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How Many Times Can You Claim on GAP Insurance?


GAP Insurance, short for Guaranteed Asset Protection, is a type of protection that provides financial protection in the event of a total loss claim. This typically occurs when a car is stolen or written off in an accident.Table of contents




But how many times can you claim on GAP Insurance?

Once. GAP Insurance is a one-time coverage designed to protect a single, specific event. That event comes into play when your motor insurer writes off the vehicle as a total loss. Once the GAP Insurance claim is made, then that is the end of the policy.


Why is the number of times you can claim on a GAP Insurance policy restricted to one?


It can only happen once because it can only cover vehicles that have not been written off previously and that are in the process of being written off by a motor insurer.  How many times can you claim on GAP Insurance?


If you make a GAP Insurance claim, then when it is settled, that is the policy expires.


You cannot transfer to your new vehicle, nor are you due any refund for the time left on the policy.


Understanding GAP Insurance


Car GAP Insurance works alongside your standard car insurance. When your vehicle is declared a total loss, your standard car insurance will typically only pay out the car's current market value.


This settlement may not be enough to clear the vehicle's lease or finance agreement. Even if you own the car outright, it may leave you with funds to find to purchase a replacement car.


If you had the foresight to buy GAP Insurance when you purchased the car, you can turn to this. GAP Insurance claims can top up your motor insurers' settlement in several ways.


Types of GAP Insurance


There are several types of GAP Insurance (or Guaranteed Asset Protection), each designed to cover different scenarios. The three main types are:


1. Return to Invoice GAP Insurance (RTI): This covers the difference between the car insurance settlement and the original invoice price of the car or the outstanding finance, whichever is higher.


2. Vehicle Replacement GAP Insurance (VRI): This covers the difference between the insurance pay out and the cost of an equivalent replacement vehicle of the same make, model, and specification. If the original vehicle were new, it would be a brand new replacement car cost in settlement.


3. Lease and Contract Hire GAP Insurance (Finance GAP Insurance): This covers the difference between the insurance payout and the amount you still owe on your car loan (Hire Purchase or Personal Contract Purchase), lease or contract hire agreement.


Other types of GAP Insurance can be available, including Negative Equity GAP Insurance, Agreed Value GAP and Top Up GAP Insurance. The range available depends on the GAP Insurance providers you look at.


Most GAP Insurance policies are subject to a maximum claim limit.


Claiming on GAP Insurance


The trigger for any GAP Insurance claim is when your motor insurer declares the insured vehicle a write-off and a total loss. This could be following an accident, fire, flood or theft.


If you pay for your GAP cover on a credit agreement, this is simply a way to pay for the policy. You must settle the credit agreement for the full GAP Insurance premium.


Key Takeaways

  1. Typically you can only claim on a GAP Insurance once. GAP Insurance covers a specific event that would see the vehicle written off as a total loss by a motor insurer.

  2. A new GAP Insurance policy cannot insure cars that have already been written off.

  3. If you make a claim on a GAP Insurance policy, that is the policy spent. As the claim has been settled, there will be no refund or transfer of the remainder of the cover.

  4. When you replace your written-off vehicle, you will need to buy a new GAP Insurance policy for that vehicle.




1. Is GAP Insurance mandatory?

No, GAP Insurance is not mandatory. It's an optional coverage you can buy to top up your car insurance settlement if the vehicle is declared a total loss.


2. Are there any further caps on GAP Insurance? 

Yes, GAP Insurance can carry a maximum claim limit. This refers to the maximum cash amount you can claim in a GAP Insurance payout. There are also maximum terms of cover, usually four or five years, depending on the GAP Insurance provider and product.


3. How long does GAP Insurance last?

The duration of GAP Insurance can vary, but it typically lasts until your car loan is paid off. Some providers may offer policies for a set period, such as three to five years. The GAP policy will also expire after you make a successful claim.


4. Can I cancel my GAP Insurance?

You can usually cancel your GAP Insurance if you no longer need it. However, cancellation policies can vary, so it's important to check the terms of your policy. You should be able to recover a pro-rata refund, less any cancellation fees, for the time left on the cover. You can only do this if no claim has been made on the GAP Insurance policy.


5. Does GAP Insurance cover theft?

Yes, GAP Insurance typically covers theft as long as your car is declared a total loss by your car insurance company.


6. What happens if I don't use my GAP Insurance?

If you never have a total loss claim during your GAP Insurance policy term, then the policy expires. There is no refund if you have not made a claim.


7. Can I transfer my GAP Insurance to a new car?

This depends on the provider and the specific policy. Some GAP Insurance policies may allow you to transfer your coverage to a new vehicle, while others may not. Always check the terms of your policy or contact your provider for clarification.


Published 13/7/23, written by Mark Griffiths