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Auto Transport Insurance: All You Need to Know

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One of the most important things to consider when shipping a vehicle to your new home is auto transport insurance. While shipped vehicles usually always arrive in the same condition as they left, there is always a chance that they can be damaged during the move whether this damage is minor or major, you won't want to pay for the repairs, so make sure your car is covered under insurance before sending it off with the car shipper.

Auto Transport Insurance

Here's all you need to know before availing insurance for auto transport.

Ways to get auto transport insurance

There are a few auto transport insurance options available to you, so choose the one that offers the most protection in your budget.

Here are all your options for availing auto transport insurance for your car shipping:

  • Ask the car shipper about insurance coverage : By law, your car shipper has to have some insurance to protect your vehicle. Different companies offer different degrees of insurance, so don't just assume that they will cover everything. Ask them for details about their insurance.

    Some car shipping companies may offer increased coverage at a higher price. Make sure to get a paper copy of their insurance policy. You'll need this as proof of their coverage, should there be any disputes. Also, if they make any promises or guarantees about their service, make sure you get them in writing.

  • Check if your auto insurance company covers the shipping : Your own auto insurance company may offer some protection for shipping your vehicle. Give your insurance provider a call and check it out. If their insurance is better than what the car shipper offers, then you're already in good shape.
  • Contact an independent auto insurance company : Lastly, you may select an independent auto insurance company to cover your vehicle while it's in transit. You can purchase this short-term insurance either to cover everything or just the things the car shipper or your regular auto insurance company won't cover. For example, if your car shipping company doesn't cover water damage and you wanted to be extra safe, you could purchase coverage for water damage from an independent company.

Things to know about auto transport insurance

There are a few more things that you'll need to know while dealing with auto transport insurance:

  • Inspect your vehicle thoroughly - Your vehicle will be thoroughly inspected by your car shipper before it's shipped, and you should be present for the inspection. You may even want to take photos of the condition of your car. Have your car shipper sign off that your assessment of your vehicle is accurate. The inspection process will be repeated once your vehicle has reached the destination. If there is any new damage to your vehicle, you'll have the photo evidence along with the shipper's signature as proof in case they refuse to fulfill your claim.
  • Remove all personal belongings or loose items - Make sure you remove any personal belongings or loose items from the inside of your vehicle. Your car shipper will not be liable for any items that are lost or damaged or any damage that those items may have done to the interior of your vehicle. This will also reduce the risk of theft, which is usually not covered by the auto movers.
  • Take care of all the paperwork - No matter who you get to cover your vehicle while it's being shipped, make sure you have hard copies of all the paperwork involved. This should include insurance policies, the bill of lading, and any other documents that apply to the move. All this paperwork will be crucial if you have to file a claim because of damage done to your vehicle during transit.
  • Know where to file a complaint - In case of the auto transport company failing to deliver any service that was promised to you, reach out to the local Better Business Bureau office to register your complaint. Besides, if the auto transport took place over the state lines, a complaint can be filed with the U.S. Department of Tourism.

Knowledge is your strongest ally when it comes to auto transport insurance. Make sure you do as much research as possible before availing insurance for auto transport the way you do before selecting a car shipper. The more you know about the coverage your vehicle gets, the smaller the chance that you'll end up having to pay for any damage incurred.

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on August 27, 2009

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