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Do you need car transportation insurance to ship your car?

What's in this article?
  1. Why Shouldn't I Transport A Car Without Insurance?
  2. Insurance Requirements For Car Shipping Companies
  3. Insurance Coverage By Auto Transport Company Is It Enough?
  4. Types Of Auto Transport Insurance
  5. Insurance For Overseas
  6. How Much Do Auto Transport Insurance Costs
  7. Auto Insurance Precautions During Shipping
  8. Proof Of Insurance From Car Shipping Company
  9. Check With Your Auto-Insurance Company
  10. Empty Your Vehicle Before Shipping
  11. Inspect Your Vehicle (Before And After Shipping)
  12. Complete The Paperwork And Make Sure You're Properly Insured
  13. Bill Of Lading Of Auto Shipping Companies
  14. Fraud And Fake Companies
  15. How To File An Auto Insurance Claim
  16. Conclusion
Do you need car transportation insurance to ship your car?

It's highly unlikely that your car will get damaged during shipping as in history, damaged cases are hardly more than five percent. However, you shouldn't rely on gut feeling and come out to apply for an insurance policy. 

Your car is one of the most valuable assets, and you don't want to get it damaged. First, however, you must protect your vehicle and opt for a good insurance policy. This activity will help you stay peaceful about your car shipping quest. 

Often the shipping company has insurance for your vehicle named cargo insurance. 

If you have some questions in your mind, such as If the insurance is enough or not, what options you can choose to buy, how much it will cost you, you're reading this at the right moment. 

Before moving further, I want to add that you don't necessarily need insurance as most probably your car hauler offers cargo insurance. You also don't need it when you're not driving your car. 

Further, some companies can even provide you with a weaver who makes them not liable for anyone else's mistake.  


Why shouldn't I transport a car without insurance?

If you're driving your car at all and want to move it from one location to another, you don't need auto insurance. But this condition shouldn't cut the need completely as you may still need to drive your car a bit during pickup and drop off. You may also need to drive around the town where you have moved. 

So, your auto insurance will work as backup whether the transporter's insurance isn't enough or you have any processing issues. However, in such cases, when your mover's insurance isn't covering any potential issue, you have to pay yourself, and the premium amount can increase accordingly. 

That can also be a good reason to explore everything about auto shipping insurance. So please stick with me by the end of this article and let me help you out here. In the next section, I am going to explain the requirements. 

Insurance Requirements For Car Shipping Companies

All transportation companies are bound to meet certain requirements. For example, before making a deal with a company to ship your car, you must know that the company meets the minimum auto shipping insurance requirements. 

By law, the transporters must have liability insurance and a valid motor carrier (MC) number registered with the transportation department. Along with these, they should also have considerable coverage of cargo insurance. 

So, firstly you should check their insurance policy in detail as the terms and the amount they cover can vary depending upon the company you choose. You can check these details from the transporter's profile either through their website or any online listing of shipping companies.  

Secondly, you should also ask the shipping company to show their insurance certificate. It would help if you weren't worried as they're legally bound to show you the certificate. Once in hand, you can also cross-check the insurance certificate from the transportation department at and verify the provided information. 

You can further look into this matter to verify if the car moving company is willing to provide a representative who'll inspect your vehicle before and after shipping. A thorough inspection of your asset is a must to identify any possible damage during the transportation. For this, ask the company to provide you with an exact copy of the inspection. If possible, video footage of the inspection can be more suitable to ensure no damage is done during shipping once your can has reached the drop-off location. 

As the purpose of making all these checks is the security and safety of your car, you must file an insurance claim to get your compensation against any damage done. 

To know how much money you can get with the claim, let's explore the next section, which talks about the coverage of different types of insurance a company may have.  


Insurance Coverage by Auto Transport Company: Is it Enough?

You may need extra insurance as, in most cases, the cargo insurance offered by the car hauling company isn't enough. In addition, it can be possible that the minimum coverage offered by the company may be less than the full value of your vehicle. 

So, you should always check the complete coverage details of the shipping insurance policy. 

Check if it includes coverage during three major points when transporting your car from one location to another. The journey starts from the pickup and ends at the delivery location after transportation, and you must be able to claim your compensation against any damage done during these occasions.  

As most companies cover liability and cargo insurance, the next thing you can do is figure out if you're comfortable with the policy amount. These policies usually don't cover anything which is inside your car. So, make sure to take out your personal belongings before shipping your vehicle. 

The next thing on your list to explore should be the limitations of the insurance policy. Normally they cover damages during transit such as scratches, fire damage, and theft while doesn't include any loss that happened due to natural disasters. (earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, etc.) 

Some of the questions you can ask the shipping company can help you figure out the additional insurance you need. These are:

  • What are the limitation policies of the shipping insurance?
  • Does the policy cover customized add-ons of your car?
  • How much is the deductible, if there is any?
  • Do the auto transport companies provide the option to purchase extra insurance?
  • What type of damages are covered?

Bottom lines: It's highly unlikely that the cargo insurance provided by your car hauler covers the value if you have antique, high-priced sports, or premium value vehicles. These types of assets have high repairing costs when damaged. 

One of the conditions, when you don't need additional insurance can be if you use the enclosed carrier option to move your car. These containers provided added safety against any unfortunate damaging event.  


Types of Auto Transport Insurance

Whether you buy additional insurance or not, if you're hauling your vehicle overseas, the terms of the car shipping company's policy can differ compared to what you've purchased from your own auto insurance company.

After the car shipping processes are completed, your insurance deductible will depend on the type of insurance you're purchasing. Either your auto insurance agent or car shipper will check your vehicle before addressing any claim you'll make.

In most car shipping companies, your car shipper will verify the type of insurance that applies to your shipping package.

Generally, the customers have personal auto insurance, which is optional for shipping. Then comes the carriers who need liability coverage which is a must-have for the car shipping process. Lastly, if you're not directly dealing with the auto transporter, you may need to contact any broker who normally provides supplemental coverage.

Supplemental insurance is not the same as liability insurance and is optional for the car shipping process.



Insurance For Overseas

It can work well even if you don't have any auto transport insurance when shipping overseas. However, it's always suggested to choose an insurance company that provides coverage when moving internationally. 

Your car will ride a boat in overseas transportation where it can surely face common damages such as dents, theft, or fire. 

How Much Do Auto Transport Insurance Costs

You can think of it as having two types of costs you need to pay. 

  1. Personal Insurance
  2. Car insurance offered by vehicle transport companies

One is where you don't opt for the insurance company's extra auto insurance and rely on the shipping company to handle everything. However, in case of otherwise, you may need to pay around $20 to $50 nominal fee against coverage value up to $2000. Contrary to this, your usual auto insurance costs around $1.5k a year. 

Auto Insurance precautions during shipping

If you're planning to ship your car, you may need to consider taking some precautions related to shipping and insurance companies. These are a kind of tips that can smooth your automobile shipping process.

Proof Of Insurance From Car Shipping Company

Proof of insurance of an auto transporter will make you feel safe about your decision of hiring them for your car hauling. That's why you must ask them to share their policy details with you for your verification. 

You should also be at ease to ask movers as it's their legal responsibility to share the proof. Otherwise, if they're hesitant, it's a sign they're trying to hide something. As a result, it's suggested to look for a more trustworthy company. For example, an insurance company with good ethical values would always try to make you feel comfortable before moving your vehicle. 

Check With Your Auto-Insurance Company

Once the deal has been locked with the auto transport company, you should also contact your personal auto insurance provider. 

It can be possible that you already have some damage coverage included in your policy for the shipping situation. So, verify and explore whether you have backup coverage or not. 

Empty Your Vehicle Before Shipping

Normally the policy you're going to buy either from your car transporter or a personal provide isn't going to cover any loss of your items inside the car during shipping. So to keep your items safe, you must take out your goods from your car before moving. 

Only the owner of the vehicle is responsible if anything gets stolen from it during transportation. 

Inspect Your Vehicle (Before and after shipping)

You cannot claim any compensation from an auto insurer or the transporter if you're unaware of the damage done during shipping. So, inspecting your car thoroughly before and after transporting to the new location is the only way to identify any uncommon changes. Consider it a high-priority activity on moving days. 

You can do this by simply taking pictures of the car and identifying any damage such as dents, chips, and scratches. 

Complete The Paperwork And Make Sure You're Properly Insured

Paperwork matters, and you must get everything in writing from the insurance provider. This is requir3ed usually when the auto transport company offers you any special deal or package which isn't common in the market. 

Paperwork will also keep you completely safe in case of any legal mishap between you and your auto shipping company. To keep yourself safe from any legal action, you must document anything in a company's regular contract. 


Bill of Lading Of Auto Shipping Companies

Being an owner of the car, you have to fill the Bill of Lading once your vehicle gets delivered to the new location. It's a kind of inspection report where you write information related to your car's condition. 

You must ensure that you don't miss anything as it's the last moment before transferring the vehicle. Once you sign off, you can not highlight anything you missed. 

The most important can be to check the condition of your car in full light if it has been delivered during night time. Another smart move is to start the engine and inspect for any mechanical damage. You also need to note everything and get that bill signed off by the driver as well. 

Fraud and Fake Companies

You might not know, but there are criminals in the auto shipping industry, just as there are in the banking sector. So the key is to play safe once you believe that the fraud isn't fake. 

A car shipping company can even manage to obtain fake or invalid USDOT and MC numbers. Such companies aren't transporter. They can steal your batmobile or premium racing bike by displaying fake numbers on their truck. 

How to file an Auto Insurance Claim

Even though the chances are that your car may get damaged during transit, you must know about filing a claim to get your compensation. 

Yes! There is no guarantee for completely damage-free delivery. So, it's better to know everything in advance. You need detailed paperwork containing the condition of all kinds of damage that occurred during transit. The car shipping company will check the vehicle's condition and fix it if the car is damaged. Usually, they will solve the problem quickly and efficiently to win the trust of their customers. 

If you need to complain about the insurance company, you can also contact Better Business Bureau. 


The shortest answer to the topic of this article can be a 'No' but summarizing it will tell you clearly that you must alternatively work on finding how much additional insurance you need. You should also be aware of the type of insurance which is applicable and in your budgeting range. 

Once you've worked your way to calculate the additional insurance amount, the next is to walk your journey towards shipping your car. While doing so, you must make sure to inspect your vehicle thoroughly to highlight any damage done. In the end, you must also have complete information about filing a claim to get your compensation or relevant support from the insurance company. 

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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.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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