Florida doesn’t require drivers to carry gap insurance, but the state allows lenders to require it for car loans to protect their investment in your car. Many car insurance companies also require you to buy comprehensive or collision before getting gap insurance. Comprehensive, collision and gap insurance are typically required for your car loan anyway.
Why should I buy gap insurance in Florida?
Gap insurance covers the gap between what your car is worth and what you owe on your loan. Say your car gets stolen, totaled or swept away by a hurricane. If your insurance payout is less than the car is worth, you’ll be on the hook to pay back your loan. Gap insurance covers up to the full loan amount for your car regardless of your claim payout. Reasons to buy gap insurance even though it’s not required by the state:
Florida has more severe accidents. Florida has a high crash fatality rate compared to other states, which could mean a higher chance of totaling your car in an accident.
You owe money on your car loan. Gap insurance is a good idea while you’re paying down your car loan or lease.
You live in a city prone to catastrophes. Many cities in Florida are set in high-risk flood or hurricane zones, which means more risk for catastrophic car damage.
Your loan requires it. You may need it to fulfill your contract.
How much is gap insurance in Florida?
You can expect the average $20 to $30 premium per year in Florida. By comparison, the state’s average car insurance premium is around $1,800 per year.
However, your gap coverage could go up if you live in a severe hurricane or flood zone where insurers are more likely to pay out for claims. Also, if you’re required to get comprehensive and collision for a financed car, you could pay an extra $424 per year for those.
Florida gap insurance in action. Sandy bought a car with a loan for $20,000 and added car insurance with collision, comprehensive and gap coverage. After an accident totaled her car, collision coverage paid out $15,000 for physical damage because her car was only worth $15,000 at the time of the accident.
Her gap coverage paid off the rest of her $5,000 loan. If Sandy didn’t have gap insurance, she would have had to pay the remaining $5,000 out of pocket.
Who has the best gap coverage in Florida?
While it’s difficult to say which insurer will be best for you, compare a few standout new car and gap insurance perks from some of the top Florida insurers.
State Farm. Every State Farm Bank car loan includes payoff protection to cover your car if it’s totaled. And yes, that’s at no extra charge.
Allstate. This popular insurer’s new car replacement coverage gives you enough money after a total loss to buy a new car. You’re eligible for this coverage if your car is two years old or less.
Florida Credit Union. Offers loan protection for a total car loss or an option for loan payment protection if you become disabled and can’t pay.
Nationwide. Get the most out of your gap coverage with Nationwide’s diminishing deductible for safe drivers and new vehicle discount.
How do I buy gap insurance in Florida?
You can buy gap insurance through your insurance company, a dealership or banks or credit unions. When shopping for gap insurance, consider the cost, features, benefits and convenience of your gap coverage options:
Insurance company. Gap coverage through an insurer could mean cheaper premiums, but may have a deductible.
Dealership. A dealer’s gap insurance may have higher upfront costs, but no deductible. Some dealers also offer to pay off loan amounts on a trade-in car, but some restrictions may apply.
Banks and credit unions. Financial companies like banks can sell this type of policy too, and may offer low premiums or extra features if you finance a car through them.
Florida gap insurance laws
Florida gap insurance is straightforward. However, the state does include a few laws that might affect this coverage:
Gap coverage must be sold by a licensed insurer. You should buy gap insurance from a company licensed by the Florida Department of Financial Services.
No-fault laws could affect court-goers. Florida’s no-fault law limits when drivers can take a claim to court since each driver files damage under their own insurance. While no-fault rules are unlikely to influence your gap coverage, it could affect your payout amount if you go to court for a severe accident.
Compare car insurance providers with gap coverage
Although not required, you might consider gap insurance to protect your wallet and ride from Florida’s inclement weather or a total loss accident. Compare gap coverage providers to find the best option.
Frequently asked questions about gap insurance in Florida
No, Geico does not offer gap insurance in any state at this time.
No, gap insurance is not required by the state. But Florida allows lenders to require it for a car loan.
When you finance your car, you’re paying for the car’s sticker price plus interest, and that cost factors in depreciation cost. New cars lose value the second you drive them off the lot, so if your car is totaled, you probably won’t get back all of the sale price. Standard car insurance coverage doesn’t pay for your car loan’s interest or the difference in depreciated value, so gap insurance helps to make up that difference.
Yes, gap insurance is considered a credit insurance in Florida. If you pay off your loan early but paid for gap insurance up front, you can expect a refund from your provider for the leftover time that you didn’t need the coverage.
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
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