How does GAP insurance work?
GAP insurance, known as Guaranteed Asset Protection or Guaranteed Auto Protection, is an optional insurance coverage for vehicle owners with auto loans.
GAP insurance offers very specific coverage that only applies in a few select situations. For GAP insurance to pay out, a few things need to happen.
First, your car has to be totaled or stolen. Your car can be deemed a total loss by your insurance company if it’s damaged in an accident, or as a result of a fire, vandalism, natural disaster, or other calamities.
Before GAP insurance will pay off any part of your car loan, your auto insurance will pay out an amount that corresponds to the car’s current value. If the amount of your insurance payout falls short of covering your remaining loan balance, then – and only then – will GAP insurance come into play.
Let’s look at an example.
Say you have a $30,000 auto loan balance but your car is only worth $25,000 (remember, many new cars tend to lose around 20% of their value in the first year). You get into an accident and the damage to your car is pretty extensive. You file a claim with your insurance company and they deem the vehicle a total loss. They pay out the $25,000 that the car is worth, leaving you with a $5,000 loan balance.
Your auto loan agreement requires you to pay the full amount, even if you don’t have the car. With GAP insurance, the $5,000 loan balance will be paid for by the insurer. Without GAP coverage, you’ll be the one responsible for paying the $5,000.
How to cancel my Fiat GAP policy
The first step in canceling your Fiat GAP policy is locating your original GAP agreement so you can determine your GAP provider.
Fiat doesn’t sell its own GAP insurance, though Fiat dealerships across the nation may offer it as an after-market product through third-party partnerships. Each Fiat dealership might offer GAP insurance from different providers, so it’s important to make sure you know which company issued your GAP coverage.
Our research shows that Fiat dealerships may be more likely to offer GAP coverage through CNA National Warranty Corporation or Zurich North America, though individual dealerships might sell GAP policies through other insurers.
The provider of your GAP insurance is listed in your GAP agreement, but if you can’t find it, call the dealership where you bought the car.
Regardless of whether you have GAP insurance through CNA National, Zurich, or any other insurance partner, if you purchased coverage from your dealer, that’s who you’ll want to contact first.
If for some reason you’re looking for an alternative to contacting your dealership, you can call Zurich North America’s customer service directly at 888-835-5063 or by submitting an online inquiry.
To get in touch with CNA National, you can reach them by phone at 800-345-0191, by email at email@example.com, or by completing their online inquiry form.
What if I didn’t buy Fiat GAP insurance from the dealership?
While simultaneously purchasing a new car and GAP insurance at the dealership is common, you can also buy GAP coverage on your own through any number of insurers.
Many auto insurance companies also offer GAP insurance (or an equivalent coverage), including:
If you purchased GAP insurance for your Fiat from your auto insurance provider or a different insurance company, you’ll need to contact them directly to cancel.
Again, you’ll want to locate your GAP agreement to see exactly what you need to do to cancel. Some insurance companies may allow you to cancel your GAP policy by logging in to your online account, or by requesting to cancel by email or fax.
If you pay your GAP insurance on a monthly basis, you may not receive a refund because you haven’t paid anything in advance.
When is it smart to cancel GAP insurance on my Fiat?
Before canceling GAP insurance on your Fiat, you want to make sure that doing so is a smart decision. Though you can usually cancel your GAP coverage at any time, the most appropriate times to do so are if:
- You sold your Fiat
- You traded in your Fiat for a different ar
- You purchased GAP insurance elsewhere and no longer want to keep the old policy
- Your lease ended (or you terminated your lease early)
- You paid off your loan
- The current value of your Fiat is significantly higher than your auto loan balance
Many policies will give you a full refund if you cancel your GAP insurance within the first 30 – 60 days after purchasing the policy. After that, you’ll receive a prorated refund based on the unused portion of your GAP policy (if there’s any remaining).
GAP insurance pays for any deficit on your loan remaining after your auto insurance claim is paid. Typically, GAP insurance will cover the full amount of your leftover loan balance after your auto insurance claim pays out.
Some GAP insurance policies have a limit. Though hitting that limit is unlikely, you should read through your policy to see if there are any limitations on the maximum coverage amount.
GAP insurance is only worth keeping when there’s a possibility that your vehicle’s market value is less than your loan balance.
GAP insurance does not cover engine repair, mechanical failure, or any other damage to your vehicle. GAP insurance only provides a payout for your outstanding loan balance after your car is totaled or stolen and the auto insurance claim falls short of covering the full loan amount.
GAP coverage often lasts for the full duration of the loan. Some GAP policies have limits on the loan length they’ll cover, such as 8 or 10 years. Though your GAP coverage might still be active, if your car is worth more than your loan balance, GAP coverage isn’t necessary.
You may be able to write a letter requesting to cancel your GAP insurance by sharing your contact information, the policy number, the effective cancellation date, and your signature.
If you write a letter canceling your GAP insurance, the insurance provider may request additional information, like a payoff letter from your lender.
Though the length of time it takes to get a GAP insurance refund will vary, expect to wait 4 – 6 weeks after canceling before receiving your refund.
CNA National Warranty Corp. “GAP Waiver.” Accessed Dec. 2022.
Zurich North America. “Vehicle Protection Products FAQ.” 2022.
Antwerpen Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. “Zurich Vehicle Protection.” Accessed Dec. 2022.
Hardesty, Chris. “How to Beat Car Depreciation.” Kelley Blue Book, 19 Sept. 2022. Accessed Dec. 2022.
Jonathan is a writer with over 10 years of experience and a former insurance agent. Jonathan’s focus is to simplify personal finance and help equip you with the tools you need to make smart financial decisions. Despite the criticisms, he remains committed to driving a manual transmission and prides himself on smooth shifting, even in rush-hour traffic.