Basic Facts to Know About Car Shipping Insurance

Car Shipping Insurance

Relocating from one place to the other is one major fall out of urbanisation. People have to relocate for many reasons but the most common is usually work or business related. Either they have to move to go pick up a new job or are transferred by their present office to man a new branch or operation. Similarly, some business people count the cost of doing business form/in one location and decide that it is better to be in another location.

All these reasons will mean that the person involved will have to move their belongings from the current location to the new place. One of the belongings that most often is never left behind is a car. Unless it is an international move, many people always seek to relocate with their car(s).

The reasons for this are many and valid but that is not the focus of this article. You may want to visit to see the pros and cons of relocating with your car.

In this article we will be discussing all that you need to know about car shipping insurance so stay with us as we proceed…

What is Car Shipping Insurance?

This is a protective measure that is taken to ensure that your vehicle is safeguarded in the course of moving from location to the other. This is an important investment to make especially if the car you are transporting is a high end vehicle or holds sentimental value to you. Additionally, it is necessary if the distance to be covered is significant.

Some shipping companies will tell you that they have indemnity but most times the policy does not adequately cover the customer’s vehicle. That is why it is important to understand the basics of this policy so that your vehicle will be adequately covered from any eventualities in transit.

Types of Car Shipping Insurance

There are mainly two types of this insurance and they are primary and secondary covers. The primary type is the one provided by the auto transport company while the secondary one is the provided by the insurance company of the client.

Each type has the specifics that they cover; therefore it is necessary for you to know these specifics so that your vehicle can be adequately protected throughout the shipping process.

Primary Insurance

 As we mentioned already, this indemnity is provided by the shipping company and it covers any damage that occurs in transit. This is a basic safeguard policy that any reputable auto transporter will have and which is included in the shipping estimates they send to customers.

The coverage most often includes protection against theft, accidents or damage from natural disaster. However the extent of the cover differs from one company to the other based on limit and terms of the policy. 

Secondary Insurance

This is also known as supplementary insurance and is provided by the car insurance cover of the client. A good number of auto insurance covers car shipping but do not take this for granted; check and be sure that your policy truly covers auto transport before embarking on shipping your car.

Looking at the description of primary and secondary indemnity for auto transport, you can see that it is it a necessary step to take before shipping your vehicle. This therefore means that the answer to the question ‘Do you need insurance to ship a car? is a resounding YES! The next issue might now be whether to settle for the primary coverage alone or include a supplementary coverage.

Do You Need Primary Insurance Alone or Both Primary and Secondary?

The terms of the primary insurance goes a long way to determine whether it can provide adequate cover for your vehicle while in transit.  If you are worried that the terms of the auto transporter’s insurance will not do for the safety of your car, then you might need the supplementary cover.

We believe that there are more factors that will affect the choice you make about having only primary coverage or getting both and they include the following:-

  1. The Value of Your Car – This is in our opinion one of the major factors to consider. If you are shipping a high end vintage vehicle, it will only make economic sense for you to provide supplementary insurance for the vehicle.
  2. Risk Tolerance – This means how comfortable you are with the primary cover that the auto transporter has provided. If you are ok, with it, then no need for supplementary cover but if you are not, then go for additional cover.
  3. Type of Carrier Used – If your vehicle is to be transported by an open carrier, it may be a wise decision to have additional insurance. An enclosed carrier option however, may not need additional protection. 
  4. Your Budget – Considering the cost of having both policies as against the value you will gain should help you make the right choice.


When shipping your vehicle, never leave any detail to chance. One of the things you must not take for granted is insurance. We have discussed some basics and we know the information we have shared here will help you cover the bases before shipping your car; so do well to bear them in mind.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at

more recommended stories