At the first step, language that is not ambiguous should
be given its ordinary meaning, “as [it] would be understood by
the average person applying for insurance, not as [it] might be
perceived by persons versed in the niceties of insurance law”:
Sabean, at para. 13. If the language is ambiguous, general rules
of construction can be employed to resolve the ambiguity. If
these general rules fail, “courts will construe the contract contra
proferentem, and interpret coverage provisions broadly and
exclusion clauses narrowly”: Sabean, at para. 12.
 As I read his reasons, the motion judge rejected Security
National’s “self-insurance” argument by approaching the matter
as if the definition in s. 1.1.5(a) were ambiguous. In addressing
the argument, he immediately went to the purpose of the coverage identified in Chomos v. Economical Mutual Insurance Co.
(2002), 61 O.R. (3d) 28,  O.J. No. 3164 (C.A.), at para. 20,
namely, “to provide financial relief for insureds and their families from the hardships and inequities of any shortfalls in insurance compensation”. He reasoned that, if accepted, Security
National’s argument would defeat that purpose.
 In fact, it was unnecessary for the motion judge to take
this route, as the material language is clear. An average person
applying for insurance would understand that the ordinary
meaning of the phrase “financial guarantees as required by law
in lieu of insurance” would include a legislated obligation by an
uninsured state to indemnify its employees by paying compensation for tortious damage caused by those employees. And this is
what the Minnesota Tort Claims Act expressly does. It is a legislated scheme — thereby “required by law” — subdivision 9 of
which guarantees that Minnesota will indemnify its employees
for damages in connection with civil claims, which would include
those arising from automobile accidents.
 Given the definition of “inadequately insured motorist”,
the fact that Minnesota chooses to self-insure is not inconsistent
with it being an “inadequately insured motorist”.
(b) Does Minnesota’s statutory immunity defeat the claim?
 In oral argument, Security National contended that Minnesota is not inadequately insured within the meaning of the
policy endorsement because any shortfall in damage payments is
the result of a statutory immunity rather than underinsurance.
In my view, this is not an answer to the claim either. The Tort
Claims Act does not remove Minnesota’s liability but rather limits the damages that can be collected from Minnesota. Instead
of assisting Security National, the cap on damages produces
a shortfall between what Mr. Hartley is “legally entitled to