Gap Insurance vs Full Car Insurance Coverage

By Nancy B
January 17, 2023
We pledge to provide straight talk from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts. Read the Northern Neck Insurance INTEGRITY PROMISE.

What is Gap Insurance or Loan/Lease Coverage?

Gap insurance is short for Guaranteed Asset Protection Insurance. Northern Neck Insurance's coverage is called Loan/Lease Coverage. Cars can depreciate in value to less than you owe on your loan or a leasing contract. If you have a crash or your car is stolen, and the cost to repair or replace it exceeds that value, you may get stuck with paying the difference between what you still owe on your contract and what the car is actually worth today, even with your Liability and Collision Car Insurance

Tree on Car_Cropped

That's where Gap insurance can protect you. The coverage is specifically for drivers who still owe a balance on their vehicle, so if you own your car outright, you don’t have a need for gap insurance. Gap insurance is usually only needed for one to three years or until your vehicle is worth more than you still owe on your loan or lease.

You may need Gap Insurance if:

  • Your lender or lesser requires it.
  • Your car has a high rate of depreciation.
  • You rolled negative equity over from a previous car loan.
  • You put less than 20% down payment on the car purchase.
  • You finance or lease a vehicle for a long term (60+months).
  • Your loan or contract has a high-interest rate.

Difference Between Gap Insurance and Car Insurance

Regular car insurance, also called Liability and Collision Car Insurance, covers the cost to repair or replace your car and/or another driver's car if you're at fault up to its depreciated value, potentially creating a gap in coverage. Full coverage car insurance, which also includes Comprehensive Car insurance, covers damage to a vehicle caused by something other than a collision up to its depreciated value. Comprehensive insurance is not required by Virginia state laws, but drivers are usually required to have it for a leased or financed vehicle.

Silver car crashed into a blue car

How Much is Gap Insurance in Virginia?

Gap insurance is not usually expensive. Virginia gap insurance costs an average of $2 to $30 per month, depending on whether you buy it from a dealership, a car manufacturer, or your insurance provider. It can range anywhere between $200 to $700 in total from a car maker, dealership, or lender. You can also add the coverage to your existing car insurance for about $15 to $40 per year in added premium. Buying gap insurance directly from your insurance company is usually the cheapest option. 

Gap Insurance vs Gap Waiver

You may be able to avoid buying gap Insurance if you get a gap waiver, also called a gap addendum. This supplement to your auto loan or lease absolves you from paying the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and what it's worth if the vehicle is declared a total loss. It's usually less expensive than buying insurance coverage.

rental car man giving paper contract to woman

Our Car Insurance Options in Virginia

Northern Neck Insurance offers a full line of auto insurance coverages tailored for Virginians, including Liability and Collision Coverage, Comprehensive Coverage, and  Loan/Lease Coverage. Our Loan/Lease Coverage must be purchased within 30 days of leasing or purchasing a vehicle. Give us a call or contact your local car insurance agent


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THE NORTHERN NECK INSURANCE INTEGRITY PROMISE — We pledge to provide straight talk and good counsel from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts through our blog. While we hope you find this to be a helpful source of information, it does not replace the guidance of a licensed insurance professional, nor does it modify the terms of your Northern Neck Insurance policy in any way. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy.