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What is Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance?

GAP insurance may be offered to you when you buy a vehicle. GAP insurance covers the difference (or gap) between the amount you owe on your auto loan and what your insurance pays if your vehicle is stolen, damaged, or totaled. 

You don’t have to buy this insurance, but if you decide you want it, shop around. Lenders may set varying prices for this product.

It is highly unusual for a lender to require that you buy GAP insurance. If you are told that you are required to purchase a product such as GAP insurance, ask to see where your sales contract says it is required. If the contract does not explicitly state that it’s required, then you can’t be required you purchase it.

If you're told you must purchase a GAP plan to qualify for financing, contact the lender yourself to find out if that is true. If it is true, the cost of the GAP insurance  must be included in the finance charge and reflected in the disclosed annual percentage rate (APR). GAP insurance can be excluded from the finance charge and APR if it is optional. If you have a complaint or a concern about this insurance product, you can contact your state insurance department or commissioner .