What is Gap Car Insurance? | KNR
Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC Hurt in a Car? Call KNR.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
March 7, 2017

Car accidents are traumatic. You know that crashes occur on a daily basis, yet you feel safe behind the wheel and never expect to be one of the people injured each day. Unfortunately, car accidents are often beyond your control, forcing you to suffer through physical injuries and financial hardships. When you have been hurt in a collision, contact the Ohio car accident attorneys of Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW.

Collisions are devastating not only for the physical and emotional pain they inflict, but also for the financial strain they put on you and your family. Car accidents can cost you a great deal while also reducing your income while you are out of work recovering. The hope following any type of crash is that auto insurance will bear the brunt of the cost. Either your own comprehensive coverage or the at-fault driver’s policy should pay for the repairs or if the vehicle is totaled, reimburse you for the value of your car. However, there are many times when insurance coverage falls short and you are left with costs you should not have to deal with. In this situation, you will need to look to GAP car insurance coverage or a lawsuit against the driver responsible for your damages. To learn more about your options for recovering after a collision, talk to an Ohio car accident lawyer right away.

The Benefit of GAP Insurance

Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) Insurance covers the difference between the actual cash value of the car at the time of the accident and the balance you still owe to the lender. This type of insurance coverage is crucial if you get into a car accident and the amount your or the other driver’s auto insurance policy will pay for the totaled vehicle is less than what you owe to the bank. Usually, the newer your car or more recent your purchase, the greater difference there will be between what the car is worth and the amount left on the auto loan. That is because the minute you drive a new vehicle off the lot, its value decreases dramatically. You could get into an accident the day after your purchased your vehicle and your or the at-fault driver’s insurer is not going to reimburse you what you paid – and now owe – for the car.

For example, say you purchased a new vehicle worth $40,000. However, within the first year, you are in an accident and your car is completely destroyed. The actual cash value of your vehicle at this point may only be as low as $28,000 yet you still owe $35,000 on your auto loan. This leaves you with $7,000 to pay out of pocket – or have covered by GAP Insurance.

Once you have owned your vehicle for a few years, there is usually less of a difference between the market value and what is owed, and less of a need for GAP Insurance.

When is GAP Insurance a Good Idea?

GAP Insurance is beneficial if you:

  • Purchase a brand new or only slightly used vehicle
  • Lease a brand new or slightly used vehicle
  • You obtain an auto loan with a low or zero down payment
  • You have little-to-no cash savings in case an accident or theft occurs

However, GAP Insurance may not be necessary if you purchase a vehicle more than a couple of years old or have enough savings to cover a potentially small difference between your vehicle value and loan. It may also be an unnecessary expense if your loan is a relatively small portion of the vehicle’s value because you had a significant down payment.

When Can GAP Insurance Kick In?

You can use your GAP Insurance after a vehicle accident that totals your car or after your vehicle is stolen and either unrecovered or recovered and destroyed. If another driver causes the accident and totals your vehicle, you will first have to work through a third-party insurance claim to settle the issue with the at-fault driver’s insurance. You will also want to be in contact with your own insurer right away to warn them that you may need to use your GAP coverage. If you totaled your vehicle, then your comprehensive or collision insurance, including the GAP coverage, can be used to reimburse you for the vehicle. Additionally, if your vehicle is stolen, contacted your insurer right away. They may require a 30-day waiting period to wait and see if the car is recovered.

How is GAP Insurance Sold?

GAP insurance is generally used for new and slightly used personal vehicles. However, it can also be used on heavier trucks and commercial vehicles. It is often marketed toward you if you used a small down payment on your auto loan or there is a high-interest rate on your loan. That is because if the vehicle is destroyed or stolen, you will likely owe a great deal to the lender.

You can purchase GAP Insurance at a dealership, however, this is not necessarily the best coverage. It is often more expensive than through an insurer and requires a large upfront payment. Instead, it is more efficient and frugal to obtain GAP Insurance through your auto insurance provider. It is usually an add-on to comprehensive or collision coverage. It can be a one-time upfront payment or a few extra dollars on your monthly or quarterly auto bill.

Call Our Ohio Car Accident Attorneys for Help Today

When you are physically, psychologically, and financial hurt in an accident, the situation can seem overwhelming. Trying to deal with insurance companies and recover your costs without any experience in this type of situation can be daunting and only make the situation worse for you instead of helping your recover. That is why is a good idea to work with an experienced Ohio car accident lawyer after a crash. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we offer you’re the knowledge, experience, and resources you need to effectively obtain an insurance settlement or head to court to cover your costs after an accident.

To learn more about your legal options, contact KNR today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.