When moving across the country, attending a car show, or purchasing a vehicle from an online dealer, sometimes driving isn’t an option. In this case, you may be considering hiring a professional auto transport company to ship your vehicle. For many, shipping their car is a big decision, given that their car is a valuable possession. They may be wondering whether or not their vehicle is insured during vehicle transport. Although damage during vehicle transport is unlikely, there is still the possibility that something could go wrong during the process. For this reason, it is important to understand how shipping insurance works.
Am I Required to Have Insurance?
The short answer is no, you are not required to have insurance in order to ship your car. The auto transport company is legally responsible for carrying liability insurance per the United States Department of Transportation. That said, you may opt for additional coverage to ensure your vehicle is adequately insured. This is especially important if you are shipping a luxury, antique, or exotic vehicle. Although less than 5% of cars that are transported report any damage, it will still give you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is properly insured.
What are the Minimum Insurance Requirements for Shipping Companies?
As stated before, auto shipping companies are required by law to have insurance for the cars they transport. Most companies offer liability and cargo insurance, though you should confirm this with your specific shipping company. This insurance should cover any damage that might occur during loading, unloading, or transport. It is important to note, however, that this insurance only covers the car and not anything inside it. This is why you should never leave personal belongings inside your vehicle during shipment.
How Much Insurance is Enough?
Although all shipping companies are required to provide insurance, the exact amount of the policy might vary from one company to another. That’s why you need to verify the specific details of the insurance policy prior to shipment. You also want to pay attention to any limitations that might exist, such as “acts of god.” You need to find out what type of damages are covered, how much the deductible is, and whether or not you will need to purchase additional coverage. You should also check with your personal policy, as it may provide additional coverage for auto transport.
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.
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