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Car Shipping

  Overview   Service Options   Types of Transport
  Preparing a Car   What to Expect Upon Arrival   Choosing a Transporter
  Insurance Issues & Minimum Requirements
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Auto Shipping Insurance Issues


Just because your car is not being driven does not mean that you do not have to think about insurance when shipping a car. While most people transport their car without any problems, you should be prepared for the possibility that your car will incur unforeseen damage.

Understand minimum automobile shipping insurance requirements
A legal auto transporter is required to carry liability and cargo insurance. This means that your auto transporter, if properly insured, should cover any damage caused during the automobile shipping process. The terms and amount of coverage can vary from company to company, so it is best to carefully inspect your transporter's coverage.

Be sure to ask a potential automobile shipping company for a copy their insurance certificate. They are legally required to provide this to you, and you should feel free to verify the information on the certificate with the insurance company or with the Department of Transportation at www.safersys.org.

Is the minimum enough?
While the amount of cargo and liability insurance required by law will offer you some protection, you may find that the minimum coverage offered by vehicle transport companies falls short of the true value of your car. You may also be surprised by what is and is not covered by a carrier's insurance. Take responsibility for finding out the exact terms of your transporter's insurance policy. Some questions you may want to ask about insurance include:

  • What type of damage is covered?
  • Are only specific parts of the car, like the body, covered?
  • Is there a deductible?
  • What is the limit of their coverage? (Most companies only cover the Kelley Blue Book value of the car)
  • Will specialty items such as spoilers or ground effects be covered?
  • Is there an option to purchase additional coverage?

Also, check with your auto insurance agent to see how much your personal insurance will cover when shipping a car. Your coverage may or may not be the same when your car is in transit. Even if your insurance does not cover the vehicle, you should notify your insurance company that you are transporting the vehicle.

If you need to make a claim
In the unlikely event that your car was delivered with damages from shipping, make specific notes on the "Bill of Lading" and have the driver sign the form before accepting the car. Taking pictures is always a good idea when documenting damages. If the car is delivered at night, inspect the car under bright lights and bring along a flashlight.

In all likelihood, your car will be delivered in the same condition it was dropped off. If there are damages, contact your shipping and insurance companies immediately. You should have no problems if you have carefully inspected your transporter's insurance policy. A respectable shipping company will want to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible. If you feel like you are being treated unfairly, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and any professional organizations the company belongs to. Remember, this is an unlikely scenario. If you take some time to research your discount auto shipping company and prepare your car for transport properly, you are almost guaranteed a painless shipping experience.

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