The Virginia Supreme Court held that a policy’s contractual period of limitations is not a statute of limitations and is thus not subject to a statute which tolls the statute of limitations for nonsuited actions. Allstate Property v. Ploutis, No. 141536, 2015 WL 5448064 (Sept. 17, 2015).

The insured sued her property insurer for breach of contract. At the insured’s request, an order of nonsuit was entered. The insured then refiled her action over two years after the loss. The insurer filed a demurrer asserting that the insured had failed to comply with the policy’s period of limitations which required that suits on the policy be commenced within two years after inception of the loss. The trial court overruled the demurrer. It held that the period of limitations was essentially a statute of limitations and was thus subject to Virginia Code § 8.01-229(E)(3) which tolls the statute of limitations for nonsuited actions.

On appeal, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed and entered judgment for the insurer. It held that the tolling provision in Virginia Code § 8.01-229(E)(3) does not apply to a contractual period of limitations. It also noted that neither the Code nor the policy provided for such tolling, and that the parties had voluntarily entered a contract containing a two-year period of limitations. Thus, it held that a contractual period of limitations is not a statute of limitations and is thus not tolled under Virginia Code § 8.01-229(E)(3).