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Gap insurance duration


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Question: How long does gap insure you for? What if I purchased the car in October 2010? Does gap expire after a certain time?

Answer: Gap insurance policy terms vary. That said, gap insurance generally covers you for the full term of your car loan. When your loan is paid in full, then your gap insurance policy ends, since you now have no need for it.

If you bought a car in October 2010 and want to get gap insurance now, you should be able to; you normally can buy gap coverage up to 12 months after you purchased your car.

Gap insurance then usually stays in effect for the length of your loan, not just some arbitrary number like two years (unless you have just a 24-month loan). If you have a loan longer than 84 months you will likely have difficulty finding gap insurance coverage.

Similar to gap insurance there is loan/lease payoff coverage, which is offered through insurers such as Progressive. If you have loan/lease payoff coverage instead of a full gap policy, then your coverage is slightly different. With this type of policy, you are covered as long as you owe 25 percent or more of the actual cash value (ACV) on your vehicle.

With any gap policy or lease/loan payoff, it will completely "expire" when either you no longer owe more than the worth of the car or pay off the car loan completely. Once you no longer owe more on the car than its ACV, gap insurance is of no use to you.

For instance, if you owe only $1,500 on your vehicle and your vehicle's ACV is $9,000, your GAP insurance will no longer be in effect because there is now no "gap" between your loan balance and ACV that would be paid out by an insurer in the event of the total loss of your vehicle.

If you already have gap insurance in place, then contact your gap provider to find out more about the specific terms of your policy.


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