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Purchasing gap protection is easy, but so is paying too much. Here's a quick buying guide to help
you compare
gap insurance providers and estimate how much each one charges.

But before you get going, you should know that gap auto insurance is not available in all states.
The following states: CT, LA, VA, WA have not allowed the sale of gap insurance in the past.
However, all of the insurers listed below DO provide gap insurance in California.

1. Car Dealership or Finance Company
Buying gap auto insurance from a car dealer or finance company is the most expensive option
costing an average of $578. Gap protection sold through a dealer is a high profit add on much like
rust proofing or fabric protection and nets the dealer approximately $300 per sale.

2. Purchasing Gap Auto Insurance Online As A Stand Alone Product
These gap insurance providers basically sell the same "vendor single interest" coverage offered by
dealerships but concentrate on selling the policies online.

This is another expensive one time payment option costing anywhere from $299 and up with a
contract that stipulates no refunds will be issued for early cancellation.

3. Credit Unions
Many credit unions now offer gap insurance coverage for automobiles at very reasonable rates.
For instance, the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union of Poughkeepsie, NY, offers gap auto
insurance for a one time payment of $105 which can be spread out over the length of the loan.

A stand alone gap policy from a credit union could be a good option if your current insurer
doesn't offer gap protection.

4. Your Current Auto Insurance Company
Purchasing gap insurance coverage, if available, from your current insurer is usually the cheapest
option costing only an additional $30 per year.

Here's an example from Travelers on how the cost of gap protection is calculated.

Bill Pearse, vice president of auto product strategy and design for Travelers states that "Travelers
calculates gap insurance premiums at roughly 5 percent to 6 percent of the premium for collision
and comprehensive insurance you have on the car."

"On a $1,400 annual premium, with $420 to $560 of that typically for collision and comprehensive,
gap insurance would cost $20 to $30. And the cost goes down along with the cost of collision and
comprehensive as the vehicle ages."

Who Really Saves You The Most?
Lately, there's a price war of sorts going on among the major auto insurance companies. If your
current insurer doesn't offer gap protection it might be an opportune time to re-evaluate your
vehicle coverage and find out which gap insurance provider can really save you the most. Who
knows, you might be pleasantly surprised.

The following is a list of major insurers who
DO provide optional gap auto insurance online.
Try to get price quotes from at least 2, and possibly 3, different companies to see which company
offers the best overall deal - just as you would with any other major purchase.

Note: Esurance gives quotes from multiple companies which is a real time saver. Just bear in
mind that GEICO and State Farm Mutual
DO NOT offer gap insurance coverage.
*Insure.com’s 2014 survey spanned 3,835 current customers of 15 large insurers in auto,
home and health insurance.