What is gap insurance and how does it work?
Gap insurance covers the difference between your insurance offer at the point your car is written off or declared a total loss and the value of your car when you bought it. For example, if you purchased a car for £20,000 and it was worth £8,000 at the time it was written off or stolen, your gap insurance would cover the shortfall of £12,000. It would also cover any outstanding finance payments, plus – for some enhanced policies – any additional costs needed to get you back on the road with a car to the same specification as when it was purchased. Taking out gap insurance is important because cars depreciate over time and your motor insurer will value it in line with depreciation. If your car is written off, your motor insurance policy only covers your vehicle to its value at the point it is declared a total loss. This can be substantially less than outstanding finance commitments, the price you paid for your car and the cost of getting back on the road in a car with a similar specification.
Should I buy gap insurance?
Gap insurance may not be suitable for everyone, but it could be more than worthwhile if:
- The car you bought is due to depreciate quickly. If you were to suffer a total loss, its value may be dramatically reduced from the point of purchase, meaning your motor insurer’s pay-out would leave you with a significant cash shortfall and you’d be unable to replace the vehicle on a new-for-old basis.
- You’re on a long-term contract hire. If you’re paying back your debt slowly, the payment you receive from your motor insurer following a total loss may not be enough to cover the amount you owe to the hire company.
- You owe a balloon payment. Sometimes, the details of your finance deal might mean you are left with a large lump sum to pay to the hire company at the end of the agreement. This is known as a balloon payment and taking out a gap insurance policy can help you to cover this without falling into financial difficulty.
When wouldn’t I need gap insurance?
Not everyone will need gap insurance, however. For example, it may not be required if:
- Your car is brand new. Many motor insurers offer a replacement of your vehicle within the first 12 months of ownership. Even in that instance, it may still be worth considering taking out a gap insurance policy and deferring the start date by 12 months. However, it is worth noting that your policy must still be bought within 180 days of you purchasing the car, even if you are deferring.
- You’ve put down a large deposit. If you’ve been able to come up with a sizeable down payment for your vehicle, you will minimise the possibility of being left with a large shortfall on the finance agreement and there may be no need to take out a gap insurance policy.
- You can afford to make up the difference. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to cover the difference between the cost price and the value of the car, gap insurance may not be necessary for you.
What are the different types of gap insurance?
Here at Direct Gap, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer a tailored gap insurance policy that’s perfectly suited to you and your needs. To that end, we offer a range of different products designed to meet your specific requirements:
- Finance/Contract Hire: If your vehicle is declared a total loss, this type of gap insurance will pay the balance between your motor insurer’s settlement and the amount you have left to pay on your finance agreement. It includes all drivers on your policy, you can be covered for one to five years and it also provides protection of any factory fitted options you may have added to the vehicle.
- Return to Invoice +: Should your car be written off in an accident or stolen, our Return to Invoice + policy will pay the difference between the settlement you receive from your motor insurer and the amount you paid for the car in the first place. This policy is applicable to both new and used cars, is transferrable free-of-charge and we also offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Vehicle Replacement +: With this policy, our pay-out will cover the difference between your insurer’s settlement at the point of total loss and the cost of a replacement vehicle matching the car’s original specifications. Our Vehicle Replacement + policy will cover any dealer’s discounts as well as any increase in the car’s list price.
- Agreed Value: Should your car be declared a total loss, our Agreed Value gap insurance will pay the difference between your motor insurer’s settlement and 100% of the Glass’s Guide retail price at the time you bought the policy. Our Agreed Value insurance provides cover for one to four years, is transferrable for free and protects you if your vehicle is lost through the theft of your keys.
How much is gap insurance?
There is no set fee for gap insurance, as your quote will vary depending on the original price of your car and the length of policy you wish to take out. For example, a five-year policy on a car costing £20,000 will come at a higher premium than a one-year policy for a £10,000 car. What we can guarantee at Direct Gap is that your policy will come at a highly competitive price and the service you’ll receive from our expert and friendly team will be second to none.
Are there any exclusions?
There are some circumstances in which your gap insurance would not cover you, or in which you would be unable to take out the policy in the first place. These include:
- Driving under the influence: If the total loss of your car is caused by the driver of your vehicle being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or prescribed medication (where the person in question has been advised against getting behind the wheel by a medical professional), your gap insurance policy will be void.
- Negligence: If your car is stolen due to negligence on your part, for example if you leave the keys in the vehicle, your gap insurance will not cover you.
- Hire and reward schemes: If you are a taxi driver, haulier or courier, for example, our gap insurance products will not be applicable to you.
- Vehicle age and mileage: Any car over 10 years old or with more than 100,000 miles on the clock at the time of purchase will not qualify for gap insurance.
Why choose Direct Gap as your gap insurance provider?
So, you’ve purchased your new car and you’re seeking a robust gap insurance policy at a reasonable cost. Here are just some of the many reasons why Direct Gap is perfect for you:
- Superb value: We offer a range of fully featured products at affordable prices, and we can save you up to 75% on your car gap insurance policy in comparison to other dealers.
- Excellent service: Service is extremely important to us and we’re really proud of the feedback we get from our customers. We think that’s because we don’t run a call centre. We are a professional team of trained specialists, who know about cars, gap insurance and motor finance. If you ever have to make a claim, it will be handled by the same trained professionals, quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, our team receive no commission from sales so you can be sure they’re acting with your best interests in mind. But don’t just take our word for it – our customer testimonials speak for themselves.
- Commitment to quick settlement: We’re happy to say that the average time to payment, once your insurer has made an offer of settlement and the paperwork is in place, is just seven days. Whatever the particulars of the case, we’ll commit to settling your claim within 10 days.
- Unlimited claims limits: On vehicles up to £50,000, you’ll qualify for our unlimited claim limit policies.
- Flexibility to defer or transfer: If you’ve purchased a new vehicle, your motor insurance may cover you for a total loss within the first 12 months. If that’s the case, you can defer your gap insurance policy with us for a year, completely free of charge. Alternatively, for return to invoice and vehicle replacement policies, you are entitled to a free transfer should you decide to change your car.
We understand that for some, their car is their pride and joy - a possession to be cherished, while for others, it’s an essential part of everyday life - getting them around from A to B. No matter how you see your vehicle, protecting its value in the event of accident or theft could save you a serious financial headache down the line, and our range of gap insurance products offers the perfect, stress-free solution.