The Ceres Police Department is making the public aware that the state requires auto insurance companies to replace child car seats after an accident when specific types of claims are placed in California.
The state requires insurers to fund a replacement car seat if there's been an accident with liability, uninsured motorist and physical damage coverage.
Upon the filing of a claim, an insurer shall have an obligation to ask whether a child passenger restraint system was in use by a child during an accident that is covered by the policy, and an obligation to replace the child passenger restraint system if it was in use by a child during the accident or reimburse the claimant for the cost of purchasing a new child passenger restraint system.
In California, an insured, upon acquiring a replacement child passenger restraint system, may surrender the child passenger restraint system that was replaced to the nearest office of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
Some insurance companies are very proactive about covering crashed seats regardless of the manufacturer or crash details; while others may not accept it as part of the claim if state laws and their internal guidelines do not call for a child seat to be replaced as part of the claim settlement after an accident.
There are insurance companies that will direct you to purchase a replacement seat and submit the receipt for reimbursement while others that pay for a child seat replacement will prorate the original purchase price of your crashed seat(s) to determine how much to reimburse you. Be sure to clarify what the insurance company will specifically cover before purchasing a new seat that you expect the insurance company to reimburse you for.
If your child seat does need replacing due to this accident we would advise you to contact the Ceres police station to find out where to dispose of the child seat that was in the accident so that it will not be used by others since it may be compromised.