For most people, their cars are the second most important possessions after their homes. This is why we go to lengths to ensure that our vehicles are insured against all sorts of risks. There are times, however, when we leave the responsibility of the safe handling of our cars in the hands of others. For instance, when you are looking to get your car across a large distance – and you do not want to drive it. In such instances, you are not in direct control of what may happen to your car. So, who picks the bill in case of an accident?
The following article will explain everything you need to know about your insurance needs when you are looking to ship your car.
What is Auto Transport Insurance?
Auto transporters are required by law to have liability insurance. This means that the company should cover any damage caused to the vehicle during the transportation/shipping process if you have paid the insurance deductible. However, the terms and amount of coverage provided vary between companies. As such, many of their policies may not provide the protection that you expect.
Moreover, some companies even have a waiver in their contract that negates them of any responsibility for any damage that your car might sustain while in their possession.
Therefore, it is recommended that you carefully go through the company’s policy before agreeing to their contract. Here are some tips for a hassle-free shipping process.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
As mentioned earlier, auto shipping companies are legally required to have valid insurance certificates that they should present upon request. However, as terms vary between companies, ensure that you find out the details of the coverage of your transporter’s insurance policy. This is because the coverage offered by some companies may fall short of the true value of your vehicle.
Ideally, you want a courier who provides with as much coverage as possible.
Have Everything in Writing
Before agreeing to any terms by the company, ensure that all special agreements are written down. This will serve as protection in case of an unforeseen circumstance, especially if the agreement you have come to is not indicated in their regular contract.
Consult With Your Insurer
Some auto insurance policies offer coverage for vehicles in transit. It is, therefore, wise to check with your carrier to see whether your policy offers that coverage. Additionally, it is good practice to inform your auto insurer whenever you want to transport your vehicle.
Remove Loose Items
A lot of auto transporters’ policies do not offer coverage against damages that may occur to the car’s interior during the shipping process. Thus, you should reduce your risk as much as possible before you hand over the keys. Remove all removable or loose objects that can become airborne such as electronics, CDs, and similar items. This will not only lessen the chances of damage, you will also be reducing the risk of break-in theft; something that is not covered by most auto-transportation companies.
If you are looking to have your vehicle ferried to another geographical location, it is imperative that you take steps that will ensure its timely and safe arrival. As such, consider both your insurance contract as well as the transportation company’s policy to see that your vehicle gets as much coverage as possible. In addition to the above tips, also ensure to take photographs of the car before it is loaded so you can have evidence about its condition before the company possesses it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.