Edmunds.com is urging consumers to purchase GAP as part of its Auto Finance tips and advise column. The online resource for automotive information issued its recommendation on Jan. 15.

“We strongly recommend GAP insurance for anyone who leases a vehicle, makes a down payment of less than 20 percent, finances a lengthy loan term or a vehicle that depreciates quickly, or rolls negative equity from a past car loan into a new loan,” said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com is giving consumers the following information:

• Most lease contracts automatically include GAP coverage, but consumers should always double-check the terms and conditions to make sure they have full coverage.

• While it is suggested that a buyer gets GAP insurance as soon as the vehicle is purchased, it can be added up to 12 months, or sometimes 15,000 miles, later.

• GAP insurance can be purchased from a dealer or directly from an insurance company. The latter may be less expensive.

• There are different types of GAP coverage options at different prices, so it’s beneficial to comparison shop to get the best deal.

Reed adds that investing a few hundred dollars on GAP coverage can save consumers thousands of dollars under circumstances that happen every day. “Like most insurance, it’s coverage (consumers) hope you’ll never need, but you wouldn’t want to be without,” he said.

For more advice on GAP insurance coverage, read Low or No Money Down? You Need GAP Insurance.