Definitions for "Option value"
The difference between the intrinsic value of an option and its actual value is called the option value.... more on: Option value
Potential benefits of the environment not derived from actual use. This expresses the preference or willingness to pay for the preservation of an environment against some probability that the individual will make use of it at some later date. If we lose a species in the wild, such as the Bengal tiger, very few of us will have our welfare directly affected by not being able to see it, photograph it or hear it. That "use value" is very small. But many people will lose the option to do that in the future, should they care to. Economists call that "option value." Further, many people around the world derive some benefit just from knowing that Bengal tigers exist in the wild. That is "existence value."
the value that people place on having the option to enjoy something in the future, although they may not currently use it.