a vehicle, keys, and a car shipping insurance policy sitting on a desk.

Your current level of auto coverage will determine if extra car insurance is needed when shipping your vehicle.

Auto transport is generally considered safe, as the majority of carriers will take great care of your vehicle during transit. Most drivers are professional and avoid unnecessary risks to ensure the safe delivery of your car. To further guarantee the safety of your vehicle, it’s advisable to carefully select your auto transport carrier. This can be done by reading reviews, checking licensing, and using the services of a car shipping broker. 

Despite these precautions, unexpected events may still result in damage to your vehicle, such as from road debris or environmental factors that it may not be protected against.

Auto transport insurance offers added protection from these elements by paying for damages, but how does it work? 

Will your carrier’s insurance cover the damage?

Does your standard car insurance include supplemental auto transport coverage?

Should you buy more car shipping insurance before sending your vehicle out on the road?

The answers to these questions depend on the circumstances, so here’s what you should know about car shipping insurance.

Key Takeaways

  • Insurance is essential to protect your vehicle during shipping
  • Your carrier is required by law to offer some insurance
  • This insurance might not be enough
  • Supplemental insurance is recommended when coverage gaps exist

Your Carrier’s Car Shipping Insurance

By law, all auto transport carriers must provide some insurance covering your vehicle while it’s in transit. However, the actual policy they offer varies from vendor to vendor. 

For example, some carriers’ insurance policies might only cover the car while it’s on the truck and not while it’s being loaded or unloaded. It also might not offer coverage when the vehicle is sitting at the terminal.

These policies generally don’t provide insurance for anything you leave inside your car, either. So, if you forget a valuable item in your trunk and it goes missing, you’re out of luck unless you buy additional coverage or your existing car insurance covers it. 

Another aspect worth considering is the cost of your carrier’s insurance. Many reputable transport companies will include this expense with your quote, but some vendors will sneak in an insurance surcharge later on. In these situations, you could find yourself with the bare minimum of coverage unless you pay extra. 

It’s usually advisable to ask your carrier for a copy of the exact insurance coverage you’ll have before signing any contract to ensure your vehicle has as much protection as possible while on the road.

If you aren’t comfortable with the level of coverage you’re receiving, shop around until you find a vendor who will protect your vehicle.

Your Car Insurance Policy

Your vehicle’s existing insurance policy might offer some coverage throughout the shipping process. It’s a good idea to ask your insurance provider whether your car insurance covers damage incurred during shipping.

The insurance provider should give you a straightforward answer to this question and might offer to upgrade your policy to fill in any coverage gaps that could lead to additional expenses in the future. 

You’ll also want to ask about your vehicle’s contents during shipping and if there are any limits on how much damage your policy covers. 

For example, if you ship a collectible car and it’s damaged while on the truck, ensuring you can have it repaired without paying for it yourself is essential.

The same goes for the contents of your vehicle because many car insurance policies only cover them to a certain point. Getting as much information as possible from your car insurance provider allows you to make informed decisions throughout the vehicle transport process.

Protective Measures You Can Take

In addition to insurance, taking a few proactive steps to limit how much damage your car could incur during the auto transport process is a good idea.

First, you’ll want to remove any loose items from the vehicle before loading it onto the truck. These items could move around during transport and damage the inside of your car. Likewise, there’s a good chance the carrier’s policy won’t cover it. 

Next, ensure you select a shipping type that offers the level of protection your vehicle needs. For example, if you’re shipping a rare car, going with an enclosed trailer will keep the automobile safer throughout transport. This decision could limit the amount of insurance you need and save money if your insurance company wants to charge a significant amount for coverage. 

Finally, always complete a pre-possession inspection and make a note of any new blemishes you see. This step is crucial because it’s the only chance you’ll have to pin damages on the carrier. Once you drive your car away from the terminal, you’re probably responsible for any damages you find later.

Do You Need Extra Car Shipping Insurance?

Additional car shipping insurance might be necessary, but it’s entirely dependent on the coverage you already have. Speaking with your carrier and asking for proof of insurance in writing is an excellent first step. You’ll also want to ask your car insurance agent about your policy’s coverage. 

If you find gaps in these policies, seeking additional car shipping insurance will help keep your expenses at a minimum if something goes wrong while your vehicle is on the road. 

Finding The Right Carrier

Having a pleasant car shipping experience comes down to identifying a reputable carrier that is upfront about the insurance it includes and takes the necessary steps to keep your car safe. Without a reputable vendor, you’re leaving a lot to chance throughout the auto transport process. 

Mercury Auto Transport is a car shipping broker that presents its clients with quotes from FMCSA licensed and insured carriers. You can be confident that any offers you receive from our partners guarantee the price you’ll pay. This also includes 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance without hidden fees or surcharges. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today to receive your free vehicle shipping quote.

FAQs on Car Shipping Insurance

Is car shipping insurance mandatory?

No, car shipping insurance is not mandatory, but it is recommended to have additional coverage to protect your investment.

Are the contents of my car covered during shipping?

The contents of your car might not be covered by your carrier’s insurance or your existing car insurance policy. It’s important to check with your carrier and insurance provider for information on coverage for the contents of your car during shipping.

What should I do if I forget a valuable item in my car and it goes missing during shipping?

If you forget a valuable item in your car and it goes missing during shipping, your carrier’s insurance might not cover it. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider if your car insurance covers the contents of your car during shipping, or consider purchasing additional coverage.



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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.