The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the insurer’s petition to permanently stay arbitration in this rear-end collision should have been granted. The insured sought to recover uninsured motorist benefits but did not timely notify the insurer of the accident:
The respondent, Irina Ostapenko, allegedly was injured when the vehicle she was driving was struck in the rear by another vehicle that then left the scene. The vehicle Ostapenko was driving was insured by the petitioner. Ostapenko filed a request for uninsured motorist arbitration. The petitioner commenced this proceeding, inter alia, to permanently stay arbitration. In an order … , the Supreme Court, among other things, in effect, denied that branch of the petition which was to permanently stay arbitration. The petitioner appeals.
The Supreme Court should have granted that branch of the petition which was to permanently stay arbitration. The subject insurance policy required the insured or someone acting on the insured’s behalf to report the collision within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible to a “police, peace or judicial officer or to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.” Ostapenko’s failure to comply with this requirement in the absence of a valid excuse vitiates coverage … . Matter of Progressive Direct Ins. Co. v Ostapenko, 2019 NY Slip Op 07586, Second Dept 10-23-19