CHENNAI: While not wearing an ISI-certified helmet might be a contravention of the law and increase your likelihood of injury in some cases, getting yourself injured in the head because your helmet didn’t live up to expectations is not likely to be grounds for the rejection of a personal accident claim.
According to insurance experts, insurance companies are not likely to dismiss these claims since the act of wearing a non-ISI helmet, while being a contravention of the law, might only be termed negligence and not wilful exposure to harm. “As far as personal accident insurance policies are concerned, only intentional self injury, driving under the influence of alcohol or wilful exposure to harm is considered grounds for rejection of a claim. Not wearing an ISI certified helmet is ignoring a precaution, but it is not a ground for rejection of a claim,” said V Jagannathan, Chairman and Managing Director of Star Health and Allied Insurance.
Other concur. C R Mohan, VP, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said that not wearing or wearing a not certified helmet can only be termed negligence. “Negligence is not an excluded peril. If we use the same analogy, we shouldn’t pay a claim if a passenger is not wearing a seat-belt. But in practice, we seldom see such claims being repudiated,” he said.
V Srinivasan, former CFO of Bharti AXA Life Insurance confirmed that the case would not change even though wearing an ISI-certified helmet is a matter of law. “It might be a contravention of the law but it is very narrow grounds for rejecting a claim. We cannot have such narrow interpretations and we generally take a broader look,” he said.