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How to insure cars being transported
Do you need extra insurance when using an auto transporter or towing a car?
Updated . What changed?
Cars still need insurance protection while in transit to a new location or a collector car on the way to a car show. But the type of coverage depends on whether an auto transporter needs the insurance or whether you’re towing your own car.
Car insurance for a car being transported
You usually have three options for a car being transported: getting insurance through a transport company, getting a separate transport policy or using your own personal policy.
Auto transport insurance
When you use a car transport company, it should have its own business liability insurance to cover damage if things go wrong. However, it may not be as dependable as having your own insurance. You’re only covered with whatever service agreement you sign, and will likely carry conditions or exclusions.
For example, a “fully insured” transport company might be insured against liability, but its customer service agreement might say it’s not responsible for any damage during transportation. If your car is then damaged while being transported, the company won’t be liable for it and its liability insurance might not cover it.
Towing your own vehicle
You can take out your own personal transport, storage or moving insurance specifically to cover a vehicle and other property in transit. This often takes the form of moving insurance, sold by shipping companies. This is an ideal option if you’re moving homes and want to include your classic car in the whole moving package.
The downside is moving companies aren’t experts in transporting cars, and they’ve been known to handle damage claims poorly. You might face other exclusions, like insuring vehicles at market value or up to a certain limit. That’s a no-go for classic, rare or prestige vehicles in transit.
Hiring someone to drive your car
If your car is functional and roadworthy, then paying someone else to drive it to your destination might be a safer and cheaper way of getting it where it needs to be. This is because it will often be covered for any damage included on your personal car insurance policy, included agreed value, even if someone else is driving it.
You’ll need to make sure your insurer doesn’t exclude coverage for unapproved drivers. And if the person you hire to drive your car is speeding, driving under the influence, being reckless or otherwise breaching the conditions of your car insurance policy, then you are unlikely to be covered if something were to happen.
If your car insurance covers other drivers and if you can trust the driver you hire to stay within the terms of your policy, this might be one of the cheapest and safest ways to transport a car, and might not require any additional insurance at all.
Compare car insurance for cars in transport
Picking the right coverage for cars in transit
Consider some of the pros and cons of each to help find the right option.
Auto transport company
- May be more likely to pay for damage to your car.
- Covered through your customer service agreement, not actual insurance.
Personal car insurance for towing
- Cheap and effective.
- May be equivalent to the insurance held by the transport company itself.
- Exclusions may apply.
- Agreed value might not be offered.
Someone else drives your car
- Cheapest option.
- High level of coverage.
- No additional insurance necessary.
- Requires an unknown driver being responsible for your car.
- Only applicable for legally roadworthy vehicles.
- Policy must cover non-named drivers.
How can I protect my luxury car while it’s in storage?
Prestige car insurance policies will often include coverage for vehicles in storage. This type of coverage can be very useful if you semi-regularly need to transport the same vehicle, and it’s more of a special car than an everyday drive.
It’s generally designed for cars that are under restoration or kept in storage and means your car is insured for certain types of transport at select times. Transport coverage often only applies to travel between certain destinations, such as:
- A garage or workshop for repair or other work
- A car event, auction or show
- A private residence
Frequently asked questions about auto transport insurance
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Finder Editorial Review Board Member: Andrew Flueckiger, CIC
Licensed in five states, Flueckiger holds one of the premier professional designations in the insurance industry.
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