Newborn headrests



Someone said auto insurance won’t pay if your infant has a headrest in its car seat. Is this true?


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Someone said auto insurance won’t pay if your infant has a headrest in its car seat. Is this true?
This sounds like a misunderstanding of some things.

If a piece comes with the car seat, or is sold and approved for use with it by the manufacturer, it is safe and legal to use.

If it is an unapproved accessory (in some cases including inserts branded by the manufacturer but not approved for use with THAT seat), it is not safe to use. It could, in a worst case scenario, cause injury or death in a crash.

If a child is injured in a crash, health insurance will still pay for their treatment if they were improperly restrained; they do that every day. (Exception: a few Canadian provinces have been known to try to recover medical costs from parents who had improperly restrained their kids.) In a lawsuit, an insurance company might try to reduce their liability on this basis, but they might or might not succeed and would likely not be completely relieved of liability- and likely would settle anyway.

In terms of crash replacement, whether your insurance will pay if you were the at-fault driver (or in one of the few no-fault states) is always up in the air (if the other driver was at fault, they must make whole your losses; also 2 states do require comprehensive insurance to replace a seat used in a crash.) Misuse of the seat is unlikely to affect this in almost all cases.

What is impacted by unapproved product usage is your warranty coverage. If your seat is damaged within the normal warranty period by your misuse, the company won't cover it.

I hope that answers your question. TL;DR: using an approved, manufacturer supplied insert is fine. Using an unapproved one is possibly extremely unsafe, but that has nothing to do with insurance coverage in almost all cases.

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