Insurance customers who had an auto loan and paid it off early or had their vehicle totaled before their loan was paid off may be entitled to compensation from their bank or lender.
GAP insurance covers any ‘gap’ between what the insurance company pays out and what is still owed on the vehicle when there is a total loss — when the vehicle is damaged beyond repair or stolen and not recovered. With GAP, the buyer can walk away from the vehicle without fear they will continue to have to make payments on a vehicle they no longer own.
If the loan is paid off early, or the vehicle is sold or traded prior to the loan’s full term, the buyer is often entitled to a refund of a portion of the money paid for GAP insurance at the time of purchase. Your lender is obligated to refund this money to you.
You may qualify to join this class action lawsuit investigation under the following circumstances:
GAP is sold by the dealer at the time a new or used vehicle is purchased. It is sold as an insurance-like add-on by the dealer that protects the customer in the event there is a total loss of the vehicle.
If a vehicle is totaled after an accident or is stolen, GAP covers the amount owed on the loan beyond the vehicle’s value at the time of loss so that the customer may ‘walk away’ without any obligation to continue to make payments on a vehicle they no longer own.
The dealer sells GAP coverage for a fixed amount, usually around $650, that provides this protection for the life of the vehicle’s loan. After the dealer sells the car, it assigns the loan to a lender that takes on the GAP obligations.
Under the original GAP contract, the customer is entitled to a refund of a portion of the money they paid for GAP if the loan is paid-off before its term. This is because the GAP fee originally paid covered the total loan period. This means that when the loan ends early a refund for that unearned fee is due back to the customer.
Wells Fargo was hit with a class action lawsuit in March 2018. The lawsuit alleged that Wells Fargo was keeping the GAP insurance money when it was obligated to return it.
The Wells Fargo GAP class action lawsuit was filed by 15 Wells Fargo car loan customers who all claim that they terminated their loan early, but were not issued a GAP refund.
Wells Fargo agreed to pay $500 million to settle this class action lawsuit in June 2021.
If you totaled a car before the loan was paid off, you had GAP insurance rolled into that loan, and you were not refunded for the money you were paid, you may be entitled to compensation.