Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Filed under auto insurance claims questions.

On what do insurance companies base car value for insurance claims

The insurance company’s car claims adjuster sees the car as an object and does not take into consider personal value. His job is to determine market value. This forms part of the base rate. The usual process is to compare vehicles of the same model and year, usually 2 or 3, to help evaluate the base rate.

The claims adjuster will normally quote a base value on the lower end for 2 main reasons:

  1. The policy holder will dispute the amount and try to negotiate for a higher figure which gives him some allowance to work with and
  2. The car may be only good for parts

The more cars the claims adjuster uses to compare, the lower the value becomes. As the policy holder, you can ask for the evaluation report to find out how many cars he used in his comparative analysis. You can also request for less cars if you think the number is excessive.

Owners of classic cars are a special case because the market value is usually lower. Claims adjusters can use the value of a beat-up version instead of a well-maintained, mint condition car to compare values. This will be very effective in bringing the base value down.

Dealing with unresponsive insurance companies or providers who have a history of bad claims customer service can be extremely frustrating to policy holders. If you are in the market to compare rates, get a FREE quote here.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Related Questions

Who are the top car insurance companies?
What are the Top Five Things to Know About Car Insurance Claims?How does excess work on third party car insurance claims?
What are my rights when filing a car insurance claim?
When filing my auto insurance claim, who can I go to for repairs?
What happens when my insurance company discovers past car insurance claims?
Do you have to prove No Claims Discount on your car insurance?
What are the options if my car insurance does not pay claims?
How do you file personal injury claims through your car insurance
How can I settle my car accident claim without the insurance company?
How far back do insurance companies go when looking at auto claims?
What do insurance companies base car value for insurance claims?