Ways to Determine if You Have Adequate Automobile Transport Insurance
All auto transport companies are required by law to have insurance coverage. Always ask about insurance specifics extended to your vehicle, including limits to the type of damage and amount covered.
Every transporter company must have an insurance policy. Policies can vary between companies, states, modes of transport and amount of coverage.
By law, automobile transport companies are required to show you their insurance certificate upon request. If you doubt the legitimacy of the insurance certificate, you can authenticate coverage by contacting the insurance provider or the Department of Transportation.
Minimum and Excess Coverage
A car moving company is legally obligated to cover possible vehicle damages during transport. You should ask to see – in writing – the insurance policy as it pertains to your car. Questions to ask include:
- Are all types of damages, including accident and weather related, covered?
- Are you required to pay a deductible? If so, how much?
- Does the company provide free, competitive vehicle shipping rates and quotes? Can you get moving quotes now?
- Is there a cap or coverage limit?
- What parts are covered?
- Are damages to spoilers, glass, motor or the undercarriage covered?
- Is liability based on blue-book rates?
- How/where are repair estimates obtained?
Also ask about extra coverage options available through the auto shipper. A company may offer a comparison chart of different policy extensions or one universal option – regardless, carefully read the fine print. Also, if you are shipping your household goods we recommend using www.FindGoodMovers.com for comparing moving quotes from the top companies in the industry.
The possibility of damages is rare and, when damages do occur, tend to be minor. If you are comfortable with a company’s reputation, but concerned about lack of coverage, you can always contact your own insurance company regarding added coverage during the days of transport.
The safest automobile transport is an enclosed trailer, which protects your car from damages that can occur from inclement weather such as dings from hails stones or rust from rain or snow exposure. If you own a new, expensive or custom vehicle, you may want to opt for added coverage and/or enclosed transportation.
Although already required by most companies, be sure to remove antennas, bike racks, external spare tires and other similar removable parts before handing over custody of your car.
Document the Car’s Condition
Before leaving your car, a company agent will inspect it in your presence. The existence of rust, dings, scratches or other external damages will be clearly documented in writing and possibly photographed. Most companies also confirm the car is in working order.
Upon delivery, the driver or a company representative will re-inspect your vehicle in front of you, taking note of any changes. In the event that the drop off time is at night or under poor visibility conditions such as fog, bring a flashlight.
Make sure any notable external damage is documented and photographed at that time. It is important to carefully inspect your car before driving off, as it will be difficult to prove the company is liable for any damages once you sign the “bill of lading.”
Inspecting the car before and after the move protects you, should the car transportation services company make false claims damage existed beforehand, and protects the company, should a customer attempt to file a dubious claim.
Importance of Insurance
Although the odds of damage are low, you should still have a clear understanding of insurance coverage during automobile transport. If you have concerns, especially if you own a new, exotic or customized car, you may want to purchase extra insurance through the transport company or your own insurance provider.