Ask Finney: Gap Insurance, Reimburse Disability Payments, Hair Straightener Return Policy

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

George asked us on Twitter: What is the purpose of Gap Insurance?

Answer 1:

Gap Insurance pays the *gap* between the amount you still owe on a car loan, and the actual current value of the car. Remember, the second you drive the car off the lot, it is worth less than you paid because it is now a used car. You pull off the lot, and get in an accident in a brand new $30,000 car, and your auto insurance may only pay $25,000. Some auto insurance policies are now offering the gap insurance as a bonus for signing-up.

Here are two links with more information about auto insurance coverage:
The Insurance Information Institute.
The California Department of Insurance:

Question 2:

Pete from Pinole asked: I was overpaid with my state disability payments. How can I reimburse the extra money I received?

Answer 2:

You can go to the Employment Development Department's website. You can make a payment online, by phone, or by mail. But, there is a chance you may not have to repay it. Slim chance, but still... so I want you to telephone or personally go to the EDD office.
Here is a link where you can find the nearest location to you. Good luck.

Question 3:

Therese from Rancho Cordova asked: I bought a hair straightener. The employee who sold it to me said I can return it. When I tried to the next day, the owner (who did not sell it to me), said no refunds. Can I get my money back?

Answer 3:

In California, every store gets to set its own return policy. However, for a restricted policy like that to stick, they must have signs up near the cash register that says, "no refunds." Do they have those? If not, go back and tell the owner I say she has to give you a refund.
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