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Are Car Shippers Liable if My Car is Stolen?

For many people, their car is one of the most valuable assets so it’s no wonder they are concerned about the safety of shipping their vehicle. This is a reasonable concern and one of the main reasons why it is so important to research auto shipping companies before turning your vehicle over to them. Many people assume that the car shipping company is responsible for damage or theft but they may be surprised to find that not all companies have a policy that covers the vehicle while it’s in transport. Some auto shipping companies might even have you sign a waiver negating them of any responsibility for potential damage or theft. Therefore, it’s always important to double check the car shipping company’s policy prior to signing a contract, Here are a few other insurance tips you should consider to make sure your vehicle is protected in the event of theft. 

Ask the Shipping Company About their Policy

Every auto shipping company should be happy to provide you with a copy of their insurance coverage so you know exactly what they will cover. Be sure to specify whether the car is covered during transport as well or just during the loading and unloading process. Once you have a copy of the insurance policy, make sure to get a signed copy to keep for yourself. Before signing any contracts you need to have proof of insurance in writing. 

Check with Your Own Auto Insurance Company

Depending on your policy, your own auto insurance might cover your vehicle while it’s in transport but you can never assume this. You also want to ask whether this coverage is automatic or if you have to supply the auto shipping company with any form of notification of this coverage. 

The Bill of Lading

Every auto shipment carrier should present you with a Bill of Lading upon delivery of your vehicle. This is a document that basically shows that your vehicle arrived in good condition. Obviously, if your car is stolen you will not have a Bill of Lading and this should be reported to the insurance company immediately. 

Where to File a Complaint

If your vehicle is stolen during transport you will need to report it to your insurance company right away. If the auto shipping company is not cooperating with you and your vehicle was transported across state lines, you may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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