All legitimate international shipping companies should provide insurance to their cargo. That is something that cannot be negotiated upon. But what is flexible are the terms and conditions. Sometimes the relationship between the client and the firm disintegrates because of lack of understanding of the insurance’s limitations. To avoid this from happening to you, know more about the kind of coverage you’ll possibly get from the company:
1. The book value of the vehicle should be determined. The book value of the vehicle is actually based in the Kelley Blue Book. You can go to their website at http://www.kbb.com/ to have a general idea as to your vehicle’s BV before shipping. Take note that companies insure based on the lowest book value. This is important to remember because how much you get from the insurance should something happen to the item is lower. As to how much, it can be extremely huge that would surely hurt you financially.
2. The car should be inspected physically before pickup and delivery. This is one of the reasons why you or a representative should be present in both pickup and delivery (or acceptance of the vehicle). You want to be there when someone inspects your car for any kind of existing damage. All types of modifications and damages should be listed in the condition report. Your presence also makes it easy for the specialist to get some answers. If the damage is caused during transit, you or the representative should ensure it’s noted in the bill of lading and the condition report before the company driver or specialist has already left. Otherwise, you may not be able to file for a claim even if the damage is caused by negligence.
3. Some items are not covered. For example, it’s common among insurance companies to not insure any component that is still in its cover or plastic, such as your headlights. It is assumed that by retaining the plastic, you guarantee the safety of the product. Insurance policies may also not guarantee damage that affects the undercarriage or the engine of the vehicle, as well as the glass. This is because some owners purposely load huge items at the back, damaging the undercarriage in the process.
4. Make a follow-up to your shipping company. A lot of insurance companies impose a certain period where you can file and get your claim. Once this time has already elapsed, you can no longer demand for one. To make sure that the shipping company you’re dealing with doesn’t forget about it, follow them up. The contact details are normally found on the documents handed to you by the driver, but still do obtain a phone number from him.
5. Request for the copy of insurance. To see to it that you have proof your vehicle is definitely insured, ask for a copy of your coverage. This may be helpful later on when you need to file a claim, and the insurer demands for such copy.
6. Items left in the car may not be covered. If, for some reason, you left certain items in the vehicle, you need to talk to your insurance agent right away as a lot of shipping companies do not cover them, particularly if these left items already have their own insurance policies.