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No Insurance compensation if you are not wearing ISI helmet – High Court

In a surprising move, a Karnataka High Court has passed ruling in favour of an insurance company. Image - Shanu Khan.


Riding a two-wheeler on Indian roads in itself a challenge. Some road safety activists believe that the situation is such that two-wheeler riders have to contend with death every time they kick start their bikes.

Time and again the authorities have pushed for compulsory wearing of helmets but riders throw caution to the wind and dare to break the law putting their very lives on the line.

Cops in Bangalore and Mysore have been conducting drives this week to destroy helmets which do not have ISI mark.

Surveys conducted on the number of road accidents involving two-wheelers has revealed that in more than 95% of the cases, the rider or pillion who died in the accident, were not wearing helmets. In the wake of such reports, traffic police departments across the country have conducted drives to promote the importance of helmet.

Sadly, this has not had much of an effect. Now, an important ruling was made earlier this week by Karnataka High Court, which could finally motivate bikers to wear ‘proper’ helmets. This ruling states that in case of an accident, bikers will only get compensated if they were wearing ISI mark helmet.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Accident
Medical bills, bike bills, etc will not be compensated if you are not wearing ISI helmet.

Back in May 2014, two bikers had met with an accident in Pavagada taluk. In that case, the local court had ordered the Insurance company to pay a compensation of Rs 2.58 lakh to the bikers. This ruling, was appealed by the insurance company in the High Court, whose ruling came earlier this week.

Justice L Narayanaswamy of the Karantaka High Court gave ruling that Insurance Companies should not give any compensation to bikers who are not wearing ISI helmets. Not only this, the helmets should also display name of manufacturer, year of manufacturing and size.

So, if you are not wearing an ISI helmet, and are involved in an accident, you will you to take care of your medical bills, bike bills, etc, on your own. Insurance company will not compensate you if you are not wearing ISI helmet.

Cops in some cities have already started fining those bikers who are not wearing helmet and those who are not wearing ISI mark helmet. The idea behind this is to make riders wear helmets with proper certification. But, because of the ruling which states that only ISI mark is allowed, there are cases where riders wearing even better quality helmets (DOT, ECE, Snell etc certified) from imported brands like Arai, Shoei, MT, LS2, etc, are getting fined as well. Hopefully the court revises the ruling and add internationally certified helmets to their list as well.

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