In the United States, we are fortunate to be able to ride motorcycles year-round in many parts of the country. Riders in some parts of the country have a “riding season” and they store their bikes part of the year. These riders often visit states with warm climates to get away from inclement weather and many of those riders want to enjoy motorcycling while they are in these warmer states.
It is not always practical to ride motorcycles to or from their home state and one alternative is to ship the motorcycle. When considering motorcycle shipping services the most important thing to do is to contract with a US Department of Transportation (DOT) licensed motorcycle transport company. Always ask any motorcycle shipper for their DOT and Motor Carrier (MC) license numbers. The next step is to review the status of the motorcycle movers on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA website. The FMCSA is the branch of the DOT that issues licenses to transport companies. The FMCSA website will list if the shipping company has active and current licenses and it will list if the company has active and current cargo insurance along with the cargo insurance policy coverage limits.
There are a many unlicensed and uninsured bike shippers that are operating illegally and bidding on shipments on online reverse auction type websites. These websites do not require motorcycle movers to be DOT compliant to bid on shipments posted on their website. The transport auction websites will not help you if you have a challenge with your motorcycle shipment. It is advisable to never pay a moving company until you have verified their DOT and MC licenses and spoken with them directly over the phone. Most motorcycle moving scams occur with companies that do not allow you to talk to their scheduling staff over the phone until you have paid for part or all of the shipment up-front.
It is especially important to verify a motorcycle transport company’s cargo insurance coverage. Reputable transporters will provide a copy of their cargo insurance certificate for your review. When reviewing a shippers insurance certificate you want to take note of the amount of cargo coverage they carry along with the deductible amount. The shipper should have a minimum cargo insurance coverage of $100,000 and most cargo policies have a $1000 deductible.
Most shippers also have liability coverage along with their cargo insurance coverage. If the shipper only has a liability insurance policy that is not sufficient for your vechile’s protection. Liability coverage does not cover damage to your vehicle while it is being transported. Cargo insurance coverage is specifically designed to cover your vehicle in the event of damage while the vehicle is in transit. Many transporters do have cargo insurance policies with a deductible included. If that is the case, most transporters with a deductible pay for low cost damage claims out of their own pocket and use their cargo insurance policies for higher priced claims. By having a small deductible on their cargo insurance policy, shippers usually get a lower annual cargo insurance premium which allows the transporters to offer their customers lower shipping rates.
We are the only licensed and bonded motorcycle specific shipping broker in the industry. We provide bike transport services for thousands of riders each year anywhere in the continental USA. We have been in business since 1999 and have been BBB members since 2007 with an A+ BBB rating. We are also members of the American Motorcyclist Association.