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The Nuts And Bolts Of Auto Transport Insurance

Jan 6, 2008
You have insurance on your car for when you drive it, but have you thought about insurance when the vehicle is being shipped?

Car shipping is a very safe way to transport your vehicle over long distances and the vast majority of cars and trucks arrive perfectly intact. But in the unlikely event that something happens, you want to be sure you are protected against substantial financial loss.

Examine the shipper's policy

During transit, damage to your vehicle will be covered by the shipper's own insurance policy. When shopping for carriers, ask for copies of each shipper's insurance certificate. If any of them give you static about this, cross them off your list.

Understand the difference between a shipper and a broker. A broker acts as a middleman to make a connection between a shipper and a customer. After that they are out of the picture so they will not carry any liability. You need the shipper to provide a copy of the insurance certificate.

Examine the policy. Although auto transport companies are required by law to carry insurance, the coverage can vary. Make sure the entire car is protected and not just certain parts like the body. Note any deductable or other costs you might be required to pay.

If the company promises you additional protection outside of their normal contract, get these assurances in writing.

Prepare the car

There are two insurance-related reasons to remove personal possessions before auto transport. First, the insurance won't cover the loss of any personal items. Second, any loose item might move around during transport and damage the interior; this kind of damage will also not be covered by insurance.

Take a few pictures of the interior and exterior of the vehicle after giving it a good cleaning. This will help you prove if any damage occurred during shipping.

The car will be inspected by the shipper when it is picked up. It is a good idea to be present during this inspection.

It will be checked again when it is dropped off and this is the more important of the two inspections. If you don't note any damage at this time, it will be impossible to hold the company liable later. Don't do a quick look over; be thorough. Check the undercarriage and start the vehicle up to ensure that everything is functioning.

If you find any damage, note it on the bill of lading and have the driver sign it.

Other auto transport tips for your protection

Check your own insurance policy to find out whether they also offer coverage during transport. Most don't, but it's always good to have additional protection. Those that do cover may require notification prior to shipping.

If your vehicle is damaged and the shipper is not taking responsibility you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If the vehicle was transported across state lines, you can also file a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on car shipping , visit http://www.National-Car-Shipping.com/ .
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