Can GAP insurance help if your car is stolen?
Guaranteed Asset Protection, better known as GAP insurance, is a type of policy that some car owners purchase to support the mandatory car insurance they need to drive UK roads. GAP cover is typically available within a few months of purchasing a new vehicle so is typically offered at the point of sale.
Unfortunately, if something happens to a car, standard insurance will only pay out on the vehicle’s value at the time of an incident. GAP insurance compensates for the car's depreciation and pays the owner any difference between their insurer’s payment and the original price they paid for the vehicle.
"A GAP policy will also pay out if a stolen car is found but has been badly damaged while out of the owner’s possession and is no longer usable."
GAP insurance is typically associated with providing cover for a vehicle after it is involved in an accident and must be written off when it is no longer fit for the road. However, GAP policies also provide cover for drivers whose vehicles get stolen. Read on to discover when these policies pay out and when they will not.
How GAP insurance helps with car theft
A GAP insurance policy will provide cover if a vehicle is stolen and not recovered, and ultimately declared as a “Total Loss.” A GAP policy will also pay out if a stolen car is found but has been badly damaged while out of the owner’s possession and is no longer usable.
Security technology has advanced significantly over time, and key fobs and car locking systems now use electronic signals. This effectively means that it is far more difficult for car thieves to physically break into cars and steal them. This does not mean that car theft no longer occurs. Instead of targeting a vehicle’s locking mechanisms, criminals now focus on obtaining their dedicated keys.
Carjacking involves people being threatened with violence if they refuse to hand over their vehicle keys. Conventional mugging is also used by criminals to steal access to cars, as is breaking and entering their properties.
Under these circumstances, the car owner cannot be held responsible. If their car is subsequently stolen following such events and the police are unable to track down and recover the vehicle, a motor insurance provider will pay out and the GAP insurance policy will too.
When can a stolen vehicle and its keys be an obstacle to GAP insurance pay-outs?
While standard car insurance policy providers will pay car owners when their stolen car can’t be recovered after the scenarios listed above, some circumstances see them refuse to settle.
If the insurance company decides that the car would not have been stolen had the owner taken appropriate care of their keys or vehicle, they will not pay. Examples of such negligence include leaving a car unlocked with the keys in the ignition or leaving keys in a public place where anyone can access them.
If your home was burgled because you left all the doors and windows open when no one was in, would you expect your insurance company to pay out? Standard car insurance works the same way and so does GAP cover. If your compulsory car insurance policy won’t pay out due to your personal negligence, neither will your GAP insurance.
What does the term “give indemnity” mean?
If a driver’s keys and vehicle are stolen at no fault of their own, car insurance companies typically take the view that the car owner acted with appropriate care and diligence. When a standard motor insurance policy pays out, a GAP insurance policy will follow suit and settle up as well.
This term is referred to by insurance providers as "giving indemnity". Read through your GAP insurance policy terms and conditions. You will likely see that it states that providing your general insurance company gives you indemnity for the stolen car claim, your GAP cover will also.
Put simply, this means that regardless of the circumstances that result in your vehicle being written off, it makes no difference. When your motor insurer is satisfied with settling with you, then your GAP policy will automatically pay out. However, you should always clarify this yourself before purchasing GAP Insurance to make sure.
Do you need UK GAP insurance to protect your car against theft?
If you need free gap insurance advice to ensure you are covered if your car is stolen, we can help at Direct Gap. Our expert team, one of the most experienced in the industry, can offer drivers a wide range of GAP insurance products to suit their needs, whether they need Vehicle Replacement GAP, Finance GAP or Return to Invoice (RTI) GAP.
Contact us today for a free quote and see what is covered.