Gap insurance is an optional add-on policy that can protect you after a total loss car accident. It covers the difference between what your vehicle is worth and what you still owe on auto financing. Gap insurance prevents you from being “upside down” on a totaled car loan.
But with gap policies available from multiple sources, you may be unsure if you already have coverage. There are some easy ways to find out if gap protection is included in your current auto insurance plan or car loan.
Check Your Auto Insurance Policy
One place to look for gap coverage is in your regular car insurance policy. Many major insurers offer gap as an optional add-on when buying a policy.
Review Policy Paperwork
Pull out your auto insurance documents and look for a section called “Optional Coverages” or “Endorsements.” This lists any extra products you added to your base policy, like rental reimbursement or roadside assistance.
See if “Gap Insurance” or “Auto Loan/Lease Coverage” is listed there. The paperwork may show an additional premium you paid for the gap policy.
Check Your Insurance ID Card
Your insurance ID card may also indicate if you have gap through your insurer. Look on the back of the card for wording like “Gap Coverage Included” or similar phrasing.
Call Your Insurance Agent
If it’s unclear from your documents, call your insurance company directly and ask an agent to check your policy. They can confirm over the phone or email if gap protection is included.
Check Your Insurer’s Website
Many insurance companies let you access auto ID cards and policy documents online through a customer portal. Log into your account and browse for mentions of gap insurance.
By checking your car insurance paperwork, ID card, agent, or online account, you can easily verify if gap coverage was included with your policy.
See If the Dealer Added Gap Insurance
Another way drivers often get gap insurance is by purchasing it through the auto dealer when buying a new or used car.
Gap offered at the dealership is technically through a separate insurance company, but gets bundled into the financing.
Review Your Sales Contract
When you bought your vehicle from the dealer, you should have signed a purchase agreement or sales contract. This lists the full terms of your deal, including extras like gap insurance.
Pull out this paperwork and look for a section on add-ons or aftermarket products. See if gap coverage is itemized there. It likely shows a one-time upfront cost you financed into the total car loan amount.
Check the Loan Statement
Review your current auto loan statement or amortization schedule from the lender. Any add-ons like gap insurance get wrapped into your monthly payment. So see if gap premiums are included in the loan totals or payment breakdowns.
Call the Finance Manager
If it’s not clear from the paperwork, call the finance manager at the dealership where you bought the car. They can check the full deal terms and let you know if gap protection was included when you purchased the vehicle.
Verify Through the Lender
Gap insurance offered by auto lenders provides benefits very similar to policies from insurers or dealers. It gets built directly into the car loan.
Check the Loan Agreement
When you financed your car purchase through a bank or lender, you should have received a loan contract. This outlines the complete loan terms, interest rate, length, etc.
Review the fine print sections and see if gap insurance is mentioned as part of the financing. There may be a one-time fee or higher interest rate to account for the gap policy.
Call the Lender
If you can’t tell from the paperwork, call your auto loan lender directly. Ask them to confirm if gap insurance coverage was part of the loan agreement when you purchased the vehicle. They can verify over the phone.
Check Monthly Statements
Log into your lender account and look at recent monthly loan statements. Add-on products like gap often get factored into the total principal amount borrowed. So review your original loan balance versus any gap fees to see if coverage was included.
When Gap May Not Be Clear
In some cases, it can be difficult to confirm if you have gap insurance or not. For example:
- You lost the original auto financing paperwork.
- It’s from an older car loan and you don’t recall the details.
- The documents are vague and do not clearly mention gap coverage.
If you cannot confirm through paperwork, your best options are calling the insurance company, dealer, or lender to definitively answer the question about gap coverage.
Primary Places Gap Insurance Comes From
While checking for gap protection, keep in mind the three main ways drivers often obtain this type of policy:
Auto insurance companies – Gap insurance offered as an add-on to your regular car insurance policy, for an extra premium.
Dealerships – You are offered gap insurance when buying a vehicle through a dealer and it gets bundled into the auto financing.
Lenders – Major banks or lenders that finance vehicle loans sometimes include basic gap protection as an automatic perk within the loan terms.
So be sure to check documents and accounts from any of the providers above to see if gap coverage was already included. This can help avoid accidentally double-paying for overlapping policies.
Key Things to Look For
When reviewing paperwork, watch for these indicators that gap insurance is included:
- The specific words “Gap Coverage” or “Gap Insurance.”
- “Auto Loan” or “Lease Coverage” listed as an add-on.
- An extra one-time fee wrapped into your loan principal amount.
- Higher monthly payments on your loan statement due to gap insurance costs.
- A mention of “Guaranteed Asset Protection” which is a branded version of gap offered by some lenders.
Calling your providers directly can also quickly confirm if you have a current gap policy in place or not.
If You Don’t Have Gap Insurance
If it turns out gap coverage was not part of your auto insurance, loan, or dealership purchase, you may want to consider adding it.
Gap insurance is inexpensive but can save you thousands after a total loss accident. Whether you buy through an insurer, lender, or dealer, gap helps fill the financial gap between your car’s depreciated value and the remaining loan balance.
Be sure to buy gap within the first 30 days of your purchase for the best coverage. Compare options from different providers to find the best rate on a gap policy that protects your financial interests.
The Bottom Line
Check your auto insurance paperwork, loan documents, and purchase contracts for any mention of gap coverage.
Call your insurance agent, lender, or dealership finance manager to confirm if you have an existing gap policy.
Review monthly statements and original loan agreements for signs a gap plan was included in financing.
If you don’t already have gap protection, consider adding this valuable coverage soon after buying a new or used vehicle.
So take some time to check where your car financing and insurance stands. Understanding if gap insurance is already included can provide peace of mind and help avoid overpaying for duplicate policies down the road.
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