Knowing you have gap insurance provides big relief in the event your newly leased car is wrecked shortly after getting it. If your insurance company totals out the car, it will only pay for the actual value of the car, which often times does not cover paying off your car loan. If the balance owed on your vehicle is higher than what your insurance company will pay, you could be responsible for paying the difference out of your own pocket. However, gap insurance protects you against having to pay the difference between what the car is worth and what your standard insurance will cover.
Before You Leave the Dealership
It's best to have gap insurance coverage before you finalize your lease and drive off the lot. Go over the entire lease with your car dealer when you lease a vehicle, and ask about gap insurance. Have him show you the information on gap insurance and ask whether or not it is included in your lease. Be sure to also ask about the cost, and if you can expect to pay a deductible in the event of an accident. Find out any other details regarding the policy before deciding to take it. If you decide to, you can sign up for it at the time you lease your vehicle.
After You Leave
Sometimes you may leave the car lot without gap insurance coverage, or you may have found out about it later. If you're unsure as to whether or not you signed up for gap coverage, pull all of your car lease documents and look through them to see if there is a provision regarding gap insurance. Call your car dealer, ask for the insurance department and have a representative check to see if you accepted the gap insurance offered when you leased the vehicle. Also, it is a good idea to ask for a copy for your records, if you cannot find yours.
Other Insurance Providers
Dealerships aren't the only places you can choose to sign up for gap insurance. Dealers charge high dollars for gap insurance, so you may be better off looking around. Check with your own insurance agent for a quote. You can shop online for gap insurance as well. Your car dealer might make it sound as though it is mandatory to buy gap insurance through them, but this is not the case. While it is definitely a good idea to have it, it doesn't have to be purchased at all, let alone from the dealer.