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Entertainment giant files insurance recovery lawsuit

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | Insurance Recovery |

You might enjoy ViacomCBS shows without knowing it. The media conglomerate is much more than the CBS network. It includes venerable movie studio Paramount Pictures, as well as Comedy Central, Showtime, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon, too.

The entertainment behemoth helps keep America amused, even as it struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic like so many other businesses. And like so many others, ViacomCBS has found that its insurance claims regarding tens of millions of dollars for losses due to the pandemic have been rejected by its insurer.

The company recently filed a breach of contract lawsuit in a California federal court against Great Divide Insurance Company.

Reasonable expectations

The lawsuit states that “when ViacomCBS turned to Great Divide for the promised insurance, ViacomCBS reasonably expected Great Divide to cover its losses. However, instead of honoring its agreement with ViacomCBS, Great Divide interpreted the governing policy in an overly narrow and wrongful manner.”

According to the suit, ViacomCBS has a TV production policy that provides $30 million in cast coverage, as well as $10 million in extra-expense coverage, $10 million in imminent peril coverage, coverage of $1 million each for civil authority and for ingress/egress.

Great Divide says ViacomCBS is only due the $1 million on the civil authority portion of its policies.

Note: a civil authority clause states whether losses will be reimbursed when government denies access to covered property or commercial activities.

Mission impossible

According to a news source, ViacomCBS “would be limited to just $1 million arising from how government authorities made it impossible to proceed on hundreds of productions.”

An example of the different interpretations of the insurance policies can be found in ViacomCBS’s decision to delay its Kids’ Choice Awards before eventually holding the event virtually. The company presented a claim to Great Divide for its losses.

Great Divide denied the claim because the show had been completed and aired.

The insurer is also amending policies with specific Covid-19 pandemic exclusions. ViacomCBS states that the modifications are improper and that the insurer should honor existing policies.