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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    I was hit by a rental car on June 8. My children were not in the car with me (thank goodness) but their carseats were (Britax MA and Graco Nautilus). The rental insurance office claims that under Washington state law, they are not required to replace my carseats because the seats were unoccupied at the time of the crash. I said that the manufacturer states that the seats can no longer be used; they claim that is irrelevant. Regardless of what the manufacturer says about the need to replace the seats, they are not required to pay for that.

    Are they right? How can I find out?

    My insurance will not pay for the seats because I do not have collision coverage. I do have uninsured motorist but they say that because the other vehicle was insured I cannot submit a claim through uninsured motorist.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    Unfortunately, it is probably correct for your insurance not to pay for the seats. The driver of the car that hit you, not the rental car agency, should be responsible.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    Quote Originally Posted by carseatcoach View Post
    Unfortunately, it is probably correct for your insurance not to pay for the seats. The driver of the car that hit you, not the rental car agency, should be responsible.
    The car that hit me was insured by Rental Insurance Services, which is the agency that is paying for the repair to my car. If they covered the other damage in the accident shouldn't they cover the seats as well? They are the ones saying that Washington State law says they do not have to pay to replace a seat that was unoccupied.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    Well, they *should*. But they may not have to, which sucks. You could sue in small claims court.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  6. #5
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    Were you injured at all? If so, I would strongly recommend a lawyer anyway. And the lawyer can work out the terms on the car seat replacements as well.

    I don't know about state laws on it, but the insurance company should replace them. Perhaps if you ask them to guarantee in writing that your car seats are OK and they will assume liability if they subsequently fail in any way, they'll decide to replace them to make you go away.

    Keep bugging them. I might not bother if the seats were cheap (not worth my time) but you've probably got $300-$400 worth of seats in there and I'd be making that insurance company my hobby.

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
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    I wouldn ask them to supply that regulation. Or I would hunt myself for it, too. Then I would ask them to assume complete liability.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  8. #7
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirsty4Knowledge View Post
    I wouldn ask them to supply that regulation.


    There's also a ton of good info and suggestions is this post. Good luck!
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

  9. #8
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    I don't understand (or agree with) the point of asking the company to assume liability. The insurance company is not claiming that the seats don't need to be replaced. They're arguing that they are not obligated to replace the seats. If they are not obligated to replace the seats, why should they assume liability for them?
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

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  11. #9
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: Washington State insurance law re: carseats?

    Quote Originally Posted by carseatcoach View Post
    I don't understand (or agree with) the point of asking the company to assume liability. The insurance company is not claiming that the seats don't need to be replaced. They're arguing that they are not obligated to replace the seats. If they are not obligated to replace the seats, why should they assume liability for them?
    I see your point, but they way I see it, it's just an incentive to convince them to pay for replacements. Which they should do anyway. Are they legally obligated to replace the seats? Based on the widely varying policies of different insurance companies, it seems as thought that is up to some interpretation (and can vary based on location). If a seat is installed in a vehicle (and there for is "part of" the vehicle) at the time of the crash, and is damaged in the crash, then it seems reasonable that the car insurance company should replace the seat, regardless of weather or not it was occupied.

    Call me jaded, but insurance companies are extremely good at weaseling out of paying for anything and everything they can get away with. This sometimes includes twisting laws and bluffing. That's why I think the OP should ask the insurance company to supply the law or regulation that says they should not replace her seats. In addition to that, asking them to assume liability for crashed seats is just a way of calling their bluff (with another bluff) IMO. This frequently works, and personally, I don't have a problem with it.

    However, I completely understand why some people are not comfortable with this approach. I think this falls under one of those "personal decision" categories.

    I think that link also has sever other helpful suggestions, so hopefully will still be of use.
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

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