What Is Gap Insurance?

What is gap insurance and how does it work? Read on to find out.

Driving a shiny new vehicle off the lot is quite an energizing possibility. However, on the off chance that it is a cost you can’t manage using cash on hand, you need your vehicle to be financed. Furthermore, if your vehicle is totaled or stolen before the credit has been paid off, you will in any case have to pay the outstanding sum. You will likewise likely have to buy another vehicle to make up for the misfortune.

Furthermore, while a car insurance policy with collision and comprehensive inclusion will help pay a portion of the expense of the replacement vehicle, taking care of the credit on a totaled or stolen vehicle can regularly hinder you a large number of dollars, particularly if the advance sum surpasses the estimation of the vehicle. Therefore, this is the reason Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) protection is a discretionary inclusion that merits adding to your arrangement, to help pay the leftover credit sum.

If you want to know more about what is gap insurance, then you have come to the right place. We have gathered all relevant information for you to understand everything that you need to know so what are you waiting for? Without much further ado, let us dive right in!

What is gap insurance?

An acronym for guaranteed asset protection, gap insurance is a supplemental auto insurance strategy that covers any difference between the insured value of a vehicle and the balance of the advance or lease that the proprietor should reimburse. On the off chance that your vehicle is totaled or stolen before the credit on it is paid off, gap insurance will cover any difference between your accident protection payout and the sum you owe on the vehicle.

In other words, gap insurance is a sort of accident coverage that vehicle proprietors can buy to protect themselves against misfortunes that can emerge when the measure of pay received from an absolute misfortune doesn’t completely cover the sum that the protected individual owes on the vehicle’s financing or lease agreement. The present circumstance emerges when the balance owed on a vehicle advance is more noteworthy than the book estimation of the vehicle. In addition to this, in case you’re anticipating renting or purchasing a vehicle or have effectively done as such, you might be contemplating whether you should purchase gap insurance and where you should purchase gap insurance from. The appropriate response to this is that it depends. Gap insurance is consistently a discretionary purchase. In certain states, however, a car dealer should offer gap insurance at the point of checkout.

Furthermore, let us suppose that you’ve ended up in an accident and your vehicle has been harmed to the point of total loss and should be supplanted. You actually owe $18,000 on your vehicle advance yet the vehicle is presently worth just $15,000. With gap insurance, you can cover the $3,000 difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what it’s worth, after the deductible. A few arrangements likewise cover the deductible.

Let us look at another example. You are in a mishap and are not found to blame – however your vehicle is totaled. You actually owe $15,000 on the vehicle advance at the hour of the mishap, yet your vehicle’s ACV is just $10,000. Gap insurance would help cover the $5,000 difference (short your deductible).

In spite of mainstream thinking, gap insurance coverage doesn’t imply that your insurance supplier pays you everything you initially paid for your vehicle. Having gap insurance implies that your insurance supplier may pay the financed sum you currently owe on your vehicle at the hour of a covered mishap, minus your deductible. You must remember that contingent upon your conditions, gap insurance can be a brilliant expansion to your collision insurance strategy.

So, in short, gap insurance is discretionary extra vehicle insurance coverage that covers the “gap” between the sum owed on a vehicle and its actual cash value (ACV) in the occasion it is totaled, obliterated or stolen from a covered case. Gap insurance may likewise be classified “finance/rent gap coverage.” This kind of coverage is just accessible in case you’re the first finance or leaseholder on another vehicle. Gap insurance helps pay the gap between the deteriorated estimation of your vehicle and what you actually owe on the vehicle.

How does gap insurance work?

At the point when you purchase or rent another vehicle or truck, the vehicle begins to devalue in esteem the second it leaves the car lot. Indeed, most vehicles lose 20% of their worth within a year. Standard collision protection strategies cover the devalued estimation of a vehicle. At the end of the day, a standard strategy pays the current market value of the vehicle at the hour of a case.

In the event that, when you cash the acquisition of another vehicle and put down just a little store, in the early long periods of the vehicle’s proprietorship the measure of the advance may surpass the market value of the actual vehicle. In case of a mishap or an accident where you’ve seriously harmed or totaled your vehicle, gap insurance covers the difference between what a vehicle’s present worth is (which your standard insurance will pay) and the sum you really owe on it.

Here’s an example of how gap insurance really works: Say you purchased a shiny new vehicle for $25,000. You actually owe $20,000 on your car loan when the vehicle is totaled in a covered collision. Your collision coverage would pay your bank up to the totaled vehicle’s deteriorated esteem — say it’s valued at $19,000. In the event that you don’t have gap insurance, you would need to pay $1,000 out of your own pocket to settle your vehicle advance on the totaled vehicle. On the off chance that you have gap insurance, your guarantor would help pay the $1,000.

Remember that, in the above situation, the vehicle insurance repayment goes totally to your auto moneylender to take care of a vehicle that is no longer driveable at this point. On the off chance that you figure out that you require help in order to purchase  another vehicle after yours was totaled, you should consider buying new vehicle substitution coverage. A few safety net providers sell credit/rent gap coverage and new vehicle substitution coverage together, as a solitary extra to a car insurance strategy for a pristine vehicle.

How much is gap insurance?

When deciding to purchase any type of insurance policy, it is of paramount importance to know how much it will cost you. Therefore, before buying gap insurance, make sure that you do your proper research as to how much it will cost.

You can get gap insurance from two places: the dealership or bank that is financing your vehicle or an accident coverage supplier. Gap insurance is generally more costly in the event that you get it from the dealership or bank than it is to add to your full coverage vehicle insurance strategy. On the off chance that you purchase at the retail location — either from the bank financing your credit or the dealership — it’s generally ludicrously costly and you pay everything in advance. We’re talking $500–700! That cost really gets added to your credit sum, which implies that you’ll additionally be charged interest on what you paid for gap insurance! In this way, don’t accept gap insurance from the business or bank.

On the off chance that you as of now have a car loan that you can’t get rid of, check your coverage with a free insurance specialist to see whether gap insurance is incorporated and in the event that you actually need it. Most vehicle insurance strategies attach about $20 to your yearly charge to incorporate gap insurance. A specialist can likewise check the remainder of your approach to ensure you have the correct coverage you need at the best cost. All things considered, a couple of elements sway your gap insurance cost. Your guarantor will probably consider your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV), your area, age and collision protection claims history. Inquire as to whether it offers gap insurance and the amount it would cost. Along these lines, you can see whether it’s appropriate for you.

In the event that you need gap coverage, you’re probably considering what the additional expense of gap insurance will be to your collision protection charge. While gap insurance isn’t ordinarily pretty much as costly as more extensive coverages like far reaching insurance or obligation insurance, the expense differs on the basis of a couple of variables such as:

  • The current actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle
  • Your age
  • The state you live in
  • Your past vehicle insurance claims

Remember that once you “close the gap” by owing less on your vehicle than its ACV, you will presently not require gap insurance.

Who is eligible for gap insurance?

Vehicle proprietors who cash vehicles through their own banks or credit associations or through moneylenders joining forces with businesses are qualified for gap coverage. Nonetheless, if a vehicle is bought through a credit extension, for example, a home value credit extension, the vehicle isn’t qualified for coverage. Individuals who buy vehicles with practically no initial installment, and have permit and assessment expenses added to the expense of their credits effectively could wind up owing more on their vehicle than what it is worth. Any time the automobile advance sum surpasses the estimation of the vehicle, gap insurance offers some benefit. GAP insurance is generally useful for vehicles financed for over four years. Long term financial arrangements help individuals who in any case couldn’t manage the cost of the month to month vehicle installments. For the individuals who have longer account terms, the amount of time they owe more on their vehicle than it is worth will be longer, and GAP insurance can help offer monetary assurance for that timeframe.

What does gap insurance cover?

You must keep in mind that gap insurance covers the gap between what your vehicle is worth and the amount you owe on it on the off chance that it gets totaled or stolen. It doesn’t make any difference how your vehicle gets obliterated. In the event that your insurance organization considers the vehicle an absolute misfortune, your gap insurance will kick in after your collision or comprehensive insurance comes into play (to cover up to the current estimation of the vehicle). For instance, gap insurance would provide coverage to you if your vehicle was affected by:

  • Vandalism
  • Collision
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Terrorism

What does gap insurance not cover?

Have you ever wondered, what does gap insurance not cover? Truth be told, if you consider all the things, there is a lot that is not covered by gap insurance! What’s more is that it creates a ton of turmoil and confusion. Here are a portion of the things gap insurance will not cover:

  • Vehicle repairs
  • Car rental while your car is in the shop
  • Car payments if you lose your job or become disabled
  • Extended warranties

Gap insurance doesn’t cover any of these things. Indeed, gap insurance in a real sense simply covers the difference between what your vehicle is worth and what you owe on the advance and that’s it.

Situations for gap insurance

  • You financed a vehicle and made almost no initial installment: Without making a critical up front installment, you’ll be in a completely different situation when it comes to your car credit the second you drive off the lot. It might very well be quite a while before the credit sum and the vehicle’s genuine worth start to adjust.
  • You’ve exchanged an upside down vehicle: When exchanging an upside down vehicle, the business will add what you actually owe to the advance equilibrium of the new vehicle except if you pay that distinction in advance. This additional equilibrium could cause issues down the road for you if your vehicle is totaled or stolen.
  • You purchased a vehicle with terrible resale value: If you purchased a vehicle that rapidly loses value, you’d presumably be upside down without a significant initial installment. At the point when we say generous, think 25% or more.
  • You intend to put miles on rapidly: Very couple of things diminish a vehicle’s worth quicker than bunches of driving. The quicker you pile up the miles, the quicker you deteriorate your vehicle’s worth, and almost certainly, you’ll be dropping the estimation of your vehicle more rapidly than your installments can keep pace.
  • You’ve taken out a vehicle advance with a long term (over 60 months): A drawn out credit takes longer than expected to hit the make-even point, which is the point at which your advance equilibrium and the vehicle’s worth start to even out.

Who needs gap coverage?

Before buying gap insurance, have you ever questioned as to who even needs gap insurance? Insurance organizations clarify that, in its easiest, most direct application, gap coverage ensures any individual who is far behind on his/her installments. That implies that in the event that you have negative value, owing more on your vehicle than it’s worth, gap coverage is there to insure you. This condition can keep going for only a couple of months to a year or more and can continue or repeat in the event that you miss at least one installments. The obvious case for requiring gap insurance is in case you’re in this circumstance.

In addition to this, numerous dealerships that rent vehicles will expect tenants to get gap coverage. This is on the grounds that rent insurance just covers the cash value of the vehicle, and on the off chance that you wind up adding up to it, the business stands to rake in tons of cash. In spite of the fact that you’ll actually be answerable for taking care of the expense of the difference between the market value and lease balance, there’s a dread that without the rented vehicle, many will essentially leave. Gap coverage guarantees that the costs will be covered.

You may have heard the expression “upside down” regarding a home loan obligation. The idea is similar whether the item being financed is a house or a vehicle: The item being financed is at present not exactly worth the balance of the loan that was taken out to gain it. This isn’t pretty much as critical as it sounds. On the off chance that you put just a minimal expenditure down on a buy and pay the rest in little installments spread over a span of almost five years or more, you don’t immediately possess a major portion of that house or vehicle free and clear. As you pay down the principal, your possession share grows and your obligation recoils. Gap insurance at any rate covers the setback so you’re not on the hook if the vehicle is destroyed. Gap insurance is something that you may require if:

  • You rented instead of bought the vehicle, and paid next to zero money down for it.
  • You purchased the vehicle with next to zero cash down and a long credit result period.

Regardless, you put little of your own money on the table to get this arrangement. That is extraordinary. You got a decent arrangement on the vehicle. However, it most likely means that you owe more cash on that vehicle than you will get from your insurance organization in the event that it is destroyed or stolen in the two or three years. You could utilize gap insurance. Be that as it may, you needn’t bother with gap insurance if:

  • In case you’re actually taking care of your vehicle, you very likely have collision coverage. You’d behave recklessly without it, and, regardless, you’re likely needed to have collision coverage by the details of your credit or rent understanding. You made an initial installment of in any event 20% on the vehicle when you got it, so there’s little possibility you will be upside down on your advance, even in the primary year or so you own it.
  • You’re taking care of the vehicle credit in under five years.
  • The vehicle is a make and model that generally holds its worth better than normal.

Is it worth getting gap insurance?

Similarly to any other sort of coverage, it’s truly up to you to decide whether it is worth it to get gap insurance or not, and it boils down to the estimation of your vehicle and just dollars and cents. A few groups might be concerned that gap coverage will make their expenses go up. In reality, gap insurance simply addresses a little piece of your general insurance bundle, and it can save you a great deal when you need it. Without a doubt, you may think that you never need it. However that is the situation for all insurance, and when you consider that the general expense of gap coverage will address pretty much 5% to 6% of your premium, it isn’t a lot.

Choosing the right gap insurance

You can get gap coverage for your vehicle either from the seller or from your safety net provider. Normally, getting it straightforwardly through your insurance organization permits the simplicity of adding it directly to your approach. All insurance transporters do not offer this sort of coverage, be that as it may, so while it can save you some cash, it may not be an alternative and you’ll have to talk about it with your supplier. All in all, to have gap coverage you’ll likewise have to carry both collision and comprehensive. In case you’re purchasing another vehicle, this is standard practice in any case. In the event that you can get gap insurance through your insurance organization, it’s normally less expensive. On the other hand, you can easily get it from the dealership. For this situation, the premium for the coverage will frequently be added to your regularly scheduled installments.

Where to buy gap insurance from?

A few guarantors, such as Geico, don’t offer gap insurance, while others differ by the way they offer this insurance and how it functions. Here’s a brief glance at a couple of alternatives:

  • State Farm: The biggest auto back up plan in the US, State Farm doesn’t offer gap insurance however has a component called Payoff Protector, which anybody getting a vehicle advance from a State Farm bank (a union with US Bank) is qualified for. State Farm gap insurance just applies for full coverage vehicle insurance. However this arrangement doesn’t really need to be guaranteed by State Farm. In any event, when your insurance strategy is from an alternate insurance transporter, if your advance is from State Farm, you are qualified for Payoff Protector at no additional expense. As a standout amongst other vehicle insurance organizations, State Farm makes it simple for new and existing clients to add additional highlights to their strategies.
  • Allstate: The Allstate gap program defers the difference between an essential accident protection settlement and the outstanding balance owed on a vehicle. It defers concealed misfortunes to $50,000 and repays a deductible installment. The deductible is the sum you should pay before the insurance pays the case.
  • Progressive: Progressive covers coverage at 25% of the vehicle’s actual cash value. You can get gap insurance coverage packaged into your current arrangement with the organization for just $5 each month.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide offers gap insurance however doesn’t postpone your deductible on the off chance that you record a case, so ensure your deductible is low enough so you can bear the cost of it if there should be an occurrence of an absolute misfortune.
  • AAA: AAA gives gap coverage to vehicles that are completely covered with comprehensive and collision insurance. The guarantor will defer up to $1,000 of your deductible if your vehicle is proclaimed a complete misfortune.
  • Esurance: Esurance (and some other accident protection organizations) alludes to gap insurance as car credit and rent coverage. You’ll fit the bill for coverage in case you’re renting or taking care of a financed vehicle and have full-coverage insurance.
  • USAA: USAA insurance is accessible to military and military relatives. USAA offers Total Loss Protection for vehicles more up to date than seven years of age that have a vehicle advance of more than $5,000. It repays up to $1,000 of a deductible.

How do I know if I have gap insurance?

There are two places to check whether you as of now have gap insurance or not: your current vehicle insurance strategy and the particulars of your rent or credit. Gap coverage is once in a while sold as an extra from the seller when financing a vehicle, so verify whether you’re now paying for it before you add coverage. Regardless of whether you do have coverage, it’s awesome to check whether you can get less expensive gap insurance somewhere else, as vehicle vendors regularly charge more for it.

Do you get money back from gap insurance?

In the event that you cover a vehicle advance off ahead of schedule, you might be qualified for a discount of the unused bit. A few states expect guarantors to discount the expenses if, for instance, a three year credit with gap coverage for three years is paid in 24 months. Often, the insurance supplier won’t inform you as to whether you are expected a discount. Try to keep your result letter, the first agreement or insurance data and an odometer revelation statement. It is critical to know a insurer plan’s discount strategy prior to purchasing gap insurance. It may very well be useful to contact your state business office or insurance magistrate office to know state laws and guidelines previously, or should an insurance plan not issue a discount.

Do you need gap insurance if you have full coverage?

Comprehensive car insurance is full coverage. It incorporates collision insurance yet in addition covers each sudden disaster that can annihilate a vehicle, from vandalism to a flood. 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. Thus, you need gap insurance if there is for sure 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 devaluing quicker than your credit balance is contracting. You can drop the gap insurance once your advance equilibrium is adequately low to be canvassed in full by a collision insurance installment.


Now that you have read the article, you know all about what is gap insurance. Gap insurance is reasonable for those with critical negative value in a vehicle. That incorporates drivers who put minimal expenditure down or have an extended advance result period. In case you’re keen on reducing your vehicle insurance expenses, not paying for gap insurance once you don’t actually require it is one approach to save up some cash.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.