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WHAT IS GAP INSURANCE?

Gap insurance provides compensation if your car is written off or stolen. It’s designed to cover the difference between the amount your insurer pays, and the car’s original value. If you’re worried about being left out of pocket in the event of a claim then it can seem an attractive option. But is it worth it?

For some, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of a new car. However, it’s a sad fact that cars depreciate in value quickly. Some cars are worth just 21% of their sale value after three years. If your car is written off or stolen the maximum price the insurer will pay is the car’s value at the time. So for instance the purchase price of a Peugeot iON is around £16,940 but after three years it’s worth just £13,265. If you were to make a claim then the insurer would only pay up to its current value. This could leave you £3675 out of pocket.

You should still be able to get a replacement car of similar or lesser value. However you might struggle to afford a new, equivalent model. If you bought your car using a loan or finance then you will also need to settle the balance, potentially reducing the amount of cash you have to spend on a replacement.

Gap insurance covers the “gap” between the purchase price and current value of a car. In the event of a claim the car insurer would pay up to the current value of the car, and the gap insurer would pay the extra required to bring the total sum up to the amount you paid for the car originally.

What are the different types of Gap Insurance?

Return to Invoice (RTI) is the most common form of Gap Insurance, and probably the easiest to understand. This type of policy will cover the difference between the amount your car insurer pays and the invoice value of the car when you brought it new.

Some RTI policies will also include cover to pay off any finance which is still owed to a finance provider at the time of loss. This is sometimes referred to as RTI Combined, or RTI Plus Finance.

Recommended for: New or used vehicles, purchased from a car dealership.

Not recommended for: Contract/Lease hire vehicles.

Some insurers offer Vehicle Replacement Insurance (VRI) as an upgrade to RTI. It covers the difference between the insurance settlement and the cost of a new car of the same model, make and specifications. It’s great if you want a like-for-like replacement in the event of a loss.
 

Recommended for: New or used vehicles, purchased from a car dealership.

Not recommended for: Contract/Lease hire vehicles.

Return to Value (RTV) or “Agreed Value” is similar to RTI, but will usually only cover you up to the market value of the car when you took out the Gap policy, not the invoice price you paid. Therefore the payout is likely to be less than it would be on an RTI policy. However a Return to Value policy may come with a cheaper premium.

Recommended for: Used vehicles, purchased privately. Or purchased from a dealer some time ago.

Not Recommended for: New vehicles, contract/lease hire vehicles

Contract/Lease Hire Gap Insurance is specifically designed for private contract/lease hire vehicles. If your car is on a lease then this policy will pay out the difference between the insurance settlement and the amount required from the lease company to settle the contract.

Recommended for: Contract/lease hire vehicles where there is no option to buy the vehicle at the end of the contract.

Not recommended for: Any vehicle on any other finance arrangement.

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Do I need Gap Insurance?

It depends on your specific circumstances, the amount of risk you are willing to take and your preferences for cars. If you have a car with a fast depreciating value, gap insurance could help to protect your investment. Paying a small premium annually or monthly can save you money in the long run. However, if you have an older car and you’re happy to risk losing a little cash in the event of a claim, then gap insurance is probably not necessary.

In the past gap insurance was often sold by pushy car dealers. Luckily now there is a new way to compare gap insurance online. Do you already have a quote from a car dealership? Spend a couple of minutes getting a comparison. See how much you could save!

Who offers the best Gap Insurance?

There are many different providers of gap insurance in the UK. We’ve listed some of the most popular below in alphabetical order:

ALA
  • Five star Defaqto rated policies for new, used and pre-reg vehicles.
  • Excellent customer feedback on Trustpilot
  • Also provides Warranties, Tyre Cover, Keycare, Excess Insurance, Alloy Wheel and Scratch and Dent Insurance
Insure The Gap
  • Policies for new and used vehicles, including those on finance.
  • Excellent customer feedback on Trustpilot
  • Trading name of Halo Insurance Services, which also offers Car Hire and Life Insurance.
Motor Easy
  • Cover for most cars purchased from dealerships or private sellers
  • Excellent customer feedback on Trustpilot
  • Provide a range of other products including Warranties, Breakdown cover, Tyre and Alloy Insurance, Cosmetic Insurance and Battery Protection.
Platinum Gap Insurance
  • Return to Invoice, Vehicle Replacement and Finance / Contract Hire policies
  • Cover for all named drivers on your motor insurance policy
  • Unlimited claim limits on vehicles up to £50k

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What is InsureMyStuff4Less?

Well this is awkward… You might never had heard of us but we’re actually a trading name of i-Wonder, which provides insurance comparison websites to Comparethemarket.com, GoCompare and Confused. We’re completely impartial and trusted by 1000’s of customers.

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