Any car, new or used, loses up to 25 per cent of its value immediately it leaves the yard or dealership.
If a car, purchased on credit or finance terms gets wrecked beyond repair, is totaled or gets stolen, the buyer will still be liable for making the car payments as usual.
If the car had comprehensive insurance cover, then the insurance cover would make payments for the car at its current market value.
The car dealer would be expecting the difference between the market price and the buying price, to be footed by the buyer. This amount is usually quite considerable, between 10,000 and 25,000 dollars. Footing this bill is not easy, especially if it is payments for a car that is stolen or wrecked beyond repair.
This is where gap insurance comes in handy.
Gap insurance covers the difference between the car purchase price and the car’s market value at the time it was totaled. In the state of California, auto insurance companies allow buyers to acquire gap insurance for vehicles up to eight years old, but not older.
This is good news as the car buyer can walk away from a car accident and not have to pay a cent for a totaled car, yet be able to negotiate a new loan for another car.
In the state of California, gap insurance is not mandatory and car buyers can get away without paying for this insurance cover. However, the roads and highways in California are not getting any safer and it is much better to have gap insurance than to not have it.
Gap insurance is refundable in California. However, this depends on a number of factors. If a car, purchased on credit or finance has gap insurance, it can be sold off to a third party and the initial owner cam then make a claim for the gap insurance that they paid.
It is important to note that documentation regarding the car sale, insurance and others, will be required to effect the refund. Refund based on a refinance option is not always guaranteed and will depend on the car dealer, car sale agreement as well as the terms of the Gap insurance. It is always important to clarify this fact early.