How do you file a gap insurance claim?

Depending on the gap insurance provider, you may be able to file your claim in person, over the phone, or online. If your vehicle is stolen or totaled, and your comprehensive or collision claim is approved, then your gap insurer will pay your lienholder what is owed under your gap insurance policy.

If you have questions or are unsure of what to do, contact your car insurance company or gap insurance provider, and they can help. After you file your car insurance claim, you can typically track its status until it's resolved.

What documents do I need to file a gap insurance claim?

When you file your gap insurance claim, you need to provide documentation that shows the difference between what you owe on your loan or car lease and what the car was worth when it was stolen or totaled. Here's a list of documents the gap insurance company may ask you to provide:

  • Insurance settlement statement: A statement showing the vehicle's actual cash value and how much the vehicle insurance company reimbursed you for the loss.
  • Settlement check: A copy of the check paid to the lienholder/lessor from the vehicle insurance company after they process your collision or comprehensive claim showing the settlement amount.
  • Loan or lease contract: The original contract showing the financing terms of your loan or lease.
  • Loan history: A complete list of the charges and payments that have been made to your account. It must include the current outstanding balance.
  • Police report: A copy of the police report explaining what happened to the car and when.
  • Sales agreement: The original sales agreement from the dealer showing how much you paid for the car.

If you purchased gap insurance through the same company that provides your comprehensive and collision coverage, they would have access to some of these documents, which can help simplify the claims process.

When doesn't gap insurance pay?

The purpose of gap insurance is to protect you in only one scenario: you owe more on your loan or lease than the car is worth. In that case, the payout you receive from the insurance company isn't enough to pay off your outstanding loan or lease balance.

Gap insurance won't pay for:

  • Injuries
  • Repairs to your vehicle
  • A new car
  • Damage to someone else's vehicle
  • Negative equity you rolled over from a previous loan
  • Cost of optional products such as vehicle service contracts

Additional charges related to your loan or lease agreement, such as excess mileage charges, may not be covered either. Note that you won't receive a payout from your gap insurance if you don't owe more than the car's worth.

Do I need to make my loan/lease payments after I file a claim?

Yes. Your agreement with the lender doesn't end just because you can no longer drive your car. If you stop making your payments while waiting to receive the insurance settlement, the lender can report it to the credit bureaus, which could negatively affect your credit.

So, it's important to keep making your loan/lease payments until you receive your settlement check. Then you can use the money to pay off your loan/lease balance.