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There’s a lot to like about owning a new car—that is, unless it gets stolen or involved in a serious collision. In those situations, you might expect your car insurance policy to cover the remaining cost of your unsalvageable vehicle. Unfortunately, even the best plans may not cover the rest of your outstanding loan, creating a loan “gap” on the money you owe. That’s where Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) comes in.

What does GAP do?

If your car is totaled in an accident or stolen and not recovered, you should receive a settlement from your insurance company based on the market value of the vehicle. But this amount may not cover the rest of your loan. If there’s still money owed, GAP may help pay:

  • the outstanding loan amount
  • a portion of your insurance deductible (up to $1,000 with Navy Federal Credit Union)

What isn’t covered by GAP?

While GAP is useful, it doesn’t cover:

  • an extended warranty added to your car loan
  • maintenance or mechanical repairs for your vehicle

When is GAP useful?

You should consider GAP if:

  • your loan had a zero or low down payment
  • you have a lease (this may be automatically included)
  • your car make and model depreciates quickly
  • you drive more than 15,000 miles a year (accelerating your car’s depreciation)

How can you buy GAP?

Many car dealers and auto insurance companies offer GAP, as well as some financial institutions. The cost can vary, depending on the value of your car and whether or not it’s a lease. In many cases, you’ll pay for GAP in one lump sum, which can cost up to $600 or more. Some companies offer GAP as a recurring monthly or yearly payment instead. In general, expect prices to be higher at car dealerships. At Navy Federal, GAP can be purchased at a flat fee of $399 during your loan application process.

Is GAP worth it?

If you’re purchasing a car with little or no money down, or if your car loan has five or more years on it, you could benefit from GAP should anything happen to your car. You may be required to purchase GAP if you have a car lease, but requirements vary and you may not be able to choose where you purchase GAP from.

Is there a GAP in your coverage?

Your auto insurance may not be protecting you completely. Navy Federal’s Guaranteed Asset Protection helps you fill in the gap. Learn more about the benefits of GAP and enroll today.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.