I recently interjected a question in a recently deleted thread about insurance coverage for car transport companies. The question really didn't go far due to the other festivities already started in the thread. I did some research on my own because I may very likely will need to have a T hauled if I find the right one. The seven points below seem like good advice for anyone planning on having a vehicle hauled so I copied them to pass them along. Again, anything can happen during transport. I've seen posts recently about hauler's receiver hitches falling off in a parking lot and brand new trailers having welds crack. One stroke of bad luck could mean that those things failed while driving and the vehicle in tow is heavily damaged or totaled. I think that this is a good discussion as long as it doesn't get hijacked with bickering.
(www.moving.com) 7 Things You Should Know about Auto Transport Insurance
For most Americans, their automobiles are second only to their home as their most expensive commodity and like our homes; we insure our vehicles against accidents, thefts and other possible damages. But, what many people donít realize is that when they load their vehicles on an auto transport truck for delivery to a new residence, many policies may or may not provide the protection theyíre expecting.
To make matters even more complicated, some auto transport companies include a waiver in their contract negating them of any responsibility for any potential damage your vehicle may accrue while in their possession. Therefore, itís always wise to double check the car shipping companyís policy prior to agreeing to the contract. Here are seven other things you should know about auto transportation so your car can get where it needs to go without unexpected hassles and costs.
**Ask the Car Shipping Company for Proof of Insurance
Itís a law that auto transport companies carry a valid insurance certificate and they should be able to present it when asked to. You should also ask questions related to their policy at this time. Find out if they cover any damage that occurs during the car shipping process, if the entire car is covered or just certain parts or if you will be required to pay a deductible if damage occurs.
**Get Everything in Writing
Before you agree to the terms of an auto shipping service, get any special agreements or considerations in writing. This will protect you in the event that something unforeseen happens, especially if they are providing you with a service or agreeing to something thatís not indicated in their regular contract.
**Check With Your Auto Insurance Company
Depending on your policy, your own auto insurance company may cover your vehicle while it is in transport, but donít assume this is so; you have to check to make sure. Ask whether or not your same coverage applies while the vehicle is being shipped and whether or not you have to supply the insurance company with any form of notification from the car shipping company.
**Remove Loose Items from the Interior of the Vehicle
Most car shippers will not cover damage to a vehicleís interior, so to reduce the risk of this happening, remove all of the loose items from your vehicle before handing over the keys. This includes all removable electronics, extra change, CDs or cassettes and anything else that could possibly become airborne. By removing your loose items, you will also reduce the risk of a break-in theft, which is also not covered by most car shipping companies.
Before the auto transport company takes possession of the vehicle, they will perform a thorough inspection of it to make note of any existing damage. If possible, you should be on hand when the inspector performs this inspection. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the vehicle to record its condition prior to the shipping company taking possession of it.
**The Bill of Lading
Once the vehicle is delivered, the owner will have to fill out the Bill of Lading, which is essentially a condition report that details the vehicleís condition upon arrival. Be sure to check the vehicle thoroughly, including the undercarriage. It is also smart to start the engine to check for any signs of mechanical damage. If the vehicle is delivered at night, check it under bright lights so you can see as much as possible because once you sign off on the Bill of Lading, the transfer is complete and if you missed something, the auto transport company wonít be liable. If you find signs of damage, include it on the Bill of Lading and have the driver sign off on it. Afterward, contact the shipping company directly to inquire about reimbursement.
**Where to File a Complaint
If you feel that the auto transportation company failed to provide the services you expected or that they treated you unfairly, you can issue a complaint with your local Better Business Bureau office. If your vehicle was transported over state lines, you may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Years ago, I was a heavy equipment transport driver. Because I engaged in transporting other people's property over state lines, my work was federally regulated. That means that I had to have my DOT number proudly displayed on the side of my truck.
Having a DOT number is the bare minimum, most basic evidence that a hauler might be legit. If anyone claims to have a legit business of transporting other people's property across state lines without DOT number, they are lying and you should run away as fast as you can.
As for load insurance, we had a blanket policy that covered up to $1,000,000 for each occurrence. Many times, customers would ask for a rider, listing their machine as covered. Funny how a contractor might want proof that he'd be reimbursed for the value of his $800,000 backhoe if I wasn't up to the task of transporting it safely. Providing an insurance rider only took a phone call and a fax machine. I'm sure that it's even easier nowadays. If I paid a transporter to move a car for me, I would expect proof, in writing, that my specific car would be covered.
The insurance question is extremely important. Many of the small car haulers do not carry insurance. Always insist on proof of adequate insurance or make sure your insurance company will cover your car if it is being handled by a "for hire" carrier.
Last week I shipped a car from Virginia to Texas using Sterling Transport. Outstanding customer service. Reasonably priced. Updated by text and email every 6 hours. Bonded and insured. Very satisfied.
A very honest driver steered me away from a Rolls-Royce recently. He texted me some very fast pictures saved me from making a mistake, so I paid him $100 instead of the $500 shipping fee.
PM me if you want his contact info.
Commercially hauling from state to state without DOT numbers is illegal. Your load can be held for evidence. No freight insurance is a big no-no also. As a truck driver DOT regs. aren't to be taken lightly. Be careful.