A Complete Guide to IDV in Car Insurance – Full Details

IDV in Car Insurance - BimaBandhu

So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and purchase that new car you’ve had your eye on for months. The exhilaration of driving off the lot with the smell of new leather and the purr of the engine is practically palpable. But hold on a moment! Have you considered what it takes to protect your prized possession?

That’s where car insurance purchase comes in. Buying this type of insurance policy is an essential part of responsible vehicle ownership. It not only provides financial protection in case of accidents, theft, or damage but also ensures peace of mind when you hit the road. However, before you jump into any insurance policy, there’s one crucial step you should never overlook: getting an estimate of your car insurance premium. Since this estimate mainly depends on the Insured Declared Value (IDV) in car insurance, you must understand what this parameter means. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into various aspects related to IDV in car insurance and why estimating your car insurance premium is vital.

What is IDV in Car Insurance?

IDV value in car insurance is the maximum sum insured by an insurance company in the event of a total loss or theft of your car. In simpler terms, it represents the approximate market value of your car at a given point in time. IDV serves as the basis for determining the premium amount for your car insurance policy.

It is calculated by taking into account the manufacturer’s listed selling price of the vehicle, adjusted for depreciation based on the age of the car. As a general rule, the older the car, the lower its IDV. This depreciation factor reflects the wear and tear a vehicle experiences over time and accounts for its reduced market value.

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Why is IDV in Car Insurance Important?

Understanding the significance of IDV is essential for several reasons:

  • Basis for claim settlement

In the unfortunate event of a total loss or theft of your car, the IDV serves as the maximum compensation you can expect from the insurance company. It acts as a benchmark for determining the amount you’ll receive for the loss or damage to your vehicle. Thus, it directly impacts the financial protection you’ll receive in case of an unfortunate incident.

  • Premium calculation

The IDV value in car insurance plays a crucial role in determining the premium amount you’ll pay for your car insurance. In general, the higher the IDV, the higher the premium. This is because a higher IDV indicates a greater potential liability for the insurance company in case of a claim. So, while opting for a higher IDV may result in a slightly higher premium, it also offers increased coverage for your vehicle.

  • Vehicle value assessment

IDV provides an estimate of your car’s market value. This knowledge can be beneficial when it comes to selling or buying a used vehicle. It helps you understand the approximate worth of your car, considering its age and depreciation. Furthermore, it assists you in negotiating a fair price and ensuring you’re adequately compensated in case of a sale or purchase. 

Why Should You Estimate Your Car Insurance Premium?

Consider this scenario:

You’ve done your research, found the perfect car within your budget, and even managed to negotiate a sweet deal. Feeling accomplished, you’re ready to sign the paperwork and drive away. But here’s the catch—what if you hadn’t factored in the cost of insurance? What if the premium for your dream car is far beyond what you can comfortably afford?

By getting an estimate of your car insurance premium beforehand, you can avoid potential financial surprises down the line. This estimate acts as a roadmap and guides you towards the right insurance coverage that aligns with your budget. It also allows you to make informed decisions, ensuring that you aren’t caught off guard by skyrocketing premiums or hidden fees.

Moreover, obtaining a car insurance premium estimate empowers you to compare different insurance providers and policies. It’s an opportunity to shop around, weigh your options, and find the best coverage at a competitive price. It is important to note here that the premium estimation process – whether you consult insurance agents in person or use an online IDV calculator, depends on the IDV in car insurance.

How to Calculate IDV in Car Insurance?

Calculating IDV doesn’t have to be a daunting task that requires a degree in mathematics. In fact, with the help of IDV calculators available online, you can figure it out in a snap. If you want to do it manually, here are the steps to calculate IDV in car insurance:

Step 1: Find your car’s manufacturer’s listed selling price

The first step is to determine the manufacturer’s listed selling price of your car. This is the price at which the car was originally sold by the manufacturer, without factoring in any discounts or additional costs. You can find this information in your car’s invoice or by checking the manufacturer’s website.

Step 2: Account for depreciation

As your car ages, its value decreases due to wear and tear. Insurance companies take this into consideration while calculating IDV value in car insurance. The rate of depreciation varies depending on the age of the car. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Up to 6 months: 5% depreciation
  • 6 months to 1 year: 15% depreciation
  • 1 year to 2 years: 20% depreciation
  • 2 years to 3 years: 30% depreciation
  • 3 years to 4 years: 40% depreciation
  • 4 years to 5 years: 50% depreciation

For cars older than 5 years, the depreciation rate may vary, so it’s best to check with your insurance provider or refer to their guidelines.

Step 3: Apply the depreciation rate

Once you have the depreciation rate as per your car’s age, it’s time to apply it to the manufacturer’s listed selling price. 

Step 4: Calculate the IDV value

To calculate the IDV value in car insurance, subtract the depreciation amount from the manufacturer’s listed selling price:

**If you prefer a hassle-free way of calculating IDV in car insurance, many insurers offer online IDV calculators. These calculators usually require you to input your car’s make, model, manufacturing year, and sometimes additional details such as fuel type and variant. With a few clicks, the calculator will provide you with the estimated IDV based on their algorithm and current market conditions.

What is the Formula to Calculate IDV in Car Insurance?

The IDV in car insurance can be calculated using the following formula:

IDV = Manufacturer’s listed selling price – Depreciation amount

Here, the depreciation amount is determined based on the age of the car. Different depreciation rates are applied for different age brackets. 

To calculate the depreciation amount, multiply the manufacturer’s listed selling price by the depreciation rate. Then subtract the depreciation amount from the manufacturer’s listed selling price to get the IDV.

Using this simple formula, you can estimate the approximate market value of your car for insurance purposes.

Things to Consider While Calculating IDV for Insurance Purposes

While calculating the IDV for insurance purposes, you need to consider several important factors to ensure that the value accurately reflects the current market value of your vehicle and provides adequate coverage. Some of these factors include:

  • Age of the car

The age of your car determines the IDV. As a general rule, older vehicles have a higher depreciation rate, resulting in a lower IDV. Hence, you must consider the number of years since the car was manufactured to apply the appropriate depreciation rate.

  • Make and model

The make and model of your car influence its market value. Some vehicles retain their value better than others due to factors such as brand reputation, demand, and popularity. Besides this, higher-end models generally have a higher IDV compared to entry-level models.

  • Condition of the vehicle

Your car’s condition affects its market value. Parameters such as mileage, wear and tear, maintenance history, and any prior accidents or damages also impact the IDV in car insurance. This can be the reason why Insurance companies may consider conducting a physical inspection or requesting documentation to assess the condition accurately.

  • Optional accessories and modifications

If your car has any additional accessories or modifications that are not part of the standard manufacturer’s package, they may be considered separately for IDV calculation. These can include alloy wheels, upgraded sound systems, or other aftermarket enhancements. In such a case, you need to provide accurate information about such additions to ensure they are appropriately accounted for.

  • Regional factors

Market conditions and regional factors can also influence what IDV in car insurance means. Pertaining to your location, insurers may consider factors such as demand for specific car models, availability of spare parts, and repair costs in your region when calculating the IDV. Keep in mind that IDV values can vary across different locations.

  • Insurance company guidelines

Different insurers may have their own guidelines and factors that impact IDV calculation. Therefore, it’s essential to review their policies and consult with them to ensure you are following their specific requirements and considerations.

By taking these factors into account, you can calculate an IDV that aligns with the current market value of your car. 

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Relation Between Car Insurance Premiums and IDV

The IDV of your car and the car insurance premium you need to pay to get adequate coverage are directly related. Here’s how:

  • Higher IDV, higher premium

In general, a higher IDV leads to a higher car insurance premium. This is because a higher IDV represents a higher market value of your car, and it indicates a greater potential liability for the insurance company in case of a claim. As a result, the insurance premium is adjusted accordingly to provide adequate coverage.

  • Lower IDV, lower premium

Conversely, a lower IDV corresponds to a lower car insurance premium. If the IDV value in car insurance calculation is lower, it signifies a reduced market value of the vehicle. Since the potential claim liability is lower for the insurance company, the premium amount is reduced accordingly.

  • Impact on comprehensive and own damage premium

The IDV is particularly significant for comprehensive car insurance and own damage coverage. These types of insurance coverage protect your car against various risks such as accidents, theft, and damage. Here, the IDV value directly influences the premium for these coverages as it represents the maximum compensation amount you can expect in case of a total loss or theft.

  • Impact on third-party liability insurance premium

IDV has no direct impact on the premium for third-party liability coverage. Buying third-party liability insurance is mandatory and covers the damage or injury caused to third parties. The premium for this coverage is determined by factors such as the vehicle’s engine capacity, age, and geographical location.

Balancing IDV in Car Insurance and Premium Payable

While a higher IDV may provide greater coverage for your car, it also results in a higher premium. This is why it’s important to strike a balance between the IDV value in car insurance and the premium amount based on your budget and coverage needs. You are advised to select an IDV that provides adequate coverage without straining your finances.

By understanding this relationship, you can make informed decisions about car insurance coverage selection and ensure you have the right level of protection.

Relation Between Claims and IDV in Car Insurance

IDV plays a significant role in the car insurance claim settlement process. It represents the maximum sum insured by the insurer in the event of a total loss or theft of your vehicle. Here’s how the IDV is related to the claim settlement process:

  • Claim amount calculation

IDV serves as a benchmark to determine the claim amount you’ll receive in case of a total loss or theft of your vehicle. At the time of filing a claim, the insurance company will consider the IDV as the maximum compensation you’re eligible to receive. The claim amount will typically be a percentage of the IDV based on the extent of damage or loss.

  • Depreciation deduction

While settling a claim, the insurer also takes into account the age and condition of your vehicle. Depreciation is applied to the IDV to account for the wear and tear a car undergoes over time. The insurance company will deduct the applicable depreciation amount from the IDV to calculate the actual claim settlement amount. Here, it is important to go through the depreciation rates that are usually mentioned in the policy terms and conditions.

  • Total loss scenario

In the unfortunate event of a total loss, the cost of repairs exceeds a certain percentage of the IDV (typically 75% to 100%). In such cases, the insurance company considers it uneconomical to repair the vehicle. The claim settlement proceeds are based on the IDV, minus any applicable deductibles and depreciation. 

  • Theft scenario

In case of theft of your car, the claim settlement is also based on the IDV in car insurance if the vehicle is not recovered within a specified period. 

  • Optional add-ons

Certain add-on coverages may offer higher claim settlement options. For example, some policies offer a Return to Invoice (RTI) or Invoice Protection coverage. With these add-ons, the claim settlement is based on the invoice value of the vehicle rather than the IDV to ensure you receive a higher compensation amount.

Understanding the relationship between the IDV and claim settlement helps you assess the compensation you can expect in case of total loss or theft of your vehicle.

IRDAI Rules for IDV in Car Insurance

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has established certain rules and guidelines regarding IDV in car insurance in India. These rules aim to ensure transparency, fairness, and adequate coverage for policyholders. Here’s an explanation of these rules:

  • IDV calculation

IRDAI mandates that IDV should be calculated based on the manufacturer’s listed selling price of the vehicle and adjusted for depreciation. The depreciation rates are defined based on the age of the vehicle.

  • Minimum IDV

The authority also requires insurers to offer a minimum IDV for vehicles. This ensures that policyholders receive a certain level of coverage, even for older or lower-value vehicles.

  • Depreciation rates

IRDAI also provides specific depreciation rates to be applied for different age brackets of vehicles. These rates help determine the reduction in the IDV value based on the age of the car.

  • Disclosure to policyholders

Insurance companies are also required to disclose the IDV and its calculation methodology to policyholders. This helps policyholders understand the basis on which the IDV is determined and ensures transparency.

  • Claim settlement

The claim settlement amount is calculated as a percentage of the IDV, considering factors such as depreciation and deductibles.

  • Market value consideration

IRDAI encourages insurance companies to ensure that the IDV reflects the current market value of the vehicle. This helps policyholders receive fair compensation that aligns with the prevailing market conditions.

  • Compliance with the guidelines

Insurers must adhere to the IRDAI guidelines for IDV calculation and disclosure. This ensures consistency and standardization across the industry and benefits policyholders with uniform practices.


What is IDV value in car insurance?

IDV stands for Insured Declared Value, which is the approximate current market value of a vehicle for insurance purposes.

How is IDV calculated?

IDV is calculated based on the manufacturer’s listed selling price of the vehicle and adjusted for depreciation based on its age.

Does IDV affect car insurance premiums?

IDV in car insurance directly impacts the premium. A higher IDV generally results in a higher premium, while a lower IDV leads to a lower premium.

Can I choose the IDV for my vehicle?

In general, you have some flexibility in choosing the IDV within a range specified by the insurance companies. However, it is recommended to select an IDV that accurately reflects the market value of your vehicle.

What happens if the IDV is undervalued?

If the IDV is undervalued, it may result in receiving a lower claim settlement amount in case of a total loss or theft. It’s important to ensure that the IDV adequately reflects the current market value of your vehicle.

Can the IDV be higher than the purchase price of the vehicle?

IDV cannot be higher than the purchase price of the vehicle. It is based on the manufacturer’s listed selling price, which is usually the maximum limit for the IDV.

Does IDV in car insurance change over time?

The IDV of a car decreases due to depreciation over time. The depreciation rates are specified by the insurance company or regulatory authorities and vary based on the car’s age.

Can the IDV be negotiated with the insurance company?

The IDV is generally determined based on predefined calculation methods and depreciation rates. While there may be some flexibility in choosing the IDV within a range, negotiation on the IDV itself is not common.

How does IDV affect the claim settlement amount?

The claim settlement amount is typically a percentage of the IDV. The actual amount depends on factors such as depreciation, deductibles, and the extent of damage or loss.

Can the IDV be increased during the policy period?

The IDV can generally be revised during the policy renewal. However, any increase in IDV may lead to a higher premium. It’s advisable to discuss with the insurance company for any desired changes.


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