Bill requires insurance cover replacing child safety seats after wrecks

DES MOINES — The Iowa House has unanimously passed a bill requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of replacing child safety seats that are damaged in accidents.

Some insurance companies deny coverage if a child was not in a safety seat at the time of the crash or if the automobile’s owner cannot provide receipts or a photo of the seat. Representative David Young of Van Meter says that doesn’t make sense.

“Current law says that up to the age of six that you have to have child safety seats or restraint sytems within your,” Young says. “This essentially becomes part of the car.”

Representative Keenan Judge of Waukee says it’s an important bill. “I’ve heard from constituents, believe it or not, about this bill — how happy they were,” Judge says. “And being the proud grandfather of two, my wife insisted we buy one of these expensive car seats.”

Child safety seats range in price from $40 or $50 up to a few hundred dollars. Booster seats for older children are less expensive.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends replacing a child’s car seat following a moderate or severe crash, even if it appears the seat was not damaged.