Learn all about auto shipping insurance requirements and regulations

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Do you need insurance to ship a car?

You don't need car shipping insurance to ship your vehicle because auto transporters are legally required to have liability insurance, as mandated by the United States Department of Transportation. However, this law only applies to companies physically transporting your car, not brokers. Brokers who contract with shippers don't have to carry car shipping insurance.

The good news is that less than five percent of cars that are transported suffer damage during the process. Nevertheless, it's always wise to take precautions against potential problems. Even if your vehicle is being transported and not driven, having insurance or additional protection, like the uShip Protection Plan, can provide extra reassurance and peace of mind.

Which auto insurance coverage types can cover damage incurred during auto transportation?

Car shipping insurance can cover damage to your car during transportation due to various factors, such as fire, theft, or accidents. Insurers differ, so it's best to inquire about their specific coverage for transport-related claims.

If you're transporting your car with uShip, additional protection is available for purchase at checkout. Learn more about the uShip Protection Plan and what is covered.

How much does Car shipping insurance cost?

Car carrier insurance comes at no additional cost as every auto transporter is obligated to provide basic liability insurance free of charge. However, certain auto transportation brokers offer optional additional insurance for a nominal fee. For instance, AmeriFreight offers gap coverage that can be valued up to $2,000, available for a price range of $50 to $100.

When shipping your car with uShip, additional protection is available for purchase at checkout. Learn more about the uShip Protection Plan and see what is covered.

Car Insurance and Protection Tips

Here are some tips to help you choose the right car shipping insurance or protection plan to ensure that you're protected when shipping your car:

  • Ensure the auto transporter has liability car shipping insurance, and ask for written proof of coverage.
  • Find out if the transporter offers auto transport insurance that covers damage caused during shipping. Review the terms and coverage carefully, and ask questions about what types of damage are covered, the deductible amount, the limit of their coverage, and whether specialty items are covered.
  • Check with your auto transport insurance company to see if your policy covers your vehicle during transport.
  • Purchase a uShip Protection Plan at checkout for added peace of mind and assurance.
  • Thoroughly inspect your car upon delivery, and document any damage on the bill of lading. If you can't be there for delivery, ensure the person receiving the vehicle understands the importance of a thorough inspection.
  • If damage has been sustained during transport, contact the service provider and car shipping insurance company immediately.
  • Make sure the driver signs off on the bill of lading, and file a complaint if you feel you're being treated unfairly. Remember, damage during transport is rare if you carefully prepare your car and choose the proper protection.


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Minimum auto transport insurance requirements

While it is a legal requirement for authorized auto transporters to have liability insurance and an MC number with the Department of Transportation, it's essential to check if your chosen transporter also offers cargo insurance. The terms and coverage amount can vary among companies, so carefully review the transporter's coverage, typically available on their uShip profile. Additionally, when shipping with uShip, you can purchase extra protection through the uShip Protection Plan for added peace of mind.

Be sure to ask any potential automobile shipping company for a copy of their insurance certificate. They are obliged to provide it. Please verify the information on the certificate with the insurance company or through the official website of the Department of Transportation.

Insurance for shipping a car overseas

Having insurance is not legally mandatory for shipping a car overseas. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consider obtaining coverage to protect against potential damages.

It's important to note that car transport insurance typically does not cover personal items inside the car. Therefore, it is recommended to empty the vehicle before shipping. To explore your options, talk with your insurance provider and inquire about the available coverage for international car shipping.

Are minimum insurance requirements enough?

To ensure your car is adequately protected, reviewing the vehicle shipping insurance provided by your car transport company is essential. While their legally required insurance offers some protection, it may only partially align with your car's true value.

Some questions you may want to ask your provider about their coverage:

  • What type of damage is covered if I want to ship my vehicle across the country?
  • Are only specific parts of the car, like the body, covered?
  • Is there a deductible?
  • What is the limit of their coverage? (Most companies only cover the Kelley Blue Book value of the car)
  • Will specialty items such as spoilers be covered?
  • Is there an option to purchase additional coverage?
  • How much will the deductible be for damage claims?

In addition, check with your own auto insurance agent to understand the extent of your coverage when shipping a car. Your policy may or may not provide coverage during transit. Regardless, informing your insurance company about your vehicle transportation is advisable.

If you ship through uShip, you can opt for added protection through the uShip Protection Plan. When accepting a quote, you'll have the opportunity to enter the value of your vehicle and purchase extra protection. Learn more about the uShip Protection Plan

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Car Shipping Insurance Claims and Case Submissions

When your car is delivered, it's essential to inspect the vehicle for any potential damage thoroughly. This is your only opportunity to assess its condition and document any issues. If you can't be present, entrust the task to a reliable representative. If your car has sustained shipping-related damages, carefully note them on the Bill of Lading or eBOL upon delivery and ensure the driver signs it. Taking pictures is also advisable to document any issues.

In most cases, your car will be delivered in the same condition as when it was dropped off. Promptly contact your shipping and insurance companies if damages are present. Solving the complaint should be straightforward if you have thoroughly reviewed your transporter's insurance policy. Reputable shipping companies prioritize quick resolution. If you feel unfairly treated, consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or relevant professional organizations.

Remember, such scenarios are unlikely. By researching your auto shipping company and adequately preparing your car for transport, you're likely to have a smooth shipping experience.

If the damage occurs and you need to request reimbursement under the uShip Protection Plan, log into your uShip account, open the shipment listing, and click "Submit a Case" within seven days of delivery. From here, follow the prompts to provide the incident details, including photos and an estimation of the damage or loss.

When you're done, submit your case and let uShip take care of the rest. You can expect a response within three business days with any additional questions or documentation requests, and reimbursement is usually paid out within 30 days.

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