Heavy equipment shipping insurance.
Important: Always get listed as a “certificate holder” by the carriers insurance company.
It is very important to be listed on the carrier’s insurance policy as a certificate holder or additionally insured. Most people are not aware that in order to have a item fully insured by the carriers insurance company you need to be listed as a certificate holder by the trucking companies insurance company. Getting this done is very easy. All you have to do is:
- Ask the carrier to fax or e-mail you their “package”. They will know what this means as it is a industry term which means a copy of their federal authority, W-9 and insurance certificate.
- Call the insurance company phone number off of the insurance certificate and tell them you would like to be listed as a certificate holder. They will ask you who the insured is and you tell them the name of the trucking company that is listed on the insurance certificate. Then, they will ask you for your company name, address and fax number so they can send you a copy of the certificate showing your name as a certificate holder.
- Have a fax number ready before calling them. Some may offer to e-mail the new certificate as well so ask if they offer this service.
- All this is free to do. Never in over 20 years have we heard of a insurance company charging a fee for this service so if they ask for money something is wrong.
Before you ship your heavy equipment you want to make sure it is properly insured. What is the value of the piece of equipment to your shipping? Heavy haul trucking companies are mandated by the federal government to have a minimum of $100,000 worth of cargo insurance on their insurance policies. However some heavy haul trucking companies in anticipation of shipping loans with higher values have as much as $1 million worth of insurance. Be sure to ask the carrier you are considering to contract out for your shipment how much cargo insurance they have and what your piece of heavy equipment will be insured for an case of an accident.
If you need additional insurance the heavy haul company you have choose will usually offer it to you after they have called their insurance company and verified what they charge for this additional amount. It is usually the responsibility of the consignee (you) to pay for this extra coverage but it usually not very much. As an example $10 per extra $100,000 in coverage.
In the event that there is an accident and for some reason you need to file a claim against the carrier you will need to make sure that you make a notation on the bill of lading that damages have occurred before signing it. It is ok to sign the bill of lading but make absolutely sure you document exactly what happened and what damages occurred. Then contact the carriers insurance company to obtain a claim form to start your insurance claim.
Before shipping anything with any company it is always good to check them out first. You can do this by reading our articles on selecting the right carrier for your heavy equipment shipping needs and with a free tool that we offer online called SaferTool which will tell you about the carriers history and any infractions as well as revocations or complaints that have been filed against them. This database is maintained by the Federal Department of Transportation which is also called the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Association). Our SaferTool grabs information from this online federal database and remember it free!
Shipping heavy equipment with a heavy haul company should usually be a good experience as it is quite a lesson to look at all of the different trailer types and axles that are required by law to move a heavy haul shipment. Most drivers behind the wheel of a heavy haul truck had been in the trucking industry for over 20 years as trucking companies don’t let just anybody driving a semi truck with a half $1 million trailer. That’s not to say that there are drivers with less experience driving in the industry but that to be able to be behind the wheel of a semi truck with a heavy haul trailer more than likely the driver has extensive experience in the transportation industry. For your safety be sure and read our guide to payment practices in the trucking industry as well.