31 Dec Transporting A Vehicle: Do You Need Insurance And How Can You Stay Protected?
Transporting A Vehicle: Do You Need Insurance And How Can You Stay Protected?
Shipping your car can be a great way to save time and prevent putting miles on it. A vehicle is a large asset that you always want to protect, ensuring less wear and tear whenever possible. But, not all vehicle shipping companies are equal. It’s a good idea to do your homework before making the decision to load your car up and have it hauled from point A to point B. A little bit of research can have big payoffs in the long run if anything were to happen to your car. Plus, piece of mind is priceless.
You may be wondering how to be sure your car is protected during transport and whether or not you need insurance when shipping a vehicle. The good news is that less than 1% of shipped vehicles ever experienced significant damage, but that doesn’t mean you should take your vehicle protection lightly. Generally, you don’t need to purchase your own insurance if you decide to ship your car.
What’s Typically Covered?
The United States Department of Transportation requires shipping services to carry liability and cargo insurance. Most companies carry between $25,000 to $50,000 of coverage. Therefore, if your car’s value is under $50,000 then you may be sufficiently protected. Additionally, if the company is transporting vehicles across state lines then they must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Both of these entities issue shipping companies a registration number that you can verify online. If their registration numbers can’t be verified then it’s best to choose another company.
Tips To Be Sure You’re Well Protected
In addition to verifying their registration numbers, here are some additional tips from Big Sky Auto Transport to make sure you and your assets are being taken care of:
- Ask to see a copy of the shipping company’s insurance certificate. This will explain what’s covered and what isn’t. Always ask for clarification if you’re unsure about something.
- Get everything in writing. This will help clear up any disputes that may arise down the road. Unfortunately there are dishonest companies out there who will promise one thing and deliver another. By getting everything in writing, including any special agreements, you can help protect yourself from any surprise costs or refusal to pay for damages.
- Remove loose items from your vehicle before transporting. Less items in the car means less of a loss should anything happen to the vehicle itself. It also decreases the chance of break-ins and lessens the risk of damage from objects moving around during transport.
- Make sure the shipping company has enough coverage to cover all of the cars it is transporting, not just yours. If an accident happens and multiple vehicles are damaged, will their insurance coverage before enough for all of them?
- Read the fine print and ask for any clarifications. Certain circumstances are often not covered. Common ones include glass damage, rock chips, negligence, employee theft, acts of God, and acts of terrorism.
- Be present for the pre and post trip inspections. A vehicle condition report should be done before and after transport to ensure the car arrives at its destination in the same condition it left in. Don’t forget to start the car and make sure it runs in the same condition it did before it left. Always remember, if it isn’t in writing then it didn’t happen.
- When in doubt, ask your broker for more coverage. This is especially important if you’re transporting a high-end or rare vehicle. While most companies do carry $50,000 in coverage, some carry much less. Your broker can recommend short-term insurance options if you need more coverage during your vehicle’s transport.
Your Car Was Damaged And They Refuse To Pay. Now What?
If damages occur and the shipping company refuses to pay, you can file a report with the U.S. Department of Transportation if the car was taken across state lines. If the vehicle was shipped within the state then you can file a complaint with that state’s department of transportation.