While we don’t like to think about it, accidents happen. The truth is that it’s safer to ship than drive your car if you’re moving long distances. Here’s a statistic: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) report, during 2020—when restrictions meant fewer people on the road—there was a 7% increase in motor vehicle crashes as well as an increase in fatalities. However—and this is important—there were two groups that showed a decrease that year: large commercial or non-commercial trucks and people over 65.
That suggests that shipping is a safer option. Still, accidents can happen. What happens if someone, hypothetically, crashes into one of our transport vehicles? Is your vehicle covered? Who is responsible?
Never fear, the answers are here.
Choose Your Transport Company Wisely
It all begins with you doing your research. Before you sign a contract with any car transport company, you want to make sure that they are honest, reliable, have a good reputation, are properly insured, and have a good safety record.
How do you check these things? For things like honesty, reliability, and reputation, look for customer reviews. Reach out to the company directly and ask questions. A dependable company will answer all your questions, as well as have price transparency - bonus points if they’re easy to get ahold of and treat you with respect.
When it comes to safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains several websites that provide safety information about carriers. You can check out ShipLux's FMCSA rating, for example.
The Question of Insurance
When it comes to insurance, there are differences based on if you’re working directly with a carrier, or with an auto transport broker.
What’s the difference between a carrier and a broker?
- Auto Shipping Carriers are the people with the transport trucks who interact with your vehicle from pick-up to drop-off.
- Auto Shipping Brokers find you the best carrier for your transport needs. They don’t always have their own fleet. ShipLux is a broker; we have access to a wide network of carriers, and only contract with licensed and insured carriers.
What does this have to do with insurance?
All legal auto carriers are required to hold liability insurance. However, auto transport brokers are not required, although they may offer supplemental coverage.
As a broker, our policy (which can be found in our Terms of Service) is as follows:
All claims must be submitted in writing within 24 hours of delivery. SHIPLUX, LLC. will share the Carrier insurance policy details upon request. Customer agrees that SHIPLUX, LLC. is not liable for any property damage claims to Customer’s vehicle and that his, her, or its sole remedy is against the Carrier.When researching carriers directly (by calling at least 5 carriers individually) ask for a copy of their insurance certificate - they’re legally required to give it to you. In addition, this information can also be found in an FMCSA search. When working with a transport company or broker that contracts carriers, ask specifically for the insurance information from the carrier. They will provide it.
What’s Covered? Do I need to buy insurance?
This is where things get a little complicated because it really depends on the insurance policy. It is not a requirement that you purchase insurance, but only you can assess if you’re comfortable with the coverage offered.
Here’s a little chart to help you understand shipping insurance coverage:
There are three steps to assessing your coverage:
Step 1. Check with your personal auto insurance company to learn what they cover when it comes to shipping your vehicle. Some auto insurance policies do not cover auto transport.
Step 2. Ask the auto transport company if there are any supplemental policies available, and if so, what those cover.
Step 3. Learn about the carrier’s policy. Ask questions, including:
- What type of damage is covered?
- Are only specific parts of the car covered? If the body only is covered, not tires, for example.
- Is there a deductible? How much will it be?
- What is the limit of their coverage? Some carriers will only cover up to the blue book value of a vehicle.
Rest Assured, ShipLux Is Insured
If you’ve done your homework, compared companies, asked good questions, and—if desired—purchased any supplemental insurance, even if the unimaginable happens, you should be covered.
How do you know who to trust? Reach out to a variety of companies and talk with them. Compare companies and costs, routes, and risks. Look at safety ratings and insurance policies. Seek advice from a company like ShipLux. Explore our services, and get a car-shipping quote. Our transparent pricing always includes full-coverage insurance!
When it comes to auto transport, fewer than 1% of cars experience any damage. With our trusted network of carriers and drivers, along with our love of cars and superior service, your car will (barring any of those situations requiring a call to the insurance company, knock on wood,) get to you in the same condition as we received it.
When you trust ShipLux for all of your transport needs, you know that you will get the best care with carriers covered by insurance that leaves you with peace of mind.