While we don’t like to think about it, accidents happen.
The truth is that it is usually safer to ship your car if you’re moving long distances. We are not just saying that, either. 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. Even still, accidents can happen. What happens if someone, hypothetically, crashes into one of our transport vehicles while your vehicle is in transit? Is your vehicle covered? Who is responsible?
Never fear, the answers are here. To start, here’s a little chart of the 3 steps that can help you protect your vehicle in case of a car hauler accident:
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’re 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’s customer service team and ask questions. A dependable company will be available to answer all of your questions quickly, provide updates during the process without charging extra for it, as well as have a transparent price quote guarantee.
When it comes to safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains several websites that provide safety information about carriers. (If you’re wondering about our rating here at ShipLux, here’s a direct link to check us out.)
The Question of Insurance
All legal auto transport companies are required to hold liability insurance; however, policies differ depending on the company. Ask for a copy of their insurance certificate. They are legally required to give it to you. In addition, this information can be found in an FMCSA search. Also, with transport companies that contract carriers, ask specifically for the insurance information from the carrier. They will provide it.
Always ask exactly what is and is not covered. Some carriers will only cover up to the blue book value of a vehicle.
While it is not necessary for you to have insurance in order to ship your car, it’s always beneficial to check your own insurance policy in advance so you know what is and is not covered. For example, if you choose to ship belongings in your car, those objects may not be covered if an accident should happen that damages them.
In Case of an Accident
It all begins with a Bill of Lading. When your car is picked up for transport, both you and the carrier will do a close inspection for any pre-existing damage to your vehicle. All of this damage will be listed in a Bill of Lading. Both of you will acknowledge it and receive a copy. (Note that it will also help you if you have pictures of the vehicle to keep track of old vs new damage).
When you receive the vehicle at its destination, both you and the carrier will again inspect the vehicle. Any new damage needs to be noted on the Bill of Lading. Again, take pictures to document any damage. Both parties will sign this and receive the final copy.
Some key things to be aware of about this:
- If you sign the bill of lading without doing an inspection, you cannot add damages later. The signature means that you received your car in the same condition you sent it.
- If you cannot be present at the time of delivery, be sure to send someone you trust to receive and inspect your vehicle.
- All damage must be reported within 24 hours.
Once your damage report has been received, and you have reported it to both the transport company and your insurance (if you have extra coverage) start reaching out to get repair estimates. Meanwhile, a responsible company like ShipLux will do everything necessary to resolve the complaint quickly, including talking with insurance companies and carriers.
Choose with Safety and Insurance in Mind - Choose ShipLux
If you’ve done your homework, compared companies, asked good questions, and inspected your vehicle both on pick up and delivery, 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.
We hope you’ll never have this kind of problem, and your car will get from A to B safely. Still, it always helps to be prepared!