Is a Self-Insurer That Is Not An Authorized Insurance Company Obligated to Provide Uninsured Motorist Coverage ?

In Diversified Services, Inc. v. Avila, 606 So. 2d 364 (Fla. 1992), a company that leased automobiles provided its lessees compliance with the Financial Responsibility Law through a program of self-insurance. This Court was asked to consider whether the self-insured company was an "insurer" that was required by section 627.727 to offer uninsured motorist coverage to its lessees. The court determined in Avila that because the self-insurer was not an authorized insurance company, it had no obligation to provide uninsured motorist coverage. 606 So. 2d at 366. We concluded in Avila that providing compliance with financial responsibility laws through self-insurance is not the same as issuing a "motor vehicle liability policy"; therefore, section 627.727 is not applicable. Nor does Budget's status as a self-insurer make it an "insurer" under the Florida Insurance Code. Id. See also Lipof v. Florida Power & Light Co., 596 So. 2d 1005, 1007-08 (Fla. 1992) (determining that an entity complying with the financial responsibility law by posting a surety bond rather than buying commercial insurance should not be considered an "insurer" required to offer uninsured motorist coverage).