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Market Value vs Agreed Value Car Insurance

Agreed value car insurance gives you more control over how much you’re covered for, but market value is usually cheaper.

When you take out car insurance, you sometimes get to choose between insuring your car for its market value — a figure based on what your insurer estimates your car was worth — or an agreed value, a specific amount you and your insurer agree on. With agreed value, there's less chance of you being underinsured, but your premiums are likely to cost more.

Compare policies with agreed and market value

1 - 6 of 24
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 28 May. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
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How do they compare on price?

Agreed value policies typically cost more for two reasons:

  1. The agreed value sum insured is typically higher than the market value sum insured. A larger sum insured comes at an additional cost.
  2. Your agreed value will stay the same over time, while the market value will typically decrease. This tends to reduce the cost of market value policies over time, while agreed value policies will not get the same benefit.

In addition to this, agreed value policies are not always available from standard car insurance providers. Agreed value may be available as an extra option that carries additional costs.

The benefits and drawbacks of agreed value and market value cover

The pros and cons of market value

Pros:

  • It’s usually cheaper.
  • Your sum insured is automatically updated to the standard market value.
  • You avoid paying more than you need to.
  • It’s typically more convenient.

Cons:

  • Your vehicle’s market value might be less than you think.
  • A well-maintained car might be undervalued according to the market value.
  • In the event of a claim, your payout may be considerably lower than an agreed value policy.

The pros and cons of agreed value

Pros:

  • You know exactly how much you are insured for.
  • You are able to insure your vehicle for less than its market value to save money.
  • You are able to cover the cost of modifications, aftermarket extras and other considerations.
  • You can choose your own level of cover to properly reflect the importance and value of your car.

Cons:

  • It typically costs more.
  • It requires some form of valuation.
  • Restrictions may apply to the age, value or type of car that can be insured at agreed value.

So which option is best for me?

The right policy for you depends on your situation and you should always consider the benefits and drawbacks of each policy in line with your own needs. However, if you’re having trouble deciding, try considering the following situations:

  • Do you own a rare, vintage, modified or classic car? You probably want agreed value, as it will be much more accurate in reflecting of how much these kinds of vehicles are worth, including modifications and aftermarket extras.
  • Was your car expensive? If your car was a major investment, then agreed value is a good way of protecting it in the long run. With market value you may only be able to recover a fraction of the amount you paid in the event of a total loss.
  • Do you plan on getting a new car soon? Hopefully you won’t have to make a claim before then and you can save time and money by opting for market value.
  • Is saving money your top priority? If so, a cheap car insured at agreed value might be the right type of cover.
  • Do you need a car? Is your car absolutely essential for getting to work, or is it more of a convenience? If it’s a necessity, then agreed value means you know you’ll be able to afford a new one if your current car is written off. Market value may not provide you with enough of a claim payout for a suitable new car.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JohnMarch 5, 2018

    Can an insurer write-off and cancel the licence on a vehicle without advising the owner?

    After hitting a kangaroo, we checked car, all well safety wise, bar both headlight glass broken lights still good. bonnet bent but still locks , tracks straight , stops straight.so drove over 300 kms home. The repair cost was within a few hundred dollars of their write-off amount. We were still contesting their payout amount & driving the car, as vast distances are involved.

    On the 1/03/2018 in the mail, we were informed by Department of transport that on 21 /02/2018 the licence had been cancelled, and unbeknown to us, we had been driving a unregistered vehicle.

    We did agree to have the car repaired at no extra cost to the insurer on the 1/03 /2018 after a phone conversation with the insurer, Cash Settlement to be made, vehicle to be left REGISTERED. We keep salvage of said vehicle.

    Is there anything we can do to have the insurer have the car registered so we can have it repaired? We are 900 kms from a major city , to licence a written-off vehicle we will need to have the car carried to an inspection point that is accredited by dept. of transport to pass inspection , as there is no accredited repairers for written off vehicles anywhere near us.

      Default Gravatar
      LiezlMarch 7, 2018

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

      I’m sorry to hear that you were taken by surprise that your vehicle was registered as a repairable write-off and that the registration was canceled. The Motor Vehicles Regulations 2010 didn’t specifically state whether the insurer needs to notify the owner before it gives notice to the Registrar in relation to the vehicle’s assessment. They are, however, mandated to notify the Register within 7 days from when the determination is made by them to write off the vehicle. Time constraint could be a factor why you weren’t informed beforehand. You can ascertain the exact reason from your insurer directly. You can also call VicRoads on 13 11 71 to discuss your concern about the vehicle written-off process.

      As to re-registering your car, you need to have it repaired and assessed as roadworthy during the VIV inspection first before you can register it again. You can reach out to VicRoads Vehicle Fitness Section on 1300 360 745 to discuss the technical requirement of the VIV inspection. You might also find VicRoads’ written-off vehicles FAQs informative.

      Now, regarding the repair costs and settlement, it’s a good idea to have those in writing just in case you will need them along the process. Moreover, you can also seek professional advice on the matter.

      I hope this information helps.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

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