Caesars Entertainment Inc. is not playing around when it comes to insurance payments from COVID-19 pandemic losses. The pandemic cost the company over $2 billion and now it wants to be paid by its insurance providers. The company has filed a lawsuit against its carriers in an attempt to collect on payments for business interruption losses connected to the pandemic.
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Caesars has paid over $25 million in premiums to have access to all risk coverage. This is a broad plan for property insurance that is meant to provide protection for physical loss or damage and the resulting loss of business due to an interruption. The coverage is supposed to pay up regardless of the incident unless it is specifically noted in the policy.
In the lawsuit, Caesars argues that the risk was covered, and it was not excluded in the policy. The insurers have not paid any money to Caesar’s properties for the business interruption connected to the coronavirus. The casino operator claims it will continue to see losses as it tries to get back to normal operations.
The lawsuit filed last week is 80-pages long and would help the operator to gain back some of what was lost during the pandemic. This is not the first lawsuit to be filed related to the pandemic and insurance payments, but it is the first to take place in Las Vegas.
In the Caesars suit, there are sixty defendants named. This includes individual underwriters and companies like Allianz Global Corp. and Liability Insurance Co. Caesars say that the company wants to reach an amicable resolution in the matter. This would include payment for losses and attorneys’ fees.
In 2020, similar cases were filed by Circus Circus and Treasure Island. Lawyers for the owner, Phil Ruffin, said that the insurance companies for the gaming properties were refusing to pay for losses experienced during the pandemic.
In the complaint by Circus Circus, it was alleged that the company had bought an all-risk policy. The losses the company experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic should have been paid as it was not excluded from the policy terms.
In February, a court ruling emerged in favor of the Circus Circus insurance provider. AIG Specialty Insurance Company won the case, and it was dismissed. Caesars is aware of such cases and how they are also connected to all-risk claims.
Insurance companies must be able to provide a burden of proof that they do not cover such issues as the pandemic. If they can do so, then the claim will not be paid. Insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying and consider the pandemic something that was not even considered within policies due to its odd nature.
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association called the pandemic outbreaks uninsurable last year and most insurance companies feel the same. It will be interesting to see how far Caesars takes this case and if they are able to receive a different outcome. For the most part, it seems that the insurance companies are winning when it comes to incidents involving COVID-19 claims.