Auto Transport Insurance Guide
Everyone knows the importance of car insurance while driving, but the importance of choosing good car shipping insurance is not quite as well known. And while driving without car insurance can land some hefty fines with the government, shipping a car without insurance can cost heavy damage repair bills. Understanding car shipping insurance is an important part of your shipping experience.
Why Do I Need Car Shipping Insurance?
Any car, pickup, or SUV is a significant investment. For many it is the result of research to discover not only the best vehicle to meet their needs, but also which vehicle they feel comfortable driving, and which one best represents who they are as a person. Because of the investment of both time and money a vehicle represents it is important to make efforts to keep it safe and ensure its repair or replacement if the unthinkable happens.
Most shipping companies go to great pains to ensure vehicles will be shipped in the most secure way possible. After all, it is good for business to have happy customers. However, even with the greatest care, accidents can still happen and vehicles can get damaged, whether shipped over land or shipping cars overseas. Car shipping insurance is there for such accidents. Many dependable auto transport companies offer insurance as part of their shipping services, but it is important to investigate the insurance policies to determine if it is adequate and does not contain significant loopholes that could cause difficulty in the case of an accident.
What Should Shipping Insurance Cover?
At minimum, the shipping company of your choice should offer insurance to protect against theft or damage of your vehicle while in their care. The company’s insurance will most likely not cover personal articles left in your vehicle.
What Questions Should I Ask?
When facing the many decisions and details which must be handled with shipping your vehicle, it is easy to forget some important questions. With that in mind, a few pointers are offered here:
1. Insurance Certificate --- Every shipping company is required by law to have a certificate of insurance. Ask to see it. This will give physical evidence to their claims.
2. Deductible --- Find out if you will be required to pay a deductible, and how much.
3. Damage Limitations --- Inquire about what all is covered by the insurance: everything? Certain body damage? Just because a company has insurance does not mean that all insurance policies are created equally.
4. Primary or Secondary --- It is important to find out if the insurance carried by the company will be the primary insurance for your vehicle while it is in transit, or if they will depend on your car insurance to be the first responsible party. This is a significant question as your personal car insurance may have exclusions for vehicles being shipped. It is advisable to also contact your personal insurance company to see how your auto insurance policy is affected by shipping your vehicle.
5. After Factory Accessories --- If you have custom work on your vehicle, such as alarm systems, spoilers, special rims, or radios, you will want to find out if those will also be covered by insurance.
6. Between Transit --- Ask if the insurance will cover your vehicle when it is in between shipping points, waiting at a dock, etc.
Get it in Writing
Whatever guarantees are made to you, do not just take the agent’s word for it; ask for a written copy of all policies, guarantees, and deductible information. While most vehicles will arrive safely and in perfect condition, you will want papers in hand if an accident occurs. Car shipping insurance can save you a lot of money, or cause a lot of frustration if you have not done your homework.