Does Car Insurance Cover Car Seats?

Car insurance does cover car seats in many scenarios. If your car seat was damaged in an accident, you can file a claim under your collision coverage. If you don't have collision coverage and the accident was caused by another driver, you may be reimbursed through their insurance.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 19, 2022

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Things to remember

  • If your car is in an accident, you may be able to get a new car seat from your insurance company
  • Comprehensive and collision car insurance policies typically cover car seats in the event of an accident 
  • It is important to always replace your car seat after an accident even if there is no visible damage

When you have a baby, one of the most important purchases you make is their car seat. And if you’re ever in an accident with your child, a proper car seat will help to protect your most precious cargo.

However, you will also need to replace your car seat after it has been in an accident. That may make you wonder, does car insurance cover car seats? And if it doesn’t, is there any way to get coverage for these child safety seats?

Here’s what you need to know about car seat coverage and insurance policies that cover them. 

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Car Seat Insurance Coverage and Claims

Car seats are typically covered by comprehensive or collision insurance policies, depending on the cause of the accident. 

If you only have liability insurance, you probably won’t be able to replace a car seat through your own policy. But you may still be able to have an insurance claim filed for compensation from the other driver’s insurer if that other driver was the one at fault in your accident.

Therefore, it’s always important to have the appropriate coverage to pay for damage to your car and replace your child’s seat.

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When To Get a Car Seat Replacement

Ensuring that your child’s car seat is safe and functional is critical after a car crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) strongly advises replacing car seats following most moderate crashes and all severe accidents.

A minor car crash is defined by the following:

  • You can drive the car away from the crash site.
  • The door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
  • None of the passengers were injured.
  • If the vehicle has airbags, they did not deploy.

In a minor crash, the NHTSA recommends that you inspect the car seat for any signs of damage and contact the manufacturer for guidance on whether you need to replace the seat.

Remember, your child’s safety is always worth taking extra precautions.

How to Get a Car Seat Reimbursement After a Car Accident

The process for changing car seats varies, but the basic procedures are fairly straightforward.

Find Your Receipt

Insurance companies reimburse you for the car seat you own, not for a new purchase. Before upgrading your car seat to the most expensive model, note that the reimbursement will be for the amount paid on the original receipt or your original car seat. 

Also, insurance companies are unlikely to reimburse you for an expired car seat, so check your expiration date. 

Take Photographs 

Your insurance company may want pictures of your car seat after the accident to document any damage. Be sure to include the car seat’s serial number and expiration date. These are typically found on the car seat underneath the lining. 

So if you’re insured with State Farm, for instance, you would send the receipt and photos to your agent or adjuster and your State Farm car seat replacement claim should be processed with no issues.

State Laws Mandating the Use of Car Seats

Most states have laws mandating that children ride in car seats until they’re old enough to use an adult seat belt. Children under the age of 13 should also ride in the car’s back seat with properly fastened seat belts.

Even if you’re waiting for your auto insurance company to cover the cost of a replacement car seat, you should install a new one in the meantime. It’s unsafe, and illegal, to drive even a short distance without the appropriate car seat.

If you don’t have a child safety seat, you risk receiving an expensive and inconvenient ticket from a police officer. The fines for child car seat infractions continue to increase with each new instance.

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Auto Insurance Coverage for Car Seats

It is illegal to transport a child without the proper car seat in most states. If your car is involved in an accident, you may need to replace your child’s seat, even if no there’s no obvious damage. 

Comprehensive and collision car insurance policies typically cover car seats. If another driver is responsible for the accident, their liability insurance may cover the cost of replacing your car seat. 

Make sure to follow all instructions carefully when installing a new car seat so you can ensure your child is safe on the road.

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