Hartford Gap Insurance Lawyer

A lawyer and his client looking evaluating the damage dealt to the latter's vehicle.Gap insurance – otherwise known as Guaranteed Asset Protection – is an add-on insurance that motorists can obtain right when they buy a car at the dealership.

Gap coverage works to protect a motorist in the event they face an accident and walk away with out-of-pocket expenses due to the value of their vehicle. A car accident may leave the victim with serious injuries and new debts that can be just as painful, but a gap insurance policy is intended to offset those outstanding costs and act as a layer of protection for drivers with car payments.

At Bert McDowell Injury Law, we’ve worked with countless claimants in similar situations and can aid you through your claim with a gap insurance carrier. These types of claims often involve a two-step process where, first, the claimant must reach out to their standard insurer.

The additional steps and parties involved can make financial recovery feel further away than it should be, but an attorney can keep you on track while maximizing your chances of a successful claim. Schedule a free case review with a Hartford gap insurance lawyer today when you call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online.

What Does Filing a Gap Insurance Claim Look Like With a Hartford Gap Insurance Attorney?

A Hartford gap insurance attorney can provide support through key steps of the claim settlement process, including:

  • Gathering necessary documents: Your insurance carrier may not be the most helpful in guiding you through documentation submission. An attorney can ensure that no critical paperwork is overlooked, as this can lead to expensive out-of-pocket costs. Vehicle purchase agreements, insurance policies, medical records, and more will be necessary when filing a claim.
  • Reviewing your coverage: When you utilize gap insurance, you are opening another insurance claim for the same accident. Reviewing two separate policies can be confusing, but your attorney can efficiently help you understand what benefits your standard insurance policy will cover and how the gap insurance can supplement coverage.
  • Coordinating the claim with standard insurance: An attorney can represent you through the entirety of the claim process, including working with your standard insurance company to settle your Gap claim and secure compensation for your car’s value, other property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and other applicable damages.
  • Filing gap insurance claim: The gap insurance carrier may or may not be a separate company altogether, meaning that to get a comprehensive settlement, you’ll often need to work with two claim adjusters and file two claims. This additional step can be tedious, especially when you have just settled the original claim. Your attorney can take charge of the gap insurance claim process by submitting documentation, managing communication on your behalf, and, of course, ensuring coverage is maximized.
  • Negotiating with gap insurance carriers: In many cases, the gap insurance claim adjuster may dispute or challenge certain details of the claim in order to reduce their liable payout, but your attorney will be your ally through negotiation. Hazy areas like coverage limits, history, and valuation of the vehicle can have an impact during negotiation, but representation can help you avoid an undervalued claim.

What Kind Of Support Does a Gap Insurance Attorney Provide?

When you work with an experienced gap insurance attorney in Hartford, you’ll gain:

  • Legal advice and resources: An attorney will keep you informed about your responsibilities as a claimant, the upcoming steps in the process, and any hiccups that may impact your claim. This legal counsel can be especially invaluable to a gap insurance claimant because of the additional steps required to secure a settlement.
  • Client education: The main role of an attorney is to help you maximize the benefits that you walk away utilizing, but along the way, when you have questions and concerns, an attorney can be a professional resource to lean on. Your attorney will educate you about your rights as a claimant in Connecticut, the specifics within your policies, and the potential aftereffects of your claim.
  • Timely processing: Time is of the essence when filing an insurance claim, and your attorney will keep up with all deadlines and submission requirements and ultimately manage claim progression so that you can settle as smoothly as possible.

Why Is Gap Insurance Important in an Auto Accident Claim?

This type of insurance is especially important because of how fast new vehicles depreciate in value. Within the first year of owning a car, it will lose about 20% of its value and can decrease another 15% every year for the next four years.

In an accident, the payout for your vehicle’s value may not cover the extent of your loan, leaving you to pay out-of-pocket for an accident that may not even be your fault.

When a motorist first leases a vehicle, their loan or outstanding balance due may be higher than the actual value of the vehicle, but gap insurance acts as the bridge that covers the difference. Ultimately, gap insurance provides protection from unforeseen events that could otherwise leave a motorist vulnerable to financial strain.

Gap insurance is generally inexpensive, too. Because many car dealerships will require this type of coverage to protect their asset, expanding the premium pool, drivers can usually get away with paying $20-$30 a year for their gap insurance policy.

What Does Gap Insurance Cover?

A gap insurance policy is designed to protect a motorist from out-of-pocket costs in the event their standard insurance policy will not cover the full cost of the vehicle’s damages.

This type of policy will cover the difference between what you still owe on your vehicle and the actual cash value (ACV). Before a driver files a claim with their gap insurance carrier, they will go through the standard auto insurance claim process.

An insurer will reimburse a driver for what their vehicle is worth at the time of the accident, minus any deductible. Only after this process can a motorist reach out to their gap insurance carrier for the benefits of their coverage because their final settlement depends on what the standard insurer decides to cover.

Let’s say you owe $15,000 on a car loan, but your vehicle has depreciated in value to $13,000. In the event of an accident, your standard auto insurance carrier will only cover the ACV of your vehicle: $13,000.

This leaves a $2,000 out-of-pocket difference for the driver, excluding deductibles. Having a gap insurance policy can protect a driver from these kinds of expenses.

When you open a gap insurance claim, your coverage will exclude:

  • Your annual deductible
  • Medical costs
  • Engine failure
  • Rental cars
  • Motor homes
  • Tractor trailers

When Is It Particularly Important to Have Gap Insurance?

Most auto dealerships will advise that a motorist take advantage of the add-on coverage before they even drive off the lot, but it can be especially beneficial to have gap insurance if you are driving:

  • With high mileage
  • A brand-new car 
  • A luxury vehicle
  • With a long-term loan
  • A leased vehicle
  • With no-down-payment

Estimating a Vehicle’s Value

In order to estimate your vehicle’s worth, you can go to Kelly Blue Book or The National Automobile Dealers Association for a valid assessment. A claim adjuster will also use similar resources to build an estimate.

When you compare this value to your outstanding lease or loan, remember to subtract any deductible you must pay.

While many car dealerships will require drivers to have gap insurance if they lease a vehicle, you can also obtain this type of coverage if you hear about it later. Once you know your car’s worth, you can talk with a representative from a gap insurance carrier to start coverage.

Do You Need Gap Insurance Even if You Have Full Auto Coverage?

The short answer is “yes.”

If an accident strikes, these extensive warranties will not cover the cost of your loan if it is more than the vehicle’s worth. Gap insurance is the coverage that protects motorists from this financial threat, but it can be added onto a traditional insurance policy, generally within 30 days of purchasing a vehicle.

Your standard auto accident coverage will protect your financial future in other ways by offsetting costs from medical treatment and lost wages, but gap insurance specifically covers financial strain related to an insufficient vehicle reimbursement.

In 2019 alone, traffic crashes cost America $340 billion. A car accident can be an expensive and unfortunate circumstance to experience, but gap insurance can cover your bases when it comes to your investment in your vehicle.

A Hartford Gap Insurance Law Firm Can Help You Protect Your Finances After a Car Accident

An accident is overwhelming, but the financial implications that follow can be just as severe.

Working with an attorney can alleviate some of the pressure from litigation, as you’ll gain a team of professionals dedicated to advocating for your best interests. Protecting your finances after a crash begins with an initial consultation with a Hartford gap insurance lawyer.

A consultation with an associate from The Bert McDowell Law Firm is completely free and requires no obligation to commit. In this meeting, you and an attorney will map out a general course of action for moving forward, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions or voice concerns about the upcoming legal process.

Schedule a free case review now when you call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online.