Insurance companies reduce benefits for clothes that are too light

If an accident occurs, it is better to be properly dressed
Completion of too light clothing possible

Protective clothing on the motorcycle is not a must, with the exception of the helmet. However: In the event of an accident, complicity may arise if the clothing was too light.

The summer of 2021 does not necessarily entice you to drive in light clothes. Having caught off with the motorcycle in sneakers and a linen robe, one or the other might still have to. From a purely legal point of view, it is not a problem either, in Germany only wearing a protective helmet is mandatory. Establishing rules as to what is worn below the chin may depend on the need for security or even individual taste. Would you then be on the safe, legal side in the event of an accident involving outside parties? It’s not that easy.

PS: In the photo show we show the test field of the last jeans test.

Complicity threatens

Opposing insurance companies in particular could try to turn too light clothing into complicity in the event of an accident in order to reduce payments. In particular, compensation for pain and suffering should be reduced by a considerable amount, as it can be argued as follows: If the injured party had worn “correct” motorcycle clothing, the injuries would have been milder. When asked by the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) whether this is basically the case, the following can be read: “(…) not wearing adequate protective clothing can, depending on the type of accident and injuries, result in the injured motorcyclist being responsible for contributory negligence and the compensation is reduced accordingly. Whether and how such contributory negligence can be attributed to the motorcyclist cannot be assessed across the board, but only on the basis of the specific circumstances of the individual case. ” In recent years, different decisions can be read in judgment databases on such cases, which, depending on the individual case, affirm or deny complicity. Irrespective of such attempts to reduce compensation payments, injured motorcyclists can only be advised to consult a lawyer who, by the way, is paid for by the insurance of the person who caused the accident – provided the question of guilt is clear / clarified.


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Health insurance not affected

In the cases described, it is purely about payments that are to be paid by the opposing insurance company, i.e. compensation payments for physical damage. Your own statutory health insurance could not reduce the benefits just because you were wearing clothes that were too light on the motorcycle. According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) according to §52 SGB V, health insurances can only claim back benefits if you intentionally contract an illness or injury, if you are injured in a crime or in a willful offense. Crime is defined in the context as unlawful acts that are punishable by at least one year imprisonment. Offenses are unlawful acts that are threatened with at least a lesser prison sentence or a fine.


Regardless of how, in the event of an accident caused by third parties, motorcyclists should always give their own lawyer the mandate. In the case of full third-party negligence, the opposing insurance company bears the full costs. In this way, attempts to turn too light clothing on the motorcycle into complicity can be directly prevented or negotiated accordingly. Health insurance companies cannot reduce their payments or demand recourse, even if they are partially or personally negligent. Unless the injury was caused intentionally, in a crime, or misdemeanor. Regardless of the legal situation: decent protective clothing on the motorcycle should not be a “can” for us.



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