Making sure that you have obtained the necessary insurance when choosing to have your car shipped is vital to ensure that you aren't held liable for any damage done to it and for any other delivery issues that you may encounter. Insurance should be purchased regardless if the car is being transported via a trailer or physically driven itself. However, in order to make sure that your car shipment is fully covered, you will need to understand the various aspects of shipping insurance first, followed by what to do if you run into any issues afterward. This is in spite of the fact that the number of cars that are damaged due to shipping transportation totals less than 5% a year. Take a look at the following guide:
Know the Minimum Requirements
All auto transport companies have to have liability insurance in the United States. You should also check to see if they also have cargo insurance as well. If they do, then any damage that occurs to your vehicle during the transportation process will be covered. Of course, you will still have to pay the insurance deductible. You should ask for more information from the company itself about their insurance coverage. Specifically, you should have an understanding of the terms and condition of the coverage.
One thing that's helpful is to ask them for a copy of their insurance certificate. Under the law, they have to provide this to anyone who asks. A helpful site to verify the authenticity of the insurance certificate is located at the Department of Transportation's website, www.safersys.org.
Companies will also offer you the option of purchasing additional insurance coverage if you need it.
Determining the Amount of Coverage to Have
While you will have the minimum amount of coverage automatically, you may want to expand upon it. You will certainly be protected from a liability standpoint for some of the damage that your vehicle may incur, but the minimum coverage won't cover the full value of your vehicle. It's helpful to ask the company about their insurance. The following questions are some of the main ones that you should ask:
- What damage does the insurance cover?
- Is every part of the car covered by the insurance or only some parts of it?
- What's the deductible (if there is one)?
- What's the coverage limit?
- Are car accessories covered?
- What are the options available for purchasing additional insurance coverage?
You can also ask your own car insurance company if their coverage extends to vehicle shipping. In some cases, it will. Nonetheless, you should always notify them if you plan to ship a vehicle.
Making an Insurance Claim
In order to determine if you need to make a claim or not, make sure to inspect your car at its arrival point thoroughly. It's important to do the inspection at its arrival point as soon as possible, in which any damage that is spotted is documented. That's why it's helpful to take many pictures, before and afterward.
Any damage that is spotted should be noted in the Bill of Lading. The driver that made the delivery will need to sign this form.
Next, you should contact the shipping company and the relevant insurance company right away. Most companies will work with you to resolve your claims in a timely manner. As long as your car is covered and everything is documented, you shouldn't run into issues with this. If you happen to do so, make sure to note this on websites such as the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.
This article wasn't written to scare you, as the vast majority of shipping experiences go off without a hitch. A-1 Auto Transport certainly has a proven track record of making sure that your vehicle is handled with care at every step of the process. It still pays to be safe though, as you never know what unexpected event can occur.
Follow the above tips and you should be completely fine!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.