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7 Reasons Gap Insurance Is Important for California Drivers 

What if the worst part of getting into a car accident wasn’t the wreck itself? 

When California drivers have their car totaled or stolen, they typically expect their full coverage automobile insurance to fully reimburse them for the value of the vehicle. That’s when they discover a nasty surprise; they’re only getting reimbursed for the actual cash value of the car, which is what they’d get if they had simply sold it on a used car lot. 

One way to protect yourself from this is gap insurance, but most California drivers are unsure whether they need this coverage or not. Does that sound like you? Keep reading to discover why gap insurance is so important! 

1. Big Down Payments Are Getting Rarer 

When it comes to gap insurance, drivers are typically curious about whether they really need it. If you made at least a 20% down payment when purchasing your vehicle, then you may very well not need to worry about the quick depreciation of its value (more on this later). 

However, fewer California drivers are making sizeable down payments. If you paid anything less than one-fifth of the automobile’s value when buying it, then you’re going to get a lot less than you expected when filing a claim. Fortunately, gap insurance ensures you get enough reimbursement to replace your old vehicle outright. 

2. Car Financing Periods Keep Getting Longer 

One of the most frequent ways that consumers negotiate a lower down payment on their car is by agreeing to finance it for a longer time. For example, someone might finance a car for a period of up to 96 months rather than the traditional 60 months. 

That may seem like a good idea when you’re strapped for cash, but California drivers who finance a car past the five-year mark are going to see its value depreciate quite dramatically. Without good gap coverage, that car you’ve been paying off for nearly eight years may not be worth anything by the time you file your claim. 

3. Your Vehicle Will Depreciate Faster Than You Think 

California drivers weighing whether they need gap insurance or not must learn one important thing about depreciation. What is that fact? Your car will depreciate in value far quicker than you are probably expecting. 

For example, your car’s value is likely to depreciate 10% as soon as you drive it off the lot, and it may continue losing 20% of its value each year that you own it. Some models hold value for longer than others, but this is why financing a car for no longer than five years is so important. After half a decade of ownership, it may not be worth anything at all when you file a claim! With good gap coverage, you can protect the original value of the car for at least the first two years of ownership. 

4. It May Be Required by Your Lender 

Mostly, we’ve been focusing on why you might choose to snag gap insurance for your existing vehicle. However, you might be required to get such coverage by your California lender when you go to buy a new vehicle, giving you very little choice in the matter. 

As a buyer, that can certainly feel very annoying, but keep in mind that this coverage provides great peace of mind at very little cost (more on this later). Speaking of very little cost, be sure to shop around for good gap coverage quotes rather than simply accepting the policy offered by your lender or automobile dealer. 

Young woman hugs the front fender of her new car

5. Gap Insurance Helps You Lease Vehicles 

There are many advantages to leasing a car rather than buying it, including the fact that you make lower payments, reduce your repair costs, and don’t have to resell the car yourself. However, one thing most lease agreements in California have in common is that they require gap insurance. 

Rather than look at this as an annoyance, you could instead look at it as a blessing in disguise. Once you are willing to get gap coverage for yourself, it means you have the option of both buying and leasing a car. In that way, you’ve effectively doubled your options as a consumer! 

6. The Car You Traded in May Not Be Paid Off 

One of the other big benefits of leasing a vehicle is that you can typically lease a new car very quickly, making it a great option for those who don’t want to drive their car into the ground before getting a new one. However, some California drivers try to speed up the process without leasing by simply trading in their old car sooner rather than later. 

That sounds like a good idea on paper, but if you trade in a car that has negative equity, you’ll actually be responsible for paying the difference between your remaining loan balance and the car’s value. Unless, of course, you have gap coverage, which will pay that difference for you. 

7. Gap is More Affordable Than You Think 

You might still think you don’t need gap coverage, especially if you practice safe driving on these mean California streets. But the final reason we know you need this insurance is simple—it doesn’t cost that much at all! 

If you bundle this coverage with pre-existing insurance, you could pay as little as $20 a year. For the price of a few fancy Starbucks coffees, you can make sure that you get every penny you are expecting in the event of an unexpected accident or if your new car is stolen. 

Get Affordable Automobile Coverage in California Today! 

Now you know why gap insurance is so important for California drivers. But do you know where you can get the best insurance at even better prices for your vehicle? 

Here at Cost-U-Less, we’re here to offer drivers just like yourself the peace of mind they deserve. Ready to protect you, your family, and the value of your car? Call us at (800) 390-4071 or get a fast and free car insurance quote online. You can also find a nearby office and visit us in person. 

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