For many people, their cars are their most prized possessions – second only to their homes. Letting our car out of our sights is almost unthinkable, but there are times when we have to ship our cars, and when we do, it is important to ensure that it is protected to the best of our ability. That’s where car shipping insurance comes in.
Here are some situations in which you might need to ship your car:
- You are buying a car from out of state, and can’t go collect it, for whatever reason.
- You’re moving house and need to drive in one car with the family.
- You’re going on an extended trip or moving abroad and need your car shipped to the port. Most international ports only work with car shipping companies, so you can’t bring it yourself.
- You have limited vacation time, and want to maximize your time by shipping your car ahead of time, which allows you to fly and have your car ready.
- You are attending a show with your classic / vintage car or motorcycle and want to save on wear and tear.
These are just some of the many great reasons to ship your car. But how do you trust strangers with your prized possession? The good news is that there’s auto shipping insurance to ensure your car reaches its destination safely.
#1 Priority: Finding a Reliable Auto Shipping Company
There are many auto shipping companies that offer local and national car shipping services. But not all deliver the same high standard of service. Find an auto shipping company that has all the licenses and the insurance they require to ensure they are legitimate. You can also check their registration with the Freight Motor Carrier Association.
When working through an auto shipping broker, be sure to ask for their Licensed Freight Broker number.
What’s Auto Shipping Insurance, Exactly?
It’s always important to ensure that your shipping company has the appropriate insurance, and an adequate amount of coverage. Many car shipping policies have broadly written exclusions.
That’s why it is important to find a company that carries a valid insurance certificate, which any legitimate company should gladly present upon request. Here are some questions you should ask about the auto shipping company’s insurance policy:
- Does the insurance cover damages that occur during the shipping process?
- Is the entire car covered or just certain parts?
- Will you have to pay a deductible in the event of damages?
Request all this information in writing to protect you from unforeseen events.
The minimum cargo insurance requirement for a 3-car hauler is $100,000 and $250,000 for an 8-car hauler.
Car shipping insurance coverage protects against any damages sustained by the vehicle while it was loaded or unloaded, or in accidents during transportation, or due to theft and vandalism.
However, car shipping insurance does not cover damages caused by the weather, such as hail, wind or rain. Neither does it cover glass damage that was caused by the driver or by equipment malfunctions. Damage from road debris is also not covered.
Finally, car shipping insurance will not cover loss or damage of any loose items left in the car. That’s why it’s important to be sure that you remove any personal belongings and valuables from the car before it is collected.
Lizette Balsdon is a freelance digital copywriter who lives in sunny South Africa with her husband and almost-adult twins. She has owned her own business, ContentCafe, since 2009 and has served more than 200 clients on Upwork.