For most of us, our cars are the second-most expensive purchase we’ll ever make. Like the homes we live in, we insure our vehicles against accidental damage, theft and other perils. However, many don’t realize that when they pay for Hawaii auto shipping, their auto insurance may not offer the level of protection they expect.
To complicate things even further, some transporters include language in their contracts that absolve them of responsibility for damage during transit. It’s best to double-check the shipper’s insurance policy before signing a contract, and to learn a bit about auto transport insurance so you can get your car to its definition safely and relatively cheaply.
Ask the Shipper for Insurance Proof
By law, all auto shippers must carry valid insurance coverage, and they should furnish proof of it upon request. When you ask for proof of coverage, you should also ask some questions about the policy. Find out if the company’s policy covers damage during transit, if the whole car is covered, or if there’s a deductible to pay if your car is damaged.
Get it in Writing
Before you sign a contract with a shipper, get special concessions in writing. Doing this will protect you if something unexpected happens, especially if the company is offering services that aren’t included in the standard contract.
Consult Your Auto Insurer
Depending on your insurance company, your policy may cover your vehicle during shipping to Hawaii. Don’t make assumptions, though; check with the insurer to verify coverage. Ask if the policy applies during shipping, and if you have to provide documentation from the shipper.
Clean it Out
….The car, that is. Most auto shippers don’t cover interior damage, and to reduce your risk, you should take out all loose items before dropping your car off. Remove all personal items and electronics, along with anything else that could become a projectile. By taking everything out of your car, you’ll reduce the chances of theft—which isn’t covered by most shippers’ insurance policies.
Inspect the Vehicle
Before the shipper takes possession, they’ll thoroughly inspect your car for previous damage. If at all possible, you should be present for the inspection; it’s also wise to take photos of the vehicle to document its condition before the shipper takes it.
Fill Out the Bill of Lading
Once you take delivery, you’ll fill out a bill of lading, which reports the vehicle’s post-transit condition. Check your car thoroughly, including its undercarriage, and start it up to determine if it’s mechanically sound. Be sure to inspect the car thoroughly, because once you sign the bill of lading, the transporter isn’t liable for damage found after the fact. If damage is found, note it and have the driver sign the bill before contacting the shipper about reimbursement.