transport and storage vehicle fleet

Car transport and storage insurance

What are the car insurance cover options for transport and storage vehicles?

Prestige car insurance policies will often include laid up cover options. This type of cover can be very useful if you semi-regularly need to transport the same vehicle, and it’s more of a special car than an everyday drive.

It’s generally designed for cars that are under restoration or kept in storage, and means your car is insured for certain types of transport at select times.

For example, Shannons Car Insurance and Ryno Car Insurance both offer near-identical laid up cover which insures your car while being being transported, being loaded or unloaded from a transport, or being kept in storage in certain locations.

However, the transport cover only applies to travel between certain destinations, such as:

  • A garage or workshop for repair or other work
  • A car event, auction or show
  • A private residence

Using an insured car transport company

When you use a car transport company, it might have its own business liability insurance to cover damage if things go wrong.

However, it may not be as dependable as having your own insurance. The problem is that the car transport company’s insurance might only work in line with whatever service agreement you sign, and will likely carry an excess and other conditions.

Just because a transport company is “fully insured” does not necessarily mean it will accept any liability for damaged goods. Also, you are not necessarily covered in line with the transporter’s insurance. Instead, you are only covered in line with the transport company’s terms of service.

For example, a transport company might be fully insured against storm damage, but its customer service agreement might say it’s not responsible for any storm damage. If your car is then damaged by a storm while being transported, the company won’t be liable for it, and therefore its liability insurance might not cover it.

You may be able to find a more reliable level of cover by taking out a personal transit, storage or moving insurance policy.

Personal transit, storage or moving insurance

You can take out your own personal transport, storage or moving insurance specifically to cover a vehicle, and other property, in transit. These often take the form of moving insurance, sold by removalist companies.

Depending on the policy, cover might only be available when your vehicle is in the care of the transport company you purchased the policy from.

Not all policies will be suitable for transporting all vehicles. As such you might have little flexibility, and may only be able to insure vehicles at market value, or up to a certain limit.

If you want to insure a classic, rare or otherwise prestige vehicle in transit, it may be preferable to consult a car insurance broker for transport cover.

If possible, you may want to consider removing any vehicle modifications, or otherwise dismantling or stripping the car as reasonably possible. These modifications and parts can then be transported along with the car, and might be insurable as separate items under your transport insurance policy.

As with other cover types, you will still need to go over the policy in detail, and be mindful of any exclusions or conditions which may apply.

Insurance when you hire someone else to drive your car

If your car is functional and roadworthy, then paying someone else to drive it to your destination might be a safer and cheaper way of getting it where it needs to be.

This is because it will often be covered for damage by your comprehensive car insurance, even if someone else is driving it.

You can be covered against damage it might sustain during the trip, and you are able to insure your car for its full agreed value, including modifications.

However, there will almost always be some kind of condition around cars being driven by an unapproved driver, that is, someone who is not listed on the car insurance policy.

If your insurer completely excludes cover for unapproved drivers then this will not work. However, this is not typical for most mainstream comprehensive car insurance policies. Typically, your car insurance can cover others to drive it at the cost of an additional excess in the event of a claim.

Your vehicle will generally be insured against accidental damage while being transported by another driver. However, it will generally not be covered in the event of theft or malicious damage by the person who is transporting it.

Similarly, if the person you hire to drive your car is speeding, driving under the influence, being reckless or otherwise breaching the conditions of your car insurance policy, then you are unlikely to be covered for this.

If your car insurance covers other drivers, and if you are able to trust the driver you hire to stay within the terms of your policy, then this might be one of the cheapest and safest ways to transport a car, and might not require any additional insurance at all.

Picking the right cover type

Consider some of the pros and cons of each to help find the right option.

Laid up car insurance for transport and storage

Pros:

  • May be the most cost-effective option, if it works for your situation.

Cons:

  • Generally only applicable for more specific situations and types of vehicles.

Where to get it:

Using an insured car transport company

Pros:

  • It is generally preferable to use an insured transport company than one without insurance.
  • An insured transport company may be more likely to pay for damage to your vehicle for which it is liable.

Cons:

  • You are typically covered in line with the terms of the transport company’s customer service agreement, not its actual insurance policy.
  • A transport company is still required to meet the terms of its customer service agreement regardless of whether or not it is insured.
Personal transit, storage or moving insurance

Pros:

  • May be one of the more effective types of cover.
  • The damage cover may be equivalent to the insurance held by the transport company itself. Sometimes it will be the exact same policy, extended to cover you.

Cons:

  • You might only be covered when using the services of the transport company that sold you the policy.
  • A range of terms and conditions may apply.
  • May not be suitable for all vehicle types. For example, it might only cover vehicles at market value. If you want cover to transport a vehicle at agreed value, you might want to consult a car insurance broker to help find cover.

Where to find it:

  • These may be purchased from removalists and transport companies.
Insurance when you hire someone else to drive your car

Pros:

  • Can be one of the more cost-effective options when applicable.
  • Can functionally deliver an exceptionally high level of cover for comprehensive car insurance while a vehicle is being transported.
  • You might not need to purchase any additional insurance to get this cover.

Cons:

  • Requires having someone else to drive your car.
  • Only applicable for legally roadworthy vehicles.
  • It is important to check the precise terms of your car insurance before relying on it to cover someone else to drive it.

Where to get it:

Picture: Shutterstock


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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com, comparing products, writing guides and looking for new ways to help people make smart decisions. He's a fan of insurance, business news and cryptocurrency.

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