While insurance is not always required, it is important to look into your options.
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You do not need to have personal auto insurance to ship your vehicle, as the shipping companies are required to provide liability insurance. But while it is not required, personal auto insurance is highly recommended, because shipping companies often only provide basic coverage options.
The quick answer is no. All shipping companies are legally required to provide basic liability insurance under the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). If your car is on the roads, it must be insured (except in New Hampshire and Virginia). This means that if you are shipping your car by plane, train, or auto transport truck, you are not required to have personal auto insurance on your vehicle. If you are shipping it via car driver, however, you will be required to have insurance.
While personal auto insurance is not required to ship your car, many shipping companies hold very minimal insurance. Some companies offer full coverage; others do not. Personal auto insurance gives you backup coverage for the damages your shipping company may not cover.
If your shipping company states that it does not offer insurance options, you should choose a different shipping company; it may not be reliable or compliant with the law. Shipping your vehicle without any insurance is a dangerous gamble. Whether you are shipping to a neighboring state, across the country, or overseas, there is always a risk of loss or damage. You can avoid the stress of covering the cost of these losses or damages by making sure your carrier is properly insured.1
Shipping your car can be a confusing task, but understanding the different types of auto transport insurance can make the process a little easier.
Shipping companies are required to provide insurance, but that only applies to the companies that are physically shipping your car, not to brokers. Brokers contract with shippers and do not need to have insurance. Make sure you get proof of insurance from whatever company you work with, whether it’s a broker, carrier, or agent.
Auto transport insurance coverage varies by company. While some companies will cover your vehicle for any damage, some car-shipping companies only cover damages from car transport. Still, here is what’s usually covered and not covered when it comes to auto transport services.
Damages due to your car being in poor shape when shipped, such as leaking oil or loose parts
Personal items inside your vehicle
We recommend cleaning out your car before shipping it. If you want to ship your car with personal belongings, we recommend purchasing supplemental cargo insurance.
Learning the auto transport vocabulary is an important step in ensuring a smooth shipping experience.
The cost of auto transport insurance is usually included in the quote from your shipping company.
Some companies leave the cost of insurance out of the quote and add it on after you have committed to having them ship your car.
The price of shipping a car varies by mileage, location, season, and timeline.
Auto transport companies are responsible for shipping your vehicle safely. If damage to your car occurs, the company may be liable. It is important to inspect your vehicle and take photos of it before you ship it in order to account for any damage already there.
If you notice any damage after shipping, contact the shipping company and your insurance provider immediately.2 The shipping company should fix the issue quickly, and your insurance should cover the cost.
Unfortunately, people all around the world make money by scamming people who are looking to relocate and transport their vehicles. We’ve put together a few tips to help you identify a scammer.
The research you do on a company before you decide can make or break your auto transport journey. Follow these steps to choose a reliable company:
Whether you are shipping your car by auto transport truck or car driver, being properly insured and picking a legitimate company will help the process run smoothly. While no one ever wants damages or fraud to happen, preparing for the worst sets you up for a successful journey.
What You Need to Know About Auto Transport Insurance. J&S Transport. (2021, Aug 27).
Auto Shipping Insurance Requirements. uShip. (2021).
Company Snapshot. U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (2022).