In most cases, financial recovery for sexual abuse survivors comes in the form of insurance money. Many clients ask about attaching personal assets of the perpetrator or responsible individuals. However, often these individuals lack assets all together (i.e., money) or accessible ones because of legal protections (i.e., trusts).
Understanding Insurance Policies
While proving the acts of abuse and resulting damage suffered by the victim is a significant challenge, one of the greatest obstacles is securing sufficient insurance coverage to adequately compensate a survivor of abuse. Most homeowner’s policies include one, or a combination of two barriers, to coverage:
- Limitations: Either coverage is offered at a lesser amount than the limits that apply to other events (e.g., a dangerous condition on the property); or
- Exclusions: An exclusion in the policy precludes coverage altogether (i.e., “losses arising from intentional or sexual acts committed by an insured”)
An insurance policy functions as a contractual agreement between the insured homeowner and the insurance company. The insured homeowner pays a premium for coverage on certain types of risks, and the policy outlines the scope of the insurance company’s duty to pay. Many policyholders may misunderstand their coverage because they don’t thoroughly read or comprehend the entire policy. As a result, policyholders are unaware that the terms of the insurance policy may exclude certain events.
Exclusions exist in virtually all policies of insurance. A common exclusion, often referred to as “The International Acts Exclusion,” limits or eliminates coverage. Common exclusions limit specifically acts of the insured if they intended to cause injury. In contested cases, most states have upheld this exclusion when someone claimed the insurance covered acts of sexual abuse.
Understanding the terms of insurance policies and navigating legal barriers is crucial to securing appropriate compensation for victims and survivors of sexual abuse.
Monsees & Mayer, PC Can Help You
Our experienced Missouri sexual abuse lawyers are here to help you through this challenging journey. We want to help victims/survivors get their voice back and take the first steps towards healing. Contact Monsees & Mayer at (816) 844-3596 so we can assist you or a loved one seeking justice against perpetrators. Our legal team in Missouri is here to listen, support, and fight for your rights.