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So you have or are about to get a vehicle on contract or lease hire. So, what is contract hire gap insurance? Why do you need it, and what can it do for you to make sure that if your vehicle is written off, you are not left with no vehicle to use and potentially a large invoice to settle?
What is Contract Hire/Lease Hire Gap Insurance?
If your vehicle is written off, your Total Loss Contract and Lease Hire Gap Insurance will pay the difference between your motor insurance company's settlement and the amount needed to clear your financial obligations under the terms and conditions of your contract.
Please remember that any late payment charges or arrears on the lease will be deducted from any settlement.
This outstanding chunk of money can be made up of different components.
We call it a shortfall. Upon understanding that you are up-to-date with your rental payments, your policy will pay it for you.
In the event of a total loss, your motor insurance company would only ever pay out the vehicle's value at that point; your lease company would then receive this figure and issue you with an outstanding settlement figure. Contract Hire/Lease Hire Gap Insurance would clear the amount owed on the agreement, and you walk away with no financial liability.
* All named drivers over 18 years of age with a full UK licence named on your fully comprehensive motor insurance policy
** No Claim limit for vehicles with a monthly rental of up to £750. Rentals Over £750 and up to £1000 have a £25,000 maximum Claim Limit
*** Find a better price for the same policy. Let us know, and we will beat it! No gimmicks and no fuss.
A NEW! feature added to the Contract Hire/Lease Hire Gap Insurance policy is the ability to protect up to £3,000 of any initial rental/deposit you may have put towards the vehicle.
This can be added when going through the quotation process; click to select the initial deposit protection. Once selected, the policy will then do exactly as described previously; however, rather than you walking away with no outstanding liability and no cash to put towards a new vehicle, instead you now walk away with no liability, and your initial rental/deposit is back with you to do with as you wish.
From our sample data set, our policyholders appear to appreciate being able to protect their initial rental.
When policyholders buy a two or three-year contract hire policy, they are almost twice as likely to buy it with deposit protection compared to an unprotected policy.
Is Contract Hire/Lease Hire Gap Insurance suitable for you?
If you have taken a car/van and financed it using a form of Lease/Contract Hire agreement where you have no option to own the vehicle at the end of the agreement, this policy has been designed explicitly for your circumstance. As you cannot own the vehicle at the end, your only liability is what you would owe to the finance company. Therefore, you can't protect either the invoice price or the replacement cost.
If you can own the vehicle at the end of the agreement, you may be eligible for different types of Gap Insurance.
However, if you can own the vehicle once the contract has ended, either through a third party or even purchase it yourself, as it is not officially within the initial agreement, it is not a guaranteed right of purchase. In that case, you don't have the legal right to take full ownership, so this policy is still the most suitable.
As always, we try to keep things simple. We ask you to run through some simple eligibility questions. Once this is completed, we only ask you two things:
That is it. Pop those details in, and you will receive a premium price for the entire term. The only option you can consider adding is the one for Deposit Protection. If you wish to add it, click the drop-down box below the premium price and tick the option displayed.
When you take a lease/contract hire deal on a vehicle, you are committing to the terms of that agreement. If the vehicle is written off part way through, you will have a settlement to pay. If the motor insurer's settlement does not cover this, you can have a shortfall to pay.
Whether you need Gap Insurance on a lease is a matter for you. It is neither a legal nor contractual need to have Gap. But, if you would like any potential shortfall protected, it can be a great idea.
We must be clear about what we mean by the term 'by itself'. If you ask whether you can buy Gap Insurance without motor insurance, the answer is NO!
Gap Insurance can only be used with a fully comprehensive motor insurance policy. In the event of a claim, the motor insurer must pay out the market value settlement on your vehicle. If so, then you can claim your Gap cover. If you buy Gap Insurance alone, without motor insurance, you are not legally allowed to drive on the road.
If you ask whether you can buy Gap Insurance away from the supplying motor dealer, leasing company or finance house, the answer is yes! You can buy Gap Insurance from an independent provider, such as Total Loss Gap, to cover your lease. Your dealer or leasing company cannot impose a rule that you buy from them. The dealer should not tell you that you must buy from them or include it in the deal without your consent. If they do, then you can discuss that with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Like all insurance, the answer comes down to your view on the risk. Around 500,000 vehicles are written off annually in the UK (between accidents, thefts, fire, etc). Thefts, in particular, are on the rise, with vehicles with keyless entry often targeted. If you have a vehicle on a lease, you are obligated to pay that lease back. If the vehicle is written off, then the amount provided by your motor insurer may not be able to pay the lease off for you.
You could be left in a position of having to pay off the shortfall on any lease if the vehicle is written off. Plus, you may have to find a large deposit 'advanced' rental to put down on a replacement vehicle. Lease/Contract Hire Gap, with the option of deposit protection, could cover these costs for you.
As always, there is a cost to providing the peace of mind that a lease gap policy can give. You have to judge whether it is value to you.
This is a good question. Your motor insurer should, in the event of a total loss, cover for you the vehicle's market value. This value will be at the time of your claim, not be the same as when your vehicle was new or at the time of vehicle purchase.
This may differ on a new car in year one, but we will cover that better in the next question.
Would this be enough to cover your lease settlement if you only get the market value in the settlement? If not, then this leaves a shortfall payable to you.
The issue is that lease agreements can differ in what they expect you to pay back if the vehicle is written off. Some may expect the market value plus all outstanding rentals. Others may need a lower percentage of rentals still due.
All these imponderables mean that Gap Insurance can be a valuable asset to cover your lease.
Many motor insurers offer to replace your vehicle in the first year with another new model. If so, do you also need Gap Insurance to cover your lease?
There can be some reasons why you should not rely on 'new for old', particularly if you have a lease.
It is often a condition that you are the vehicle owner to get replacement cover from the motor insurer. With a contract hire agreement, the leasing company is the owner.
The leasing company may want a monetary settlement for the vehicle, not a replacement.
Check your motor insurer terms AND what your leasing company would allow. In our experience, 'new for old' coverage rarely applies to a contract hire or lease agreement.
The simple answer is NO.
Lease Gap is designed to cover a shortfall on a vehicle you do not, and never can own, as part of the lease agreement. Return to Invoice can cover you back to the price you paid for the vehicle, as shown on the purchase invoice in your name.
With a lease there is never a purchase invoice for the vehicle in your name, therefore you cannot claim the invoice price back, as you have never paid it.
For more information on other types of Gap Insurance, try our Complete Guide to Gap Cover.
Pretty much so, yes. The policy is designed to pay off the shortfall payment on your lease. This would be the same if it were a personal lease (or Personal Contract Hire - PCH) or a business lease.
It will only cover the 'early termination charge' if your motor insurer writes off the vehicle. That could be following a fire, theft, flood, accident, etc. If you choose to hand back the vehicle voluntarily, say after a redundancy, then this would not be covered by our lease Gap Insurance cover. You would probably need to find another product called Early Termination Insurance to cover those eventualities.
Total Loss Gap lease and contract hire Gap can cover light commercial vehicles up to 3500kg. There are some restrictions on vehicle use (e.g. we do not cover 'hire and reward', courier, etc.). If you want to chat about your vehicle, please contact us for clarification.
No, you do not have the legal right to take full ownership at the end of your agreement.
In some cases, at the end of your contract, your lease provider may offer you the option to buy it; however, this is not guaranteed, and you would have to negotiate the price at the time.
Your gap insurance will expire at the end of your lease. If you hand your vehicle back early on the understanding that you have not made a claim you will be able to cancel and get a pro-rata refund.