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Tip - Know who you are dealing with when shipping large boats
If you have a small powerboat, you can use almost any qualified transport company. On the other hand if you have a 40 foot cruiser, make sure the company you plan on hiring has dealt with such loads, big boats require special loading and handling. Find out if the company you are talking to are the ones that are actually going to be hauling your boat or if they are just a broker. Also find out if the driver who is going to load your boat has experience with your type of load. Ask as many specific questions as you can, how they intend to load your boat? will it require special equipment? will it require any special permits? If they cant answer these questions easily and professionally, chances are they are unfamiliar with your type of load. After talking with a few of these carriers, you will get a feel for what they are saying.
Tip - Shopping around for the "Best Price"
If you have a small powerboat, just be sure you ship with a reputable transport comapny. However if you have a large boat, saving a few dollars could cost you in the end. Professional boat movers are expensive because they do their job right. They require the proper equipment, hire experienced drivers and loaders.
Tip - Be Clear with your requests and details
When the driver arrives, your information has been passed to him from someone else, so they may have some details wrong so be sure to verify the aspects of the move. You need to be very clear on how payment is to be made, who will meet the driver, how they are going to contact you before pickup and delivery, when they will arrive, and any other thing you can think of that they may need to know.
Question - How is a transport supposed to work?
Answer - Boat transport is very simple. You should receive a call from the carrier anywhere from 10 to 24 hours in advance of your pick up date. The driver will arrive and review (inspect for damage) the boat with you and load it on the truck. The reverse happens at the delivery point. The driver calls in advance, you'll inspect the vehicle for damage and take delivery of it if there is not damage.
Question - How far in advance are reservations accepted?
Answer - Reservations are accepted by most carriers up to two months in advance.
Question - How many days in advance do I need to call to insure a pickup date?
Answer - Plan enough time for us to pick up your boat. Two weeks in advance is the minimum for most carriers. Most carriers will usually deal with urgent situations on an individual basis.
Question - How long does it take to have my boat picked up?
Answer - Shipping for your boat is usually scheduled within two to three days of the scheduled pick-up date. Carriers can usually arrange to accommodate your schedule, but you may incur additional costs.
Question - What type of paperwork do I need to ship my boat? (Insurance, title, registration, etc.)?
Answer - Unless your boat is leaving the country all that is required for your shipment is a signature and walk around (inspection) with the driver at pick up. The walk around will allow you and the driver to verify if any damage exists at pick up.
Question - How much does it cost for shipping my boat?
Answer - Prices are determined by mileage, boat size, and delivery location.
Question - Do I need to pay in advance for shipping my boat?
Answer - A deposit and a signed order are usually required before, your boat is scheduled for transport. However, there are exceptions. The balance must be be paid upon the boat's delivery by Cash, Postal Money Order, or Cashier's Check.
Question - What payment options do I have?
Answer - Most carriers accept Personal Checks, Cashier's Checks, Postal Money Orders, and Major Credit Cards (They require the customer's signature for credit card payment).
Question - What should you do if the vessel arrives with damage?
Answer - First thing you should do is make sure the driver understands that the damage is new and was not on the original bill of lading. The damage should clearly be marked and noted, then signed for by the driver. Upon completion of delivery a call should placed to your carrier or broker to inform them of the damage. In most cases the carrier will ask for an estimate and send you payment in a couple weeks. If the carrier is not responsive and unwilling to work with you to resolve the issue make sure you contact their insurance company and make a claim. Be sure however you have all the documentation to back up your claim - false claims can result in legal action by the carrier or broker.
Question - Is my boat insured during transport?
Answer - All transport companies have a general proof of insurance form, ask specifically for it. Find out exactly what amount of cargo insurance they have and what their deductible is. Anyone can present themselves as a valid transport company, but it is in the service, especially when things go wrong that, that the quality companies become apparent. You could go with a low to mid grade company and nothing could go wrong,but if something does, the difference between a low and high quality company will become very apparent as you spend valuable time trying to recover any losses or damages.
Question - Is the consumers boat insurance primary or secondary?
Answer - There is no such thing as secondary and primary insurance. It works the following way: Most carriers hold one million dollars ($1,000,000) combined single limit & two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) per incident. This insurance covers damage done to your boat in transit, there is no other insurance. The boat transport carrier is the main and only coverage. (exception: personal contents are not covered by any carrier insurance and in most cases if lost, stolen or otherwise will not be covered.)
Question - Should a consumer pay more money for a lower insurance deductible?
Answer - Absolutly not! Most carriers have deductables between $200.00 and 2000.00. Regardless of damage done to a vehicle you should never have to pay a deductible either way. If a carrier requests additional fee for a deductible they are only attempting to get a higher price.
Question - How do I choose a reputable carrier?
Answer - If you are dealing with a boat transport broker, ask for a copy of their Brokers License and insurance bond. Brokers are required to posess both a license and an insurance bond. Ask the actual transporter of your boat for their ICC number and DOT number, a copy of insurance and phone number of the insurance company, you may also check with www.safersys.org to get their safety record.
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