To keep kids safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends parents replace car seats after a moderate or severe crash. Generally, car insurance coverage pays for losses caused by an accident. Car seat claims, however, are often disputed.
The following are some additional details that can help you understand when and how car seats can become a part of your car insurance coverage.
Understanding the extent of coverage
Depending on what caused the accident, different coverages may cover a child’s car seat differently. This requires you to consider the type of coverage you have—
The car seat will be covered under whatever policy is in place for the remainder of the damage. Most collisions that entail hitting anything are covered by collision insurance. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage includes theft and fire. Car seats, however, are not covered by liability insurance.
What the law says
Sometimes, the replacement of automobile seats after an accident is governed by state law. For instance, rules requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of a new car seat following an accident exist in both Illinois and California. However, some insurers continue to pay for the replacement of car seats even in states without regulations.
When should I replace my car seat?
Car seats frequently have unique locking mechanisms that, under pressure, aid in protecting the children. These locking mechanisms could, however, stop functioning again. Even if the car seat hasn’t been damaged, it may be a good idea to replace it if it was in use at the time of the incident. It is also advised to contact the manufacturer or an industry professional to inquire about the replacement, installation, and maintenance protocol.
The reimbursement process
Insurance companies often cover the cost of a replacement car seat comparable to the one damaged in the collision. Make sure to inform your insurance company that you will require a replacement car seat and the model of the one that was destroyed in the collision so they can compensate you.
Here are some steps to follow to ensure a smoother claims process:
- Examine your receipts or invoices and keep them close at hand.
- Look over the information, ensuring you have the seat’s expiration date, amount, and date of purchase.
- Take photos of the seat at the scene of the collision. Make sure the expiration date and seat serial number are clearly visible.
- Send the receipts and the photos to your insurance provider so they may begin the reimbursement process.
Getting the right car insurance coverage
Navigating insurance requirements for covering car seats can feel overwhelming, but maintaining your car seat, especially after a collision, is vital for their safety. Child car seats are typically covered under comprehensive and collision insurance, so it’s always best to review your policy again.