Will insurance cover an airbag replacement?
There’s no question that airbags in cars are a security feature that have saved many lives on the road.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that front airbags reduce fatality by 29% in front impact crashes, while side airbags can reduce the chance of death by between 37-52%.
If your airbags were deployed, you’ll be wondering what the next step is. Obviously, you’ll need to get them replaced by an expert, but this begs the question: how much does it cost to replace an airbag? We’re getting to answer this question today.
Replacing an airbag is often incredibly expensive. The replacement bag alone can cost $200 to $700 for the driver’s side, and $400 to $1,000 for the passenger side. Once you add on labor, you’ll expect to pay between $1,000 to $6,000, with the typical cost sitting around $3,000 to $5,000. You will need to spend this amount per Airbag repair or replacement.
With such a high cost involved, it’s understandable to want to find alternative options. But are there any? And why does it cost so much?
How do airbags work?
To understand why it’s so important to replace airbags properly, we need to understand how they work.
Airbags are a security feature that inflates when there’s an impact, and that deflate when you come into contact with them.
Normally, a collision is detected by the car’s impact sensors, which send a signal to the airbags to deploy for the driver and passenger. Hopefully, they will prevent injury or even death as a result.
A seatbelt helps to keep the passenger safely in their seat, while the airbag can support a driver or passenger’s head. Airbags are used in conjunction with seatbelts, and inflate to supply support.
You may hear them mentioned as a supplementary restraint system. Airbags lower the danger of injury to the lower and upper body caused by hitting the car dashboard or steering wheel during an accident.
The number of airbags depends on the age, model, and sort of car you own. Airbags are a feature on all modern vehicles to help keep drivers and passengers safe in the event of a collision. New models and bigger vehicles tend to possess more airbags.
Cars have built with airbags since 1998 thanks to mandatory laws. You’ll find them on many vehicle types; everything from compact cars to SUVs.
Will insurance cover an airbag replacement?
In most cases, your vehicle insurance should include your airbag replacement. However, because this repair is so expensive, it’s common for insurance companies to settle on ‘totaling’ the vehicle instead.
If you’ve got a less expensive auto insurance plan, then you’re less likely to have airbag replacement cover.
What affects the value of an airbag replacement?
As an airbag replacement can cost between $1,000 and $6,000, including parts and labor, what accounts for this massive variation?
The price depends on the make and model of your car. It also depends on the airbag or airbags that are being replaced, as driver-side bags cost but passenger-side ones. The design of the airbag and its size can also impact costs.
Where can you purchase replacement airbags?
Where you purchase an airbag also will affect its value. You’ll often find replacements online for lower prices, but you won’t have the knowledge to install them. And your mechanic may not be willing to fit an airbag you have bought elsewhere as they will ave their own suppliers.
You can run into quality issues when buying airbags online and, if you don’t buy from a trusted source, you could find yourself with a faulty airbag. This might result in a number of issues, from not deploying to not deploying in time, and even releasing metal shrapnel.
And then there’s the issue of warranty. Airbags bought online are unlikely to come with the equivalent warranty that you would get from one supplied by mechanic, and could end up costing you more in the long run.
Even if your mechanic agrees to fit an airbag you supply, you’ll still need to pay labour costs. And if you are in a collision, it’s likely that more than one airbag deploys, so you need to multiply any costs by the total number that need to be replaced.
Is it worth replacing your airbag?
Now that you know how much it costs to replace an airbag, you’ll may be wondering whether it’s worth the cost. We already established that you shouldn’t drive your car without an airbag, but what if replacing it’s still not an option?
Every situation is different, but here are some scenarios where it doesn’t make financial sense to replace your airbag:
- You no longer feel safe in your car and wish to replace it.
- You’ve decided to use an alternative form of transport.
- I’s cheaper to replace your car than replace the airbags.
- Your car needs too much work doing to it to make it worthwhile.
- You were planning to replace your car anyway.
If you do decide not to replace a deployed airbag, that’s your choice. But you need to accept that you won’t be able to drive this particular car again without airbag repair or replacement for safely reasons.
Photo by Julian Hochgesang