Occasionally, the need to ship your car is better rather than driving it cross-country. For instance, you own a collector car with an overwhelming price value; you would not want to risk it on the road, would you? Or perhaps you need to travel overseas and have decided to bring the car along with you. Either case, you will not be driving so there is no need for insurances. Well, you should think again.
Cargo companies that are specializing in auto delivery know how important the car is to you. They are extremely cautious in handling the transports and do a fine job in bringing your car from point A to B without much of a problem. However, assuming that nothing could ever happen is wrong. The risks are endless and your car could suffer damages along the way. Talk to the shipping company if they have enough coverage to protect your car from these incidents or to your current insurer if the shipping company does not have such policies.
Understanding the Shipping Responsibilities
A shipping company that engaged in transporting people, materials or goods (vehicles in our case) is required to have a liability and cargo insurance. This warrants that if the vehicle suffered damages during transit, the owner could file and claim and be properly reimbursed. The amount of coverage and policies normally differ from company to company or state to state. It is therefore, important to read the said terms of shipment meticulously before committing to avoid possible regrets and confusion in the future.
Your Legal Rights. How Are You Being Protected.
The law is on your side, and you are allowed to:
Ask for the company’s declarations and certificate of insurance.
Ask and verify the insurance terms with the shipping company’s insurer.
And to verify the said policies to the State Department of Transportation and Insurance in your area.
As mentioned earlier, all transport companies are required to possess insurance coverage to cover the cargo, but it is also possible that such coverage would not be enough to reimburse the cost of your vehicle to its full value when destroyed.
Things to Consider About Shipping Insurance
A shipping company carrying minimum liability coverage is a good indication – that is all they could offer and required by the state. Furthermore, it shows that they are responsible by complying with the state’s requirement. The only drawback we could see is that this particular minimum liability coverage may not be sufficient to cover the cost of your vehicle. Most insurance companies rely on the Kelley Blue Book to determine the cost of your shipment – which most of the time does not reflect its true value. On top of that, any additions you have put into your car such as turbochargers and spoilers are usually not covered.
Your next best option is to purchase additional coverage options for the said items or talk to your insurer if these parts are already covered. Also, do not forget to inform your insurance agent that you are shipping your vehicle to a third-party shipping company.
Filing a Claim – If You Need It
Once you have the vehicle with you, inspect it carefully. If there are damages, take few photos and be sure you have the bill of lading with you. See to it that the driver signed this document before leaving. You will need it in case you file a claim and to expedite the entire process.