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Gap Car Insurance: Do You Need It?

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Gap Car Insurance: Do You Need It?

What is gap car insurance and how do you know whether you really need it? Gap car insurance, like many other types of insurance isn’t necessarily required. That is to say that you can certainly purchase a new car without gap car insurance; however, you could be leaving yourself open for some losses if you don’t purchase it. Read on for more tips to better underst and whether you need gap car insurance or you can skip it.

Gap car insurance covers the difference between the market value of your car and your loan amount. Aren’t the two the same, you might ask. Not necessarily. You see, the moment you drive your car off the lot it depreciates, or loses value, immediately and quite significantly. Let’s say you purchase a new car and pay $25,000 for it. On average a car will depreciate at least 20% right after it leaves the dealership. That means your br and new car is now worth only $20,000. What happens if you have an accident soon after the purchase? Even if you have full insurance coverage, including comprehensive and collision, your insurance policy will still only cover the market value of the car. Unfortunately, even though the market value and insurance policy are now worth only $20,000 you still owe in the neighborhood of $25,000 for the car. Without gap car insurance you’ll be stuck covering that additional $5,000 on your own.

Be aware that not all gap car insurance policies are the same and this is important. For example, some gap car insurance policies will cover losses due to theft and accidents but not all so be sure to ask questions regarding specifically what is covered in the policy before you take it.

Usually, gap car insurance is a good idea if you are about to purchase a new car and are concerned that you wouldn’t be able to cover the difference between the market value and the amount that would be cover by the C&C policy. Be aware that gap insurance is not available for older vehicles in most cases.

While you’re certainly not required to take out gap car insurance by your lender or the dealer, it can help you to rest easier in knowing you won’t be stuck owing thous ands of dollars on a totaled car in the event that you suffer an accident or theft shortly after the purchase.

It is also important to underst and that if you finance your car through the dealership you can usually take out gap car insurance at the time of the purchase; however, you’ll probably end up paying more for the policy than if you simply took it out with your regular auto insurance agent.

Before taking out gap car insurance, always be sure to check your existing policy to find out whether gap insurance might already be contained within that policy. You never know, it might not necessary to purchase an additional policy at all. If it’s not included, give some thought to whether the price of the gap insurance would be worth the trade-off of not having to worry if you have an accident and can’t afford to pay the difference between market value and coverage amount with a regular policy.

Car Insurance – How can you lower your premiums?

Many factors influence the premium for your Motor insurance policy. Your insurer will have asked you many questions whilst producing your quote – some of which will affect your premium and some will not. Below we discuss the key variables that are within the policyholder’s control.

Consolidating policies

By insuring a number of vehicles with the same insurer, or by trying to take out home and life insurance through your car insurer, you may be able to secure a ‘bulk buy’ discount.

Location

A big influence on the cost of your car insurance is where you live. The chance of your car being broken into or stolen is a key concern for the insurer. More urban areas traditionally facing greater risk of theft and therefore tend to be more expensive than countryside locations.

Excess

By agreeing to pay a greater excess on each claim you can reduce your car insurance premiums. This is because you are reducing the liability of the insurer and therefore in return they are able to offer you a lower premium.

Your Vehicle

The cheaper and slower your vehicle the lower your premiums are likely to be. If you are looking to buy a new vehicle make sure you fully consider the cost of insurance – you may be able to buy the car but can you afford to run it?

Mileage

You can control your insurance premiums by restricting your annual mileage. However, be aware that if you exceed the restricted number of miles you’ll then become uninsured!

Parking

Where you park your vehicle overnight is also very important to the insurers. If it is kept in a locked garage, you should be offered a lower premium than if you leave it unattended in the street.

Security

Security devices that prevent or hinder theft may also reduce your premium. Common examples include alarms and immobilisers, however, be aware that as we improve the quality of our security devices the thieves just become better at bypassing them.

No Claims Discount

Save up your no claims discount by avoiding making small claims upon your policy. After a set number of years, 4 or 5 typically, you’ll often be offered the option to pay an additional small premium to protect your no claims bonus. This can prove very helpful if you subsequently end up having an accident.

Advanced driving skills

By taking an advanced driving course you may also be able to reduce your premiums. The Institute for Advanced Motorists and the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents each offer membership which provides you with discounts for both the cost of driving courses and your car insurance premiums. Two key variables NOT within the policyholder’s control.

Your Sex.

Women are statistically less likely to have an accident and, if they do, it’s less likely to be serious. Because of these statistics women benefit from lower premiums. It is also worth noting that if you represent one half of a couple you should consider having the female as the primary driver with the male as the second driver.

Your Age

The older you are, the less likely you are to make a claim. As a result insurance companies charge lower premiums for more mature drivers.

One final piece of advice.

A large percentage of car insurance is now sold on the Internet. That’s because it’s convenient and cheap. Many insurers now give a further 10%-15% discount if you buy online.

Auto Insurance 101 Explained

Auto insurance can be confusing for most consumers; there are so many different types of insurance and it can be difficult to determine the type of coverage you’re required to carry versus the types of coverage that you really should carry in order to protect yourself but that are not required.

When considering how much car insurance you should have, it is best to do some research and find out what type of insurance is required by the state in which you reside. Not all states require the same levels of insurance. Some states require more types of coverage than others and states also vary in terms of the amount of coverage that is required. So, be sure you know exactly what the minimums are in the state where you live.

You should also underst and what is covered by the different types of insurance in order to underst and whether you need insurance coverage above and beyond the minimum required by your state of residence.

Bodily injury liability covers injuries that you cause to someone else while driving your vehicle. Generally the rule of thumb for this type of coverage is to purchase more than is required by your state minimums in order to protect your private assets from a law suit in the event that you injure someone.

Medical payments or personal injury protection, commonly known as PIP covers the treatment of injuries for the driver and the passengers of the vehicle. Depending on the level of coverage, this type of policy will compensate lost wages as well as medical payments.

Collision covers any damage that occurs to your vehicle in the event of an accident, even if it is your fault. Of course, a deductible will apply. Your lender will generally require this type of coverage while you still owe on the vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage is for the loss of your vehicle due to damage by something other than a collision such as theft, fire, natural disaster, v andalism, etc. Again, your lender will probably require this coverage for a financed vehicle. Once your loan is paid off, it’s up to you whether you want to continue carrying comprehensive and collision coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can come in h andy in the event that you are either involved in a hit and run or if you are hit by someone who does not have insurance or who is underinsured.

When considering how much insurance to take out, start with the amount that is required at a minimum by your state and then consider whether you’re required to take out any additional coverage due to lender requirements. Remember that while we all hope we won’t have a need for insurance, in the event that we do, it can be a financial lifesaver.

Finally, don’t forget to consider your options regarding deductibles. Raising your deductible can help you lower your premiums and that can make taking out additional insurance coverage more affordable. Just be sure you can reasonably afford the deductible in the event you need to use it.