Documents to Know When Shipping a Car
For many, shipping a car is not something that comes naturally. Thankfully, with online quotes and friendly customer service representatives, it couldn’t be easier to ship a car. However, there are some things that are so second nature to those in the know that it’s easy to glance over things that are actually very important. This comes mainly in the paperwork. Paperwork is not the sexiest of topics, but understanding this can save you a lot of time and money. Shipping a car is very straightforward. They pick your car up and they drop it off, no fuss, no muss. However, there are some things to look out for, namely the two important documents.
The two documents are the insurance documents and the Bill of Lading. The insurance is something you should be aware of when setting up your shipment and the Bill of Lading after the driver drops off the vehicle. They are both equally important and both equally easy to forget. However, if you take a few extra moments to pay attention, you can protect yourself from a huge hassle down the line.
To be clear, this isn’t your insurance. This is the insurance that the driver carries that covers all of the vehicles that they ship. This little document shows what they cover and, more importantly, what they don’t cover. The first thing to do when getting a quote from a shipping company is to make sure that they include insurance. Many shipping companies will not include insurance in their quotes to make their prices lower. This is a dangerous practice and should be a red flag when looking for your shipping company. This is because, more likely than not, your own insurance policy will not cover your car while in transit. If anything does go wrong on the trip, it’s all going to come out of your own pocket. The first thing to check on the insurance policy is to make sure that they’re coverage can cover the full price of your vehicle.
The second thing to note is the coverage. Most insurance companies don’t cover anything besides the car. This means that you shouldn’t have anything inside of your vehicle when shipping. If you do plan to leave something inside the car, it is important to let your shipping company know. They may be able to provide additional coverage for any personal belongings.
The Bill of Lading
This is something that the driver fills out and gives to you after the shipment is complete. It is essentially the receipt of the shipment and confirms the end of the job. However, it does so much more than just give a receipt. Your driver will address any issues, dings, dents, or scratches on your car before the shipment. Then they will do the same at the end, similar to how it works when you rent a car. This is to help prove or more importantly, disprove any insurance claims against them. Insurance companies will look at the Bill of Lading as a law because they assume that you, as the customer, agreed with everything because you signed it.
The driver will fill out the bill of lading when they pick up the car and when they drop off the car. It is expected that you, as the customer, take a moment to check the bill of lading during each phase. If the driver mentions any scratches or dings that you don’t agree with, make sure you say something. However, during the drop off, if you do see something that wasn’t there before, make sure they put it on the Bill of Lading. Just like the insurance documents, chances are you won’t need them, but if you do, it’s very important to have them.
Both of these documents are afterthoughts for drivers and shipping companies. Most of the time, you’ll never need these documents, and you won’t even think about them. However, if anything does go wrong, they are very important. To give yourself a little peace of mind, go ahead and spend the extra few minutes making sure that they’re in order. If you do need them, you’ll be happy that you did.