Classified Insurance Co. v. Budget Rent-A-Car of Wisconsin, Inc
In Classified Insurance Co. v. Budget Rent-A-Car of Wisconsin, Inc., 186 Wis. 2d 478, 521 N.W.2d 177 (Ct. App. 1994), Rodee, an employee of Budget Rent-A-Car, had not rented a car but was driving a Budget car when she was involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist. See Classified, 186 Wis. 2d at 480.
Rodee's own vehicle was insured by Classified Insurance Company; Budget was self-insured under Wis. Stat. 344.16. See id.
Classified paid Rodee $ 30,000 to settle her uninsured motorist claim, and then sued Budget for indemnification/contribution. See id.
The circuit court granted summary judgment to Budget, concluding that Budget, as a self-insured entity under Wis. Stat. ch. 344, was not required to provide uninsured motorist coverage for occupants of its cars. See id.
The Court affirmed, concluding that because Budget was a self-insured entity under Wis. Stat. 344.16, it was not subject to Wis. Stat. 632.32(4)(a) and, therefore, was not required to provide uninsured motorist coverage. See Classified, 186 Wis. 2d at 483-87.
Declaring that 632.32(4)(a) was "inapplicable," the Court explained:
"We reach this conclusion based on our determination that 632.32(4)(a) applies only to policies of insurance issued or delivered in Wisconsin. Budget is not an insurance company and has not issued a policy of insurance.... By merely obtaining a certificate of self-insurance pursuant to ch. 344, Budget did not transform itself into an insurance entity capable of issuing an insurance policy on behalf of the operators of its vehicles.
... A careful reading of ch. 344 reveals that there is no requirement that an owner or operator of a vehicle that has been in an accident in Wisconsin meet any requirements to protect himself, such as with uninsured motorist coverage, in the event of an accident involving his vehicle."
(Classified, 186 Wis. 2d at 483-84.)