Should You Get Insurance When Shipping Your Car?

Should You Get Insurance When Shipping Your Car?

The business of shipping vehicles might sound simple, but it’s not. If you’re the owner of a car that’s on its way to someone far across the country, there are any number of things that can go wrong between that car’s departure and its arrival at a new home. Luckily, you can protect your investment while it’s in transit by purchasing shipping insurance.

Shipping a car brings with it exactly the risks you might assume. You’re surrendering your prized automobile to a third party, and in doing so, it’s important to make sure they treat it with care. Typically, shipping insurance takes into account the value of the vehicle being shipped, the distance being traveled and weather conditions that the shipper expects to encounter.

Only Doing What’s Right

Protecting your car while you’re driving it is required by law. More than three quarters of America’s drivers carry comprehensive driver’s insurance in addition to liability insurance, to make sure they’re covered no matter what happens on the road. It might seem like a no-brainer, but most of us neglect to take advantage of insurance in these crucial moments when a car changes hands.

People don’t ship cars nearly as often as they drive cars, and as a result, it’s easy to forget how much goes on when you surrender a car to be sent to another person. Do yourself a favor, however, and take pictures of the car when it changes hands. If any damage is inflicted during the shipping process, you’ll want to be able to prove the car was clean and undamaged before it left your possession.

Before you send your four-wheeled friend on its journey, make preparations. First, check with your insurance provider and see if they will cover accidental damage when your car is shipped.


Next, make sure the car is empty of anything valuable or anything that might look suspicious or cause damage in transit. If something left in the car moves around and causes damage, or raises questions about why the car was shipped, you’ll be on the hook for it.

Shipped and Received

Once all is said and done, you can expect it to take a week or two to ship a car within the United States. Shipping overseas will take longer.

The transporters will make an assessment of your car when you drop it off and once it arrives at its final destination. Make sure the car’s original condition is well documented before it leaves your hands. This is the best way to ensure you’ll be protected if there is need for a claim.

If your neighbor or a friend is taking delivery for you because you won’t be there when the car arrives or you’re unable to pick the car up, make sure you trust them to look over the car and provide them with copies of all the paperwork you have should something go wrong.

Be sure to communicate with the person who’s expecting the car, so they know what condition to expect it in. They should be prepared to inspect and document the car’s condition on arrival, in case any damage has taken place during shipping.

Worse Comes to Worst

As most companies providing this service to this on a regular basis, chances are good your vehicle will come back to you in the same shape you dropped it off in.

If you’re faced with placing a claim, don’t panic. The shipping company is insured against issues like this, and assuming you’ve documented the car’s travel well and purchased insurance yourself, you should be able to recoup any losses quickly — getting you back on the road faster.