Auto Transport Insurance: Who Will Pay for Damages?

If you're one of those who would rather spend time preventing than fixing, then this page is for you.

If you're not, then this page is especially for you.

Here are 7 important things you should know about auto transport insurance:

  • Certificate of Insurance. Every car carrier is required to hold a valid , up to date insurance certificate. They should be able to put it at your disposal when you require it.
  • Carrier insurance policy. Your car should be covered by the carrier cargo insurance in case of damages or theft - but the insurance policies are different from company to company, and you should make sure you are fully aware of them. Do they offer you full coverage? What are the limits of their coverage? Do you have to pay a deductible? Are only certain parts of the car covered? Can you purchase extra coverage?

    Do not forget to ask them if their insurance is primary or secondary to your own car insurance.

  • No pinky promises. Important note: Obtain in writing any promises they make, together with their certificate of insurance.
  • Brokers and insurance. Brokers do not have cargo and/or liability insurance because of their role of simple facilitators, and because they do not own and operate any trucks.

    However, car shipping agents (a.k.a. Brokers) require a valid certificate of insurance from each carrier they work with.

  • Your own car insurance. It is never a bad idea to check with your auto insurance agent to confirm whether or not your car will be covered under your own policy while in transit.
  • Free ride for your stuff? As a rule, carriers will not insure items that you may leave in the car. Even more, they will forbid you entirely to leave them there. In case they don't, and you decide to take advantage of this benefit by giving a free ride to your possessions, ask your own insurance company if they will cover these items. Avoid loading too much in your trunk - it may harm your car, and it is more than likely the carrier will refuse to be responsible for such misshappenings.

  • Shipping over the water. In case you are shipping to Hawaii, the coverage may not be satisfactory. Most of the steamship companies will only insure a vehicle up to $8,000. This is why we advise our customers to look into "marine insurance". This type of insurance is usually something you can obtain through your own insurance agent and strictly covers the vehicle while it is traveling over the water.

What can a broker do in case of damages?