When it comes to shipping your vehicle, one of the most important things to consider is “what if something happens to the vehicle during transport?” It is absolutely imperative that your car is properly insured before shipping it to a buyer. Luckily, most reputable car shipping companies provide insurance but it may or may not be included in the cost. Therefore, it is up to you to do your research and make sure you are following all the necessary steps to have your car properly insured. Here are a few things to consider when looking into insurance for shipping a vehicle.
Why Shipping Insurance is Important
Although putting a vehicle on a truck and transporting it from one place to another may sound simple enough, the fact is there are a number of things that can go wrong during transit. Aside from your home, your vehicle is probably your most valuable asset so you want to make sure it is protected when surrendering it to a third party. You want to make sure they treat the vehicle with care and avoid causing damage.
Inquire About the Shipping Company’s Insurance
It is required by law that auto shipping companies provide customers with a valid insurance certificate. At this time, you should ask specific questions regarding additional coverage for your vehicle. You need to find out if the shipping company provides insurance at an additional cost or if it built into the shipping cost. You also need to find out what the insurance covers and how much you are covered for because sometimes the policy will only cover damage up to a certain amount. If you have a high-value vehicle, you might consider transporting your vehicle in an enclosed carrier to prevent damage from occurring.
When Does the Shipping Company’s Liability Begin and End?
In most cases, the insurance should cover the entire process from start to finish but there might be instances where it only covers the vehicle while it is actually on the train or truck. However, if the shipping company has to transport your vehicle to a terminal or truck yard, you want to make sure the vehicle is covered should an accident occur.
Check with Your Auto Insurance Company
Depending on your policy, your auto insurance company may cover your vehicle during transport and this can provide you with additional coverage. However, this should not be assumed, as not every auto insurance policy offers the same coverage.
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.