AIG allegedly refuses to cover Circus Circus’ COVID-19 losses

AIG allegedly refuses to cover Circus Circus’ COVID-19 losses

Circus Circus Las Vegas LP, a holding company for the Las Vegas Strip casino of the same name, has filed a lawsuit against American International Group (AIG), alleging that the insurance giant is distorting facts so that it could refuse to cover losses caused by the deadly corona virus pandemic.

Filing its suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, billionaire Phil Ruffin’s company alleged that AIG is not ready to cover its losses even as the casino company has an all-risks covered policy with the insurance services provider.

Attorneys for the casino company said in the court, “AIG relies on sleight-of-hand, distortions of fact and contortions of law to escape from Circus Circus’s covered claim. But no illusion or death-defying feat can alter the plain language of AIG’s policy and the broad all risks coverage that it provides.”

It is not the first time when a holding company owned by billionaire Ruffin has dragged an insurance services provider to the court of law. In May this year, his Treasure Island LLC filed a lawsuit against Affiliated FM Insurance Co. in the same district court, slapping the insurer with similar allegations as Circus Circus has made against AIG.

Mr. Ruffin, who is worth nearly $3 billion, owns Treasure Island and a 50 per cent stake in the Las Vegas-based non-gaming Trump International Hotel. In October 2019, he acquired Circus Circus Casino from MGM Resorts International in a deal that was valued at $825 million.

The insurance policy, for which the casino company paid $1.6 million in premiums to AIG, runs from December 20 last year through December 20, 2020.

According to several industry experts, hefty losses caused by the deadly corona virus pandemic are just ‘uninsurable’ as the lengthy COVID-19 shutdown affected insurance service providers as well. Within a few weeks of the outbreak of corona virus pandemic, hundreds big and small businesses, including public and private companies of all sizes, filed lawsuits against a range of insurance companies for their failures to make good on policies.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), a trade association encompassing insurance services providers like AIG, estimated that losses from enterprises with a workforce of 100 or fewer reached more than $431 billion, while the insurers collect just around $71 billion in annual premiums from those businesses.