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Is GAP Insurance Worth It?

In some cases, GAP Insurance (also known as Vehicle Shortfall Insurance at Stellantis Financial Services) can help avoid serious financial losses if your car is a Total Loss.

On the other hand, as an optional and additional insurance product, you might be wondering whether it’s worth the extra expense.

In the following guide, we’ll be reviewing some key aspects of GAP Insurance, providing you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about whether to purchase the cover.

GAP Insurance definition

As insurers may only pay out what the car is worth at the time it’s declared a Total Loss, the ‘gap’ between the purchasing price and the insurer’s valuation can leave some with a shortfall when it comes to settling their financing agreement/lease.

GAP Insurance (which might be referred to as Total Loss Cover or Vehicle Shortfall Insurance) covers this price gap, so you don’t have to pay for a vehicle you no longer have if the car is a Total Loss or stolen. 

It’s not essential, but it can be very useful in a number of cases.

Is there a difference between Vehicle Shortfall Insurance, Total Loss Cover and GAP Insurance?

While these terms are often used synonymously, there can be minor differences that vary between providers. For example, Stellantis Insurance Services provides our insurance cover where we offer both GAP Insurance and Total Loss Cover products within our Vehicle Shortfall Insurance range, each with slight differences in coverage and benefits to suit different needs.

The precise “shortfall” or “gap” the insurance will cover depends on your policy, but you can find a policy to suit the level of cover you need and the type of vehicle you have.

GAP Insurance covers the difference between the remaining loan balance and the amount your insurance provider pays for the total loss claim.

If you’re interested in exploring your GAP Insurance and Total Loss Cover options in more detail, it’s worth visiting one of our selected retailers, where the team can talk through the options for the vehicle you have in mind.

Do I need GAP Insurance?

In order to understand if you need GAP Insurance, it’s important to look at the types that exist, what they cover, and whether they could benefit you.

Types of GAP Insurance and Total Loss Cover

Finance GAP Insurance

This type of GAP Insurance is specifically for vehicles purchased on finance. The agreement covers the gap between the vehicle’s value at the time of the claim and the amount outstanding on the agreement.

Return To Invoice GAP Insurance (RTI)

This type of GAP Insurance covers the gap between what the insurer could pay and the original amount you paid on the invoice–or the amount left on your finance agreement, whichever value is greater.

Return To Value GAP Insurance (RTV)

This type of GAP Insurance covers the gap between the market value of the vehicle at the time of the claim and the market value at the time you took out the policy.

Contract Hire GAP Insurance (CHG)

This type of GAP Insurance covers the remaining payments if you have a rental type of finance agreement, such as Personal Contract Hire, or lease your car and do not have the option to commit to ownership at the end of the term.

Vehicle Replacement GAP Insurance (VRI)

This type of GAP Insurance covers the difference between a Total Loss payment and the cost of a replacement car, so it covers the loss of value of the vehicle or depreciation. In the case of a used car, the gap covered is between the insurer’s valuation and the original purchasing price.


At Stellantis Financial Services the specific type of cover available may vary depending on the finance product you choose. If you are still unsure of what insurance product would work best for you after exploring our site, it may be worth contacting a retailer to discuss all the available options.

What scenarios does GAP Insurance cover?

  • If the vehicle is a Total Loss after an accident - this is especially useful if you are on a PCP or Conditional Sale agreement (or even a personal loan) and want to avoid a financial loss.
  • If the vehicle is stolen - this is especially useful for general finance and lease agreements, if you want to avoid a large bill for outstanding payments.
  • If the vehicle has broken down/deteriorated beyond repair from usage - this is especially useful for individuals running a value-losing vehicle (such as those for work) and want to avoid a loss if they have to replace it.

When is GAP Insurance not necessary?

There are a few occasions when GAP Insurance might not be required for your vehicle:



You pay off the vehicle quicker than planned or make overpayments…

If you pay off quickly, the gap between what you owe (or what is left on your finance agreement) and the price your insurer offers is reduced. This builds equity, so the remaining loan balance could be closer to the insurer’s value–and there’s less of a gap for GAP Insurance to cover.

You have comprehensive car insurance and the vehicle is less than a year old…

Some comprehensive policies offer a ‘new car replacement’ during the first 12 months after the purchase of a new car.

You can cover the shortfall…

In some cases, the gap between your insurance and the value of the car may be financially manageable.

How much is GAP Insurance?

The cost of GAP Insurance will vary between different insurance providers and may be impacted by the policy length required and the price of the vehicle being insured.

Things to think about when considering if GAP Insurance is worth it include:

  • Contract length - the longer your policy lasts, the more you will pay for it. GAP Insurance usually matches the length of your finance plan, or enough of it to ensure any loss is financially manageable.
  • Make/model of vehicle - as newer cars tend to be more expensive to replace, your GAP Insurance may be more expensive too.
  • Amount of cover/excess amount - it’s important to consider the balance between higher excess payments and lower premiums throughout your term.

As provider rates and policies vary depending on your circumstances, this may influence whether GAP Insurance is worth it or not. It’s worth noting you can’t buy GAP Insurance on the same day as the vehicle, there is a 7 day waiting period before a policy can be offered. You also have 30 days to cancel your policy after purchase at no extra cost, as long as no claims have been made. 

GAP Insurance help section

  • What is GAP Insurance for cars?
    GAP Insurance is an optional car insurance policy, which allows you to pay off your loan or finance agreement if the car is a Total Loss and you owe more than your insurer has paid out for the car's depreciated value.
  • Is GAP Insurance worth it on a lease?
    GAP Insurance is often worth it on a lease. If you’re financing a car (especially if it is relatively new) for more than a year, you may find yourself having to claim and end up owing more than the car's ‘actual cash value’.
  • Is GAP Insurance worth it on a new car?
    GAP Insurance is usually worth it for a new car as its value may decrease much faster  after purchase than a used car. It is especially important if you have a high loan value, as there is a greater ‘gap’ to cover if the car is written off.
  • Is GAP Insurance worth it on PCP?
    GAP Insurance is often worth it for many kinds of finance agreements, including a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). GAP Insurance agreements may protect a PCP policyholder from financial loss in the case of a Total Loss.

Get the right GAP cover for your vehicle

If you think the additional cover and security of GAP Insurance is right for you, then take a look at our Vehicle Shortfall cover. 

We also have a range of other insurance products to give you even greater peace of mind. To get the right insurance solutions for you, visit one of our selected retailers today.

You can also try our interactive finance product tool to find the right plan for your needs.