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Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Pritchett

2018 IL App (3d) 170577 (Ill. App., 2018)

Words & Phrases

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Arbitration

Trial Judge

John C. Anderson

Appellate Judge



Coverage issues under UM provisions not subject to arbitration.

Fact Summary

In October 2007, Pritchett was driving a semitruck owned by his employer, Carl A. Anderson & Sons, Inc., when Pritchett lost control of the truck, hit the curb, and flipped the truck over. Cincinnati had issued an automobile liability insurance policy to Carl A. Anderson & Sons, Inc.

The policy required arbitration if the parties do not agree whether a claimant “is legally entitled to recover damages from a party respondent for the ‘accident.’ ” Pritchett made a claim under the uninsured motorist provision of the policy in 2008, and Cincinnati denied coverage on the basis that the accident did not involve an uninsured vehicle or any other second vehicle. Pritchett questioned the denial, and Cincinnati confirmed its denial. Pritchett then filed a demand for arbitration.

Cincinnati filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against Pritchett. The complaint alleged (1) Pritchett was not entitled to arbitrate issues regarding coverage because “[w]ell-established Illinois law clearly holds that coverage issues are not subject to arbitration agreements in uninsured motorist provisions of a policy and should be determined prior to arbitration proceedings” (citing State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Yapejian, 152 Ill. 2d 533 (1992)), (2) the accident was not covered by the policy because “[t]he subject occurrence did not involve an uninsured motor vehicle, or any other second vehicle,” and (3) “[t]he accident claimed by Pritchett does not fall within the definition [of] an accident with an ‘uninsured motion vehicle’ because the subject occurrence does not involve a vehicle which hit, or caused an object to hit, Pritchett’s vehicle.”