Yes, you can buy gap insurance at any time before a car loan or lease is paid off but only from some gap insurance providers, as others will only sell coverage to the first owner of a car with a recent model year. The standalone gap insurance provider Gap Direct sells policies regardless of the car’s age, for example. Gap Direct will cover a car as long as it has not already been declared a total loss.
On the other hand, gap insurance policies directly from dealerships or from major insurers like Allstate in coordination with a dealership usually need to be purchased at the same time as the car. Specific requirements vary by insurer, though, and it should be possible to find coverage for a car that you financed, leased, or refinanced during the past year or two.
In short, as long as you’re willing to check with multiple insurers, you can get gap insurance after you buy a car.
It’s also worth noting that you are unlikely to need gap insurance for a car that is more than a few years old, since gap insurance is designed to cover the difference between a car’s actual cash value (ACV) and the balance on a loan or lease. Car depreciation slows after the first year of ownership, meaning that an older car likely does not have a large gap between its value and the balance on a loan or lease.
For more information, check out WalletHub’s tips on whether gap insurance is worth it and where to buy gap insurance.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines
. This question was posted by WalletHub. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.