What Does Gap Insurance Cover?

What does gap insurance cover and how does it work? Read this article to find out.

In the event that you are changing your old and rusty car to get a new one, or possibly purchasing your first vehicle ever, it is actually a smart idea to find out about what gap insurance covers and when you need it. Gap, or guaranteed asset protection, can help you cover the difference between what your insurance agency covers and the sum you owe on your auto loan if your vehicle is stolen, harmed, or said to be a complete loss and you owe more than what your vehicle is worth. While gap insurance is not commonly needed, such a strategy can save you from a major difficulty in specific circumstances.

Discovering affordable auto insurance when you are insuring another vehicle is a very important thing that you should search for, yet you likewise need to ensure that the insurance you purchase covers you completely and you do not end up paying out of pocket in a claim. Standard car insurance covers the current deteriorated estimation of your vehicle at the hour of your case. In case you’re completely topsy turvy on your vehicle credit — which means you owe more than your vehicle is worth — you could be confronted with dishing out thousands of dollars from your own pocket to take care of a vehicle that is unusable. This is the place where gap insurance comes in: It was made (and named) to overcome the issue between what your insurance supplier will cover and your auto loan balance.

Upon buying a new car, you need to think about whether you want to get gap insurance or not. If you want to know more about what does gap insurance cover, then you have come to the right place. Give this article a thorough read to find out everything that you need to know about what GAP insurance covers. This will help you figure out if you should buy it or not. So, what are you waiting for? Without much further ado, let us jump right in!

What is gap insurance?

Gap is an insurance industry abbreviation for “guaranteed  auto protection”. It is a supplemental auto insurance policy that covers any difference between the vehicle’s insured value and the loan balance or rent that the proprietor should reimburse. In the event that your vehicle is stolen or totaled before the credit on it is paid off, gap insurance will cover any difference between your car insurance payout and the sum you owe on the vehicle.

Gap insurance is a sort of accident coverage that vehicle proprietors can buy to secure themselves against misfortunes that can emerge when the amount of remuneration obtained from a complete misfortune doesn’t completely cover the sum the insured individual owes on the vehicle’s financing or lease agreement. The present circumstance emerges when the equilibrium owed on a vehicle credit is more noteworthy than the book estimation of the vehicle.

Furthermore, to comprehend gap insurance, you first need to realize that on a standard auto insurance strategy, your vehicle is covered for the actual cash value or depreciated value at the hour of a clam. Gap insurance is a discretionary sort of vehicle insurance inclusion that gives supplemental inclusion to the difference between the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle and the sum you owe your loan specialist or renting organization at the hour of a case. Gap will provide you with enough cash to cover the difference between what is owed for the vehicle, and what the insurance organization pays out in case of a mishap or misfortune.

How does gap insurance work?

It’s genuinely simple for a driver to owe the loan specialist or renting organization more than what the vehicle is worth in its initial years. A little up front installment and a long loan or rent period are sufficient to do it, at any rate until your regularly scheduled installments amount to the adequate equity in the vehicle. Also, recollect, that equity should rise to the current estimation of the value. That amount, not the cost you paid, is what your standard insurance will pay if the vehicle is destroyed.

The issue is that vehicles devalue rapidly during their initial years on the road. Indeed, the normal car loses almost 33% of its worth after only two years of driving. In the event that your vehicle is destroyed, your insurance policy will not compensate for the expense of supplanting the vehicle with a shiny new one. You’ll get a check for what a vehicle practically identical to yours would sell for on a pre-owned vehicle lot. Safety net providers call this the vehicle’s actual cash value. Gap insurance doesn’t cover that specific gap. The payouts depend on actual cash  value, not the replacement value.

In the event that you need to replace your vehicle due to an accident, a standard car insurance policy will pay the actual cash value. On the off chance that the actual cash value is $10,000, however you owe $13,000 on your car credit or assuming it’s the rent buy-out value, you will owe the difference of $3,000 without gap insurance despite the fact that you don’t have the vehicle at this point.

Albeit some vehicle leases have gap statements or a gap waiver understanding that may excuse the difference. An advance won’t pardon the measure of cash you acquired to purchase your vehicle, and they will consider you liable for repaying your loan. Gap vehicle insurance will give you the cash you need to take care of the rest of the loan or rent so you don’t wind up paying via cash on hand. In the above given example, your vehicle insurance would pay the first $10,000, and afterward your gap insurance would give you the leftover $3,000. Thus, in this way, you will come out even.

Here’s another example of how gap insurance works: Let us assume that you purchased a brand new vehicle for $25,000. You actually owe $20,000 on your car loan when the vehicle is totaled in a car crash that is covered for. Your collision inclusion would pay your loan specialist up to the totaled vehicle’s deteriorated value — say it’s valued at $19,000. On the off chance that you don’t have gap insurance, you would need to pay $1,000 out of your own pocket to settle your auto loan on the totaled vehicle. In the event that you have gap insurance, your insurance plan would help pay the $1,000.

Remember that, in the above situation, the vehicle insurance repayment goes totally to your auto lender to take care of a vehicle that cannot be driven anymore. In the event that you figure you would require help purchasing another vehicle after yours was totaled, you should consider buying new vehicle substitution inclusion. A few guarantors sell credit/rent gap inclusion and new vehicle replacement inclusion together, as an add-on to an auto insurance policy for a pristine vehicle.

How to get gap insurance?

Although you could possibly get inclusion after you purchase a vehicle, gap insurance is ordinarily bought at the time you purchase collision and comprehensive inclusion. Be that as it may, a few safety net providers have certain requirements to buy gap insurance, for example, the vehicle must not be more than two to three model years old.

Most car insurance organizations sell gap insurance, and there’s a decent possibility that your vehicle sales center does so as well. Be that as it may, gap insurance purchased through a dealer is generally far more costly. Gap insurance added to collision and comprehensive inclusion can add about $20 each year to your insurance expense, as per the Insurance Information Institute. To ensure you’re getting the best inclusion according to what you need, look at quotes from a few vehicle insurance organizations, and see what works best for you.

Example of gap insurance

To see an example of gap insurance at work, think about Peter’s vehicle, which is valued at $15,000. In any case, he actually owes an aggregate of $20,000 worth of vehicle installments. In the event that Peter’s car is totally discounted because of a crash or is stolen, Peter’s auto insurance policy will repay him with $15,000. Since he owes the vehicle financing organization $20,000, nonetheless, he will in any case be $5,000 short, despite the fact that he no longer has a car. On the off chance that Peter buys gap insurance, the gap insurance policy will cover the $5,000 “gap,” or the difference between the cash obtained from repayment and the sum actually owed on the vehicle.

What does gap insurance cover?

Keep in mind that gap insurance covers the gap between what your vehicle is worth and the amount you owe on it in the event that it gets stolen or totaled. It doesn’t make any difference how your vehicle gets damaged. On the off chance that your insurance organization considers the vehicle an absolute loss, your gap insurance will enter the scene after your essential collision or comprehensive insurance kicks in (to provide coverage up to the present value of the vehicle). Gap insurance covers damages that are protected by your standard vehicle insurance, a few examples include:

  • Accidents and collision
  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Tornado
  • Hurricane
  • Terrorism

Gap vehicle insurance works with your fundamental collision and comprehensive insurance on your vehicle. You need to have a standard auto insurance policy before gap insurance pays in a claim. Some gap auto insurance strategies will likewise cover your insurance deductible.

What does gap insurance not cover?

Despite the fact that having gap inclusion can save you financially in the occasion that you totaled your vehicle and still have your rent or advance to pay. However, do not let its positives fool you.There are some things that gap insurance does not cover. Let us look at the things that are not covered by gap insurance:

  • In case you’re experiencing difficulty paying your vehicle installments because of a monetary difficulty, handicap, loss of work, and so on
  • Any repairs to your vehicle
  • The carry-over balance on a loan you may have turned over into your new vehicle loan
  • Paying for a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop
  • Extended warranties added to your car loan
  • A down payment for a new vehicle
  • Decreased value of your vehicle after a car crash

Basically, loan and lease gap insurance inclusion shields you from being placed in a circumstance where you need to pay the difference out of your own pocket for a vehicle you presently cannot drive, while likewise paying for another vehicle, as well.

What does gap insurance cover on a leased car?

Have you ever wondered what does gap insurance cover on a leased car? All things considered, gap insurance also works regardless of whether you rent or finance your vehicle. As mentioned previously the value of the vehicle decreases the moment you take it off the business lot. In this way, the market value of your rented vehicle will be a lot of lower than what is as yet owed on your rent contract.

On the off chance that you total the vehicle, you’re liable for the honest assessment of the vehicle and what you actually owe on the rent, a.k.a. — the gap. Thus, your insurance organization will pay the actual cash value of your rented vehicle, yet you’ll pay for that gap, which could be in the large numbers! A few things to remember about gap insurance for your rented vehicle are:

  • Gap insurance holds extra significance for those renting a vehicle, and that is the reason why most renting contracts incorporate gap insurance naturally. Before you buy gap insurance, verify whether it’s now included by either the renting organization, vendor, or the vehicle renting insurance organization.
  • You can buy gap insurance after your lease start date.
  • In the event that you rent or account your vehicle, your business will regularly necessitate that you have collision and comprehensive inclusion, and once you buy these you can likewise add the gap inclusion.
  • Your deductible is normally not covered by gap insurance, however a few plans do cover the deductible, so make certain to check with your supplier.
  • You may need to keep paying your rent installments until your insurance claim is totally settled.

Does gap insurance cover theft?

Does gap insurance cover vehicles that are stolen? To get the advantages of gap insurance if your vehicle is stolen, the company that provides your collision insurance should proclaim the vehicle a complete loss. This occurs in two different ways: if your vehicle is recovered with sufficient harm done to it by individuals who stole it, or if your vehicle is not recovered — as a rule, insurance organizations will have a waiting period to permit time for your vehicle to be recovered.

On the off chance that your insurance organization announces that your vehicle is a complete loss, they will pay out the fair market value of the vehicle, which is not as much as what you actually owe on the vehicle, regardless of whether it was stolen or not. So on the off chance that you crash your vehicle, total it, and have a “gap” to pay, you may have that equal gap to pay for if your vehicle was stolen. Remember, each insurance organization is unique, and although most cover robbery with gap insurance, you’ll need to verify how a stolen vehicle is taken care of with your particular supplier.

Does gap insurance always pay out?

It pays out as long as the absolute loss claim isn’t denied and you have vehicle insurance inclusion as a result. In any case, on the off chance that you have missed vehicle installments, that sum will be deducted. For example, in the event that you are late on a vehicle installment of $400, that sum would be deducted from your gap insurance pay out.

When does gap insurance not pay?

There are occasions when gap insurance will not compensate out. For instance, if the claim for the stolen or totaled vehicle is denied for reasons unknown, or if your vehicle insurance inclusion passed, your gap insurance will not become an integral factor. What’s more, since it’s restricted to claims that announce your vehicle a complete misfortune, it wouldn’t cover the accompanying, which is covered under different sorts of vehicle insurance:

  • Injuries: Gap insurance doesn’t cover doctor’s visit expenses. Your bodily injury liability would pay for clinical costs for those you wound in a mishap caused by you. Your own wounds would be covered by the other driver’s liability insurance or your personal injury protection or MedPay insurance.
  • Property damage you cause: Damage you cause to another vehicle or another person’s property would not be covered by gap insurance. However, your property damage liability would do so.
  • Damage to your vehicle that isn’t your fault and doesn’t bring about a total loss: Even if your vehicle is seriously damaged, gap insurance will possibly cover it on the off chance that it is viewed as a complete misfortune and you presently cannot drive it. The other driver’s property damage liability would pay for harm to your vehicle. Or on the other hand, collision insurance would cover it, paying little heed to who is at fault. In the two cases, gap insurance would not cover the claim in light of the fact that the vehicle wouldn’t be pronounced totaled.

Can you get refunds with gap insurance?

In the event that you financed your vehicle and the gap insurance is important for your vehicle’s financed monthly installment, it is doubtful that you would get any discount for your gap insurance. That is on the grounds that when the inclusion gets paid for month to month – as a feature of your financed regularly scheduled installment – the inclusion is utilized that very month. On the off chance that you settled up on your gap insurance strategy completely, you should contact the organization that sold you the approach to check whether there is any unused premium that ought to be discounted back to you when you exchange or pay off your vehicle.

How much does gap insurance cost?

Have you ever thought about how much gap insurance costs?. There are two places you can purchase gap insurance from: the finance organization at the dealer and your normal vehicle insurance supplier. In the event that you purchase at the retail location — either from the dealership or the bank financing your credit — it’s generally unbelievably costly and you pay everything in advance. And by costly we mean $500–700! That amount really gets added to your credit sum, which implies you’ll likewise be charged interest on what you paid for gap insurance! In this way, don’t accept gap insurance from the dealership or bank.

On the off chance that you as of now have a vehicle loan you can’t escape, check your inclusion with a free insurance agent to see whether gap insurance is incorporated or not, and in the event that you actually need it. Most vehicle insurance strategies add about $20 to your yearly expense to incorporate gap insurance. An agent can likewise check the remainder of your approach to ensure you have the correct inclusion you need at the best cost.

Do you need gap insurance?

In case you’re in one of the accompanying circumstances, you should consider gap insurance:

  • You made a little down payment — or no down payment by any means: If you didn’t make a considerable down payment, there’s a possibility you were topsy turvy not long after you left the vehicle lot. New vehicles devalue rapidly — they can lose 25% or a greater amount of their worth in the first year alone.
  • You picked a long advance term: When you spread your vehicle advance payments throughout a significant period of time, it additionally takes more time to develop value. In the event that you financed your vehicle for a very long time or more, you might need to consider gap insurance.
  • Your vehicle make and model devalues rapidly: Some vehicles deteriorate more rapidly than others. In case you’re getting one of those vehicles, purchasing a gap insurance strategy could be a brilliant move.
  • You intend to put a great deal of miles on your vehicle: The quicker you put miles on your vehicle, the quicker it will deteriorate. The average American driver travels 13,476 miles each year. On the off chance that you think you’ll put a great deal of miles on your vehicle every year, the subsequent expansion in yearly deterioration may make gap insurance a decent choice.
  • You’re renting the vehicle: gap insurance might be required in the event that you’re renting. It’s regularly remembered for your rent understanding — sometimes, it’s incorporated for nothing and in others, it’s a discretionary component you can purchase for an additional charge.

You might have the option to skip gap insurance if:

  • You made a down payment of 20% on the vehicle when you got it, so there’s little possibility you will be completely upside down on your credit, even in the main year or with the goal that you own it.
  • You’re paying off the vehicle loan in under five years.
  • The vehicle is a make and model that truly holds its value better than normal.

Do you still need gap insurance if you already have full coverage?

Comprehensive auto insurance provides full inclusion. It incorporates collision insurance yet additionally covers each unforeseen catastrophe (from vandalism to a flood) that can annihilate a vehicle. Be that as it may, it pays the actual cash value of the vehicle, not the value you paid for it or the sum you may in any case owe on the credit. Gap insurance covers the difference.

Along these lines, you need gap insurance if there is surely a gap between what you owe and what the vehicle is worth on a trade-in vehicle part. That is well on the way to happen in the two or three years of proprietorship, while your new vehicle is deteriorating quicker than your advance equilibrium is contracting. You can drop the gap insurance once your advance equilibrium is adequately low to be covered in full by a collision insurance payment.

Is gap insurance worth it?

The response to this inquiry relies upon your circumstance. Gap insurance might be awesome on the off chance that you owe significantly more than what the vehicle’s worth. Along these lines, for example, in the event that you purchased a $80,000 vehicle and just put down $5,000, you might need to get gap insurance so you’re not stuck having to pay for any shortfall if an insurer totals your vehicle. On the off chance that the outstanding credit or rent balance is just marginally more than the vehicle’s, you might need to hazard it. All things considered, it’s a smart thought to set some cash to the side on the off chance that you need it if a safety net provider totals your vehicle. Notwithstanding deterioration, you may discover that gap insurance is worth it if:

  • You owe more on your credit than what your vehicle is worth
  • You made a wicked good payment on your vehicle, under 20%
  • You need more investment funds to pay the gap between your loan and your vehicle’s worth
  • You travel in excess of 15,000 miles every year, as this speeds up your vehicle’s deterioration
  • The model vehicle you have devalues at a quicker rate than the ordinary normal


Now that you have read this article, you know all about what does gap insurance cover.

In the event that your vehicle is stolen or totaled, gap insurance will cover the difference between the ACV of the vehicle and the outstanding balance on your credit or rent presently. In some cases it will likewise pay your normal insurance deductible.

Vehicle owners frequently expect that if their vehicle is totaled, it will be supplanted at the sum they paid, or possibly the sum they owe. However, this isn’t so. That is the reason numerous vehicle insurance organizations offer gap insurance as a discretionary inclusion. You should likewise have comprehensive and collision inclusion to purchase gap inclusion, yet on the off chance that you rent or finance your vehicle, those are commonly required.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

Tony Benett makes his living in the insurance industry by teaching and consulting. He is also recognized by the legal profession as an expert on insurance coverages. His insurance experience includes having worked at the company level, owned an independent general agency and having worked for an insurance association. He has received various certificates over the past few years and helps his clients and readers by giving them a realistic outlook on what they can expect to achieve within their set targets. At Insurance Noon, he is known for his in-depth analysis and attention to details with accuracy. He has been published as one of the most referred agents by his peers in the insurance community. Tony loves the outdoors and most sport events. His passion other than providing excellent advice is playing golf.