When you’re ready to ship your car, knowing you’ve got the right insurance coverage to keep you protected is essential to your peace of mind, and for many – your sanity. Remember, less than five percent of cars transported sustain any damage, but erring on the side of protection is always worthwhile.
Check out these guidelines for verifying coverage and selecting the right insurance for your vehicle shipment.
Minimum auto shipping insurance requirements
All legally operating auto transporters are required to have liability insurance. The quality and amount of that coverage can vary greatly, however. It’s important to understand what coverage the service provider carries and whether they offer supplementary coverage. Transporters should display this information in their profile, but you should also request written proof of coverage.
You can verify a transporter’s insurance information at www.safersys.org.
In addition to liability insurance – which is included in every shipment but offers minimal protection – you should find out whether the transporter offers cargo insurance, which covers damage caused to your vehicle during transport. Carefully look over the coverage offered, as terms and coverage amounts can vary greatly. When evaluating insurance coverage, you should ask:
- What type of damage is covered?
- Are only specific parts of the car, such as the body, covered?
- How much is the deductible?
- What is the limit of their coverage? (Most companies only cover the Kelley Blue Book value of the car)
- Are specialty items such as spoilers or ground effects covered?
- Is there an option to purchase additional coverage?
Is the Minimum Enough?
That depends on several factors, including what level of insurance the service provider offers and the value of your vehicle.
In addition, you can check with your own auto insurance company to see how much your personal policy covers during transport. Some policies include transit coverage, while some don’t. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to notify your insurance company that you are transporting your vehicle.
Shipping through uShip? Good news: you’re also able to purchase additional coverage through uShip Cargo Insurance. During the checkout process, just choose this option for instant quotes and quality coverage.
What if I need to make a claim?
It’s vital that you inspect your car thoroughly upon delivery. If any damage has been sustained during transit, this is the time to catch and document it on the bill of lading. In the case that you’re not able to be present for delivery, make sure the person receiving the item for you is trustworthy, and understands the importance of a thorough assessment. If delivery happens at night, use bright lights and inspect the car closely with a flashlight.
If damages have been sustained and noted on the bill of lading, ensure the driver signs off on the document to verify the claim on behalf of both parties. Time is critical here, as you’ve got a limited time window to make a claim. Contact the service provider’s company and the insurance company immediately. Reputable companies will make an effort to resolve the claim as soon as possible. If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and any professional organizations the company belongs to.
Remember, damage to vehicles during transport is rare. If you properly prepare your car for transport, and carefully evaluate and select insurance options, you’ll be set up for success from pickup to drop-off.