Will My Car Be Damaged During Shipment

By Bob Frost

If you are not prepared. This can be a scary moment. But, it doesn't have to be. During the time that you are screening and comparing quotes is the proper time to put this issue to rest once and for all.

Any trucker/carrier participating in auto transport is required by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to have insurance. But the real question is do they have it ?? You can check it out yourself online at the website for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

If you are working with a Trucker/Carrier you can simply request that they email or fax a copy of their proof of insurance. If on the other hand you are working with a Broker, you will find that he is happy to advise you on this. This service is part of what a Broker is only too happy to make available.

OK, but what happens if my car is in fact damaged during transport ?

Answer: When the car arrives at it's destination, do not sign the bill of lading until you (or your representative) and the driver inspect the car together. If damage is present that was not there when the car was shipped, note it on the bill of lading before signing and get a copy. Ask the driver for his proof of insurance (you are looking for cargo insurance not liability insurance) All you need do is file a claim with the Carrier's Insurance Provider along with a copy of the bill of lading that shows the damage (signed by both you and the carrier) and an estimate of repairs from a body shop.

Upon discovery of damage and while still with the driver, it is always a good idea to make a call to his insurance company and simply ask them how they would like to proceed. They will direct you in how to file a claim with them and you will find that the insurance company will be very pleasant and helpful as they really have no reason to be otherwise. If you can't reach the insurance company representative it's still not the end of the world, call your Auto Transport Broker, he can help.

Don't forget: Household goods being transported inside your car are not supposed to be there (by rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and are not covered in the driver's insurance.

Surprisingly, light damage is not unusual during the shipment of vehicles and normally it is handled in a rather routine way. Don't worry, you will be taken care of and your car fixed. Guess what, this is indeed a little problem and it will go away.

If you are working with an Auto Transport Broker, relax because most of them check out the truckers you will use very carefully during the quoting process. Part of their job is to only select the good guys. You can count on it.

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