I recently wrote about GAP insurance, so if you are unfamiliar with what GAP is, I recommend reading that article first!
If you find yourself in a position where you need to file a GAP claim (financed vehicle is underwater and totaled), you need to keep up with paperwork or be prepared to chase it down. GAP is typically purchased from the car dealership or a 3rd party organization – not your car insurance company! So you’ll file more than 1 claim.
Because there are so many entities involved, you’ll need to keep track of all your paperwork or you may find yourself on a paperwork scavenger hunt. Here is a list of items needed to file a typical GAP / Debt Cancellation Contract claim:
– A copy of the GAP contract
If you can’t find your copy, your dealership or lender should have it on file. Searching through records for you is not going to be their priority. Be prepared to be patient yet persistent.
– A copy of Settlement Valuation and Settlement Check
If you’re filing a GAP claim, then you didn’t see a settlement check…it went straight to the bank to pay towards your loan. Your car insurance provider can provide this information for you.
– Police Report
Most likely, there is a police report filed. Before you submit your report to the police, be sure to keep a copy for yourself! If you didn’t, then you’ll need to contact their records division to get a copy.
– Finance Agreement & Loan Payment History
You can get these from the financing institution or the dealership.
As you can see, you’ll be dealing with several organizations to gather the information needed to file your claim. The best advice is to have a filing system in place for storage of important data. It is also important to have someone else know where these important files are in the event that you are not able to file the claim yourself.
The “catch-22” when dealing with insurance claims is that typically you are filing because something bad has happened. You may not be in the best health or frame of mind. Have a plan of action in place so if you ever need to file a GAP claim or any other, it can go as smoothly as possible.
What about you? Have you ever had to file a GAP claim or any other insurance claim? Was it a smooth process or hassle?