When you're flying down the highway in a car, it's fast, it's fun, and it just might save you a minute or two getting to your destination. Nobody plans on getting into an accident, but when the rare, unfortunate event occurs, your life may very well depend on a small belt keeping you secure in your seat. Not only will the seat belt prevent you from shooting through the windshield, but it allows the air bag to work properly.
A seat belt can mean the difference between life and death, but it must be functioning. Seat belts can wear over time, accrue nicks in the webbing, or have a malfunctioning buckle. Some things that can increase deterioration include exposure to dust or too much sun, too much tension for too long (oftentimes caused by securing car seats), and the frequent fastening and unfastening of the belt. It is vital to be aware of these factors and to get a replacement if you notice anything.
The most important necessity of seat belt replacement is after a collision. That seat belt could have saved your life, but that particular belt is a one trick pony. Keeping you constrained for a crash puts tremendous stress on the belt so even after a minor crash, it would be wise to replace that belt.
Things get tricky when insurance becomes involved. For the most part, any damage caused by a covered accident will be paid for under the corresponding coverage (note that liability-only will not cover it, as liability only covers damages you cause to other vehicles). Collision should definitely cover seat belts because it should pay for everything despite who is at fault. Comprehensive insurance might pay if your seat belt was damaged by vandalism. It can't hurt to file a claim and have your car inspected by an adjuster.
It's always a good idea to have car insurance (in fact, it's the law). You will be protected from all sorts of unexpected events. An auto collision is a stressful experience, even if you're lucky enough to suffer no physical damage. You definitely shouldn't have to worry about paying for a seat belt replacement with a solid insurance policy. If your insurance company gives you any push back, call Reich and Binstock today, and we will make sure you get fairy compensated and more importantly, a brand new, safe seat belt.