Auto Shipping Insurance - 4 Things to Consider

Shipping a valuable package via the mail typically results in an agent asking, "do you want additional insurance on the package and its contents?" This same concept can be applied, albeit on a much larger scale, to shipping your car from one state to another. Before you sign on the dotted line it is important that you take a few precautionary steps to ensure that your vehicle is properly protected and covered during the transportation period.

4 Insurance Factors To Consider Before You Ship Your Vehicle
Did you know that a properly licensed auto shipping company is required to carry a certain amount of insurance? You can use the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) to check that your chosen auto transportation company is carrying insurance in excess of $50,000. Once you have verified their insurance values, you will need to keep the following 4 factors in mind:

  1. Retain A Copy Of Your Insurance And The Auto Shipping Company's Policy
    It is important that you have a copy of both your insurance policy and the auto shipping company's policy. Carefully read each of these documents to verify that your vehicle will be covered throughout all portions of the journey. In other words, one or both insurance policies needs to provide coverage for your vehicle from the time that it is or picked up, during the loading and unloading periods, throughout transit, and finally to the exact moment that you pick it up at its final destination. If neither of the policies covers your vehicle throughout its entire journey, then you will need to purchase additional coverage from either your insurance provider or the auto shipping company.
  2. Remove All Loose Items From Inside Of Your Vehicle
    Many auto transportation companies will not cover damage to a vehicle's interior. Keep in mind that loose items inside of the vehicle can move around and might even cause damage to the exterior of the car if they were to fly through a window. While the latter scenario is unlikely, it is important that you remove all loose items before your vehicle is shipped. Removing items, such as electronics, cell phone chargers, extra change, or any other items that can easily become airborne, can also reduce the likelihood that your vehicle will be broken into during the transportation period.
  3. Conduct A Pre-Possession Inspection
    Before your chosen shipping company takes possession of your vehicle it is advisable that you ask for a pre-possession inspection. During this inspection you will be able to note any pre-existing damage to your vehicle. It is also a good idea to take pictures of your vehicle for additional proof of its pre-shipping condition.
  4. Ask For The Bill of Lading
    Upon delivery you will need to fill out the bill of lading, also known as a condition report, which details the state of your vehicle upon its arrival at the final destination. Be sure to carefully check the exterior, including the undercarriage, of your vehicle. It is also a good idea to start the engine to ensure that mechanical damage did not occur throughout the shipping period. Finally, if you have purchased additional insurance to cover the interior of your vehicle, then you will also want to check the inside to ensure that no damage has occurred. Keep in mind that once you sign the bill of lading the shipping process is considered complete, which means that the auto transportation company can no longer be held liable for any damage that occurred during the shipping period.

Do I Need Extra Insurance?
Only you can decide if you need extra insurance. This decision will be based on a) the type of insurance that the auto transportation company carries, b) whether your auto insurance policy covers your vehicle while it is being shipped, and c) the value of your vehicle. As a rule of thumb, if your vehicle has been enhanced so that it is valued at higher than the standard Kelly Blue Book Value for its year, make, and model, then it is a good idea to purchase additional insurance. If you are shipping your vehicle via an open air transport, then it is also a good idea to look into additional coverage to protect against inclement weather or flying debris.

To discover a better way to transport your vehicle, simply fill out our auto transport quote form to receive your customized quote.

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