How to Understand Auto Transport Insurance Requirements?
When you need to get your car across a large geographical distance – and you don’t want to drive it – there are numerous considerations to be had. This includes thoughts about the company you want to use to ship it to the time frame needed for the car to arrive at your new destination. An additional consideration to keep in mind is that of auto shipping insurance. Just because you don’t have your car on the road, doesn’t mean you don’t need to consider coverage for the big trip.
Like traditional forms of car insurance, there are certain requirements in place when it comes to auto shipping insurance. Understanding said requirements ensures that the policy covers all core components of the shipping process and tells you just what you need to do should you find yourself filing a claim.
To start, the company shipping your automobile is responsible for carrying insurance on all cargo, including your car. If a company tells you they don’t have this insurance, walk away and find one that does.
As an aside, always ask to see a copy of the cargo company’s proof of insurance. This is not an area to take a company at its word; the end result may be a repair bill headed towards your wallet because you didn’t check to be sure the company really has insurance to cover the auto cargo it is transporting at any given time. You can check the viability of the certificate with the actual company to make sure the policy is still active.
Benefits Of Auto Shipping Insurance
The main benefit of auto shipping insurance is that you have peace of mind in knowing that if something should happen to your car en route, the damage will be taken care of – from a financial standpoint – by the insurance company. This includes scratches, dents, and dings, or any other damage sustained by your vehicle during the loading and unloading process.
Shipping Company Requirements
While policies among companies may vary, you can bet that your car – just the car, not the items inside necessarily – is included and will be covered under the company policy.
It should also be noted that your car will be inspected before the driver loads it to pinpoint any areas of existing damage to the vehicle. This ensures that customers don’t try to make damage claims for preexisting issues. The vehicle is then inspected again upon arrival at the end destination; this provides the shipping company and the company’s insurance carrier assurance that there are no issues that may crop up later with the vehicle. In other words, it arrived in the same manner in which it left the original destination.
Shipping company insurance companies are not responsible for your personal effects, so if you ship your car, keep this mind before you drop it off. Clean it out and take out any valuable items that are liable to be stolen during the trip. Take out everything from your favorite group of CDs to the face of your car radio. While many auto shipping companies pride themselves on an uneventful delivery, you can never be too sure. Since the company’s auto shipping insurance policy doesn’t cover personal items, you may find yourself incurring the cost personally if a theft occurs.
Also keep in mind that the value assigned to your vehicle on behalf of the company’s insurance provider may be far less than where your car is actually valued, particularly if you have numerous upgrades that increase the value of your vehicle. In this case, check with your personal insurance company to see if the shipping process is covered under your existing policy. They may suggest purchasing a rider to extend coverage to your vehicle during shipping to ensure that it is insured to the full extent of its true value.
Making a Claim
No process is perfect and there are times when your car may sustain damage during the transport process. When this happens, let the cargo company know and follow the process for filing a claim specific to the insurance carrier used to ensure the delivery. This information should be presented to you in your contract with the shipping company. Take pictures before you ship your car and after, so that if you should need to file a claim, you have proof to submit to the insurance company showing the damage occurred en route.
Your car is likely one of your most valuable assets. Therefore, it is important to do your part to ensure that should anything happen to it – particularly if the situation is not in your control – that you have the means and resources in place to address it swiftly. Shipping your car is a necessary evil in some situations. By doing your homework on auto shipping insurance requirements, you can feel at ease knowing that your car is covered – and to what extend – during your next temporary or permanent relocation.
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.