Many consumers don't realize the danger they are putting themselves in when they decide to haul a car without a professional. Cars are far more likely to be stolen, broken into, or damaged when they are hauled alone behind an RV or a moving truck. On the other hand, when cars are loaded professionally with several other vehicles and transported via car hauler, the risk of theft and damage is significantly lower.
Car haulers aren't just for consumers - auto wholesalers, dealerships and other large-scale automotive companies use car haulers all the time for businesses, sometimes shipping very expensive or customized vehicles for many miles. A car hauling business can appeal to a broad audience, but face many risks on the road including accidents, theft, and damage to the cars in tow.
If you want to open a car-hauling or towing business or if you already have an established enterprise, you know you’ll have some expensive cargo to protect from damage or theft. You may be seeking some answers about insuring your car hauler, and you may want to find better coverage or a better rate on the insurance you already own. Either way, getting more knowledge about this product will help you find the insurance you need at a price that makes sense for your budget.
Facts About Car Hauling Jobs
If you’re just starting to learn about car haulers and insurance needs, a few facts might help you understand your risk factors and how the insurance companies will evaluate you, for example:
- Car haulers can move vehicles a few miles in the same town, or thousands of miles intra-state in any of the 48 contiguous U.S. states
- A trained car hauler must learn how to properly load and secure a vehicle to lower the likelihood of property damage or accidents on the road
- In general, loading wrecked vehicles takes more training and time, as well as additional equipment for safety
Your car hauling operation needs to have skilled professionals on board, first and foremost. The knowledge and skills you and your employees have will keep the cargo you carry and other drivers on the roads safe. Any time accidents could happen, liability questions should pop up in your mind – and this is another area where insurance can give you peace of mind.
Additionally, because car haulers may travel long distances, they are at risk for accidents like any truck-and-trailer operation. These large vehicles can cause serious property damage and injuries if they are in a wreck, so it’s important that you make sure you’re covered with the proper insurance to protect your business.
What Types of Businesses Need Car Hauler Insurance?
Car haulers are specialized commercial vehicles designed to move multiple cars from one place to another.
Car hauling businesses are often in the following 3 categories:
- Car manufacturers, shipping vehicles from factories to dealerships
- A towing company using flatbed trailers to move cars that cannot otherwise be towed
- An auto repair shop that picks up and delivers vehicles
Do I Really Need Car Hauler Insurance?
While actual requirements vary from state to state, there are a couple things to consider when deciding whether you need insurance:
- Do you have the money to cover a loss?
- How much business do you want to perform, and where?
Potential clients may not do business with you without proof of a certain level of insurance. Additionally, some state and federal agencies may not allow you on the road without a certain minimum level of coverage.
What Coverage Should I Get for My Car Hauler?
When you buy insurance for your car hauler, you are also buying insurance that will protect your vehicle, your driver(s) and your entire business from dramatic loss. Car haulers are vehicles that share the same roads as everyone else and will require very similar insurance coverage. However, because these haulers are typically used in commercial enterprises, they require specialized coverage.
Besides the usual comprehensive, collision, liability and medical payments coverage available for most other vehicles and drivers, auto trailer insurance can also include options like:
- Garage and Operations: In case you have to store vehicles that you haul, and something damages them (vandalism, theft, fire or severe weather)
- Cargo: Covers damages to the vehicles while transporting or storing
- On Hook: Covers damage to a vehicle being towed
There are other very specific auto trailer insurance coverage options available, depending on the company. Your local independent Trusted Choice member agent can locate all the companies that provide coverage for your car hauler.
How Much Does Car Hauler Coverage Cost?
As with any other vehicle insurance, cost will depend on a number of factors. Generally speaking, it’s somewhat expensive to insure these vehicles due to the added liability of multiple cars, heavier weight, and distance traveled. Costs can range from $800 to $1400 per month.
There are many factors that go into determining your insurance rate:
- The size and type of car hauler you have
- The nature of your business
- How many vehicles you may be hauling regularly
- The type of vehicles you will be hauling (Are they damaged? New? Used?)
- Whether you’re hauling locally or across state lines
- The location of your business
- The number of car haulers you’re insuring
Your local independent agent can go over all of these questions with you to help you determine how much coverage you can get at what cost.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
In general, if you have a small hauler (holds three or fewer vehicles), you likely will need at least $100,000 in coverage just to be able to bid for a job. If you have a large hauler (can transport 8 to 10 vehicles with a semi-truck), you likely will need $250,000 to $500,000 in coverage at minimum. If the value of your business is greater than that, you probably should consider more coverage to protect your business assets from any potential liability lawsuits.
How Can I Get Quotes for Car Hauler Insurance?
There are a few nationally recognized insurance companies that will insure car haulers, though some don’t provide as much coverage as you might find with a more specialized insurer. There are insurance companies that specifically and exclusively handle car hauler policies, so check to see if any of them are available in your area.
As you're setting up your business, it might also be a good idea to consult with a financial planner and a lawyer to make sure all of your assets and liabilities are adequately covered by your policy. Protecting your bottom line will help you get peace of mind on the roads.