Many lenders need collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle insurance policy until your automobile is paid off if you’re leasing or financing a new car.

Gap insurance is intended for use in combination with collision and comprehensive insurance. The collision or comprehensive coverage will ultimately help pay for your wrecked or stolen car up to its depreciated worth only when you have a covered claim. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), when you drive a brand-new vehicle off the lot, its value drops instantly. In addition, the value of most automobiles depreciates by roughly 20% in the first year of ownership. But what if your loan or lease balance is still more than the vehicle’s depreciated value? That’s when gap insurance might come in handy.

How does Gap insurance work? 

Here’s how gap insurance would function in practice: Assume you paid $25,000 for a brand-new automobile. When your car is totaled in a covered collision, you still owe $20,000 on your vehicle loan. Your collision coverage would reimburse your lender up to the depreciated value of the damaged automobile, say $19,000. 

In case you don’t have any gap insurance cover, you’ll have to spend $1,000 out of pocket to pay off your damaged car’s auto loan. On the other hand, when you have gap insurance, your provider will assist you in paying this $1,000.

Keep in mind that the car insurance refund goes entirely to your auto lender to pay off a non-drivable vehicle in the example above. If you believe you may require assistance in purchasing a new car after your current one has been totaled.

You may also like to think about getting new auto replacement insurance. Some insurers bundle loan or lease gap coverage and further car replacement coverage into a single add-on coverage when you purchase auto insurance for your brand-new car or any vehicle.

Best Recommended gap insurance 

Following is the best recommended gap insurance – 

State Farm 

State Farm, the nation’s most extensive vehicle insurer, does not issue gap insurance. It does, however, have a product known as Payoff Protector, which is available to anybody who gets a car loan from a State Farm bank (which has a partnership with US Bank). 

State Farm gap insurance is only available for full coverage automobile insurance, but it is not required to be underwritten by State Farm. If your loan is with State Farm, you are eligible for Payoff Protector at no additional cost, even if your insurance policy is with a different insurance provider. State Farm makes it simple for new and existing clients to add extra features to their policy as one of the finest auto insurance providers.

Allstate 

The difference between a main auto insurance settlement and the outstanding sum owing on a car is waived under the Allstate gap program. It reimburses a deductible payment and waives covered damages up to $50,000. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company will cover your claim.

Do you get money back from Gap insurance? 

You may be entitled to a return of the unused amount of a car loan if you pay it off early. Some jurisdictions require insurers to repay premiums if a 36-month loan with 36-month gap coverage is paid in 24 months, for example.

Frequently, the insurance company will not notify you if you are owed a refund. Keep your payback letter, the original contract or insurance paperwork, and an odometer disclosure statement with you at all times.

Before purchasing gap insurance, it is critical to understand an insurer’s return policy. If an insurer refuses to offer a refund, it may be beneficial to contact your state’s commerce department or insurance commissioner’s office to learn about state rules and regulations.

Gap insurance for leased cars 

Leased cars, like any other car or SUV, depreciate fast. If you didn’t even put enough money down yet still owe a significant amount on your overall lease payment, you’ll almost certainly owe more than what the car is worth when you’re in an accident. Covering the gap in your lease with gap insurance is a wise financial option.

To establish if you have a gap, compare your overall cost — including taxes and anything extra you folded into the lease — to the car’s MSRP, just like you would with a purchased automobile. Consider gap insurance if this is the case.

The gap between what you owe and what the automobile is worth reduces as you make monthly payments and the car depreciates, exactly like it would with a purchased automobile. As a result, you may not require coverage for the duration of your lease. Depending on how good of a bargain you obtained, you might only need it for a few months.

Conclusion 

A gap insurance coverage purchased through a dealership may be too costly. Make sure you compare prices from the dealership, vehicle insurers, and gap insurance specialists. 

Your current auto insurance provider may be able to provide you the best bargain. You may be able to add gap insurance for as low as $20 per year if you currently have comprehensive coverage. Make sure you understand your loan conditions and the worth of your vehicle before shopping for the best offer.

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