Are infant car seats covered by insurance?
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UPDATED: Oct 13, 2021
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Are car seats covered by the insurance company?
- Car seats are mandatory in many states, meaning that you are required to use one to protect your infant or child in the event of an accident
- If an accident occurs, you will usually need to replace your car seat; your auto insurance policy may be able to help
- It’s important to remember that your car seat should not be reused after an accident, even if it appears to be fine
- Having a new, functional car seat is only half the battle, while installing and using it correctly is the other half
- If you are curious about your policy coverage for a replacement car seat, contact your insurance provider to find out your coverage for this scenario
When you are driving anywhere with your child, their safety is often your primary concern, which means driving responsibly and using proper child safety seats when appropriate. If you are involved in an accident while your child or their car seat is in the vehicle, there are a few things you need to remember.
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Never Reuse a Car Seat That Has Been in an Accident
During an accident, the vehicle and everything inside is exposed to forces that are much stronger than experienced in daily life. Your child’s car seat, even if it looks fine from a visual inspection, may be damaged in ways you cannot see.
It is important to get your car seat replaced before using it to transport your child again.
Depending on the details of the accident and the policy coverage, the replacement car seat may be covered by the insurance company. When you file the claim with the insurance company, you can mention the car seat and ask about coverage for the loss.
If you are responsible for the accident, your policy would normally be responsible for the costs of the repairs or replacement, including the cost of a replacement car seat. If your policy is covering the loss, then you will normally need to carry comprehensive coverage on your policy for coverage to apply.
If you do not carry this coverage, your provider may not find themselves obligated to pay for replacement costs for the car seat.
If another party involved is responsible for the accident, their policy will often be the one responsible for covering your losses. Thus, you would file a claim through their provider, discuss the damages done to your vehicle and your car seat, and then allow them to investigate and come to a settlement with you.
If you have to purchase a car seat before the claim is settled, then they may reimburse you for the cost of your replacement purchase.
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Rules and Regulations Regarding Car Seats
It’s important to remember that using a fully functional car seat is not only safest for your child, but it’s also often a legal requirement. In almost every state, there are laws that require car seats or booster seats for children under specified ages, which can vary in each state.
If you do not follow these laws to the letter, you can often receive fines or other penalties based on how many offenses you have on record. As your child ages, they will often transition from a car seat to a booster seat, eventually using the standard safety belt once they reach a specific age.
Remember that each state may also implement specific weight ranges that your child must fall into to move out of one category and into another, so check with your insurance provider or local law enforcement to find out more about the specifics in your area.
Your child’s safety is normally your first and most crucial concern, so protecting them while they ride in a vehicle is an important task. Before using any car seat, make sure that it meets the quality and safety standards that manufacturers should be following.
You should also ensure that your car seat has not been recalled for any reason; confirm this with the manufacturer or by calling the Auto Safety Hotline.
If you have been involved in an accident with the car seat in the vehicle, remember that it’s important not to reuse that car seat; regardless of how it appears. Even though the car seat may appear to be fine from a visual inspection, there are damages that can occur that may be invisible to the naked eye.
Contact your insurance provider or the provider handling the claim to find out about car seat replacement policies. Depending on which insurance provider is covering the loss, you may be able to get assistance replacing your car seat, or you may be able to get reimbursement for the cost of a replacement car seat.
Once you’ve obtained a new car seat, make sure to install it correctly after you read the instructions, and follow any and all safety suggestions that the manufacturer includes.
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