There are 6 types of car seat damage to be aware of for the safety of your child. When it comes to a child’s safety, as a parent you would do anything to protect your little one, but there are invisible dangers that many parents do not find until it is too late.
Understanding the Different Types of Car Seat Damages
Last week, I received a question from a client regarding the replacement of an infant car seat after an accident, which is a common inquiry that auto adjusters receive. The answer: it depends. According to most policy language, the safety seat can be replaced if its integrity is compromised, but how do you know the seat has been compromised? There could be internal damage, without visible damage. I normally suggest referring to the brand’s website. For example, the popular brand Graco recommends replacing a car seat after any accident, even if a child was not in the seat when the incident occurred. During an accident, the seat may experience crash energy that damages the seat.
6 Types of Car Seat Damage that you Cannot Visibly See:
- Side impact foam: Side impact foam that lines the shell of the car seat may be cracked or dented. This internal foam makes it impossible to see if the cushioning foam has had any damage.
- Hairline cracks: Hairline cracks in the plastic that cannot be seen. These tiny cracks may seem harmless but can cause serious damage if it is continually used rather than being replaced.
- Harness Stretching: If a child was in the car seat during the impact, the harness may have stretched.
- Internal fractures: Internal fractures to the car seat shell that cannot be seen. The car seat shell is the base of the car seat. If any fractures occur, you are placing an enormous amount of risk by continuing the use of the car seat.
- Tether strap Stretching: If the tether strap is attached to the car seat at the time of the crash, it will have a significant amount of stretching. The tether strap does not snap back to its original shape, this stretching will cause a lack of support.
- Buckle Damages: Damage to the internal components of the buckle. This can cause buckle failure during utilization of the car seat.
Avoid Car Seat Damage
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Monitoring the condition of the car seat is crucial to keeping your child safe in the car. There are many issues that can arise with car seats, but it is important to be aware of the types of car seat damage that you cannot see. After an accident, check with the manufacturer to understand if the car seat needs to be replaced. Whether the child is in a rear-facing, front-facing, or booster car seat, it is imperative to always review the safety guidelines.
Car Seat Coverage
There is no specific coverage that can be added to the policy for car seats. Car seats that are damaged are covered without extra charge. They are treated as a part of the vehicle by carriers, since they are essential for a baby to ride in the car.
Damaged Car Seat Disposal
It is important to cut the straps of a compromised seat after an accident, so another family doesn’t use it for their child. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns related to this matter.
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Disclaimer: These monthly blogs contain general information and may be subject to change. Policy language may vary by insurance carrier, so please refer to the specific policy in question. The Claims Advocate does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any claim or loss and in no way guarantees coverage for claims.