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Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Roy, Christopher


SC20020, SC20021 - Tannone v. Amica Mutual Ins. Co. ("In these appeals, we again consider whether an automobile insurance policy containing underinsured motorist coverage, as required by state law, can validly exclude benefits to the insured when the owner of the underinsured vehicle is a rental car company designated as a ‘self-insurer’ by the Insurance Commissioner (commissioner) pursuant to General Statutes § 38a-371 (c). We first addressed this issue in Orkney v. Hanover Ins. Co., 248 Conn. 195, 202–206, 727 A.2d 700 (1999), and upheld the validity of § 38a-334-6 (c) (2) (B) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, which authorizes an exclusion from the underinsured motorist coverage requirement for ‘uninured or underinsured vehicle[s] . . . owned by . . . a self-insurer under any motor vehicle law . . . .’ We came to this conclusion because self-insurers are statutorily required to prove their ability to pay judgments when liable, rendering underinsurance coverage unnecessary in those situations. Orkney v. Hanover Ins. Co., supra, 204–206; see General Statutes §§ 14-129 (b) and 38a-371 (c). Therefore, we decided in Orkney that there was ‘nothing inconsistent between the public policy underlying underinsured motorist coverage and a regulation that permits a coverage exclusion’ for vehicles owned by self-insurers. Orkney v. Hanover Ins. Co., supra, 206.")