The most common question in the car shipping industry is, “is my car insured while it’s being shipped?” and sadly, nearly every brokers website I have seen and every salesman I’ve talked to lies about this answer, whether they know it or not.    The sad reality is that most damage claims go unpaid because the consumer does not have the right information up front. I’ve been in this industry since 2002, both as a car transport trucking company and a broker, so I’ve experienced every side of it.  So here are the dirty secrets that no one else will tell you about.

  1. Brokers are not required to have any insurance.  The FMCSA only requires trucking companies to carry liability insurance (this is the $750k-$1M “coverage” that many brokers like to advertise).  The FMCSA does not require truckers to carry cargo insurance, although it is extremely rare that one would not.  This is the coverage that protects your car.  Most cargo policies range between $100k for small trailers up to $500k for enclosed carriers.  By law, brokers have no responsibility for your vehicle which means very few volunteer to offer that.  The trucker they hire will have full responsibility for the damage.
  2. The brokers BOND does not do anything for the customer.  Many brokers mislead their customers by insinuating that their bond and insurance are the same thing.  The bond in only their to protect the truck drivers from getting paid by the broker.  It has NOTHING to do with physical damage to your car.
  3. The broker NEVER has access to a truckers actual policy.  The only thing the broker can verify is the existence of the policy and the limits.  They can not verify the quality of the policy or what exemptions are their.  I’ve seen policies exempt damage cause by the negligence of the driver, or not cover damage caused by the truck.  Most damages are caused by one of these two things.  So, for example, if a chain comes off a car on the top deck and dents and scratches the windshield and roof of the car below, it’s not covered under some policies.  If the driver fails to secure the ramps and the fall off the truck while loading the car, that can be considered negligence and not covered.  The point here is that there are tens of thousands of truck drivers who get the cheapest, lowest cost policy in order to save money and the broker without his own cargo insurance is blindly trusting your car to a truckers insurance without any verification of the quality of the policy.
  4. Your car is NOT fully covered against anything that may happen.  Even on this page, I see most companies outright lie by saying “your car is fully covered against anything that may happen” in various forms.  Some even go so far as to say “with no cost to you”.  Basically they are saying any and all claims are paid, no questions asked.  Look at their Terms and Conditions.  I guarantee you will find some language that refutes this.  There are lots of things that aren’t covered by truckers insurance such as:  rock chips, weather related damage, terrorism, mechanical breakdowns, loose parts on the car, and damage that the driver or truck did not cause.
  5. Most transport damages are less than $2000 in repair cost, but trucking cargo deductibles START at $2,500 and go as high as $5,000.  Trucking insurance is a lot different than auto insurance.  The biggest difference is the policy holder (the truck driver) is responsible for paying the vehicle owner directly for any damages up to the deductible amount.  That means if you have a $2,000 damage and the truckers deductible is $2,500, you CAN NOT file an insurance claim.  Furthermore, you have to trust that the trucker will admit and accept that he damaged your car and then voluntarily pay you for that damage.  As a 20 year veteran of the car shipping industry, I can assure you that you would have a higher probability of finding a unicorn pooping gold nuggets.  And because the broker does not have any cargo insurance, the customer is often left holding the bag on the damage and turning it into their own insurance company, which is subject to your own deductible.
  6. Less than 3% of broker have a cargo policy in their name that protects their customers cars!  Mr. Car Shipper is in a very small class of brokers that have a Contingent Cargo policy.  This policy is a “backup” policy to the truck drivers we hire.  It is a much broader policy that covers many areas that the truckers policy either doesn’t cover or partially covers.  What this means for you is if we hire a truck driver who is under-insured or if his insurance denies a claim, we have an additional layer of protection between the truck driver and you.  Keep in mind that the drivers policy is always primary and all claims must start there.  This is the law.  But the few brokers that have Contingent Cargo policies offer their customers a much greater peace of mind.

I could take up a lot more space talking about this area, but by this point you get the picture.  Over 97% of car shipping brokers DO NOT have ANY insurance that offers you any protection.  Nearly all advertise that they are fully “licensed, insured, and bonded” but this is nothing but marketing, and false marketing at that.  They are not insured…their drivers are.  Be careful and do not take them at their word, because frankly, most car shipping sales people are completely ignorant in this area.  Make sure the company you hire has a Contingent Cargo policy with their name on it.

If you want a free car shipping quote from a reputable auto transport company, go to https://mrcarshipper.com