Gap Insurance

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Protect Your Car With Gap Insurance

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, excitement often overshadows practicality. As a result, many car buyers overlook potential risks and financial vulnerabilities. Gap insurance is a crucial safeguard that provides protection against unforeseen circumstances and could save you from significant financial strain. Here is what gap insurance is, how it works, and why it might be needed to shield you from potential financial pitfalls. 

Gap Insurance - The Craven Agency

What is Gap Insurance?

Gap insurance, short for Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance, is an optional form of coverage designed to bridge the “gap” between what you owe on your car loan and the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV) in the event of a total loss. When you purchase a new car, its value depreciates rapidly as soon as it leaves the dealership. In the unfortunate event of an accident, theft, or natural disaster that results in a total loss of your vehicle, standard auto insurance will only cover the ACV at the time of the loss.

However, the ACV of a vehicle may be significantly lower than the outstanding balance on the car loan, leaving you with a financial deficit. This is where gap insurance steps in to protect you from bearing the burden of the difference between the ACV and your loan amount. 

How Does Gap Insurance Work?

Let’s understand how gap insurance works with an example:

Imagine you purchased a brand-new car for $30,000 and took out a car loan for the same amount with a loan term of five years. After just one year, the car gets totaled in an accident. At this point, the ACV of the car may have depreciated to $24,000. However, you still owe $28,000 on your car loan.

Without gap insurance: Your standard auto insurance policy will cover the ACV, which is $24,000. You are left responsible for paying the remaining $4,000 out of pocket to the lender to settle the car loan.

With gap insurance: The gap insurance policy would cover the $4,000 difference between the ACV and the loan amount, leaving you debt-free and not out of pocket for the remaining loan balance. 

Why Might Gap Insurance Be Needed?

There are a few different reasons. The first is rapid depreciation. New vehicles can lose up to 20% of their value in the first year due to depreciation. Without gap insurance, you may owe more on your car loan than your car is worth, especially during the initial years of ownership.

You also may need gap insurance if you made a minimal down payment or no down payment at all when purchasing the vehicle. The gap between the loan amount and the ACV can be significant, leaving you to pay the difference.

Longer loan terms, such as 60 or 72 months may also require gap insurance. These loan terms are becoming more common and while they lead to lower monthly payments, they also mean slower loan amortization. This can leave you exposed to a prolonged period of negative equity.

Accidents, theft, and natural disasters can occur at any time, and a total loss event can happen unexpectedly, leaving you financially vulnerable, which is another reason why it could be needed.

Lastly, gap insurance is often required when leasing a vehicle, as it protects the leasing company’s interest in the car. 


Gap insurance is a valuable safety net that can protect you from significant financial hardships in the event of a total loss of your vehicle. It ensures that you are not burdened with loan payments for a car you no longer possess or face out-of-pocket expenses to settle the loan balance.

While gap insurance may not be necessary for everyone, it is a critical consideration for those who buy new vehicles, finance with low down payments or opt for extended loan terms. It provides invaluable peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your vehicle without worrying about potential financial risks.

When considering gap insurance, consult with your insurance provider or a financial advisor to determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances. By understanding the importance of gap insurance and making informed decisions, you can confidently drive into the future, knowing you are protected against the uncertainties of vehicle ownership. For a quote on how to add this coverage to your auto policy, contact us at The Craven Agency.

Contact The Craven Agency today! Serving Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Ruston, Monroe and the surrounding communities in Louisiana and the Ark-La-Tex regions.​


We'd love to talk through any of your business or personal needs and build the right insurance policy for you.

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