Gap Amount


DEFINITION of 'Gap Amount'

Insurance will only cover a certain amount of coverage if leased items are stolen or totaled. There is often a difference between the amount the insurance company covers and the amount of the vehicle that is owed under the lease agreement, because of the way lease agreements are structured.

Gap amount is the portion of a leased item's value that is not covered by insurance, in the event of a total loss from an accident or theft. Its calculation is based on the terms of the lease's early termination payoff provision. To protect against losing money because of the gap amount, consumers can purchase gap insurance.


The lease payments at the beginning of the lease term do not fully cover the vehicle's depreciation, because vehicles depreciate in value more quickly when they are newer and because a consumer's vehicle lease payments are flat amounts paid monthly over a period of several years.

For example, a consumer might lease a $25,000 car for three years. It might depreciate by $5,000 in the first year, but the lessee might only pay a total of $3,600 in lease payments during that time. If the car is totaled at the end of the first year, the consumer will need to make up for the difference between what they paid and the value the car has lost. The gap amount would be $1,400, in this case.

  1. Lease Balance

    The amount of money that a customer owes under the terms of a ...
  2. Lease Extension

    A legal agreement that extends the term of a rental agreement. ...
  3. Open-End Lease

    A rental agreement that obliges the lessee (the person making ...
  4. Leveraged Lease

    A lease agreement that is partially financed by the lessor through ...
  5. Lease

    A legal document outlining the terms under which one party agrees ...
  6. Closed-End Lease

    A rental agreement that puts no obligation on the lessee (the ...
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    12 Car Insurance Cost-Cutters

    If car costs are dragging you down, find out how to free yourself from some of the extra weight.
  2. Personal Finance

    Top 10 Ways To Get Top Dollar For Your Car

    Find out what steps you can take to reduce the depreciation of your vehicle.
  3. Home & Auto

    Wheels Of A Future Fortune

    Buy a quality car without driving your expenses through the roof.
  4. Home & Auto

    New Wheels: Lease Or Buy?

    These two major ways to obtain a car have very different advantages and drawbacks. Find out which is best for you.
  5. Options & Futures

    Beginner's Guide To Auto Insurance

    Find the perfect policy that suits both your coverage and budgetary needs.
  6. Options & Futures

    Top Tips For Cheaper, Better Car Insurance

    Accident, theft, vandalism - make sure your coverage will protect you when you need it most.
  7. Insurance

    The True Cost Of Owning A Car

    Driving is often the most convenient way to get around, but it'll cost you.
  8. Investing

    What a Family Tradition Taught Me About Investing

    We share some lessons from friends and family on saving money and planning for retirement.
  9. Professionals

    4 Must Watch Films and Documentaries for Accountants

    Learn how these must-watch movies for accountants teach about the importance of ethics in a world driven by greed and financial power.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Creating a Risk Management Plan for Your Small Business

    Learn how a complete risk management plan can minimize or eliminate your financial exposure through insurance and prevention solutions.
  1. Does renters insurance cover personal injuries?

    Renters insurance provides two main forms of coverage – liability and contents insurance – and they are offered together ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does renters insurance cover jewelry?

    Renters insurance provides personal property coverage that covers your personal property – including jewelry – in case of ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why might landlords require renters insurance?

    Landlords can require renters insurance to lower their own liability and insurance costs. According to data from the Insurance ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the expense ratio in the insurance industry?

    The expense ratio in the insurance industry is a measure of profitability calculated by dividing the expenses associated ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center