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Q

If my car was stolen and I have GAP insurance, how long after I report the vehicle stolen will it take before my gap insurance covers the difference owed on my vehicle?


A

A standard GAP insurance policy should come into play and cover the balance of your lease or loan after your physical damage policy for comprehensive coverage has paid out the actual cash value (ACV) for the total loss of your car because of it is a stolen vehicle. Insurance companies polices can differ, so you will want to read through the terms of your GAP policy to make certain that a car being declared a loss due to theft is part of the coverage.

You have reported your car as stolen to law enforcement it seems. You should also contact your primary insurance provider on the vehicle as well as the GAP insurance company. You will need to follow the requirements of both insurance carriers to put in your claims and have them resolved in your favor.

Once your claims are put in with both insurance providers, your claims representatives should be able to tell you how long they think it will take to determine actual cash value of the car and settle with you.

There might be a certain time period that they normally wait to see if the vehicle will be recovered by the police before making a settlement offer. Once the comprehensive claim is settled then next your GAP insurance should be able to tell you how long until your loan balance will be paid off. Until this is done you should continue to pay on your car loan or lease so that you do not get behind, especially because the car may still be recovered and returned to you.

If my vehicle is stolen, does my gap insurance still apply, or only if my car is totaled?

Yes, if your comprehensive coverage pays out actual cash value (ACV) for your stolen vehicle then your gap insurance should be activated to pay the balance of your loan after ACV is paid to your lien holder. If your car is stolen but recovered and can be repaired then your gap insurance would not apply in this situation. If instead your car was stolen and not recovered or stolen and is extensively damaged so that it cannot or will not be repaired than your insurance company should find it to be total loss and your gap insurance should then be in effect and of use.

Your car does need to be found a total loss and actual cash value (ACV) paid out by your primary insurer for gap insurance to apply. So if your car is stolen it would need to be declared a total loss and have ACV paid out on it. You would not be able to collect on your gap insurance policy only if the car was stolen and recovered and going to be repaired by your insurer.

If my car was stolen, will gap insurance help me with the down payment for a new car?

Normally it will be up to you to come with the down payment on a new car to replace your vehicle that was stolen. If your Comprehensive coverage and Gap insurance paid out then typically this would mean that your financed amount was paid off in full since Comprehensive should have paid ACV and Gap insurance paid the difference between ACV and the loan balance. This is how these coverages would "make you whole" and unfortunately does not leave any extra money for you to make down payment on a new vehicle. 

My car was stolen. Will gap insurance pay me back my $5,000 down payment I placed on the stolen car?

It is unfortunate, but GAP insurance is intended to pay the GAP not compensate you for replacement value. So, the $5000 wouldn't be returned to you by your GAP insurance. There are some carriers that do cover replacement value for physical damage, so check with you company to see if you have that physical damage coverage.

We had a car stolen. Our insurance company has decided not to pay the claim. How much will our Gap insurance pay?

You will need to contact your GAP insurance company to find out how much, if anything, they will pay on a GAP claim for your stolen vehicle. If your insurance company is denying your comprehensive claim on the stolen vehicle then the GAP insurance company may also deny your claim.

My vehicle was stolen last night because I was negligent and left the keys in the car. Will GAP cover that amount? How long will it take to collect?

You will need to make a claim with your comprehensive portion of your physical damage insurance coverage since your car was stolen, hopefully you called the police and had a report made. Having a police report should help with the claim process with both your primary insurer and your GAP insurance carrier. Once the claim is made the insurance company will investigate and let you know if the claim has been accepted or denied. Some insurance policies have terms in them that allow the insurance provider to turn down a claim due to clauses for negligence or not properly safeguarding the vehicle. Usually this means leaving keys in the car (ignition or in plain site normally) and/or not locking up the vehicle. You will need to speak with the claims adjuster on your claim to find out if your situation will hurt your claim since insurance companies' guidelines differ.

Once your primary insurance provider has paid out their portion of the insurance settlement, your GAP coverage should kick in. How long this will take will depend upon state laws but usually needs to be within a "reasonable" amount of time. To find out how long your insurance providers think it will take to settle both claims and get the money to your lien holder, speak to the claims adjusters of both the comprehensive and GAP insurance companies.

 



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