On July 21, 2007, Terri Whitehead was involved in a two-car crash in Wisconsin. The driver of the other car did not have insurance. Section 143.1 of the Illinois Insurance Code saved Whitehead’s uninsured motorist claim from being barred by a two-year deadline for initiating arbitration.
Although Whitehead did not demand arbitration on her uninsured motorist (UM) claim against Country Preferred Insurance Co. within two years of when she was injured by the uninsured motorist, and she failed to select an arbitrator when she eventually demanded arbitration, she did notify Country Preferred a few hours after the crash, plus she promptly filled out and returned its “notice of claim” form.
The notice of claim form was sufficient to trigger Section 143.1 which provides:
“Whenever any policy or contract for insurance * * * contains a provision limiting the period within which the insured may bring suit, the running of such period is tolled from the date proof of loss is filed, in whatever form is required by the policy, until the date the claim is denied in whole or in part.”