Insurance is an important part of the auto shipping process. It’s what protects you and your vehicle if damage occurs. If you ever need to ship your car a long distance via truck or boat, it’s wise to invest in auto transportation insurance in addition to your regular car insurance.
While the chance of your vehicle withstanding any damage is rather low (around 5% in most cases), you don’t want to end up paying for any costly damage that your insurance provider has not agreed to cover. There’s also the risk of your premium increasing should you need to make a claim.
Since auto transport insurance is often a one-time consideration, it’s important to understand how this type of insurance works, and what to look for.In this article, we are going to cover:
Every auto shipping company will provide their own form of insurance. The total coverage will vary depending on who you ship with. Whatever company you choose, you’ll want to make sure they are legitimate and have insurance.
The easiest way to check if an auto shipping carrier is legitimate is to look for their USDOT number. You can search for a company through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
By law, the FMCSA requires all auto shippers to carry insurance.
When in doubt, ask. Don’t be afraid to ask your auto shipping company what kind of insurance coverage they offer. Ask for any correspondence or agreements to be made in writing. This will protect you in the event a claim is necessary. Reading the fine print before handing over your keys goes a long way to making sure you get what you pay for.
Most personal auto insurance plans cover your vehicle, but there are specific conditions that you must meet. If you violate any of these conditions, your vehicle claim may be denied.
Auto shipping insurance is comprehensive. It’s commonly referred to as “Marine Insurance,” or “Cargo Insurance.” It will cover any damage that occurs during the transportation of your vehicle. This includes things like:
That’s why we always recommend you purchase additional insurance if your vehicle is valuable.
NOTE: In the event of tot al loss, the Kelley Blue Book value is often used to determine the value of your vehicle. This can lead to significantly reduced payouts, and is something that you need to be aware of.
Auto shipping insurance will not cover any personal belongings in your vehicle. The coverage only extends to your vehicle
Authorized automobile transporters are legally required to provide you with basic coverage and certain rights. For example:
The Bill of Lading is essentially a condition report upon arrival of the vehicle. The auto transport company will no longer be liable if you fail to note the damage on the Bill of Lading.
The answer to this question will depend on you. Extended coverage is recommended if:
While most auto shippers provide default liability insurance, these plans don’t always cover everything. Take some time to ask your personal insurance provider about your policy and what it covers. Ask things like:
Will the plan only cover damage incurred before and after transit? This is an important question to ask, especially if your auto shipper will be driving your car at any point.
Most auto insurance policies will not cover your personal belongings in the car. If you’ve decided to ship expensive electronics in your car, they likely won’t be covered. However, your possessions may be covered through your homeowner’s insurance.
In many cases, the coverage only covers whenever the vehicle is in transit. Any damage caused while your car is moved from the boat, or truck to the company’s facility might not be covered in the contract. To avoid high premiums on your end, look for full coverage that covers from the time you hand over your keys to the time you get them back.
NOTE Certain plans will only cover your vehicle within North America, leaving your vehicle unprotected when its unloaded in somewhere like Europe, or Asia.
The auto shipping process is straightforward. Most shipments are completed without any issues. If you want to decrease the likelihood of complications, there are a few things you need to do:
You want to be prepared. Making insurance claims is never fun, but it’s a reality that we all have to face from time to time.
If you notice new damage when your vehicle is delivered, immediately document it. The most opportune time to assess for damage is right after your vehicle is delivered. Remember to check the undercarriage, start the engine, and to check for mechanical problems.
If damage is present, document it on your Bill of Lading and have the delivery driver sign it. An updated Bill of Lading is an acknowledgment that this damage exists. You will need a valid one for any insurance claims that you make. Failure to note the new damage on the Bill of Lading will reduce your chances of a successful insurance claim.
Respectable companies will handle your complaints in a reasonable time frame. If you find them hard to work with, consider filing a complaint to a professional organization the company belongs to, such as the Better Business Bureau.
Are you looking for additional information on auto shipping insurance? Check out the following resources:
Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask. A-1 Auto Transport has decades of experience shipping vehicles around the world.