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8 September 2023

Written by Simon England

|  10 Minute Read

Answering 18 of your GAP insurance questions

We’ve compiled our answers to 18 of your burning GAP insurance questions. Whether you’re new to GAP insurance, shopping around for the best policy, or have questions about your existing insurance policy, find your answers in this full Q&A. If we don’t answer your question here, contact one of the team, and we’d be happy to help.

How can we help you get the answers you need?

I’m learning about GAP insurance for the first time

1. What is GAP insurance?

Usually, comprehensive coverage only pays up to the vehicle’s market value at the time of the total loss. You might need to cover any vehicle depreciation, outstanding car finance (or lease payments) and your motor insurance excess. GAP insurance, or Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance, is a type of motor cover that tops up your settlement from your motor insurer after a total loss.

2. Do you need GAP insurance?

GAP insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK like standard car insurance, but there are some cases where it is especially beneficial.

a. Do you need GAP insurance for car leasing?

There is a possibility that you will owe your finance provider a considerable amount after a total loss. Contract Hire GAP insurance can top up your standard comprehensive motor insurance settlement and cover your deposit and outstanding rental payments.

b. Do you need GAP insurance with full coverage?

GAP insurance is not a replacement for comprehensive car insurance, but some insurance providers offer new for old replacement within the first 12 months of owning the insured vehicle. With this cover, you have up to a year to purchase a Back to Invoice policy.

c. Do you need GAP insurance on brand-new cars?

Brand new cars depreciate the fastest. GAP insurance helps cover this depreciation following a total loss .

d. Do you need GAP insurance on used cars?

Used cars still depreciate , even without the sharp drop when they’re brand new. Pre-registered vehicles are nearly new so depreciate the most within the used car market. Also, if you have bought a used vehicle on finance, you still risk a financial shortfall after a total loss. GAP insurance for used cars helps cover depreciation, outstanding car finance and insurance excess.

Do you need GAP insurance on cars paid with cash?

Since you have no finance agreement for your vehicle, you might think you don’t need GAP insurance. However, your new or used vehicle will still depreciate even if you bought it outright . GAP insurance can help cover the financial shortfall due to depreciation.

3. GAP insurance on cars bought with PCP?

If you buy a vehicle on PCP , you pay a deposit and then monthly instalments to cover the predicted depreciation of the car. Then you have the option to pay a balloon payment, after which, you own the vehicle. If your PCP vehicle becomes a total loss during your finance agreement, your market value settlement may pay off the car, but leaves no cash to go towards a replacement vehicle. GAP insurance tops up your settlement to cover this shortfall.

4. How long does GAP cover last?

Most of our GAP insurance policies can be purchases for up to four years. However, a Contract Hire GAP policy can last up to five years. When you purchase a GAP policy with us, you can choose the length of policy based on your policy and specific requirements. Read more about policy lengths.

5. When should you buy GAP insurance?

Whilst you are not obliged to do so, it’s usually best to have a G AP insurance policy to cover you from the first day you own your vehicle. When you make a quote, you can select the date you collected or are due to collect the vehicle. You can purchase your GAP policy later; however, various time limits and restrictions apply.

6. When does GAP insurance not pay out?

Our customers needn’t worry about a denied GAP insurance claim because we have a 99% payout rate. However, here are the f our main reasons why your GAP insurer can’t pay your claim:

  • Your comprehensive motor insurer doesn’t pay out.
  • You are not able to provide the right documents to your GAP insurer.
  • You don’t have comprehensive motor insurance.
  • You already have an insurance policy which offers a new-for-old replacement.

I’m trying to choose the right GAP cover

Close-up of an Audi steering wheel

7. Is GAP insurance worth it?

Buying GAP cover for a new vehicle, used car, or a car purchased from a private seller is a personal decision. However, GAP insurance is a comparatively affordable type of asset protection that helps you cover a potentially significant shortfall after a total loss.

8. How much is GAP insurance?

Paying for your GAP insurance monthly may cost you less than a standard gym membership. Moreover, whilst the policy will last up to four years, you will have paid your full policy cost after just ten months. GAP insurance is an affordable type of cover which helps a range of drivers avoid considerable costs after a total loss.

See how much money you could save: Build a GAP quote in seconds.

9. Should I get GAP insurance from a dealership or an independent provider?

GAP insurance from an independent provider will likely be better value. Dealership GAP insurance costs 60% more on average. Also, you can shop around to find the best deal by opting for an independent provider.

10. Should I get GAP insurance or comprehensive coverage?

Motor insurance is a legal requirement in the UK. Even with comprehensive cover you will usually only be paid the current market value of your vehicle if it’s written off. You must have comprehensive insurance to be able to take out a GAP policy.

11. Which is the best type of GAP insurance?

The most popular type of GAP insurance is Back to Invoice (also called Return to Invoice GAP insurance). However, the best insurance policy will depend on your unique circumstances. Lease vehicles will require a Contract Hire GAP policy. Meanwhile, cars bought through private sellers or that exceed the timeframe requirements of the other policies will need an Agreed Value policy.

12. Can I get GAP insurance for my motorhome?

We offer GAP insurance for motorhomes for vehicles that are eligible in the Glass’s Guide. When you build your quote, make sure to select motorhome. If you have converted new van into a motorhome from new, it can be eligible for GAP insurance once registered with the DVLA as a motorhome.

13. How can I buy GAP cover?

Visit our quote calculator and enter your vehicle details. You can select your add-ons and purchase your insurance policy directly from the quote page. Phone our friendly team for advice on buying a policy.

Get a quote here

Get a quote here

I’m a customer, and I have a query

14. Can I get a refund on my GAP insurance?

You have a 30-day cooling-off period after you purchase a policy to cancel and receive a full refund. If you cancel after this cooling-off period, you will get a pro-rata refund of any unused premium minus a small cancellation fee.

15. How can I cancel my GAP policy?

Just phone our team to cancel your policy. You don’t have to give us a reason to withdraw, although we may ask for feedback to help us improve our products and services.

16. Where can I check my policy details?

If you need to check your coverage, policy limits, personal details or other policy information, log into your My ALA account and view your policies under ‘Active policies’. If you wish to change your payment information, contact one of the team.

17. Can I transfer my GAP policy?

If you sell your car, any credit from your existing policy can be used towards another policy for your new car. There may be a difference in premium to pay but we charge zero admin fees.

18. When does my policy end?

Your insurance schedule outlines your policy end date; most policies last up to four years (five for Contract Hire). However, if you receive a payout from us, your policy will end, and you will have to take out a new one on your new vehicle. There are some other reasons we may end your cover, outlined in our policy rules guide.

Related content

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GAP insurance explained: calculations

Is GAP insurance worth it for used cars?

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Is GAP insurance worth it for pre-registered vehicles?

GAP insurance coverage: what it covers

GAP insurance coverage: what is doesn’t cover