Many people who are in an auto crash and are injured due to the fault of another driver may find they are still required to pay the remaining balance of their auto loan or lease even if their car was totaled.
It may be hard to imagine that while you are recovering from the injuries suffered in an auto accident that the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company may only be required to pay the cash value of your car and not the remaining balance on your auto loan or lease agreement. Even if you file an auto accident lawsuit you may be only able to recover the cash value of your car from the at-fault driver.
Your remaining loan or lease balance creates a “GAP” that could have been prevented with the purchase of “GAP” (Guaranteed Auto Protection) insurance.
Automobile insurance is designed to pay the current cash value not the current loan or lease balance if your vehicle is stolen or totaled in an accident or by severe weather.
If you are in a car crash or your vehicle is stolen or considered a total loss you are still responsible for paying the remaining loan or lease balance. A vehicle is generally considered “totaled” if the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds a certain percentage of the vehicle’s cash value. “GAP” insurance pays the difference between the cash value and loan or lease balance owed.
What types of losses are typically covered by “GAP” Insurance?
What causes a “GAP” between the Cash value of a vehicle and the lease or loan balance?
You can predict if there will be a gap in coverage by examining how you purchased or leased your vehicle. If one or more of the following is true you need “GAP” insurance:
- Do you have an auto loan and made a small down payment?
- Was your down payment less than 20%?
- Did you finance your vehicle for 60 months or more?
- Is the vehicle you purchased or leased likely to depreciate quickly?
- Do you drive an excessive number of miles each year?
- Did you include any unpaid loan or lease balance from a vehicle that you traded to purchase or lease your new vehicle?
If one or more of the above conditions is true you need “GAP” insurance.
If You don’t have “GAP” Insurance now can you purchase it for a vehicle that you already leased or financed?
It is possible to get “GAP” coverage after you drive your vehicle away from the dealership. Prices for this coverage can vary widely so it is important to do your homework and check many insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best possible rate.
Attorney Richard Washington represents people injured or killed in Auto Accidents, Slip, Trip and Fall Down Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Workers Compensation, Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability Claims in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, D.C. and Minnesota, including Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Berks County, Dauphin County, and Lehigh County. The law firm also represents clients regarding Estates, Wills and Probate. Attorney Richard Washington represents individuals charged with crimes including DUI, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, underage drinking, assault, and possession of drugs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, D.C. and Minnesota, including Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Berks County, Dauphin County, and Lehigh County.
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