Buying a New Car? What is Gap Insurance and do you need it?

New carGap Insurance Rights Your “Upside Down” Car Loan

Everyone’s heard it before…brand new cars instantly depreciate in value as soon as they’re driven off the lot. What you may not realize is that this fact can lead to a big gap in your auto insurance coverage. How? Below is an example scenario.

You buy a new car for $28,000 and sometime later you get into an accident in which your car is totaled. You still owe $23,000 on your loan, but because cars depreciate in value so quickly, the actual cash value—the original price minus depreciation—may only be $18,000 at the time of the collision. Your deductible is $500, which provides you with a settlement of $17,500 from your insurer. However, since you still owe $23,000 on your loan, you’re left with a gap of $5,500 and no car to get from A to B.

That’s where gap insurance comes to the rescue. This coverage can be added to your auto policy at any time while you’re paying off your loan. If your car undergoes a covered total loss, your insurer can cover the gap instead of it being on your tab. The best part is that this valuable coverage is often less than $30 per year.

A new car loses approximately 30 percent of its value within one year of purchase and 50 percent by year three, which means that at any given point before your car is paid off, its actual cash value can be thousands less than what you still owe on it. This situation is called being “upside down” on your loan.

Who needs gap insurance? Consider it in the following situations:

  • Finance a vehicle for at least 60 months
  • Put less than 20 percent down on a new vehicle
  • Lease a vehicle
  • Select a vehicle make/model with a history of high depreciation rates

Many dealerships will offer you gap insurance, but it often costs more than buying it through an independent agent. Protecting such a large investment is worth a call to your agent.

Contact Long’s Insurance Agency today and let us help you protect your new investment!

Source:  State Auto Insurance

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