Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Arbitration Bill
An Insurance Law amendment drafted by Scott Blumenshine has been submitted as a bill for consideration by the Illinois Legislature. Senate Bill 1636 would make arbitration decisions entered on uninsured motorist claims binding. Illinois is the only state in the nation that allows insurance companies to reject arbitration decisions. Arbitration is designed to be cost effective and provided for the timely resolution of disputes. In other words, claims get done in a reasonable time and at a reasonable expense with binding arbitration. Because the current law allows insurers to reject arbitration decisions awarding in excess of $50,000, many uninsured motorist claims are sent to court after an arbitration decision has already been entered.
The court process is time consuming and costly. The injured insured, who paid the insurance for the peace of mind that is supposed to come with insurance, must wait and pay for a protracted period of time. Many courts and legal commentators have noted the unfairness of non-binding arbitration to consumers. The Illinois Supreme Court has even noted the uneven bargaining power between insurance companies and consumers, yet it says it is powerless to change the law. The Supreme Court concluded that the Legislature is the governmental body that would have to act to make arbitration binding.
Here are some other great articles about uninsured and under insured motorist accidents in the Chicago area: