Where to Purchase Gap Insurance For Your Car

Here Are Some Options to Help You Decide Where to Purchase Your Gap Insurance

Man sitting near new car wondering where to purchase gap insurance
Options and tips for purchasing gap insurance for your car. Dave and Les Jacobs / Getty Images

Where Can You Purchase Gap Insurance?

You do not have to buy gap insurance from a dealer, you have several options to purchase your gap insurance if you decide to buy it when you purchase or lease a car. Here are some options when shopping for gap insurance on your new car:

  • From your insurance company - most companies now offer gap insurance, always check the insurance company first
  • From an online insurer that offers Gap Insurance
  • From the dealership

If you aren't sure where to find your gap insurance, and you would like some help, or feel pressured to purchase it at the dealer,  you can contact your insurance representative or state insurance commissioner for further help or guidance on your options.

Do You Have to Buy Gap Insurance?

Many people get the sense that they have to purchase gap insurance, however you are not obligated to buy gap insurance as part of minimum car insurance requirements. If you want to read more about gap insurance and your rights, as well as some information to help you decide if you need gap insurance, we've put together some information for you in our article "Understanding Gap Insurance and Your Rights"  

Check for the Gap Waiver Provision in a Lease Agreement

Before you purchase gap insurance, make sure and check if you need it. Some agreements through finance companies or car leasing companies may have a Gap Waiver Provision that will forgive you for the gap between insurance payout, and the amount you owe.

Do not assume you have a gap waiver provision, because not all contracts have this provision, but if you are lucky enough to have one, it makes a lot of sense to find out before wasting your money.

Shopping For Your Gap Insurance : Beware of These Situations 

Some dealers and finance companies may "package" the gap insurance right in with your new car purchase or lease.

Beware of this practice and make sure to get all the facts because it could cost you a lot more money.

What Could Make Gap Insurance at a Dealer or Through a Car Loan More Expensive?

When you add gap insurance to your car loan or lease, you may end up paying interest on the gap insurance because it may become part of the amount financed.

In cases like this, you could pay more for the gap insurance because of the finance and interest fees if you add it to your car loan.

By contacting your insurance agent and finding out the cost of adding gap insurance to your insurance policy, you would not be paying the interest like on a car loan and lease.

If you think of it in these terms, there's a good chance you will be saving yourself a lot of money by choosing an option that does not work itself into your loan payments.

You may also benefit from the option to cancel the coverage at any time if you decide the gap insurance is no longer necessary for you. When it is financed into your loan or lease, you will be paying it off for the term of the financing.

Tips Before You Purchase Gap Insurance

  • Always check first with your insurance company to see if they already include gap insurance in your car insurance policy. There is no reason to purchase gap insurance if you already have the coverage. There may be an endorsement you can add for a small premium, 
  • Make sure you need gap insurance. Gap insurance is useful if you have taken a loan out on a vehicle and you are concerned that the vehicle is or will depreciating faster than you are paying off the loan or lease. You can check current car values to get an idea of depreciation on Edmunds.com or Kelley Blue Book . This is just to give you an idea, there is no firm way to know the value of your vehicle at the time of loss, but you can certainly do some research to understand what your risks might be. 
  • Make sure you can cancel the gap insurance at any time you decide there is no longer any value in the gap coverage. For example, when your loan is paid down enough that your vehicle is worth more than what you owe.

    Example of How the Gap Insurance Will Work In a Car Insurance Claim

    If you have a total loss, or someone steals your car and the value of your car is less than what you owe, you would owe the lienholder, bank or lessor the money out of your pocket, because your insurance policy only pays the actual value of the vehicle at the time of loss and not what you owe for it. See examples of how gap insurance would work here>>

    Renewing Gap Insurance, Is It a Good Idea?

    Assess the need for gap insurance from year to year, as the balance of your loan decreases, your need for gap insurance may also disappear.