Here’s to all the parents out there driving around with car seats, whether it is one or multiple seats, the expense can add up should you need to replace them.  What happens if that car you are driving around and that car loaded with your kids’ seats gets in an accident?  It is something that you pray never happens, but they are called accidents for a reason, they happen on accident.

Have you read your manufacturer label to see what the manufacturer’s suggestion is for when it needs replacing?  It typically includes information about the equipment expiration date along with information detailing replacement should it be involved in an accident.

Reading that tag probably doesn’t answer all your questions though.  What if that accident does happen?  Where does that leave you?  Who is paying for the replacement seat(s)?

We’ve taken the question to our claims departments to see how the claims departments deal with it:

Claims & Car Seats

Each situation is looked at on an individual basis taking in all the considerations of that specific accident.  Some of the factors involved in determining if the car seat needs replacement are –  the severity of the accident (minor, moderate, or severe) if a child was in the seat at the time, manufacturer recommendations, was window glass shattered onto the seat, and much much more.  When talking with your adjuster about the accident and next steps for repairs, don’t hesitate to ask questions back about your car seat(s).  Your adjuster will be the one who takes all the factors into consideration and makes the final decision.

Typically if a child was not in the seat and it was a minor accident then the car seat doesn’t get replaced. The exception may fall if your child was in the car seat at the time of the minor accident.   Replacement is recommended in moderate to severe accidents, especially if the child is using the seat at the time of the accident.

Where is the payout from?

The last thing to look into is where the funds generate from for the replacement.  Car seats are looked at as apart of the vehicle.  This means payment would come from “Collision” coverage and not “Personal Property”.  You may find that it is a reimbursement as well and not just an amount offered to go find a replacement. So keep your receipts.

Note from our agent’s:  From personal experience, I had to show that my previous car seat had its straps cut.  Providing pictures along with the receipt from the new purchase was required for the reimbursement to be disbursed.  For safety reasons, I didn’t find this to be too crazy to ask for.

Claim to Claim Basis

Getting a clear answer for your specific claim will be best answered by your claim adjuster.  We hope this is a tool you can use to help prompt conversation.

Resources:

NHTSA suggestions

SafeCo

Erie