Automobiles for the majority of Americans are the second most expensive and valuable commodity and are insured to protect it against thefts, accidents, and other damages.
However, many people forget that many insurance policies may or may not cover their vehicle as expected immediately they load it on an auto shipping truck for delivery to a new address.
You should know that your vehicle is exposed to the general public during shipping and is beyond your control. No shipping company can provide a guarantee on the driver’s actions.
Also, you will have to think about the weather. Most people prefer car shipping to avoid driving to another part of the country in the winter. Although those winter storms are inevitable, your vehicle can get damaged by hail or other extreme weather.
To avoid the possibilities of these problems, you will need to get shipping insurance. With adequate insurance, your vehicle can be protected from any ugly events. This post will discuss how it works and other things you need to know. Read on!
How Auto Transport Insurance Works
Transport insurance is available with the shipping company you are working with. Your auto insurance may also provide enough coverage for damages, your best assumption is to look elsewhere for coverage on damages.
However, a certain level of insurance is legally required for any transport driver. There will always be some protection for you, but the level of coverage offered should be a major concern for you. Check the insurance certificate before you sign any agreements.
You can then ask some specific questions about the policy and get a copy of their insurance in writing. Some insurance policies may only provide coverage to some parts of your vehicle.
In contrast, others provide coverage for the whole car or have a separate payout based on the type of damage that happened and how it happened. The only way to offer the right protection for yourself and your car is to read through the policy carefully.
Things you need to know about Auto Transport Insurance
1. Request for proof of insurance from the car shipping company
The law requires auto shipping companies to have a valid insurance certificate and presented when requested. Be sure also to ask questions regarding their insurance policy. Make sure they provide coverage for any damage to a car when shipping, if the vehicle is completely or partially covered, or if a deductible payment will be required of you in the case of any damage.
2. Receive everything in writing
Make sure you get every agreement on the job in writing before you sign any auto transport service contract. This will keep you safe in the event of an unexpected situation, especially if you are being provided a service or choosing a service that is not included in their regular service contract.
3. Consult your auto insurance company
Your auto insurance provider based on your policy may provide coverage for your vehicle while it is being shipped, however, the company does not make this as an assumption; you need to check with them to be sure. Ask them whether your coverage applies while your car is being transported or not, if you have to get a notification from the car transport company for the insurance provider.
4. Take out loose belongings from the car’s interior
You need to reduce the risk of damaging your vehicle’s interior by getting rid of loose stuff from it as most car shipping companies will not provide coverage to the vehicle’s interior damage. Extra change, removable electronics, cassettes or CDs, and other items that may fly in the car while in transit should be removed.
The risk of theft to your car interior will also be reduced when you get rid of your loose possessions, as there is no coverage for it from most car transport companies.
5. Pre-possession inspection
The auto shipping company will carefully inspect your car before they take possession of it in order to note any existing damage. Also, you should be available when the inspectors are doing the inspection. Taking pictures of the vehicle is also a brilliant idea to note its condition before the transport company takes charge of it.
6. The bill of lading
This is documentation you sign when your car arrives, which indicates your satisfaction with your vehicle’s condition, releasing the transport company from being liable. Importantly, you are telling them you are satisfied with your car’s condition.
It would help if you understood that there is leverage to hole the shipping company responsible for any claims once you sign the bill of lading. Everything must be done perfectly and satisfactorily before you sign the bill of lading. Check your car thoroughly and carefully before you sign the bill.
7. Careful with bad companies
Anyone can turn to an auto broker or carrier. That can be a good thing for business people but not always the best for auto shipping customers. This could leave you with a really bad car shipping experience. Although it is possible everything turns out fine, but also, there is a chance something goes very wrong.
If you hire bad auto shippers, your car can get broken or missing in the process. Although auto shipping fraud is not so popular, you should worry about it despite its unpopularity.
About 2,500 car carriers were caught for violations all through January 2020. Sadly, the problem didn’t get solved even with that penalty. Most auto shipping brokers advise that carriers can just re-strategize under a new name and registration numbers. The paperwork they present looks genuine to the unsuspecting. This, in reality, is a looming disaster.
Where can I file a Complaint?
File a complaint with your local BBB office if the auto shipping company did not provide the services requested or didn’t treat it too well. You may also issue a complaint with the United States Department of Transportation if your car is shipped across state borders.
How to protect yourself when researching Auto Transport Service
There are certain things to do to prevent yourself from the dangers related to auto shipping insurance.
1. Understand the company:
Shippers will disappoint you if you enter into things hoping that a broker will assist you with any insurance issues. Note, brokers only link you with carriers, and carriers haul your car to its destination. If you find it difficult to determine if a shipping company is a carrier or broker, you should consider moving to the next carrier.
2. Go through the paperwork:
You can easily detect if a car carrier or auto shipping broker is what it claims to be. Check the website if the FMCSA, enter the company’s name, click on the name of the company once it appears, and then check if the USDOT and MC numbers correspond with what the company displays. Stay away from the company if you cannot get the company’s MC number.
3. Monitor your financial transactions:
Be sure to monitor the amount taken by your auto shipping company if you pay using debit or credit card. If it does take more than supposed, you can contact and file a complaint with a financial institution.
4. Check Moving Feedback for more:
We keep updating our lists of the best auto transport companies and customers adding new reviews on specific companies such as uShip, Sherpa Auto Transport, and Ship a Car Direct. Our job is to get you the most trustworthy companies.
5. Ready reviews:
With just a few minutes of your time, check customer reviews on the companies, and if there is no complaint about possible fraud, you will feel more at ease proceeding.
Choosing a Car Shipping Company
Shipping companies come in different sizes and shapes, with some of them having more reputation than others. You can easily get a high-quality company by performing a little research.
Restrict your search to a company that offers transparency in its pricing and insurance information since you and the company are protected by insurance.
Paying extra for reputable insurance is worth it even if the price quote is a bit high. Also, a company that is ready to be liable for highly expensive insurance is probably a good one.
When you hire a reputable car shipping company, you will be sure your car is in safe hands. By requesting several quotes, you can easily make coverage and pricing comparisons. You can obtain a comparable policy for a rate lower than your expectation when you check different carriers carefully and with no rush.
Regardless of the rate, do not go with the first company that provides you a coverage quote. Look for some options. We also make the work of obtaining several quotes for auto shipping insurance easy. Just fill out the form on our site or contact us now to start the process of your car shipping insurance.
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.