What to Do If Your Car Arrives Damaged After Shipment

Trailer transport cars on the highway

A lot of people prefer to sell off their car when they are moving cross-country, while others prefer to drive their car from state to state. But, most of the time, people usually prefer hiring the services of auto transportation companies.

Leaving the handling and moving of one of your most precious possession in the hands of another is a very nerve-wracking experience. From the time you hand over your car keys to the time you car arrives in your driveway, most of your time is probably spent keeping your fingers crossed and praying for the safety of your beloved vehicle.

Although most car shipments are completed without any problems, due to unexpected circumstances and variables, damage can occur at times. The important thing to do when you are deciding on which car transporting company to select is to protect yourself from liabilities and follow the steps that can help you be reimbursed without undue anxiety.

Here are a few things to do in case your car suffers some damage during shipment.

Do Your Research

The possible damage might include scratches, dents chips, window cracks, flood damage, theft, and truck rollover for a car in transit.

When it comes to auto transport companies, it is best to be proactive. Before you sign the contract to hand over your car, you first need to thoroughly research the services and policies of the company. This includes finding out how they cover a damage claim, what percentage of the damage cost they will pay, and other factors.

One thing that can cue you into how well these companies offer their service is through customer testimonials. Many car movers display positive testimonials or their website, but you can also view those on the company’s social media accounts.

Insurance Protection

Check the auto shipping service’s website and see if they provide any insurance coverage for damage on the road. In the case of HaulMatch.com, the contracted carriers within the United States are required to carry a minimum of $100,000 insurance per vehicle. They can also provide you with a copy of the carrier’s insurance coverage for your convenience. For overseas transportation, customers can purchase Marine Insurance at 2.5-4.5% of the value of the car.

You should also check with your vehicle’s insurance company to see if they have a policy that covers damage during car transportation. Compare the rate of both these and see which works best for you.

Take Pictures of Your Vehicle before Shipment

This is one of the most important steps to take. Before you hand over your car keys to a car mover, make sure you take comprehensive pictures of the interior and exterior of your car. Make sure you get pictures from all angles and don’t forget to get under the car and take pictures there as well. Label each picture with the component name, time, and date you took the photos. Keep the pictures in a safe location, like cloud storage, so that you can access them from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are.

Perform another Inspection Post-Delivery

Once the car is delivered to you, make sure you check it immediately for any damages. Check out the roof, bumper, fenders, exterior, interior and the underside of the car to see if there is any damage or inconsistency. If there is, the driver of the carrier should sign for all stated damage. You can take pictures of the damage, write a short report about it, and then compare them with what you took before your car was transported.

Make Phone Calls

In case of damage, you need to quickly call the transportation company and inform them of it right away. Most companies require you to contact them within 30 days of the discovery of the damage; otherwise, they will not hold the driver responsible for the damage. You should also send them the before and after picture of your car. Get an estimate from a car repair shop near you and send the copy of it to your auto transportation company. The representative will help you recover your damage.

The Bill of Lading

At the time of the delivery of your vehicle, make sure you receive the Bill of Lading and document the damage on it, before you hand the payment to the driver. Note the damage very carefully and make sure the driver knows that the damage was not present before delivery.

To verify the damage during transportation, the document will be compared to the original Bill of Lading, which was completed pre-delivery, and to the inspection report. This will include the photographs taken of the vehicle from various angles and written notes of the extra damage.

The transportation company will then pay you directly or release the carrier’s insurance certificate so that you can claim the damage cost form them directly.

Your car is a very expensive investment. With just a few simple steps, you can make sure it remains safe and any damage is adequately covered.