When you need to ship your car a long distance, especially from one continent to another, you can only cross your fingers and hope it shows up intact. In most cases, it will – only about five percent of cars that are shipped wind up with any extensive damage. However, in the event that your vehicle does get damaged, you will need to rely on insurance to pay for repairs if you don’t want to pay out of pocket. While all shipping companies are required to have some insurance that encompasses damages to your car, not all companies will have the same coverage, so it’s important to ask questions before signing any contract.

Minimum Requirements

All companies that ship automobiles are required by law to carry liability insurance. However, what exactly this covers varies by shipping company. For instance, some insurance may cover damage to the exterior of your vehicle alone, while other coverage may be more extensive. You can rest assured that your shipping company of choice will have some liability coverage, presuming they are operating on the up and up, but if they only offer the bare minimum you may not have as much coverage as you’d like.

What to Ask Your Shipping Company

In some cases, you may be required to pay a deductible before the shipper’s insurance policy pays out any money to compensate you for the damage to your vehicle. You should ask how much this deductible is, and if it’s possible to purchase additional coverage with no deductible. Addition coverage may also be necessary when only certain parts of your car are covered. For example, only the body of the car may be covered. This would mean that anything inside your car would not be eligible for a claim if something is damaged. Other questions to ask the transporter include a request to see the company’s current proof of insurance certificate, and if their insurance is secondary to your own car insurance or can serve as primary insurance.

Speaking to Your Car Insurance Company

Some regular car insurance companies may offer you coverage for your vehicle while it’s being shipped from one place to another. Again, you should ask about how comprehensive the coverage is, and if it’s possible to purchase additional coverage for the trip. If your company does cover your car while it’s in transit, you will have some addition peace of mind if your car winds up with some damage upon getting to the destination. Always get everything in writing; if you call your insurance provider, double-check your written policy or ask for a new copy if you don’t already possess one.

Transporting your vehicle can be an expensive endeavor, and one that will only become more expensive if you find out your transporter did not have the insurance coverage it was supposed to carry. At the end of the day, the best way to protect yourself and your vehicle is to ask many questions about the coverage offered and ensure you have everything you’re promised in writing.

Gillian Kearney is known in her family as a personal finance guru. She enjoys blogging where she gets to share he ideas and insights with others. Visit the Monkey Car Insurance website for more information.