Which? Report – The FactsQUOTE ME
Which? recommends that people don't just look at price when shopping around for insurance.
That's why it assesses insurance products on a combination of quality of cover and customer service. It advises that people always check carefully that cover meets their protection needs before making a purchase.Click here to view the report
Getting the best value GAP Insurance
The information provided by the consumer advice website Which? is hugely beneficial in answering preliminary questions that you may have about purchasing GAP Insurance and the types of policies available. We believe that the information offered to GAP customers by Which? is invaluable. However the information does point towards purchasing policies based on price rather than content and offers limited detail on the actual features of the policies.
Here at ALA, we know that price is an important factor. We also know that the cheapest policy doesn’t always mean value for money. The difference in the levels of cover offered by the various online companies can be vast. Shopping on price alone and opting for the cheapest policy available may mean that you buy a policy that is not the most beneficial to you and may not provide the level of cover you expect.
Whilst the Which? report does provide clear, concise information to readers, there are certain features of GAP policies which do require a more in-depth discussion. The list below is intended to be an objective and comprehensive catalogue of these features and how they relate in practice to you if the worst should happen.
It is important to be aware of the following features when purchasing GAP Insurance, to ensure you are buying the best policy available.
- Market Value Clause
If you purchase a GAP policy with one of these clauses and your Comprehensive insurer pays less than the Glass’s Guide Retail Value or similar in the event of a total loss, you could be left with a financial shortfall. Your GAP insurer is only obliged to pay from the market value not the payment you actually received from your motor insurer.
- Free Transfer
Most GAP policies expire when the applicable vehicle is sold. If you change your vehicle at any point a good GAP policy will let you transfer any unused premium free of charge and deduct this from the price of a policy on your new vehicle. This is a broker offering from ALA and demonstrates our commitment to providing the best customer service.
- Maximum Value Clause
This is another clause to avoid. This places a cap of between 100% and 110% of the Glass’s Guide Retail Value of a standard vehicle which may mean that the added extras you’ve paid for won’t be covered by your GAP policy.
- Time Limit for making a Claim
A good GAP policy will give you plenty of time to make a claim, accounting for the possibility that there can be delays when your car has been written off. A policy which gives you 120 days to claim rather than just a standard 30 gives you a bit more breathing space.
- FSCS Protected Underwriters
ALA and our underwriters are authorised and regulated by the FCA and as such your policy is covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
- Deferred Policies
A number of motor insurers offer new-for-old replacement on brand new vehicles in the first year, encouraging some customers to defer the start of their policy. ALA do not offer deferred policies because during that first year the insurance company can revert back to paying only the market value for various reasons; mileage or condition of the vehicle and in some instances if the vehicle is stolen. It is for these reasons that we suggest that our customers have a GAP policy running alongside this new-for-old period, as we promise to bridge the gap if they settle at market value or transfer the unused premium to a new policy if their comprehensive insurer replaces their vehicle in the first year.
Other things to look out for:
- The GAP policy pays up to £250 towards the comprehensive insurance excess in the event of a claim.
- The company does not charge administration fees for changes to personal details, registration numbers etc.
- The policy covers all manufacturer extras that appear on the original invoice.
- Whilst the FCA recommends at least 14 days, good providers offer a 30 day cooling off period.
- Policies can be purchased up to 365 days after the car has been purchased.
It is important that you know of all of these factors when purchasing a GAP Insurance policy to ensure you are getting the best policy you can when parting with your hard earned cash.