Motion for Stay of Arbitration denied based upon lack of jurisdiction and lack of coverage

In the Matter of the Application of Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company, Index No. 613290/2017 (Sup. Ct. Nassau Cty. April 19, 2018)

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The AGF&J Motor Vehicle Liability team defeated a motion in the Supreme Court, Nassau County, for a stay of arbitration proceedings. The Court denied plaintiffs' motion based on both lack of jurisdiction and the defendant insurer's showing that it had cancelled the policy prior to the accident.

Petitioner's insured filed a Demand for Arbitration pursuant to the uninsured/underinsured motorist provision of her policy. She claimed that she was injured in an automobile accident and that the other vehicle was uninsured. Petitioner filed a petition seeking stay of arbitration and to add AGF&J's client and its insured as additional respondents, and seeking a hearing to determine whether the other vehicle was insured on the date of the accident.

Respondent insurer demonstrated that it does not do business, issue insurance policies, have offices, maintain a telephone number or bank account, have employees or agents, manage insurance policies, advertise or solicit business in New York, and has not designated the Superintendent of Insurance or Secretary of State as its agent to accept process. It never issued or delivered any policies in New York.

The Court found that Respondent lacked sufficient contacts with New York for the Court to exercise jurisdiction over it.

Respondent also demonstrated that it had properly followed Virginia law in cancelling the policy for nonpayment prior to the date of the accident. The Court found that it established that it did not cover its erstwhile insured on the date of the accident.

AGF&J associate Jay Gunsher briefed and argued the motion.