Does your Car insurance cover your Child’s Car Seat?


So the unfortunate has happened.  You’ve been in a car accident and now you are wondering about the safety of the continued use of your child’s car seat.  Can you continue using the car seat or does it need to be replaced?
Most car seat manufactures state that you should replace a car seat after any crash, regardless of the details of the crash.  I would recommend that you check with the manufacturer of your specific car seat to determine what they recommend.  Here are a few links to some of the more popular manufactures:
Graco:  http://www.gracobaby.com/CustomerService/Pages/faqTopic.aspx?page=FAQ&CatID=2
Evenflo: https://plweb.evenflo.com/faq_detail.aspx?faqid=1762
Cosco/Safety 1st/Eddie Bauer: http://www.coscojuvenile.com/usa/eng/
However, it is worth mentioning that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) position is that it is not necessary to replace a child restraint after a minor crash.  They define a minor crash as one that meets ALL of the following criteria:
• The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
• The vehicle door nearest the child restraint was undamaged;
• There were no injuries to any of the vehicles occupants;
• The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
• There is no visible damage to the child restraint.
Here is the link to the NHTSA’s crashed seat criteria for replacement: http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/childps/ChildRestraints/ReUse/RestraintReUse.htm

So, if you determine that your car seat needs to be replaced after an accident – is it covered by insurance?  Well, the answer is maybe. 
If the accident was caused by another party, then the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company should be contacted about covering replacement(s).  The specific coverage that would be used would be the Property Damage Liability.  From my experience, some companies are very proactive about covering car seats that have been crashed regardless of the details of the crash, while others are unfamiliar as to whether there is coverage or not.  This is usually due to the particular adjuster just not being aware of the policy provisions regarding covering the car seat.  If needed do not hesitate to ask to speak to a supervisor or manager to get the needed authorization to replace the restraint. 

On the other hand, if the accident was your fault or perhaps the at-fault driver did not have insurance or was underinsured whether there is coverage or not depends on a few things.  Generally, at least in Utah, there is little coverage provided in your personal Auto Insurance policy for your own personal property and your car seat is considered personal property.  Usually, coverage for your personal property is found under your Homeowner’s Insurance, Renter’s Insurance or Condo Insurance’s personal property coverage.  In any of these situations, you will be subject to your Collision Coverage deductible in regards to the damage to your vehicle.  Depending on which insurance company your policies are with you may be subject to an additional deductible for your personal property, however, many carriers have begun offering policies that provide a single deductible for all your policies if the loss arose from a single incident or may even waive the second deductible.

If you are ever in the situation where this topic becomes relevant to you, I would suggest that you make sure that you discuss your options with your agent. Hopefully that is me or one of the other awesome agents at Insure Right Insurance Agency.  If that isn’t the case, give me call or visit my website for a free quote to see what we can do for you.

Seann

Sharethis page