GAP is a valuable and popular loan protection product. It helps reduce loan portfolio risk, while protecting auto loan borrowers. At the same time, it helps provide peace of mind.
However, sloppy marketing and sales tactics can get you in some real trouble. And facing a hefty fine. Let’s make sure you’re presenting GAP appropriately and accurately!
To help you out, we assembled this list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. These 5 steps will help ensure you don’t follow in other’s costly path. Share a clear message to borrowers about the product, and help keep your institution out of legal and regulatory hot water.
Quick note: GreenProfit Solutions offers GAP through Frost Financial Services. We think it’s great and industry-leading. Of course, you may not feel the same. That’s fine. It’s our mission to ensure you have all the information to make decisions that best suit your institution.
Share these best practices with lending, marketing, and compliance colleagues at your institution.
Embrace these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” as a starting point when marketing auto protection products like GAP to borrowers. It’s a short, yet valuable, read.
Review all your marketing collateral and channels. That includes your website, product brochures, branch posters, and staff sales scripts. Ensure all comply with these best practices.
We thought GAP was simple. Then we dove deeper. Turns out, there’s a lot more to know. Good thing we put it into a 5-step Cheat Sheet! Download now!
Get the Cheat Sheet
DO: Include appropriate disclosures
When highlighting the significant benefits of GAP in your marketing materials, be sure to:
Clearly and prominently represent the:
- Conditions of this voluntary protection product
These disclosures should be easy to locate and read within the marketing collateral, and printed in a font size no smaller than the rest of the text.
86 the fine print!
Add required disclosures to all GAP marketing materials and ensure they are clear and prominently placed.
DON’T: Market GAP as “insurance”
Guaranteed Asset Protection, or “GAP,” is a voluntary, non-insurance program that may be included as an addendum to the borrower’s loan agreement.
It’s a promise from your institution to help “waive debt” in the event the borrower’s primary insurance carrier deems the vehicle (your collateral) a total loss.
That means GAP is not insurance. Your borrower pays a stated fee, though they do not receive a policy issued by an insurance company. Instead, your institution generates a waiver specifying the terms. This is given to your borrower at closing.
Your GAP administrator reimburses your institution for each claim, in accordance with the terms and limitations of their contract.
Please ensure that you do not use the term “insurance” when referring to GAP products.
Review your institution’s website and all marketing materials and remove any use of the word “insurance” in association with GAP.
DO: Conduct regular staff training
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Our partners at a large GAP administrator, Frost Financial, advised us that they have heard complaints from borrowers when GAP does not fully pay off the remaining loan balance.
These include comments such as: “Why didn’t my loan officer explain that to me?” or (even worse), “My loan officer said that GAP would pay off my loan!”
We can do better. You are better. Say goodbye to these complaints. Wave with me…bye!
Your role is to delight borrowers. You can meet or even exceed their expectations simply by making sure your staff know all the benefits and limitations of your GAP program.
Conduct regular sales practices and product training for all staff involved in GAP marketing and sales.
Frost recommends conducting training at least twice a year for all staff, as well as initial education for any employees taking on a new role involving GAP sales.
(Frost Financial helps staff learn how to offer GAP effectively and accurately through a “GAP Certification” course on their VisualGAP website.)
Stuff Your Mind, Not Your Inbox. Get the info you need a couple times a month.
DON’T: Use statements like “GAP will pay,” “GAP covers the full balance,” or, “GAP will make you whole”
GAP helps “waive” an outstanding debt balance when the primary insurance carrier deems a borrower’s vehicle a total loss.
That being said…
There is no guarantee GAP will pay off the entire remaining loan balance after the primary insurance settlement. All GAP programs include limitations and exclusions that can result in the borrower being held responsible for all or part of the deficiency balance.
It’s good no one has ever used those statements. Oh, wait.
In 2018 the CFPB found that Santander Bank violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by not properly describing the benefits and limitations of its GAP product and was fined over $11.5 million dollars.
Review your institution’s website and all marketing materials. Remove any language which states or implies GAP will always cover the full remaining loan balance.
GAP is a wonderful product that fills an important need in the marketplace. Follow the simple practices outlined above and you can stand tall when presenting GAP to your borrowers.
Reach members when they’re in-market & get strategic about direct auto lending. Grow revenues and accelerate the mission by educating on protection products early in their car buying journey.
Do: Learn more about GAP
Become a GAP wizard! Feel free to visit the GAP section in our Learning Library. Find all you ever wanted to know about GAP through articles and other resources. Everything is designed to help you optimize your current program.
Plus, when the time comes to evaluate other GAP programs, you’ll have valuable materials to assist you with your Due Diligence process.
One More “Do”
May we suggest Subscribing to the Learning Library? It provides a range of honest, unbiased articles, videos, eBooks, and more on an expanding range of topics. You’ll find something of value. If you liked this, you’ll love
And see? Our disclaimer is normal sized!
Our goal is to help you avoid common marketing and sales practices that could be considered deceptive. This article serves as general guidance only, and does not represent a legal opinion or a guarantee against regulatory action. Frost and GreenProfit Solutions recommends you review these materials with your compliance experts and legal counsel.
Image credits: Marketing strategy by Campaign Creators on Unsplash. Businesswoman holding T&C card by Stefan Schweihofer. Success steps by Gerd Altmann. Woman on laptop by StartupStockPhotos. All from Pixabay.
Blogger. Speaker. Futurist. Part-time Jedi.
Dedicated to helping your credit union, large or small, deliver mission-focused financial empowerment to your members. And make a positive impact on your community while you’re at it.