Yes, Travelers offers gap insurance for approximately 5% of the car's comprehensive and collision premium. Travelers gap insurance pays the difference between a totaled car’s value and the policyholder’s loan or lease balance, though it’s worth noting that Travelers gap coverage does not pay the policyholder’s deductible.
Travelers gap insurance is usually a better investment than purchasing this coverage from a dealership, where the cost is often rolled into your loan and charged interest. And you can cancel Travelers gap insurance once your car is worth more than your loan or lease balance.
For more information, check out WalletHub’s complete guide to gap insurance.
Gap insurance is an optional type of car insurance coverage that pays the difference between the balance on a car loan or lease and what the vehicle is actually worth if it is declared a total loss. Gap insurance ensures you don't have to make payments on a car that is no longer drivable.… read full answer
Gap coverage usually only applies when a driver has comprehensive and collision insurance. Collision or comprehensive coverage will pay out the car’s value if it’s a total loss, and then gap insurance fills in the rest.
Gap Insurance Example
Imagine you buy a $50,000 car with a down payment of $10,000. Three years later, the car is worth $20,000, but you still owe $24,000 on the loan. If the car is totaled in an accident or stolen and declared a total loss, your normal insurance policy will pay $20,000, or the car’s actual cash value (ACV), minus your deductible.
New car price
Loan balance after one year (4% APR/5-year loan)
Actual cash value after one year
Insurance payment without gap coverage
Gap insurance payment
If you don’t have gap insurance, you’ll still owe $4,000, and you’ll still have to pay off the car even though you can’t drive it. But if you do have gap insurance, it will pay the $4,000. Some gap insurance policies even pay your deductible, though most do not.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the money you receive from gap insurance will go to your lender or lessor, not toward your purchase of a new car. If you’re interested in coverage that will help you buy a car in the future, look into new car replacement insurance instead.
Finally, you can buy gap insurance from a dealership, bank, credit union, or car insurance company. It’s not legally mandated in any state, though car dealerships will sometimes require it on a leased or financed vehicle. If you sell a car, pay it off early, or trade it in, you can usually receive a gap insurance refund.
To find out if you have gap insurance, you should check both your existing car insurance policy and the terms of your loan or lease. Drivers can get gap insurance through their insurance company as an add-on or separately through their auto lender, so it’s important for drivers to check both places.… read full answer
How To Know If You Have Gap Insurance
1. Check with your car insurance company.
You can look through records such as your recent bills, or you can log in to your account on the company’s website. If this fails, you should call to ask about your coverage.
2. Check with your auto lender.
If you didn’t buy gap insurance from your normal insurance company, you could have purchased it from the dealership, bank, or credit union that supplied you with a loan or lease. It can be easy to overlook gap insurance from one of these sources since it’s sometimes included in your contract automatically.
3. Check your financial documents.
If you do not have gap insurance through your dealership, lender, or car insurance company, you probably are not covered. But as a last resort, you can look through your financial records – such as your online bills, credit card statements, and checkbook – to try to find some clues.
Gap insurance, which covers the difference between your loan balance and the car’s actual value, can come from a dealership, bank, credit union, or car insurance company. It’s unlikely that you bought a stand-alone gap insurance policy without realizing it, so your first step should be to check with the obvious candidates.
Gap insurance takes 5-45 days to pay the policyholder after a claim is filed. For drivers to receive a gap insurance payout, the car first needs to be declared a total loss, and the insurance company needs to accept the claim.
State laws also dictate how long an insurance company has to pay for a claim. For example, insurers in Texas must pay within five days after accepting a claim. Some other states, like Massachusetts, do not have a specific limit, saying only that an insurer must pay within a “reasonable” amount of time.… read full answer
Factors That Affect How Long it Takes for Gap Insurance to Pay
Insurance companies will generally declare a car a total loss within 30 days of the initial claim being filed. However, more complicated situations take longer to settle, such as:
Accidents involving multiple drivers
Unclear fault determination
Once the car has been officially established as a total loss and the insurer agrees to pay for gap coverage, the company will begin to process the gap payment. Since gap insurance pays for the difference between a car’s actual cash value (ACV) and the balance on its loan or lease, gap insurance payments are usually sent straight to the lessor or lender.
How To Speed Up Gap Insurance Payout
To get the fastest possible gap insurance payout, be sure to check your policy details and follow any instructions from your insurance company. For example, some insurers require you to keep making payments to your lender or lessor while the claim is being investigated.
Also make sure to send the insurance company any necessary documents, like a copy of the police report, and promptly sign and return all paperwork. And if needed, check your state’s laws to see if there’s a specific window during which your gap insurer is required to pay.
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