Shipping a Car to Maui and Car Insurance while your car is in storage

Matson Lines ( ships cars to Maui from Northern and Southern California. When I shipped “Mia the Miata” there in September 2006, I did a web search for “Ship Car to Maui” and they came up along with others that resell the service. I made the appointment and drove Mia to the dock. Matson said they wouldn’t commit on an arrival date but suggested it would lake about 3 weeks. She showed up in about 10 days, after a nice ocean cruise (thats what she said, anyway), being offloaded on Oahu and then placed on a barge to Maui. Because Matson starts charging a lot for storage beyond a few day, it is important to grab a quick flight over to pick up you car.

Then there is the issue of car insurance. I live in California and had Mia and my other car on the same Liberty Mutual policy. But when you move a car to Hawaii you have to buy insurance from there. Now this goes under the “I wish I knew that…” moniker. I did a Geiko on-line quote. It came in at about $400 per year. Then their quoting system went off and checked some national database that insurance companies use to report who has made claims against their policies. It found that I made a claim a few months earlier and the quote jumped to $1,300 per year. Now the accident I had was pulling out of a parking place in the Trader Joes parking lot in Los Altos. As I turned right the middle underside on the right side of my car hit the curb on the parking island. A curb, I might add, which is too high. It caused about $1,200 in damage with a $500 deductible. So the accident will remain available for increasing my insurance premiums for three years! They didn’t care that my last accident was 25 years ago! If I had known, it would have been cheaper to not make the claim at all.

Now here is the kicker. Mia is stored in a locked and guarded lot at Kihei Rent A Car and driven a few times a year. I explained this to Liberty when I bought her insurance in Hawaii. I tried Geico again just to see if I can save some money and the agent says that if the car is stored, I can drop all my coverage except comprehensive. I called Liberty and they say they can do the same. So now my insurance is $38 per year and I just need to call to add liability when I am driving Mia. Now you know too!

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