Legally, no. Individual people are not required to have insurance for shipping a vehicle. Insurance is the responsibility of the auto transport company. Transporters must carry liability insurance according to the US Department of Transportation. While you may not be required to have personal insurance, it’s a good idea to have it anyway for added security when determining how to ship a car.

What Are the Minimum Shipping Requirements?

Minimum coverage offered by the shipping company may or may not meet the value of your vehicle, so you will need an explanation of the specific terms of the policy. Do not forget to ask about deductibles, coverage limits, the types of damage covered, and if only certain parts of the vehicle are covered.

You will also want to check with your personal coverage to see whether the vehicle is covered during transit. If it’s not, you may want to compare car insurance companies to see if one has a better coverage option. Even if you decide not to switch companies, it would be wise to inform your insurance company that your vehicle is being moved.

Should You Purchase Additional Insurance?

While you are not legally obligated to have an insurance policy for domestic or international shipping, it is never a bad idea to have extra coverage, especially if you are shipping overseas. Damages acquired in a boat are not unusual, although uncommon. Overseas transportation can end in a sinking ship, fire, or dings and dents from being on rough waters.

Domestically, if you are shipping anywhere in-country, it is still not a bad idea to purchase additional insurance. Your auto transport company should have options for additional coverage upon signing up for their services. Ask questions about insurance options through the company as part of your research.

How Much Does Insurance Cover?

The amount of coverage depends on your transport company and your personal insurance. In many cases, auto transport companies only cover certain areas or up to a specific amount. To help you determine if the coverage is adequate, consider the type of vehicle you are transporting.


Luxury, high-end vehicles may be worth more than the coverage limits, in which case you should consider purchasing additional insurance. Other factors that can influence your choice include your mode of transportation. An open transport exposed to more damage potential may mean you will need the coverage, but an enclosed transport can keep damages to a minimum.

How Are Claims Filed?

No one expects to have to file a claim after shipping a vehicle but knowing how to do it is helpful if you do face that situation. Successful filing includes documentation with lots of details. The company needs to know the condition of your car before loading according to the initial report you signed when you turned over your car.

Comparing conditions on delivery to the initial report is critical in determining whether your claim will be successful. If there are any damages upon receipt, you need to document everything with pictures with the shipper representative present. If you meet your end of the process by providing the necessary documentation, the process should move quickly.

What About Self-Transporting?

Relocation is a big job, and moving vehicles can be a difficult task depending on your situation. Using an auto shipping company to move your car can sometimes be done faster than driving it yourself. It also saves you time, as you will be available to handle more issues that might come up instead of devoting the time to drive hundreds, or possibly thousands, of miles.

Cost may be in question, but driving your vehicle instead of having it shipped is not always more cost-effective. Between lodging, food, gas, and any maintenance needed after the drive, costs can add up quickly. You will likely realize that using an auto transport company is much easier on your wallet than you previously thought.

Long and strenuous drives are not for the average person. It is exhausting and risky because you could break down, hit bad weather, or have an accident. Choosing a trusted auto transport company is a safer option for you and your vehicle.

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