Boynton v. New Haven

In Boynton v. New Haven, 63 Conn. App. 815, 779 A.2d 186, cert. denied, 258 Conn. 905, 782 A.2d 136 (2001), the city of New Haven was a fully self- insured municipality that had not filed with the insurance commissioner's office any notice of its limitations of underinsured motorist coverage. The Court explained that self-insurers are treated no differently than commercial insurers, and General Statutes 14-129 and 38a-371 (c) "do not impose greater liability on a self-insurer than they impose on a commercial insurer. . . . The fiscal responsibility, therefore, is the same for a self-insurer as it is for a commercial insurer." Id., 63 Conn. App. at 822-23. Where a fully self- insured municipality had not defined its limits of underinsured motorist coverage, we refused to find the city's liability to be unlimited, and, instead, held that "the applicability of the statutory minimum is reasonable because the exposure of commercial insurers is not unlimited." Id. at 827. The Court held that a self-insurer does not need to provide written notice when it chooses to reduce its uninsured and underinsured coverage. The Court stated that "a literal reading of the statute would have required the defendant, wearing its hat as insured, to file a written request with itself, wearing its hat as insurer. That reading is untenable . . . and it would be an exercise in futility to require the defendant to file a written request with itself." Id., 828-29.