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Market value vs agreed value car insurance

Agreed and market value car insurance: How are they actually different?

One of the many decisions you will encounter when picking a car insurance policy is whether you should insure your vehicle for an agreed value or for its market value.

  • Market value: The “standard” option. Your car is insured for its current market value at any given time, including depreciation.
  • Agreed value: You and the insurer agree on a specific value ahead of time. Your car is considered to be worth this much for the purposes of the insurance policy.

The value you decide upon is the sum insured, which is the total amount of cover you have. This amount will affect when your car is written off, repaired or replaced under the terms of your insurance policy.

If you are involved in an accident and the cost of your repairs is more than the sum insured, your car will be written off and you can claim the total value of the sum insured to spend on a new car, or not, as desired. If you’re in an accident and the cost of repairs is less than the sum insured, your car insurance will cover the cost of the repairs.

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Details Features
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Low-cost, straightforward car insurance aimed at safe drivers.
  • Up to $20 million in liability cover
  • Optional windscreen and window glass only cover
  • Optional car hire replacement cover
  • Fast, simple online claims process
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
15% discount for comprehensive policies purchased online.
  • Lifetime Guarantee on all authorised car repairs as long as you own the car.
  • Flexible payment options
  • 24/7 phone & online claims service
  • Up to $1,000 key replacement and lock re-code
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Gold Comprehensive
Gold Comprehensive
Save 15% on Gold Comprehensive when you purchase online. Optional 24/7 roadside assistance with unlimited callouts.
  • New for old replacement for the earlier of 2 years/40,000kms
  • $850 ($100/day) emergency transport and accommodation
  • Cover for replacement of keys up to $1,000
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online to save 15% off your car insurance policy and receive a free 7" Android tablet.
  • New for old replacement for the earlier of 2 years/40,000kms
  • Online discount of 25%
  • $850 ($100/day) emergency transport and accommodation
  • $1,000 cover for hire vehicle following theft (max 14 days)
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Price beat guarantee for comparable comprehensive policies for drivers aged 25 or older.
  • New for old replacement of your car - 24 months
  • Choice of agreed value of car
  • Third party property damage
  • Theft and malicious damage cover
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Benefit from new for old car replacement, cover for fire and theft, plus more.
  • Option for Drive Less Pay Less policy
  • Up to $20 million in legal liability cover
  • New for old car replacement
  • Each policy makes your car carbon neutral
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Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Up to 15% discount for comprehensive policies purchased online.
  • Repairs with authorised dealers guaranteed
  • New for old replacement for the earlier of 2 years/40,000kms
  • No Fault Accident, no excess
  • Hail SMS alerts
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
24/7 roadside assistance and up to $20 million in liability cover.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Comprehensive cover for accidental damage
  • Optional hire car provision up to 14 days
  • $20 million legal liability cover
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Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Save up to 20% when you buy AI car insurance online. Comprehensive cover with affordable pricing for modest vehicles, especially families.
  • New car replacement - 12 months or 20,000 km
  • Accidental damage to own and third party vehicle or property
  • Theft and/or attempted theft
  • Up to $20 million legal liability
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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 options 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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Picture: Shutterstock

Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com.au, comparing products, writing guides, sniffing out deals and looking for new ways to help people get the most out of their money.

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