Advertisement
insurance

Why You Don’t Need Gap Insurance

If you’re leasing a car, you may be on the hook for this coverage. Otherwise, just say no.

Do I need “gap insurance” when I buy a new car? The dealer is offering it for about $600.

You may be required to include gap coverage in your monthly payments if you lease a vehicle, but otherwise you’re better off self-insuring.

 

Gap insurance covers the difference between the amount you owe on your car loan and the amount your auto insurance company will pay out if you total the car. Car dealers and lenders often offer gap insurance for $500 to $700, and you’ll pay interest on that amount if it’s rolled into the loan.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Gap insurance sounds like a good idea because your car loses value as soon as you drive it off the dealer’s lot. So if you make a low down payment (less than 20%) and wreck your car soon after buying it, you could owe more on the loan than the car is worth. And if you have a long-term loan -- 48 months or longer -- it could be quite a while before your loan balance is less than the car’s value.

If you’re uncomfortable with that risk, you may be able to add gap coverage to your auto policy for less than the lender charges for stand-alone protection. You’ll typically pay 5% to 6% of the cost of your collision and comprehensive coverage for gap insurance, says Des Toups, managing editor of CarInsurance.com -- or $50 to $60 per year if collision and comprehensive cost $1,000.

You can drop gap coverage when your loan balance is close to your car’s value. Check values at KBB.com or Edmunds.com.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits
Coronavirus and Your Money

Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits

When you file for Social Security, the amount you receive may be lower.
July 30, 2020
These 2 Words Could Send Your Retirement Money to the Wrong Beneficiary
estate planning

These 2 Words Could Send Your Retirement Money to the Wrong Beneficiary

"Per stirpes" vs. "per capita." Making the wrong choice could cause an estate planning disaster.
July 30, 2020
Second Stimulus Check Update: HEALS Act vs. CARES Act
taxes

Second Stimulus Check Update: HEALS Act vs. CARES Act

When compared to first-round payments, the new Republican stimulus check proposal expands and protects payments for some people, but it shuts the door…
July 29, 2020

Recommended

Time for an Insurance Review
Coronavirus and Your Money

Time for an Insurance Review

You may need to update your policies in light of COVID-19.
July 30, 2020
Insurance Question: Say Rioters Destroy My Business, Am I Covered?
insurance

Insurance Question: Say Rioters Destroy My Business, Am I Covered?

If you ask your broker, the answer may be no. But don’t just accept that response. Know what your policy covers, and how to protect yourself.
July 29, 2020
Applying for Disability Benefits During a Global Pandemic
insurance

Applying for Disability Benefits During a Global Pandemic

It can take months or even years to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in the best of times. Needless to say, now i…
June 24, 2020
13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement
retirement

13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement

RV-loving retirees talk about the downsides of spending retirement in a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or other recreational vehicle.
June 8, 2020