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.
Why You Shouldn’t Transport a Car Without 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
Types of Auto Transport Insurance
Shipping your car can be a confusing task, but understanding the different types of auto transport insurance can make the process a little easier.
- Customer: “Customer insurance” is another term for the personal auto insurance required for vehicles in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia. While customer insurance is optional for shipping your car, it can be helpful for backup coverage. Auto transport is not typically included in personal insurance plans, but it’s a good idea to buy supplemental coverage through the auto insurance company that insures your vehicle.
- Carrier: USDOT requires shipping companies (carriers) to have liability coverage. This coverage is very minimal, so many companies offer supplemental insurance as well.
- Broker: Brokers sell you the shipping with insurance as an add-on option. Brokers act as middlemen between customers and carriers — they coordinate shipments using multiple carriers within a network, working with many different companies across the country. You should be cautious when working with brokers, as it is not direct communication with the company that will be insuring your vehicle.