Gap Insurance in Renton, WAWhile buying a home tends to appreciate in value overtime, buying a vehicle is the opposite. Especially if you are buying a brand new vehicle, the moment you drive off the car dealership’s lot, your vehicle has already depreciated in value. For many vehicles, the more expensive the purchase, the faster the depreciation. New vehicles offer more safety features and conveniences, so we understand why people like them.

If you are financing or leasing a vehicle, you may benefit from Gap Insurance.

Imagine this scenario: While out enjoying your new car, you hydroplane and hit a guardrail damaging your new vehicle beyond repair. The insurance company is telling you that your new car is a total loss. If your car is totaled, that means it will cost more to repair it than the car is actually worth because of depreciation.

Gap insurance acts as additional car insurance coverage that will pay off your loan if your car is totaled or you owe more than your car’s new depreciated value. This coverage is usually limited to 25% of your vehicles actual cash value at the time of loss. Check with an agent about specifics for your company. 

What does your car insurance cover if you’re in an accident?

When you lease or finance a car, many lenders require you to have collision and comprehensive insurance coverage on your vehicle until you have paid off your car. If your vehicle was totaled, your insurance company will only pay what it is worth, not what you owe. This is what creates a gap between your current loan balance and what your car is actually valued at today.

Is gap insurance for you?

It depends how much you owe on your vehicle & if you could afford to pay the difference if your car was totaled. Let’s say you bought your car for $20,000. Over the course of your ownership, it’s now valued at $13,000. You currently owe $17,000 on your loan but were recently in an accident where your vehicle was totaled. Could you pay for the $4,000 difference out of pocket? Keep in mind, if you bought a luxury car, they can lose as much as 60% of its value over the course of five years. You may have an even bigger gap between your loan balance and current value of your vehicle.

Options for gap insurance: There are two options for purchasing gap insurance.

  • It can be purchased from the dealership or through an insurance agent. If you choose to purchase gap insurance through the dealership you purchase your vehicle from, the gap insurance will be built into your loan. The average price for gap insurance from a dealership is around $1,000, but add interest and taxes and it can add up to much more.
  • If you choose to purchase gap insurance from an insurance agent, on average it would add less than $10 per month to a policy! There may be certain stipulations associated with a gap insurance policy:
  • The loan may need to be through a financial institution rather than an individual.
  • Your current auto insurance policy may need to include Collision and Comprehensive coverage.
  • Your claim may need to be a covered Collision and Comprehensive coverage event.
  • Your vehicle may need to be determined as a total loss.

Before you purchase a new vehicle, make sure to check with your licensed insurance agent in to see how you can add gap insurance to your new vehicle policy.

The local, independent agents at Eastside Insurance Services can assist you with adding or amending an existing policy or setting you up with a new policy. Our years of insurance experience can save you a bundle. You can also visit our insurance website 24/7 to learn more about auto insurance or the other insurance products they offer like classic car or home insurance.

Our friends at PEMCO recently shared this great article about winter driving and home preparedness as we move into the stormy months!

Soaking rains, snow, frost … we’ve seen it all the past couple of weeks. With La Niña gearing up to give us colder and wetter-than-normal weather, our Claims team shared their top tips for staying safe in what could be a challenging Northwest winter:

For you car

  • Snow tires – studded vs. studless. Stopping power starts with good tires. The latest research shows that in most conditions, studless tires offer a superior grip.
  • Antifreeze – a 50:50 mixture is best. Check yours with a test meter, available for less than $10 at auto parts stores or online.
  • Emergency kit – what’s in your trunk? Tire chains, jumper cables, flares or warning triangles, blankets, and food and water are among the essentials, especially when you’re heading over the passes.

For your home

You can find even more tips for your home and car on pemco.com.

There’s snow more denying it! Winter’s just around the corner, and your friends at PEMCO wish you a safe and happy season.

Car Insurance in Renton, WAWe’re flooded daily with insurance commercials claiming that shopping with them will get you the lowest insurance premiums of any company out there. Saving money on your insurance is important, but the lowest insurance premiums are usually accompanied by the lowest insurance coverage.

Determining what insurance coverages you need is something that only a qualified local insurance agent can help you decide. We care more about you being covered adequately than simply giving you the cheapest premiums.

Do you need the auto insurance coverages below? Discuss with us & we’ll help determine what makes the most sense for your personal needs.

Collision Coverage: protection for your car from damage whether at-fault or not. Premiums weigh heavily on the value of your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage: pays for damage to your vehicle from things such as contact with an animal, fire, theft or vandalism.

Medical Payments: Commonly known as MedPay or PIP, this covers medical bills as a direct results of an accident regardless of fault.

Uninsured Motorist: Coverage for being involved with an uninsured driver. Both physical damage (your car) and bodily injury are offered.

Underinsured Motorist: Coverage to help cover a gap from a motorist who has insurance, but not enough to cover the loss.

When deciding on what coverage options to have, take these situations into account:

Scenario 1: You purchase a low cost, low coverage liability policy with only $25,000 in Property Damage. You rear-end a new, two week old Toyota Camry totaling the vehicle. The Camry’s replacement cost is $35,000. You have to pay $10,000 out of pocket.

Scenario 2: You are t-boned by an uninsured motorist and have extensive medical bills in excess of $50,000. You do not have uninsured motorist coverage or personal health insurance and your auto medical payments only cover the first $10,000. You have to take the uninsured driver to court to pay your $40,000 in medical bills, in the meantime, you’re responsible for the $40,000 in bills.

Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a new home, auto, boat or motorcycle insurance policy if you want the lowest insurance premiums you should be aware that you’re usually lowering the amount of insurance coverage you have. Depending on your situation, this may not be a wise decision because it puts your financial future at risk by carrying low limits. As always, reach out to our insurance agency with any questions.