Auto Shipping Insurance Requirements

Learn all about auto shipping insurance requirements and regulations
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Do I Need Insurance to Ship my Car?


No, you are not required to have insurance to ship a car. Auto transporters are legally responsible for carrying liability insurance per the United States Department of Transportation. This only applies to companies that are physically shipping your car, not brokers. Brokers, who contract with shippers, do not need to have insurance.


Less than five percent of cars that are transported report any damage from the process, but you should always try to protect yourself against any potential issues. Even if your vehicle is being transported, and not driven, insurance gives you extra security and peace of mind.



Even though legally authorized auto transporters are required to have liability insurance and an MC (Motor Carrier) number with the Department of Transportation, you should see if your transporter also offers cargo insurance. This means that your auto transporter if properly insured, should cover any damage caused during the automobile shipping process after you pay the insurance deductible. The terms and amount of coverage can vary depending on the company, so it is best to carefully inspect your transporter’s coverage. This can usually be found on the transporter’s uShip profile. When shipping with uShip, you are also eligible to purchase additional insurance through uShip Cargo Insurance. Simply choose this option as you are booking your transporter with uShip.


Be sure to ask a potential automobile shipping company for a copy of their insurance certificate. They are legally required to provide this to you, and you should feel free to verify the information on the certificate with the insurance company or with the Department of Transportation at Check out our Cargo Insurance ebook for more details.



You are not legally required to have an insurance policy when shipping a car overseas. However, you should look into obtaining one to cover any damages to your car during transport. Being that vehicles are shipped overseas via boat, damages can easily occur.


Common damages that occur to cars during overseas transport include fire, dents, and theft. Once again, auto insurance does not cover personal items inside the car. It is best to empty the vehicle prior to shipping. Speak with your insurance provider to see what options are available to you.



Make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of coverage you have. While the amount of insurance required by law will offer you some protection, you may find that the minimum coverage offered by vehicle transport companies falls short of the true value of your car. Find out the exact terms of your transporter’s insurance policy. Some questions you may want to ask about insurance include:


    • What type of damage is covered?


    • 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?


Check with your own auto insurance agent to see how much your personal insurance will cover when shipping a car. Your coverage may or may not cover your vehicle in transit. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to notify your personal insurance company that you are transporting your vehicle.


Vehicles transported through uShip are eligible for additional coverage through uShip Cargo Insurance. When accepting a quote, you have the option to purchase additional coverage. This policy is all-risk covering approved goods against damage, lost or stolen claims subject to the terms and exclusions of the policy. Learn more about uShip Cargo Insurance here.



Inspect your car thoroughly at delivery. This time is critical because it is your only window of opportunity to assess for damage. If you cannot be present at the delivery, assign the task of assessing for damage to a trusted representative. In the unlikely event that your car was delivered with damages from shipping, make specific notes on the “Bill of Lading” at delivery and have the driver sign the form before accepting the car. Taking pictures is always a good idea when documenting damages.


In all likelihood, your car will be delivered in the same condition it was dropped off. If there are damages, contact your shipping and insurance companies immediately. You should have no problems if you have carefully inspected your transporter’s insurance policy. A respectable shipping company will want to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible. If you feel like you are being treated unfairly, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and any professional organizations the service provider belongs to. Remember, this is an unlikely scenario. If you take some time to research your auto shipping company and properly prepare your car for transport, you are almost guaranteed a painless shipping experience.


uShip is committed to providing the best services and prices for car shipping.

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