What To Know About Auto Transport Insurance

Insurance for vehicle shipping is different – and not just because of the car’s value. All you need to know is laid out in our comprehensive guide.
Green Image For Background
What To Know About Auto Transport Insurance
Blur Light Green Background

Auto transport insurance may seem confusing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. We will explain the process, the risks, and the best ways to protect yourself and your vehicle.




Insurance type

Personal auto insurance

Liability coverage

Supplemental coverage

Insurance summary

Auto-shipping not typically added, but you can purchase supplemental insurance

Must possess federal minimums for license & insurance

Must make use of licensed and insured carriers; can provide supplemental coverage

Insurance requirements

State minimums

Federal minimums

Must use properly insured carriers

Required for shipping?




Transport insurance is provided by the car transport company and can help give peace of mind during the car transport process.

However, there are certain things that you should know to make sure your vehicle is protected against any potential problems. First of all, understand the three types of auto insurance coverage.

Three Types of Coverage for Auto Transport Insurance

There are 3 types of transport insurance to understand when you transport your car: 

  1. Customer insurance: Your vehicle must be insured before you can reserve a carrier.
  2. Carrier insurance: The carrier must possess insurance that covers damage to your vehicle.
  3. Broker insurance: The broker can give additional coverage to bring customers but isn’t required to give insurance. 

What are the Requirements?

Generally, insurance provides security, regardless of who is responsible for your car. You can be sure that there is coverage on you, no matter the outcome. Extensive auto insurance coverage protects your vehicle against damages, causing fires, collisions, and vandalism. It also protects you against theft. Almost every state in the country has given mandatory laws on car insurance liability.

In the case of an accident, not everyone could afford payments for damages. Therefore, these laws give extra security to drivers. Just like the typical car owners, auto transporters are required to provide auto insurance. The terms and level of coverage are based on the actual auto transporter.   

What does it cover?

The law requires auto transport companies to provide insurance for the vehicles that they ship. Many companies offer liability and cargo insurance. This implies that the insurance could provide coverage for damages that happened during shipping. You need to note that only cars are protected by the coverage and not any item inside. This implies that you should clear out your car since personal belongings are not covered by the policy. 

How much coverage is adequate?

You need to check the insurance policy offered through the auto shipping company. Although all vehicle shipping companies are required to provide coverage, the amount differs by each company. You may discover that the coverage doesn’t satisfy your needs in covering your car’s actual value. If a company does not provide the exact coverage you need, this may be the time to proceed because your car’s safety is the highest priority.

There may be some drawbacks to the coverage provided by your vehicle shipping company, such as natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and so on. This is why you need to ask questions to discover the specifics of the insurance policy. Below are a few questions that you may ask:   

  • What are the types of damages covered?
  • What are the specialty items and add-ons added?
  • Is there any deductible?
  • Are there any limitations on the policy?
  • Will I need to get extra coverage?

Things to Know about Auto Transport Insurance

After choosing the best auto shipping company to transport your car, you need to do a few things to make sure your car shipping goes smoothly from beginning to end. 

Below are the things to know about auto shipping insurance:

Ask for Proof of Insurance

A reputable car shipping company should be ready to give a customer their proof of insurance. They should also be ready to answer any questions regarding their policy. Treat a company that hesitates to give this information as a red flag. While talking to an auto shipping agent, ensure that you completely know the policy.

Discover the damage that is covered and those that are not, like the damages that might occur when loading, unloading, and transit. Good auto shipping will make sure that customers are relaxed and comfortable with the shipping process before shipping.  

Consult your Auto Insurance Company

Along with checking the car transport company, you may want to contact your insurance provider. Based on the exact policy, your vehicle may be covered while transporting it. You need to check with your auto insurance provider to find out the covered damages, like the one from weather, debris, and carelessness. 

Remove your Possessions from the Vehicle

To protect your vehicle the more, you need to ensure that the car is empty before shipping. This step is so much important in getting a car ready for transport. The owner is responsible for theft or damages resulting from personal belongings left in the car.

They are not covered by the auto shipping insurance policy. That implies that you should ensure personal items are removed from the interior, which includes GPS devices and CDs. 

Perform an Inspection

When the driver arrives, the vehicle’s original condition will be documented. You will sign off on the documented report. This will be required if you need to file a claim. It is also nice to perform personal inspections from different angles and note any physical damages, such as chips, dents, and scratches.

How to protect yourself against any Damage

There are certain things you can do to avoid the risks linked with auto shipping insurance: 

  • Understand: You will be disappointed if you enter something hoping a broker will assist with insurance issues. Note, brokers only hook you up with carriers, and carriers ship or carry your car to its destination. If a shipping company failed to state if it is a broker or carrier, you should just proceed to the next company on your list.
  • Check the document: There is an easy means to discover if a car carrier or auto transport broker is what it poses to be. Visit the FMCSA website and input the name of the company. Click on the company name when it appears, and then check that the USDOT and MC numbers are not different from what the company says. Stay away from a company that makes it difficult to search its MC number. 
  • Monitor your financial transactions: If you use a credit or debit card to pay, ensure the transport company doesn’t charge beyond what you authorized. If it does, call your financial institution and file a complaint. 
  • Check Moving APT directory: We always update our lists of the best vehicle shipping companies. We are responsible for finding you the most trusted companies. 
  • Check customer reviews: Spare ten minutes to go through customer reviews. If, after the ten minutes, you couldn’t find any fraud complaints, you will be able to proceed with more courage.

How to File a Claim against Car Damage

Even though damages while in transit doesn’t usually occur, it is important to know how you can file a claim in the event of an unexpected issue. You need fully detailed documentation when filing a claim. A comparison will be made between the vehicle’s condition before transport as well as the condition after shipping.

A new inspection similar to the one you did before loading must be performed once you take delivery of your car. If you suspect any damages, ensure you immediately call the auto transport company.

The vehicle shipping company will then fix the problem in a quick, efficient way. If you need to file a complaint against a company, you can do this through the Better Business Bureau.


We know that shipping a vehicle can be challenging. That is why we recommend our highly-trained and experienced professionals as it is their goal to provide unique and excellent customer service, updating you at every step of the transition. Get a free, quick vehicle transport rate with our online shipping quote calculator.

Table of Contents

Green Background Image

Related Articles

Moving Companies in Seattle
Best Moving Companies in Seattle

Choosing the right moving company in Seattle can be challenging, this is the reason why Moving APT reviewed over 20 Moving Companies in Seattle and choose the Top 10. Learn all you need to know before moving from Seattle.

Moving APT - professional moving companies
Most Professional Moving Companies of 2022

Movers are essential to ensuring a seamless moving process. So whether you are after local or long-distance movers, check out our recommendations for the top professional moving companies.

Moving APT - Moving Companies Near Me
Best Moving Companies Near You

Don’t waste precious time scouring the hundreds of results from a ‘moving companies near me’ search. Instead, make the choice that thousands of others have and use Moving APT to find the best movers near you. Our comprehensive list of reputable and licensed moving partners makes moving locally or long-distance a breeze.

Blur Dots for Background