MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand’s largest general insurer, IAG (trading under the brands AMI, State, NZI, NAC, Lumley and Lantern) is encouraging caregivers with young children to double check the condition of their child car restraints in the lead up to the Christmas holidays.

The call comes as IAG completes a review of its child car restraints claims processes. As a result, it is now giving greater protection to customers whose vehicles are stolen and unrecovered or involved in accidents.

IAG Executive General Manager Claims, Dean MacGregor, says, “child car seats and capsules are critical for keeping little ones safe while travelling, yet certain types of vehicle impacts can compromise a restraint’s integrity. In some cases, there may not be any obvious signs of damage, but the restraint is in fact unsafe to continue using.

“This increased protection from IAG covers a new car seat in addition to a car’s repair or replacement costs, which will help reduce the number of compromised car seats making their way back into our communities.”

And as Kiwi families prepare to take to the roads in unprecedented numbers this summer, IAG is encouraging all caregivers to double check that their child car seats and capsules still meet New Zealand safety standards.

Mr MacGregor says this is especially important if the car seat they are using is second-hand or has a history of being involved in a road accident. “There is a lot of information out there on how to keep our kids safe and happy while travelling, but the most essential advice is to check your child car restraints are fitted properly and still meet the safety standards set by the manufacturer, as well as all safety criteria set by Waka Kotahi NZTA.

“NZTA gives strong guidance of what to look for, including the option of asking a certified Child Restraint Technician to check the child car seat if you’re in any doubt about its safety.”
Because in New Zealand there are no official recommendations for replacing child car seats after an accident, IAG will refer to international best-practice safety standards and criteria to determine whether a car seat needs to be replaced.

IAG has partnered with child car seat specialists Baby on the Move to replace customers’ stolen or damaged restraints. If during the claims process any car seats are deemed unsafe to continue using, IAG will ensure they are safely disposed of sustainably through its partnership with national car seat recycling programme, SeatSmart.

Under this partnership, IAG expects to recycle and replace around 500 car seats every year.