With FIVE unrated, offshore underwriters of GAP insurance having gone bust in the last few years, it's now more important than ever to ensure you choose a policy backed by financial resources sufficient enough to ensure that the policy will be there when you need it most.
Aren't unrated insurers covered by the FSCS?
Yes and companies that offer policies from unrated insurers will make a song and dance about this. However whilst the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will cover you for up to 90% of any claim amount if your car is written off and you need to make a claim before the affairs of the original insurer are wrapped up, what they usually fail to tell you is that if the unrated insurer behind your policy goes bust and no other insurer steps in to "buy" your policy from the liquidators (thereby permitting your cover to continue), steps will be taken to cancel your policy and in such circumstances the FSCS is then only good for refunding you up to 90% of what you originally paid for your policy.
This of course then leaves you without GAP insurance cover and, probably too late to buy GAP insurance cover from any other provider.
Whilst a UK-based A-Rated insurer can attract a little higher premium for the policy, the risks of buying a policy from an unrated, offshore insurer are, in our opinion, simply too great.
FIVE, offshore underwriters of GAP insurance (two in Gibraltar and two in Denmark) have gone bust since 2016 alone!
But offshore insurers are covered by the FSCS aren't they?
Yes, though not as comprehensively as some companies would have you believe.
If the offshore underwriter of your GAP insurance policy goes bust and you need to make a claim before their affairs are wrapped up, if needed the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will step in to pay up to 90% of your claim value. However if you're not making a claim at the time the insurer's affairs are being wrapped up, the remaining term of your policy will be subject to whether or not another insurer steps in to buy it. If your policy is not sold on to another insurer, the liquidators will seek to cancel the remaining term of your policy in which case, the FSCS would then only be good for refunding you up to 90% of what you originally paid for your policy.
This of course would leave you without GAP insurance cover and, probably too late to buy GAP insurance cover from any other provider.
Whilst a policy from an offshore, unrated insurer might well be slightly cheaper upfront, we believe that the risks are simply too high and as a result, we only ever deal with large, A-rated, UK-based insurers.
NO Market Value Clauses
NO Market Value Clauses In Our Policies
Buy a Contract Hire, Invoice or Replacement GAP insurance policy incorporating one or more Market Value clause and you're highly likely to receive a reduced payout at the time of claim. The sole purpose of a Market Value clause is to ensure that the GAP insurance policy payout is reduced.
The most common Market Value clause amongst inferior GAP insurance policies is in relation to the motor insurance payout at the time of claim. In simple terms, if the motor insurer's payout is less than what the GAP insurer's preferred valuation "guide" says that your car is worth, the GAP insurer will not cover what they will perceive to be an underpayment by your motor insurer.
To add insult to injury though, if you bought a used car, a Market Value clause within an Invoice or Replacement GAP insurance policy may well be called upon to allow the GAP insurer to revalue your vehicle at the time you first bought it. If they find that their guide said your vehicle was worth less than the price you actually paid for the vehicle, the GAP insurer will not cover what they will perceive to have been an overpayment on your part.
One Market Value clause is bad enough. To suffer the application of both could very well result in a substantially lower GAP insurance payout than what you would have received from a policy that had no Market Value clause at all - A policy like the Contract Hire, Invoice and Replacement GAP insurance policies that have available.
We dropped Market Value clauses from our Contract Hire, Invoice and Replacement GAP insurance policies back in early 2013. Sadly there are other providers that haven't followed suit.
The long and short of it is, a Contract Hire, Invoice or Replacement GAP insurance policy which incorporates a Market Value clause should be avoided - at all costs.
Top-Up GAP insurance:
Top-Up GAP insurance policies DO incorporate a form of Market Value clause - to the best of our knowledge a Top-Up GAP insurance policy with no Market Value clause does not yet exist in the market. A Market Value clause exists with such a policy in order to prevent somebody 'profiting' from their vehicle being written off.
To clarify, in the event that your vehicle is written off (through accident, fire or theft etc) Top-Up GAP insurance will aim to top-up your motor insurance payout by a further 25% (limited to a maximum payout of £10,000). If however your motor insurance payout is more than the "Market Value" of your vehicle at the time of claim (defined as the "Retail Transacted" value published by Glass's Guide), the Top-Up GAP insurance policy will aim to pay out 25% of the Market Value of your vehicle (rather than 25% of the higher amount paid out by the motor insurer).
If you have any questions about any of the above. Please don't hesitate to contact us.
Our GAP insurance Policies Pay Out In Cash
If you make a claim on one of our GAP insurance policies, once any finance company with an interest in the vehicle (if applicable) has been paid the amount due to them, the remaining funds are paid directly to the policyholder. If you didn't finance the vehicle (or the finance had already been cleared by the time of the claim), the whole sum is paid directly to you. This payment is made with no strings. You can use it against the cost of buying any car from any dealership of your choice. Or not... it's your money - do with it as you please!
This is different to some other GAP insurance providers who will either insist that they have to source your next vehicle or, will pay out in the form of a credit to either a motor dealer of their choice or the dealer you bought the original vehicle from. Some GAP insurance providers even have Replacement GAP insurance policies, which they'll charge you more for, which state that if you're not replacing the vehicle at the time of claim, they'll only pay out on an Invoice GAP insurance basis.
Our view is that a policy that does not pay out in cash to the policyholder is considerably more restrictive in terms of the choices available to you at the time of claim - depending on the circumstances that led to your vehicle being written off you might not want the same vehicle again, you may not want a vehicle from the same dealership/manufacturer again... you may event not want a vehicle at all.
A cash payout is the least restrictive payout and, leaves you with the freedom of choice. Don't settle for anything less!
5-Star Rated Policies
Independently Rated 5-Star Policies
Our GAP insurance policies are consistently and independently rated 5-stars. Check us out on various customer review websites such as Feefo, TrustPilot and there's reviews on social media via Facebook too.
30-Day Money Back Guarantee / Cooling Off Period
30-Day Cooling Off Period
If you buy a policy from us and for any reason whatsoever you change your mind, you can cancel the policy within the first 30-days and so long as you've not made a claim we'll give you a 100% refund.
If you cancel your policy more than 30-days after purchasing it and then either change your mind or, sell your vehicle, you can cancel the policy and so long as you've not made a claim we'll give you a pro-rata rebate of unused premium. You can then use that rebate towards the cost of a new policy on a new vehicle and no cancellation fee will apply. Alternatively you can ask for the rebate to be refunded but, a £30 fee will apply in the case of a refund (£15 for Top-Up GAP insurance).