The goal of this guest editorial is to place the issues discussed at the Seminar—and specifically those concerning the insurance coverage of corporate liability risks—in context. I would like to do this by discussing some of the history of corporate liability insurance in the United States, and comparing the manner in which insurance problems and challenges developed in the past to what is happening today.

Of course, history never exactly repeats itself. But it is also true that almost nothing is ever entirely new. Therefore, what I find is that there are both parallels between the current situation and the past, and differences between the past and the present.

The first part of this editorial looks at the history of corporate insurance in the United States over the past 30 years. This is a history of both insurance against liability for bodily injury and property damage, and of insurance against liability for corporate wrongdoing that results in financial losses. Thus, the two main subjects are Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance and Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance.

Kenneth S. Abraham, Lessons Learned from the History of Corporate Liability Insurance in the United States, 35 Geneva Papers on Risk & Insurance 364–368 (2010).
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