If you get into an accident and your child’s car seat is damaged, you might be wondering whether your Toronto car insurance policy covers you. That is exactly what we get to the bottom of today. Keep reading to learn more about which types of car insurance may protect you and how.
Car seat damage and auto insurance
Common car accidents can cause all kinds of damage, from denting or scratching your car to damaging the items inside of it, like your child’s car seat. The good news is that, depending on the type of coverage included in your auto insurance plan, the cost of replacing a car seat that was damaged or broken in an accident may be covered. Typically, whatever coverage applies to the other damage to your car will also apply to the car seat, and this is determined by the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, if another car crashed into yours, collision coverage might be what pays for the cost of your vehicle repairs.
Meanwhile, if a thief stole your car or a tree branch fell on your car, it is the comprehensive insurance portion of your policy that would likely pay for the damages. Please note that collision and comprehensive coverage are the two most common types of car insurance that will pay for car seat replacement, and in most cases, these are both optional. Thus, if you do not add these coverages to your policy, your coverage may not pay to replace the car seat.
The exception to this is if you get into an accident that someone else causes and you are able to obtain reimbursement for the damaged car seat through the other driver’s insurance provider - specifically, through the other driver’s third party liability car insurance.
To help you understand how car seat damage may be covered by your insurance policy, we are going to explain how collision coverage works. Collisioncoverage is a type of optional auto insurance that can be added to most car insurance policies in Canada. It covers drivers for property damage that stems from an accident, so if someone rear-ended you and that is what caused damage to your car seat, it is collision coverage that might apply. Collision coverage can be claimed no matter if the policyholder was responsible for the accident or not, and no matter if the accident was with another vehicle, an animal, or a grounded object. If collision coverage applies to the situation, you can file a claim and the insurance company will issue a payout to help you cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
Like collision coverage, comprehensive insurance is also optional for most drivers in Canada, though many choose to purchase it due to how worthwhile it can be. Comprehensive coverage offers financial security should a driver’s vehicle suffer non-collision-related damage. For this reason, comprehensive coverage is often referred to as parked car coverage because it can protect you against damage or losses that occur while your car is stationary. For example, comprehensive coverage can protect you from losses relating to theft, vandalism, falling objects, fire, water, wind, explosions, natural disasters and weather. It depends on what perils you choose to include in your policy, but generally speaking, the coverage this type of insurance offers is very comprehensive. Comprehensive insurance is the type of coverage that would be claimed if your car seat was damaged due to any of the aforementioned perils, such as a fire or theft.
It is important to note that comprehensive coverage does not typically damage cover items inside the car, so a car seat is an exception to this. Generally speaking, comprehensive coverage will only cover permanent fixtures that are damaged or stolen, such as the steering wheel, a built-in stereo, or the catalytic converter. Otherwise, it only covers damage to the physical body of the car. For instance, if you had electronics, a wallet, or jewellery in the car at the time that it was damaged or stolen, comprehensive insurance wouldn't cover you. However, again, a child’s car seat is an exception to this rule, which means if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy and your car was damaged in a fire, your insurance company would issue a payout to help you replace the car seat.
Submitting a car insurance claim for a car seat
If you get into a car accident, then you will need to submit an insurance claim. Remember that calling your insurance company after a minor accident is extremely important. It isn’t only major accidents that necessitate insurance claims. Keep reading for a guide to filing a car insurance claim in Canada:
1. Report the car accident to the police
The first step is to contact the local authorities and notify them about the car accident. Reporting a car accident is usually a fairly straightforward process. You will answer some questions and a police officer will draft a report with details of the accident. Please note that reporting a car accident to the police may not be optional, depending on the circumstances. There are some situations where drivers have to report a car accident in Ontario. Otherwise, they will be at risk of a fine.
2. Notify your insurance provider about the accident
After you’ve notified the police, you will need to notify your insurance provider. They will ask several questions about the accident and give you instructions on how to proceed with your claim. If you are filing a claim related to a car seat, make sure you state that the accident involved a damaged child’s car seat. Be prepared to state the brand, year, and type of car seat that was in the car. If you have evidence of the car seat, like photos or the receipt, submit this with your claim. Please note that since most of Canada uses a no-fault insurance system, your claim will be dealt with directly through your insurance provider, even if another driver was at fault for the accident that caused the damage.
3. Buy a new car seat
The next step is to buy a new car seat. Since you will likely need this right away if you intend to keep driving in the car with your child, you won’t be able to wait to buy a new car seat until the claim is approved. Instead, the next step is to purchase a brand-new car seat that is similar in value to the original car seat. From there, you will submit your receipt to the insurance company as part of your claim. It is important to note that after getting into a car accident, you are not legally allowed to continue using the car seat that was in the car, even if there is no visible damage and your child was not in the car with you at the time of the accident.
4. Wait for your payout
The final step is waiting to receive your payout from the insurance company. Since you already submitted the receipt for your new car seat, you can expect to be reimbursed for the cost of the new car seat. Please note that at-fault accidents affect car insurance rates, so if you are liable for the accident that caused the damage to your child’s car seat, you can expect your insurance premium to increase the next time it renews, unless you possess accident forgiveness coverage.
Get in touch with BrokerLink to learn more about car seat replacements and auto insurance
If you want to find out more about how car insurance will cover you in the event that your child’s car seat is damaged, reach out to BrokerLink today. We are auto insurance experts, meaning we know the ins and outs of how coverage works. We can explain, in detail, which types of coverage will come into play if the car seat in your car is damaged following an accident. Further, as licensed insurance brokers, we can also provide insight into other important car insurance-related topics, like how to calculate mileage or insurance cover for towing. Reach out to BrokerLink today to learn more about how auto insurance works in Canada or to request a complimentary quote. All BrokerLink quotes are accurate, reliable, and, best of all - free! Use our online quote tool to get started today. Reach out to us by phone, or visit us in person.
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