Canadian Collision and Car Seat Replacement

redandrea

New member
Hello all, new member here. I've done a bit of searching but haven't been able to find anything suitable yet.

I’m looking for some fairly specific help here. DH was doing some boxing day shopping and got T-boned in a parking lot, causing significant damage to the driver’s side door. Luckily we’ve got the car fixed etc. and LO and I (3 months preggo at the time) were not in the car at the time but his car seat was. (It's a Britax Boulevard.)

SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) told us at the time that if we wanted to replace the car seat, we should go ahead and do so, keep the receipts, and that our claims person would “do their best” to help us get the cost refunded. There was no doubt in our minds that the right thing to do was to replace the car seat before using it again, which we did.
Now SGI claims that their policy would not cover our situation. Here are some quotes from one of their emails:
The car seat must be damaged (no longer able to perform the function it was intended for to the level it was intended for) from the collision to be considered for repair or replacement.
SGI is also aware that many manufacturers suggest car seats be replaced after a collision, but unfortunately their recommendations do not specify the threshold of damages that would warrant the seats replacement, an important factor in this determination.
In order to accurately determine whether the seat has sustained any damages, SGI has looked to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and their extensive research on the subject, for guidance…SGI's policy… is consistent with the policy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who also take the position the child safety seat would not require replacement in this situation.
And in a subsequent email, they also say that they choose to follow the USA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because they have done “extensive research” while Transport Canada’s policy (which states that car seats should be replaced after any collision) has no research backing and is just a recommendation.
My DH and I are looking into contacting MLAs and Ombudsmen since SGI is not budging on their policy. For us, it’s not a matter of getting our money back, it’s about a policy that is unsafe considering other parents who could find themselves in a similar situation and would not know of Transport Canada’s recommendations and/or not be financially able to replace a car seat.

Does anyone know of any research/studies that have been done in Canada (I’m having trouble finding anything myself)? Any other ideas for influencing SGI’s policy? Thanks so much for any help.
 

mommycat

New member
I didn't read this thread but maybe it has some tips on what to do. *shrug*
http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=9575

It says that Britax goes by the NHTSA criteria as well, which is too bad, because if the manual stated to replace the seat after any collision, you could use that - since you should not go against your manual. :(

Good Luck.

Another one: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=70979
Did your husband have any sort of injuries? Even neck pain as mentioned here?
 

canadiangie

New member
I'm not sure if this will help, but here is the Britax crashed seat recomendation info from their site.

http://www.britaxusa.com/support/faqs.aspx



FAQ detailsQ. What should I do with my child seat that has been involved in a crash?

A. Britax recommends that the use of a child seat be discontinued if it has been in a severe crash. We further advise of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) position that it is not necessary to replace a child seat after a minor crash. A minor crash is one that meets ALL of 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 vehicle occupants;

The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND

There is no visible damage to the child seat.
 

beeman

New member
Give them 2 options: 1) accept all liability if the seat were to fail in another collision or 2) Pay for your seat. Stand your ground and don't back down until they sign off for liability or pay for your seat. There is no possible way to convince them to accept liability, so they will be stuck paying for the seat. This approach has been effective for members here dealing with other insurance companies.

Even though SGI is government run, they are still interested in keeping costs per claim as minimal as possible. You have a new seat already, so safety is not a concern any more, and they are now hoping you just go away. Using "liability" scares government agencies of any type here, so it should be an effective means of getting what you want.

As for using the USA Traffic Safeties requirements over Canadian ones, they have no grounds to back that up. Even though the US may have had more testing, Canadian seats have to pass a different set of standards, and the testing done by the USA would not have been done on the same seats.

The other trick that will work for you is to work up the ladder. If the person you're dealing with won't give you the answer you want to hear, ask to speak to their boss. Keep at this until you get what you want or you reach the top.
 

Caseylaine

New member
I am in this exact same mess as well. What SGI wont tell you, is that unless you have a Britax seat you will void any liability to the manufacturer if you continue to use the seat.

So really what they are doing is being cheap, by not wanting to replace seats that should be replaced. You can call your manufacturer and have them send you a letter that says is SHOULD be replaced and NOT re-used. Send it to SGI. It probably wont make a big difference but at least they will have heard it from someone else.

I've emailed my manufacturer Cosco/Dorel and they sent me an email, a letter, and we talked on the phone. I had help and found on Transport Canada's website that the FF'ing seat intructions say to replace a seat after ANY collision, whether child was in it or not.

I phoned NHTSA about their guidelines going against the manufacturer's guidelines, but basically got the runaround there. The are not saying to go against the manufacturer, but those are their guidelines... is what they tell me.

I am also a carseat tech and in my manual is states in two places not to reuse a car seat that has been in any collision.

In my seat manuals (All three Cosco, Graco, Sunshine Kids) all say to replace in ANY crash. The only exception is Britax who follows NHTSA guidelines, although I would check a Canadian manual just to be sure.

I haven't gotten anywhere with SGI. But you have just inspired me to write back to the adjuster again demanding a letter from SGI stating that the seat is safe for use according to them and that they will hold responsibility for the seats integrity in the even of future collisions.

I would never re-use the seat, and we bought a Graco Nautilus right after... but its principle and them telling people to reuse seats that end up voiding their manufacturers liability. So you end up not covered and they end up scot free because they are not going to guarantee the seat... and they dont want to replace it..

SO?

I dont know what the answer is. Complain..? Get ahold of the newspaper?

I was waiting for someone else to reply back to me from SGI but I haven't heard back so I am sending my last email to this adjuster.
 

canadiannanny

New member
Im in Saskatchewan and have also dealt with this situation. I did the "accept all liability" and they refused. I had a car seat technician contact them, brought in emails from the car seat manufactor, brought up SGI's recommendations not to use after a crash, voiding warranty and they still refused. You cannot make a crown corp do anything unfortunately. I went all the way up the latter to the top and still nothing happened. I asked my adjuster to write a letter stating it was safe and she said she was not saying it was safe but just that SGI will not replace it. SGI wont write letters stating a seat is safe- opens them up to way too much.

You will likely have to pay for the seat, sorry to say.
 

snowbird25ca

Moderator - CPST Instructor
I missed this thread the first time, but have a few clarifications.

Firstly, until the new generation of Britax seats, Canadian Britax seats did not follow the NHTSA guidelines - the manuals instructed parents to replace after any collision.

Secondly, are they really telling you to ignore a Canadian government agency which says to replace any seat that has been involved in a collision AND to go against the manufacturers instructions? By refusing to replace the seat, many many parents would be in the position of having to reuse the seat. Because of it being government insurance, everybody is going to run in to this same problem and that's just ridiculous in my opinion.

Where was the seat installed when your vehicle was hit? Was it on the side of the vehicle that was t-boned? If it was, then it doesn't meet NHTSA criteria. Was there any injury in the vehicle? If there was, it doesn't meet NHTSA criteria.

I would ask them for a letter in writing stating that they are advising you to ignore the advice of the federal agency which governs car seat standards in Canada and instead follow the advice given by a different country's transportation agency. I'd also ask for advice regarding how much money they'd be willing to pay out if your child was injured due to the seat failing from being reused since the car seat manufacturer wouldn't have any liability at that point.

If they're saying you don't have to replace it, then they are telling you your seat is safe to use. If they're telling you your seat is safe to use, then they ARE accepting liability whether they give you a letter stating they accept liability or not.

And if they feel your seat isn't safe to use, then it should be being replaced as part of the vehicle repairs. Depending on how the seat was installed you may have more leeway with how you deal with them. A seat installed with the seatbelt is technically considered contents of the vehicle - I believe SGI is no fault because of the government insurance, but somebody is still responsible and there is liability for damage to personal property. That one is going to be a little harder to get covered though because they may just tell you to deal with your homeowners coverage...

However, if the seat is installed with UAS, it is considered to be attached to the car, and therefore should have to be replaced as part of the vehicle equipment repairs. At least that's the way it is in AB. (I don't know this from being a tech, I know it from when I used to underwrite auto policies.)

If anyone can update this thread if they have new info I'd be interested in hearing how you make out. I think I'd specifically go for the angle of the fact that they are telling you to ignore the policy of the Canadian agency that is responsible for setting safety standards that car seat manufacturers have to meet, and are instead telling you to go by American recommendations. That's the kind of thing that you could really take public - a provincial government saying "who cares what Canada says, we're just going to follow the US guidelines."

Yep, I could see a lot of the public caring about that one even if they're not concerned about car seats. :whistle: And I would bet that an MLA is not going to want that kind of publicity...
 

Chila88

New member
I'm in SK, and while I absolutely 100% do NOT want to get in an accident EVER.....a teeny tiny part of me would love an opportunity to fight SGI on this rediculous policy!

My sister totalled her SUV a few years ago when she t-boned someone, and she didn't replace her seats :)eek:). She didn't know....didn't ask, and SGI certainly didn't mention anything about the need to. I asked her if she asked them about it, but she looked at me like I was a freak for suggesting you need to do such a thing. So I dropped it. She's still using the seat too....makes me kind of sick to my stomach. :(

But it makes me mental that even in serious crashes SGI apparently doesn't even bother to mention to people that seats should be replaced. All about the bottom dollar I guess. Grrrrr...
 

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