Car insurance quote question about value of car

When a car insurance quote asks me for the value of my car including modifications, tax, etc., is it asking me for the depreciated value or what I could sell it for today? Or does it want to know what it was worth when it was new?

I would say they’re asking how much your car is worth today, if you were to try to sell it.

The appropriate number is the “Private Party” value.
What you would get if you sold it to the public, not a professional car dealer.
They want to know how much it would cost if they had to buy you another one because the old one was too full of eels for you to drive or something, and couldn’t be recovered or salvaged.

“Full of eels” or even worse, SHRIEKING eels!
Love that, I’m gonna use it at work.

I second JW’s post. COLLISION and COMPREHENSIVE coverage pay for damages up to the market value (some companies may specify private/dealer market) of your car less it’s salvage value(determined at the time of the loss). So the value of the car for purposes of the quote is to determine the dollar figure at risk in the event of a total loss. Obviously, the insurance company will charge less for these coverages on a 83 Corolla than they will a 2005 Yukon, because the MOST they’ll have to pay for the Corolla is $1600 or so. This amount will almost buy a bumper for a Yukon.

and a slight hijack that shoehorns with the OP…

What if it’s a car that doesn’t HAVE a Blue Book bookmark, i.e. a '66 Mustang or some other (potential) POS wreck that just might be a show car, but is probably a rusting hulk?

How do they figure the value of a '65 'Cuda or a '67 Corvair?

There are books for values on collectible cars, too.
However, if they don’t use those, they’ll typically find the 3 closest cars to yours on record as having sold on auction somewhere in the last year, and offer you that.

Excellent query, stockton. If you have a classic, or a restored, or just plain odd (1922 Bugatti) car, nothing beats a professional appraisal. Costs about $300. Do it every other year or so if you’ve got a car that is unusual (like restored or highly customized for shows).

There are insurance companies that specialize in coverage for classic and older cars. My regular car insurer would charge me over a $1000 a year just for the state mandated minimum for my 66 GTO. I costs me less than $200 a year for insurance through a classic car insurer and that includes full coverage with guaranteed replacement.

Former Insurance broker, here… we wanted the value of the vehicle when it was new, or purchase price. If it was an older vehicle that had been restored, in the event of a loss, the insurance company would pay out only Blue Book value if there was no appraisal stating value.

Oh that’s too bad because it is sure not worth what I paid for it.