We provided our first overview of GapInsurance123 back in 2012. At that time the brand was causing quite a stir, being one of the first UK providers to allow for 5 year cover, including high risk vehicles likes taxi’s and motorbikes. The options provided by GapInsurance123, at that time, meant the brand had the arguably most flexible products in the UK market.
The brand also introduced features that offered protection rarely seen previously. For example they have always protected the cost of additional dealer options like paint protection and warranty. These items have rarely had their value protected before.
So what about GapInsurance123 in 2014?
A quick Google search for the term ‘Gap Insurance’ will see GapInsurance123.co.uk as the most prominent name in the UK market today. The brand has gained recognition in the market since its launch, and have been included in the Which? Gap Insurance report in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The brand was one of the few online brands to have received full 5 Star ratings from Defaqto at the launch of the Defaqto ratings into motor gap insurance in 2013. Many other brands adjusted their products in the interim, but the GapInsurance123 features attained the top scores right from the beginning.
In the recent revamp of the 2014 ratings, all four GapInsurance123 Gap Insurance products have full 5 Star rating once again.
So the GapInsurance123 brand has been long, and independently recognised as providing the highest quality products in the UK market.
However some things have changed from the 2012 products to today.
Chief amongst these is added flexibility if your change your vehicle before the end of the policy term. Long recognised as a key feature for Gap Insurance, GapInsurance123 allow a choice of options should you require a transfer of cover. You may transfer the balance of the current policy terms to another qualifying vehicle, or you can ‘cash in’ the value of your cover, and this can be used as a direct discount on the price of another Gap123 policy. This can be particularly useful should you require longer cover than is left on the current policy.
GapInsurance123 have also provided a longer claims notification period of 120 days from January 2014, extending the period from the previous 30 days. This, on the face of it, may be quite a good thing. However, remember if you have a finance agreement on your vehicle then it is imperative that you begin your Gap Insurance claim quickly to avoid increasing interest charges.
GapInsurance123 claims process
One other area that has been simplified, or perhaps clarified is a better word, it the claims procedure. Of course this is the key element of any Gap Insurance policy in how quickly and painlessly you are paid out. GapInsurance123, like all Gap Insurance providers, use a specialist Claims Administrator to handle the claims that occur. It would be quite simple to use a small, less regarded company to do this, and the costs could be reduced in doing so. However, GapInsurance123 have always used the team at Motorway Direct PLC, based in Sheffield. This company, fully authorised by the FCA, also perform the claims functions for some of the biggest brands in the Warranty and Gap Insurance market. This means they have dedicated claims handlers, and processes in place to handle any claim quickly and efficiently.
Such is the confidence of GapInsurance123 in the claims process they employ that they do give a written commitment, within the policy terms and conditions, to settle your Gap claim within 14 days of your motor insurers settlement. Other Gap Insurance brands display customer stories of settlements with 30 days or so, and seem quite proud of it. However, a Gap Insurance claim can be settled much quicker than that with the right infrastructure in place. Remember if you have to wait 30 days for your cheque, you could be accumulating interest charges that your Gap Insurance will not cover. 30 days may not be very good at all.
So accepting that the GapInsurance123 claims process is very good, could this be improved further from the first review in 2012? Well perhaps it has been. The original Gap123 products would settle from the value of the vehicle as shown by the Glass’ Guide Retail Value for the vehicle. This is what is known as the ‘market value clause’ on settlement. Now some providers may tell you this is a bad thing, especially if the motor insurer does not offer you a settlement that matches this figure. However, the GapInsurance123 claims process has always differed from some other products in the market, in that the claims team will negotiate with you motor insurer directly if necessary. GapInsurance123 say they have been very successful in persuading any motor insurer, who has been a little mean on their settlement, to increase their offer in line with Glass Guide. However, perhaps it is understandable that someone comparing products in the market would think that they could be left short if the motor insurer does not play ball.
Other Gap providers have said that they will settle from the motor insurers settlement, but may still expect you to play ‘piggy in the middle’ between the two insurers. This means they could ask you to seek a higher settlement, before they agree to settle your Gap claim. This inevitably may increase the time you have to wait for your settlement.
GapInsurance123 has underlined their claims procedure by retaining the 14 day written commitment, and now adding that they will settle from the motor insurers settlement, not necessarily the market value. All they ask is that the policy holder contacts the claims team prior to accepting any settlement from the motor insurer, which seems more than fair.
One final advantage of calling GapInsurance123 for your Gap Insurance quote is that they can offer you with a choice perhaps unparalleled in the UK. This is because the company that owns GapInsurance123 (Aequitas Automotive Ltd) also owns the other leading brands Shortfall.co.uk and Easy Gap. This means that they can compare similar products and make sure they give you the options between all the products they operate. It should be noted that Aequitas Automotive brands had 11 products rated by Defaqto in 2014, and all 11 achieved the full 5 Star level. The total of 11 was by far any away the highest number gained by any UK Gap Insurance provider, either through motor dealer products or the independent market.
So all in all GapInsurance123 have certainly improved on already well regarded policies. Whilst there are a number of good providers in the market to consider, you will not go far wrong with a GapInsurance123 product.