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Auto Transport Insurance: Understanding Coverage for Your Shipped Vehicle

about auto transport insurance. The law requires auto transport carriers to provide basic insurance coverage on all vehicles shipped. This measure is intended to protect the customer in case something happens to the vehicle. Here is a quick and dirty guide to the basics of vehicle transport insurance.

How Do I Get Transport Insurance?

There is no need to worry about finding an auto transport policy. In most cases, your carrier will bundle the cost of the insurance into your initial quote. Thus, it’s part of the budget from day one. That makes a lot of sense because, as we said earlier, this kind of insurance is required by law.


That being said, it is very important to understand the specifics of your insurance policy. Any legitimate carrier company will be insured, but the terms vary. So, make sure you talk to your carrier about their insurance policies. They should be willing to give you some kind of document that explains all the ins and outs.

What Do These Policies Cover?

In all cases, a vehicle transport insurance policy should cover any damage that the vehicle sustains during loading, unloading, or transport. They take responsibility from the moment your car is put into their possession until delivery is completed. As long as you document the damage correctly, the carrier will have to compensate you for any necessary repairs.

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That being said, there are certain things that your policy won’t cover. First of all, most policies only cover the vehicle itself, so anything within the vehicle is not included. They also won’t cover preexisting damage. So, for instance, let’s say your car has a rusty brake line. During transport, the line breaks, and an oil leak results. The carrier may not cover this kind of damage because it was the result of a preexisting condition.

The Importance Of Vehicle Preparation

As you may have already inferred from the previous section, there are several important steps that must be taken in order to prepare your vehicle for shipment. First, you need to clean the vehicle thoroughly. Remove everything and make the vehicle look as new as possible. You might even want to give it a good vacuum job for good measure.

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When that is done, the next step is to take many photos of your vehicle. Take pictures of every part of your vehicle, with as many close-ups as possible. Now you can understand why the cleaning step was so important: This allows you to show the condition of your vehicle’s interior. The point of all these pictures is simple: If any damage should occur during transport, these pictures will be your primary way of proving the fact. If you don’t do this, it is nearly impossible to obtain compensation in the event of an accident.

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Will My Existing Insurance Policy Cover Transport Damage?

It is possible that you already have coverage against this type of damage. Comprehensive insurance policies will sometimes include shipping expenses, although this will vary by company. If you have a “bare bones” insurance policy, you can be pretty certain that your existing policy won’t cover shipping expenses. It should be noted that your carrier is required to provide insurance even if your existing policy includes shipping coverage.


Having two policies on the same thing may seem redundant, but it’s actually a good idea. As we said, there are certain things that the carrier’s insurance might not cover. Thus, having a “backup” policy ensures that there will be no gap in coverage. There is one exception to this safety net, however. No insurance company will cover damage which is deemed as an “act of God.” That usually means hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. In order to obtain coverage against these sorts of disasters, you need a separate policy.


Insurance can be a complicated thing, and they vary a lot by company. However, we hope this information is enough to get you started. Using the information here as a starting point, you can dig deeper and find out everything you need to know. Just make sure you talk to your vehicle carrier and your insurance company, as these will be your most direct sources of information. We wish you luck and a safe journey for your vehicle.


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