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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Do insurance companies pay for car seat replacement after accident?

    Of course I hope to never need to know this info, but what I'm curious about is do car insurance companies pay for replacement car seats after an accident? I thought I heard somewhere that they do, but I'm wondering if anyone knows? And if they do, does anyone know if they would stipulate what car seat? I just purchased a Regent for over $200 and would be quite upset if they would say for instance replace it with a $20 booster seat!!

    So my inquiring mind is curious...anyone? Thanks, Sara

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    i have only had to replace one seat and my insurance covered it, no questions asked. I no longer had the receipt, so I was told to go buy the same model and they would reimburse me for it. Needless to say, I went and bought the comfortsport, photocopied the receipt, sent it to the insurance company and then returned the comfortsport to buy what we really wanted...a husky. It is my understanding most states require insurance companies to replace seats in an accident, even if the seat is unoccupied (which mine was not occupied). They should replace the purchase price so you can get a comparable seat. You might have to buy the seat and then be reimbursed, but you should be able to get a comparable seat.

  4. #3
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    When we had to replace ours the other guy's insurance picked it up. Piper's seat (the Advantage) wasn't available anymore, but I told them what I had paid two years before and they paid about 90% of that. Luckily I found a Wizard at exactly that price, so we were able to get it (I bought it, they sent a check).

    Piper's seat was occupied at the time, and there was $3000 worth of damage to my car and the other two cars involved were totaled.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Thanks for the info!! I hope I never need to know the info though.

    Sara

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    I replaced Marathons twice after two separate accidents. The insurance company didn't quibble about covering new seats nor did they specify what they would pay or what seats to buy. I wanted the exact same seat as a replacement since DD walked away unharmed after both crashes, and the Boulevard wasn't even on the market yet. I just turned in my receipts for the replacements and they issued a check for the exact amount. This was in Michigan through AAA insurance. I know of other instances where insurance companies have acted like they never heard of replacing seats after a crash though and give people a hard time. In fact AAA didn't raise the issue of replacement after our crashes, but I knew to bring it up myself anyway when reporting the accident to the claims rep. I also had to turn over the crashed seats to the insurance office, but I cut up the harness and marked the shell in several places with permanent marker with "crashed - not safe to re-use" and kept the covers as spares.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy chaoticoctopus's Avatar
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    Recently BTDT, unfortunately...

    In April of 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced changes to the agency's recommendations about replacing child safety seats following a crash. NHTSA explains:


    "The change was made to ensure parents or caregivers continue to correctly restrain their children following a minor crash and to reduce the financial burden of unnecessary child safety seat replacement." NHTSA believes "the existing evidence is sufficient to warrant a revision to its public advice on the issue."


    NHTSA continues to advise parents and caregivers that child safety seats should be replaced if they have been involved in a moderate or severe crash.


    A crash is minor-and the child seat involved in it is safe for reuse-if it meets ALL of the following criteria:


    1. A visual inspection of the child safety seat, including inspection under any easily movable seat padding, does not reveal any cracks or deformation that might have been caused by the crash;
    2. The vehicle in which the child safety seat was installed was capable of being driven from the crash scene;
    3. The vehicle door nearest the child safety seat was undamaged;
    4. There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants; and
    5. The air bags (if any) did not deploy.

    Crashes that meet ALL of these criteria are much less severe than the dynamic test used in compliance tests of FMVSS 213 "Child Restraint Systems," and are highly unlikely to affect future child safety seat performance. Therefore, parents and caregivers can be confident that child restraints involved in these minor crashes will continue to provide a high level of protection.


    NHTSA and the Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition recommend parents and caregivers check with their child seat manufacturer with regard to performance, operation, and installation of their child restraint. Most car seat instruction booklets as of May 2004 continue to recommend child safety seats be replaced if they have been involved in a car crash. Look in the car seat owner's manual for your manufacturer's statement of their policy.


    Some insurance carriers may reimburse you for the replacement of a new car seat if it was in a crash. Check with the insurance carrier handling the crash for more details.





    I had to look this up last month after being involved in what I thought was a fairly minor crash. Nearly $5000 worth of damages later, I'm not sure how "minor" it was now... But no one was injured, and that is definitely the MOST important thing! I did get a new carseat out of it, payed in full by the other guy's insurance (as were the vehicle damages, as he was definitely at fault). This is where I got the info to show the insurance claim adjuster that they *were* accountable to replace my carseat:

    http://www.800bucklup.org/parent/rep...r%20crash.html

    NHTSA statement: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/inju...raintReUse.htm

    My crash wouldn't have qualified for carseat replacement under these guidelines, except for the minor detail that there was some slight damage to the door nearest my child's seat placement. I can tell you I was never going to have her use that seat again either way, though!

    At first, the insurance guy told me that they didn't replace carseats any more, and that he hadn't had anyone request that in years. I brought in a printout of the above statement, one from NHTSA, and a printout of several different carseats in the $110-$150 range, to show him the current prices on similar seats. They gave me about $130, with which I bought an AO. Now I'm reading that these aren't much good as a BPB, so I may need another seat when dd reaches 40 lbs. (admittedly a fair ways off still). Anyhow, you *can* still get the insurance companies to replace them... HTH!


    ETA the NHTSA link
    Last edited by chaoticoctopus; 08-22-2006 at 04:19 PM.

  8. #7
    CPS Technician
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    We've only had to do it once, but they replaced AJ's seat w/ another infant seat no questions asked, we just showed the receipt and they cut us a check right there.
    Jennifer, Special Needs CPST, peds nurse, and CSFTL Admin mom to:
    AJ-13 (five steps), Evan-11 (nbb),
    Ilana-9 (nbb) ,
    Olivia-7 (hbb), and
    Unity-3 (rf and ff)

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Even though NHTSA has recommended the guidelines by which to replace a seat, all carseat manufacturers (except Britax) require you replace the carseat after any crash. Just because NHTSA says its ok not to replace a seat when it meets those guidelines, doesn't mean the manufacturer agrees. Britax has a list on there site about when you do not need to replace a seat, but it is always good to call first to make sure your seat does not need to be replaced. Insurance should pay and if they are reluctant, have them provide a signed statement that if your seat fails in a second crash, they are liable. They should quickly replace the seat.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy chaoticoctopus's Avatar
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    ITA, but those "official" guidelines were great to have on hand when I felt that I might have trouble getting the insurance to agree to pay for a new seat. When I commented that "manufacturers recommend...", he was quick to start in about how those recommendations had changed, and no one replaced their seats any more because they were sooo safe, blah blah blah.

    I came back with those NHTSA recs, and got the $ I needed. So, while *we* might know that manufacturers all recommend replacement across the board, the NHTSA recs at least give some "official" oomph to the request.

  11. #10
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    The owner's manual for your seat will have the replacement requirements for crashes. As previously mentioned, EVERY manufacterer except Britax REQUIRES their seats to be replaced after ANY crash (no matter how minor).
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  12. #11
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    no matter HOW minor?

    Even a backing out of a parking space at 5mph or so fender bender?

  13. #12
    CPS Technician
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    SarahP yep EVERY crash, every fender bender.... ALL of them it doesn't matter if the car seat is in use or not, it only matters if it's in the car. 98% of seats are made form plastic, they can bed and move with some amount of force, better safe then sorry.
    Becky CPS Tech, driver of '05 Quest, and Mama to
    DS 8y 6m (51.5" 61# torso 20") Backless Turbo and parkway
    DD 6y 4m (47" 42.5# torso 16") Parkway and Radian F/F
    DD 4y 1m (42" 35# torso 15") Marathon F/F

  14. #13
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahP
    Even a backing out of a parking space at 5mph or so fender bender?
    Yes, because your 30 lb child requires 150 lbs for force to retrain them in a 5 mph crash. Most fender benders happen around 15-20 mph (just ask me how I know! ) So that same 30 lb child requires a LOT more force than you realize to retrain them. And if the child is not in the seat, the seat shell still absorbs crash forces.

    Honestly, I think you're really talking about something on par with hitting a pot hole, or backing into one of those poles at the gas station, and then you have to make a parental decision, since they're supposed to be replaced if they're dropped. I can't tell you it would be safe to use, but I can tell you what I would do.

    Now, this is a picture of my driveway.


    At the end of it (as you can see) there is a tree on either side. With my previous car I have backed into those trees a couple of times at maybe 1-2 miles an hour (while braking).
    When I called Graco to inquire about the necessity of replacing my son's Turbo Boosters (since I *did* leave a dent in the car and break the plastic tail light covers), their opinion was that it was "probably okay" but that they couldn't tell me they were safe to use. I made the parental decision to continue using them based on my knowledge of crash forces and speaking with techs who's opinions I value.

    Now a few months later we had a minor fender bender (10-15 mph) and I absolutely DID replace the seats then because they sustained actual crash forces, kwim?

    But I would NEVER tell a parent it's OK to use a seat that has been in a crash. I can say what *I* have chosen to do, but honestly it's not worth a few dollars (no matter how tight money is!) to risk my children's lives.
    I worked too hard to bring them into this world to lose them over something stupid.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  15. #14
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    Well, it should be next week when I go to the next town over to get my babies new marathon checked out. So I will aske friendly Mr. Fireman Tech to check the other to seats as well and explain to them my little bumper plumper (you know, there is no bumper equivalent to fender bender). We plan to replace my son's car seat next month. We'll have them check that as well as my daughters Touriva.
    Thank you for letting me know - We did not think of this as much of an accident. I was backing out and after I started moving a young teen suddenly got out of her car leaving the door open to retreive a CD from a friend. If she had NOT been driving the wrong way down the aisle, I probably would have tapped her door and closed it - but as she was going the wrong way when she stopped (not in a spot) and her door has a funny little jog in it -- well the window broke and the tailgate had a little dent. I would say I was going 5 at most.

  16. #15
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    I'm sorry for the double post - but since I started my story here...
    I took everyones advice and called COSCO today about the Summit and the Touriva and my bumper plumper accident and they of course said "Yes it is recommended that those seats are replaced" So I said OH Great(see note*), and she says Well, your insurance company should...... so my husband says "It is worth a call"...... so I called and the gentleman opened my file. I explained that I did not know a thing about this at the time and though we discussed the 3 little ones being in the car at the time no one brought it up - and I did not know to..... soooooooo
    He reopened the file and is sending it over to the file handlers who will call me back on tomorrow or Monday for more information on the seats and to see if they can do anything.......
    Cross your fingers and say a prayer!
    (seenote*) = Not that I mind putting my children in better/safer/bigger car seats as they grow - but I had not planned to do it all at once!!!!

  17. #16
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    Stupid question - but while I am getting information and answers --- (I know, the only stupid question is the one you did not ask).
    My Jeep double stroller was in the back well of the mini van (back of van was the part involved) Do I need to replace that as well?????? My umbrella stroller???
    Thanks! Sorry to be a pain -- I'm just a little overwhelmed! I had no idea about replacing for minor accidents like mine -- I knew if it was one that involved injury or the like - yes by all means replace the seats -- I am sorry if that sounds like a vent - it is not. Just the feeling of knowing that my kids have been in seats that should have been replaced HOW long ago ---- I guess I will just say my thankful prayers that I found this site!!!!!

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy chaoticoctopus's Avatar
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    Good for you for calling! I hope the insurance folks agree that they should offset at least some of the cost of replacing the seats for you.

    I have no idea about the stroller.

  19. #18
    CPS Fanatic Simplysomething's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think that you'd have to replace the stroller, it isn't the same as a carseat. You'd want to replace the safety seat because you want something that is going to perform correctly in the event of another accident.

    Is your stroller damaged visably? (Also, I'm totally unqualified here. lol). If it isn't, then it probably is okay. It's just not the same as a carseat, which should be replaced.

    If you don't get a satisfactory answer here, call the manufacturer of the stroller and see what they say.


    Also,
    Quote Originally Posted by skaterbabscpst
    Honestly, I think you're really talking about something on par with hitting a pot hole, or backing into one of those poles at the gas station, and then you have to make a parental decision, since they're supposed to be replaced if they're dropped.
    Wait, you're supposed to replace a carseat if it's dropped? Really? I didn't know that (I haven't dropped any, that I can think of)..
    apparently, people put stuff here.
    imagine:
    photos of my extremely adorable spawn.
    their stats and a
    witty quote.

    posted from my computer using the internet...
    Super SEEEEKRIT stuff here.

  20. #19
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    I had a friend tell me today that you actually have up to 2 years after the accident to have the insurance company replace your car seats -- so we will see.
    Stay Tuned!

  21. #20
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplysomething
    Wait, you're supposed to replace a carseat if it's dropped? Really? I didn't know that (I haven't dropped any, that I can think of)..
    Yep. For the same reason. I doubt most people do though. I would in that case call the manufacturer and describe the fall and ask them.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

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