This article addresses issues that arise when a policyholder under a standard general liability insurance policy, not containing an express sexual abuse coverage endorsement (or an express sexual abuse exclusion), seeks insurance coverage for sexual abuse claims. Such cases continue to increase in frequency as the legacy of sexual abuse and molestation generates an unrelenting deluge of insurance coverage claims.

The purpose of this article is to explore and analyze the case law and various legal theories supporting and rejecting liability insurance coverage claims involving institutional sexual abuse allegations. This article concludes by recommending a better-reasoned objective concurrent causation legal doctrine that would bring a realistic, and more uniform, judicial approach to the liability insurance interpretive conundrum involving clergy sexual abuse coverage disputes. The article also synthesizes the law concerning other prominent coverage issues in the rapidly developing area of sexual abuse insurance claims.

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Co-written with Richard Mason.