Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Arthur
L. Dunne, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied April 8, 1985.
Following an automobile accident, plaintiff/insured filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) under his uninsured motorist coverage, listing the applicable policy limits as $10,000/$20,000. Defendant/insurance company confirmed the policy limits listed in the demand and made no objection to arbitration. Some 10 months later, plaintiff filed an amended demand for arbitration, asserting retroactive application of an amendment to the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 95 1/2, par. 7-203), and listing the applicable policy limits as $15,000/$30,000.
An award was entered in plaintiff's favor in the sum of $13,000 ($15,000 less $2,000 medical payments). Defendant timely requested modification of the award to conform to the contract limits, those set forth in plaintiff's unamended demand. Based thereon, the arbitrator modified the award to $8,000 ($10,000 less medical payments).
Plaintiff filed for and defendant counterclaimed for declaratory judgments in the circuit court of Cook County, and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgments. The trial court ordered summary judgment in defendant's favor, and plaintiff now appeals.
We affirm the decision of the circuit court, affirming the modified arbitration award.
On June 2, 1980, plaintiff, Alcides Coronado, was involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist while driving a vehicle owned by his employer. Plaintiff wrote to his insurer, defendant Fireman's Fund Insurance Company (Fireman's), requesting information about the coverage available to him under the policy issued to his employer on January 20, 1979, for a period extending to January 20, 1982. Defendant advised plaintiff that he was eligible for medical payments in the amount of $2,000 and for uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $10,000/$20,000, the limits set forth in the written policy of insurance.
In April 1981, plaintiff filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), listing the applicable policy limits as $10,000/$20,000. Nine months later, plaintiff again wrote to defendant, requesting confirmation of the applicable policy limits for his uninsured motorist coverage. In February 1982, defendant again confirmed the applicable policy limits as $10,000/$20,000 and made no objection to arbitration.
In February 1982, after receiving defendant's second written confirmation of policy limits, plaintiff filed an amended demand for arbitration, listing the applicable policy limits as $15,000/$30,000. The claim proceeded to arbitration, and an award was entered in plaintiff's favor in the sum of $13,000 ($15,000 less medical payments). Four days after entry of the award, defendant informed the arbitrator that the award was in excess of the stated policy limits and was being returned for modification. Subsequent to correspondence from both parties pertaining to the requested modification, the arbitrator entered an amended award in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $8,000 ($10,000 less medical payments).
Following denial of his application for reinstatement of the original award, plaintiff brought suit for declaratory judgment in the circuit court of Cook County. Defendant counterclaimed for declaratory judgment, and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiff now appeals.
On June 2, 1980, plaintiff was insured by defendant under a policy of insurance issued to his employer on January 20, 1979, extending for a three-year period ending January 20, 1982. At the time this policy was issued, the following provision of the Illinois Insurance Code was in effect:
"Sec. 143a. (1) * * * no policy insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury or death suffered by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle shall be renewed or delivered or issued for delivery in this state with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto, in limits for bodily injury or death set ...