For most people, their cars are the second most important possessions after their homes. This is why we go to lengths to ensure that our vehicles are insured against all sorts of risks. There are times, however, when we leave the responsibility of the safe handling of our cars in the hands of others. For instance, when you are looking to get your car across a large distance – and you do not want to drive it. In such instances, you are not in direct control of what may happen to your car. So, who picks the bill in case of an accident?
The following article will explain everything you need to know about your insurance needs when you are looking to ship your car.
What is Auto Transport Insurance?
Auto transporters are required by law to have liability insurance. This means that the company should cover any damage caused to the vehicle during the transportation/shipping process if you have paid the insurance deductible. However, the terms and amount of coverage provided vary between companies. As such, many of their policies may not provide the protection that you expect.
Moreover, some companies even have a waiver in their contract that negates them of any responsibility for any damage that your car might sustain while in their possession.
Therefore, it is recommended that you carefully go through the company’s policy before agreeing to their contract. Here are some tips for a hassle-free shipping process.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
As mentioned earlier, auto shipping companies are legally required to have valid insurance certificates that they should present upon request. However, as terms vary between companies, ensure that you find out the details of the coverage of your transporter’s insurance policy. This is because the coverage offered by some companies may fall short of the true value of your vehicle.
Ideally, you want a courier who provides with as much coverage as possible.
Have Everything in Writing
Before agreeing to any terms by the company, ensure that all special agreements are written down. This will serve as protection in case of an unforeseen circumstance, especially if the agreement you have come to is not indicated in their regular contract.
Consult With Your Insurer
Some auto insurance policies offer coverage for vehicles in transit. It is, therefore, wise to check with your carrier to see whether your policy offers that coverage. Additionally, it is good practice to inform your auto insurer whenever you want to transport your vehicle.
Remove Loose Items
A lot of auto transporters’ policies do not offer coverage against damages that may occur to the car’s interior during the shipping process. Thus, you should reduce your risk as much as possible before you hand over the keys. Remove all removable or loose objects that can become airborne such as electronics, CDs, and similar items. This will not only lessen the chances of damage, you will also be reducing the risk of break-in theft; something that is not covered by most auto-transportation companies.
If you are looking to have your vehicle ferried to another geographical location, it is imperative that you take steps that will ensure its timely and safe arrival. As such, consider both your insurance contract as well as the transportation company’s policy to see that your vehicle gets as much coverage as possible. In addition to the above tips, also ensure to take photographs of the car before it is loaded so you can have evidence about its condition before the company possesses it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
We’re Loved by Customers