The number one fear when shipping a car is vehicle damage. Though this is basically a “worst case” scenario for most auto shipping companies, there are times when a car will get damaged while it’s being shipped to its final destination. Should an accident occur, the first thing you should do is contact your auto transport broker. The broker has access to the carrier’s auto transport insurance policy, and will instruct you on how to file a proper claim. You will need to get into contact with your car insurance company as well if you feel that the damage is major. It’s best to contact your auto shipping agent first in order to make sure that you get all the information necessary to file damage claim seamlessly.
When your car is being taken off the ramp, it’s a good idea to request that your driver stay put until you have given the car a complete inspection. If possible, your insurance adjuster should also be present when the car is dropped off, since they will need to do an inspection as soon as possible. Next, make sure to call your auto shipping company to tell them what the situation happens to be. If you only incurred minor damage, let the company know that. If you incurred a lot of damage, it’s important to let the auto transport company know that as well. Either way, explain that you may need to know the auto transport insurance information for legal purposes, and they should be happy to provide you will all the necessary documents to file a claim.
When your car arrives, let the insurance adjuster make an in-depth inspection of the car, ideally, in a place where there is lots of light. Take photos of the car, especially of the parts that were damaged during transport, as these can help provide valuable information to the auto transport insurance companies. Write down any visible damage that the car has incurred on your Bill of Lading, and have the driver sign it before he leaves. Make copies of the photographs, Bill of Lading, and send it to the auto shipping company, and to the carrier’s insurance company.
You may be asked for a quote from a mechanic before you are able to get any money from the carrier’s auto transport insurance company. Most reputable car shipping companies will try their best to resolve the issue of a damaged car as soon as possible. However, if you have the misfortune of dealing with a less-than-noble carrier, you may have to settle the matter in court, or with the Better Business Bureau.
Obviously, this is a worst case scenario, but it’s one that still happens from time to time. It’s times like these when choosing the right auto shipper becomes crucial. Sure, cheaper shipping companies may seem like a value, but would you really want to deal with a company that has many complaints with the BBB for bailing after they knowingly damaged a patron’s car during transit?