What does a negative gap mean with gap insurance?

I was involved in a not-at-fault accident and my car was marked a total loss. I have gap insurance and tried to submit a claim. However, my lender told me I had a negative gap and wasn't able to claim anything, especially since my vehicle had prior damage. What should I do?

Answer provided by
Emily Maracle
Answered on Apr 21, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
“The purpose of gap insurance is to cover the difference if you owe more on your loan than the actual cash value of your vehicle. In normal situations, your gap insurance would apply and cover this difference.
However, car insurance companies and lenders often have different terms, conditions, and definitions regarding their coverages and products.
A negative gap would imply that you have already received more money than would be needed to cover the gap on your loan. It could be that the dealership or lender will be providing you with a refund that would cover the balance.
Insurance regulations require that you never financially benefit from a transaction, so the denial of a claim is to ensure you aren’t being paid more than you are owed.
If the terms and conditions of your gap insurance aren’t clear, reach out to your lender for clarification. “

Did this answer help you?

Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.

Have a different question?

You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies