A Reasonable Approach to the Doctrine of Reasonable Expectations as Applied to Insurance Contracts

Part I of this article examines standard insurance contract analysis and the existing confusion within that analysis. Part II examines the doctrine of reasonable expectations. In Part Ill, Professor Keeton’s expansion of the reasonable expectations doctrine is explained and analyzed. This article concludes in Part IV that Keeton’s expanded doctrine has the effect of confusing most courts, which continue to discuss reasonable expectations in relation to conventional rules of contract construction. The article proposes that the reasonable expectations doctrine be limited to contractual language and surrounding circumstances in order to establish clearer guidelines for insurers and consumers.