Most of us know that a new or used car will depreciate by about twenty percent the minute we drive it off the lot. So unless you put 20% down on your auto loan, you stand to owe considerably more than the value of your car for quite some time. If you buy a moderately priced car of $20,000, then your loan could be for $4,000 more than the price your vehicle would be valued at. Cars are getting more expensive, and many of us are taking out loans for one hundred percent of the value of the loan!
However most insurance companies consider the value of your car to be your book value, and not your loan value. This may seem unfair since your loan may require you to keep comprehensive insurance! However, if you car is wrecked or stolen within the first year, and your insurance only reimburses you for book value, you could owe thousands of dollars on a car that you cannot drive. You will still be responsible for the balance of the loan no matter what amount your insurance company pays if they choose to total your car.
To protect yourself against an insurance company decision to total your car, you should consider buying car gap insurance. This type of insurance will pay off the balance of your auto loan. However car dealers often charge $500 - $700 for this type of insurance. You do not have to buy auto gap insurance at the dealer! You can buy the very same sort of gap insurance online and direct for less than $300.
As cars get more expensive, people finance larger percentages of their auto purchases, and often finance 100%, so gap insurance is becoming a very popular option. If you want to protect one of your most expensive investments, you should consider automobile gap insurance.