All right, today I want to talk about a question that was posted last week about helmet use and whether an insurance company can deny coverage under your policy either for property damage or for an injury if you’re not wearing a helmet.
And so the specific question was related to incidences where you’re a Georgia licensed motorcycle rider, you have a Georgia license, you’re riding in let’s say Florida, somewhere that doesn’t require a helmet under their laws, you get in an accident caused by someone else. Can your Georgia motorcycle policy deny your claim because you weren’t wearing a helmet, even though you weren’t violating the law in the state you were in at the time but would have been violating Georgia law? And so, my answer was no, they can’t do that.
Number one, you’re following the law in the state in which you’re riding at the time, and therefore they can’t really cite to any law that you violated to say it cancels your policy and coverage. More importantly our accidents in Georgia I think to this question and what really happens with your policy when you’re in an accident here in Georgia, and you’re not wearing your helmet? Again, I looked it up to make sure I was correct on this, it’s a very unique situation, and the answer appears to be no, you can’t simply as the insurance company under our standard policy say, we don’t have to cover your property damage or your injury because you weren’t wearing a helmet in violation of Georgia law, okay? So, not a blanket denial.
Okay, here’s where it gets tricky. They can use that against you under Georgia’s comparative negligence law to say you were negligent, and if you’re 50 percent or more negligent, we can deny your claim because your negligence is higher than that of the at-fault party that initially caused the injury.
And that’s typical in any kind of case, think about seatbelt laws think like that, they can’t deny your claim because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. Now could they argue comparative negligence? Potentially, there’s some law out there that won’t allow that either and that’s for another day.
So, the bottom line is know if you are hearing from an insurance company here in Georgia that, hey your policy is negated because you weren’t wearing a helmet we’re not covering you at all. That is not the case; I don’t see anything that it’s certainly in the law that allows it.
Now, here’s the other issue, look at the policy language. There has been a recent movement by some insurance companies to add in language. Now, what I saw is like in the United Kingdom they had added I think it was nationwide added for bicycles, okay? That if you don’t wear a helmet and it shows that your injury was related to not wearing a helmet and it would have been prevented, then they can deny coverage for any part of your injury. So there is a movement for these insurance companies I wouldn’t put it past them to sneak in some language that may apply in the future.
So, if you guys have any questions about your policy, want to know if you’ve got an issue with wearing a helmet and would it avoid coverage, not just arguing under the wall but avoiding it outright. Send it to me; I’d be happy to look at it, give you a review of it.
So again, no they can’t blanketly deny your claim because you weren’t wearing a helmet whether you’re injured in another state, and you were following their laws regarding no use of the helmet or you’re here in Georgia technically violating the rules of the road by not wearing a helmet. Cannot use that to blanketly deny your claim.
Comment if you’ve had any of these issues with any of your insurance companies, love to hear it. Which ones are out there trying to tell motorcyclists that they’re denying the claim. Again, I think this is where motorcycle rights advocacy comes into play. I want to hear about it, tell me what insurance companies are you hearing from that are pulling these kinds of tricks and shoot me an email if you guys have any questions or concerns. Thanks for watching this video.