Another Car Seat & Accident Question (Progressive Ins.)

Updated on July 28, 2012
J.F. asks from Bloomington, IN
14 answers

A friend totaled her van two nights ago. She rear-ended a person in front of her. Her airbags went off, and the car was unable to drive away. She has Progressive. Has collision, comprehension, and medical on her policy (no rental---she realizes how stupid that is now).

The company is refusing to replace her car seat for her 2 year old. The first time she was told, "not all cases require replacement." According to my recent experience with State Farm (I totaled my old car 4 months ago by also rear-ending someone), this is somewhat true. They now have a list they use to determine if they will replace or not and I got mine replaced (including one seat that didn't have a kiddo in it...thank God) because my car was undrivable from the scene.

The list State Farm used included undrivable from scene and if airbags go off (as well as other scenarios).

Progressive is now saying they won't replace my friend's seat (that had the kiddo in it) because the accident was her fault. She wasn't ticketed for it, thank goodness. Isn't "full" coverage suppose to cover this!?!?!

So, anyone else deal with Progressive Ins? Any suggestions??

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So What Happened?

She has talked to the same claim agent, and her personal agent. They won't replace it. The woman even said that in her 12 years of working there she never knew of one to be replaced. She told them of my story, and they seemed surprised. My friend will replace the seat regardless, and then start shopping for better insurance. Crazy, eh??

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answers from Johnson City on

Not read the answers but my ins said when I had a wreck, all kids were in their seats, car seats HAVE to be replaced by law. Is look into carseat laws and threaten a lawyer.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

I'm an insurance agent in AZ. First of all, there is no such thing as "full coverage". If you cause an accident and there is a fatality NO insurance is "full", implying incorrectly that insurance will FULLY pay for everything. NOT SO.

And yes, you get what you pay for. Progressive is considered a non-standard company...meaning they take on all the high risk drivers for less premiums than other companies would charge. Thus, they likely do not pay as many claims out, this being an example.

I would suggest that she ask to speak to a supervisor (if she is just calling the 800#) and ask specifically what and where it says something in her policy about this.

And yes, rental reimbursement is something a lot of people say they "don't need it", until of course they do, and wish they had it. Its usually only $40 more per year, if even.

Bottom line is good thing no one was hurt. Good luck!!!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We have progressive and my hubby totaled his car without our 2 year old in it and they still replaced his carseat. The accident was his fault also. Just keep badgering them until they replace it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Get the information from the manufacturer and fight them. I handed GEICO the replacement warning from Chicco and the receipt for the new seat and they gave me my money. The seat was in an accident with the child, and the accident was bad enough that the airbags went off and the car is undriveable. WTH are they thinking? She might also go to the county seat inspectors and get them to agree with her (should not be hard) and present that statement to Progressive.

I replaced my seat (because I needed one) and got them to reimburse me later. Absolutely should she replace it herself, even if they don't. Hassling with ins. can take a while. I also had to bring my old seat (the one I took DD home in...broke my heart) to the insurance adjuster and they took the seat and destroyed it. I was rear-ended with minor bumper damage and no air bag deployment. This was only 3ish years ago.

If they won't replace the seat due to her policy, then she should get what she can and figure it's better to shell out the $ than wonder about the seat.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm a carseat technician and if the child is in a carseat that's been in an accident, wow, Progressive is going to get sued if something happens! (Not that you'd allow her to use the old seat). BUT make sure to get a letter from the carseat company stating that it needs to be replaced, and then let progressive know you'll be holding them liable for any injuries or death caused to the child from the seat they refuse to replace.

Note if it's a Graco seat, their policy is ANY accident, you replace the seat.

I have over $1,000 of carseats in our van. If my insurance gave me a hard time, they had better watch out! In the meantime, please make sure the child has a safe seat to use.

A Cosco Scenera is about $30-40 and can be bought at Walmart, Target, etc. Please install it rear-facing for the 2-year-old assuming he/she meets the requirements. I hope you can get this resolved! Thanks for understanding how important it is to replace a carseat, occupied or not.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wow, I am glad she is ok. I know this must be difficult for her.

Bottom line, is you get what you pay for. When people try to save money on insurance, 9 times out of 10 you are ok.. but this once is when it bites you in the rear because all the savings that were earned by going cheaper with Progressive instead of someone more expensive like Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, etc is gone.

If I were in the situation, I would fight it until I got what I needed. The more time they spend interacting with her, discussing her case etc will cost them more money than a new car seat! They will eventually "get that" and understand and hopefully cut their losses and get a new seat for her.

It sounds like they waffled on the car seat decision and are trying to get out of that part. I consider it waffling when you get 1 answer 1 day and another answer another day. Stay on top of them, call daily, be a pest.... many companies don't understand until they realize you wont go away and the more time spent dealing with you and your case costs them more $$ and their bottom line is $$ not the customer.

Best wishes to your friend.

Too bad on the rental, not much she can do about that one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I think I'm confused - we're talking about the kid's car seat, right? Somewhere in the $50 to $150 range?

I had no idea car insurance would even cover that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

The car is insured, not the stuff in it. Sometimes you get lucky and they replace it even when you are at fault, sometimes not.

My son has Progressive because that is the cheapest way to go sans Geiko which I wouldn't do to my worst enemy. You get what you pay for.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My understanding is that full coverage includes the car and the individuals. For example, if your cell phone was damaged in the accident, the insurance company would not replace it, nor would they replace eye glasses or other "personal items". There may be a clause in Progressive's policy that indicates that in a case where the insured person "caused" the accident, they will not replace personal items.

Each company has different coverage policies. Unfortunately for your friend, Progressive's policy sounds like it doesn't cover personal items.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lafayette on

I was an insurance agent for 20 years. The reason a car seat is not covered is because it is not part of the car. Auto insurance only covers the vehicle itself and permanently attached equipment/parts if the car itself under comp and collision. Then liability covers injuries and property damage to others. The it provides either Med pay or Personal injury protection coverage for injuries to driver and passengers. Auto insurance never provides coverage for loose contents or items that are attached like car seats or bike racks etc---that are not permanently attached and installed like a stereo system for example. Doesn't matter if what company you have insurance with whether it be high risk like Progressive or ultra preferred policies like state farm or any standard autopolicy. It's because it is car insurance and not designed to cover Contents. Contents are covered under homeowner or renters policies and are subject to limits and deductibles. You need to read coverage sections and exclusion sections of your policies and become familiar with them and insurance agents need to do their job and explain coverage to you when they write your policies and make sure you understand them, review and answer questions and identify gaps in coverage, areas where you need more /additional coverages.

Surprised the other agent who responded from AZ didn't mention that (or didnt know) carseats are contents under your homeowners policy---it's the same in all states. In some very rare instances some policies for packaged accounts with high value homeowners policies and autos with same company -you can buy an endorsement to cover like $2000 of centers on the auto policy but it's redundant since the home policy covers contents on the residence premises and off premises. And most car seats are valued at less than the homeowners deductible anyway.

I worked with Progressive for years. Their rates are super high but because they tolerate tickets accidents and claims on your record because they ate a high risk insurance carrier. They are notorious for being very conservatuve ir cheap in claim payouts - nickel and dime body shops to death to try and cut corners on what they will pay for danages. The majority of their client base are people with bad driving records and they collect high premiums to cover the costs of the constant claims they are paying because of it. They try to portray themselves as a regular company with low rates but every time I quoted them against preferred carriers even where client had clean records, owned a home, no sports car and no prior claims, good credit, progressive was always way way higher in price. No matter what anyone tries to say they are a preferred regular company - they are Not . Their commercials are bullsh*t when they try to say they are so much cheaper. Only in aone cases if you take the absolute minimum limits of coverage with high deductibles. Then when you have an accident and are underinsured and don't have enough coverage and are sued it turns out not to be worth the savings when you face thousands of dollars of property danages or medical expenses.

insurance is designed to pay for catastrophic losses you can't cover in your own. Not every small thing that happens or alot of extras. As an agent protecting and educating my clients I always recommended people absorb small losses and the extras themselves and save insurance for the big things. Otherwise you are causing your own rates as well as everyone else's to keep increasing not only to mention frequency of claims can get you non renewed and you will find it much harder to secure insurance with other carriers. You underwrite yourself right out of a policy if you nickel and dime your own insurance carrier.

If it were me is go spend $100-300 and buy a new car seat...and try to minimize my claims record and start driving more carefully.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

When you rear end someone you are at fault, no matter if you were ticketed or not. Just because you didn't break any traffic laws, doesn't mean you are not on the hook in insurance terms.
Unless you have read the fine print in her policy (which is what she should do) you cannot know what is covered and what not. Every insurance company has their own policy and coverage may differ depending on what level they are paying for. Even collision and comprehensive policies can have exclusions.
She need to find that policy booklet they send her every year an look it up - then she can call them again and point to the clause in her policy (or she will realize that it isn't covered and buy a new seat out of pocket).
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Full coverage should cover regardless of who is at fault (with or without a ticket). Please know that some, not all, levels of Progressive is "sub-tier" insurance and that may be part of the problem. I would have your friend replace the carseat regardless of if the insurance covers it. Then she should go on their website and search for their guidelines (if she can't find them, she should find other insurance companies' policies and show them to her agent or adjuster for evidence of the need to replace them). They probably won't cover the purchase of a new one (unless identical to what she had) but at least some part of it. Replacement should be regardless of if child was in the seat during the accident...only matters that the seat was in the accident.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

The only thing they might cover it under is comp/collision along with her car damage after she pays her deductible. Otherwise yes because it's her fault they don't pay for anything. Liability covers the other person and her pip/med pay will pay for her injuries.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I don't have Progressive but just wanted to add to the conversation.

First, I'm totally confused as to why she wasn't cited - it was obviously her fault! Sounds like you guys need to stop driving so close to the person in front of you!!

And secondly, why is she complaining about the car seat? I'd be happy with everything else they're offering and go buy a new one!

Good luck finding a new insurance company that will cover her knowing she's been in a recent accident.

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