Walk into any casino or hotel-casino, and you are immediately transported to another reality by the barrage of noises from the spins of slot machines, the ding and dong of games, coins hitting metal, and the pitter-patter of the those running the games. There’s also the hustle and bustle of the wait staff and the crowds with a palpable energy that brings a casino to life.
This article will address the importance of umbrella insurance for casinos as well as hotel-casinos. We will also look at key exposures brokers need to consider when reviewing casino umbrella insurance policies.
The Playground for Adults
Today’s hotel-casinos are also a hotspot – a destination for a weekend getaway, birthday, pre-wedding event, and anniversary celebrations. There are many high-end restaurants and bars, live entertainment shows, concerts, and shops that draw throngs of visitors daily. In 2019, pre-pandemic, more than 42 million tourists visited Las Vegas, Nevada, bringing in $60 billion.
Not All Fun & Games
With all of this foot traffic and so many varied activities, hotel-casinos face a number of liability exposures. It’s important your clients have robust casino umbrella insurance to mitigate these exposures.
On-Premises Accidents: Slips & Falls
Among the most common exposures are slips and falls due to slippery floors from spilled drinks. For example, a woman was awarded $3 million in damages in arbitration following a slip-and-fall injury at a tribal hotel and casino in California. While entering the casino, the woman slipped on spilled water and fell hard onto the tile floor, suffering a concussion.
To mitigate slip-and-fall injuries, a hotel-casino must employ the highest level of facility and maintenance upkeep. Slip-proof mats should be used throughout the facility, especially in bathrooms and bathtubs, all stairwells should be well lit, and elevators should be serviced on a regular basis. Employees should be provided with ongoing education and training, and the casino must ensure that it’s in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Wrongful Actions from Third-Party Vendors
Hotel-casinos use third-party vendors for security, off-site activities, and transportation of guests, among other services – raising the possibility of claims. For example, if an accident occurs and passengers are injured, the casino could be named in a liability lawsuit. This occurred in a case involving a tribal hotel-casino in California when the family of two passengers killed in a bus crash sued both the casino and the bus company. The casino had contracted the bus company to take the passengers off-site and was found liable for the negligence of the bus operator along with the bus company. The family was awarded $11 million.
Make sure the hotel-casino is named as an additional insured in each of its third-party vendor’s Liability insurance policies. Additionally, the hotel-casino in its contractual agreements should require that each vendor carry high limits of Liability coverage to help mitigate its exposure.
Public Security & Safety
Public security is also a concern for hotel-casinos. If a guest is attacked in any way on the premises, the hotel-casino could be liable for the guest’s injuries if the attack happened as a result of a failure to provide adequate security.
Property managers should review their current security staffing levels and equipment to ensure guests are adequately protected. Effective security necessitates that management have a thorough understanding of the property and its operations. Cameras in public places, both inside and outside, may be an effective deterrent to crime and may also aid in the defense of injury claims by providing a record of the incident. The company or vendor should thoroughly vet the security staff and provide adequate training. Security systems should also be well maintained.
Any time alcohol is served, the risk of on-site incidents and altercations is elevated. It is critical that employees who serve alcohol have the appropriate licenses and training. The potential liabilities go beyond the property. If the staff is concerned about a customer’s level of intoxication, it is not enough to stop serving them. Hotels, for example, may want to consider measures to safely transport guests who have been drinking back to their rooms.
Establishments that serve liquor may be held liable under dram shop laws in 30 states for serving alcohol to intoxicated individuals who later cause injuries or death. In some states, even if the customer was not visibly intoxicated, the serving establishment may be held liable.
There are other exposures that hotel-casinos face, including but not limited to foodborne illnesses, bed bugs, and cyber.
Don’t Roll the Dice: Add High-Limit Casino Umbrella Insurance
While a hotel-casino purchases a General Liability policy and perhaps even low-limit Umbrella insurance to protect against liability risks, if a catastrophic event occurs, these may not be enough to cover a huge liability settlement or verdict. Today’s settlements and jury verdicts often run in the millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars. A high-limit Umbrella policy combined with a robust risk management program is required to adequately protect the assets of a hotel-casino.
Top 10: Why Choose Distinguished’s Hotel-Casino Umbrella Program
There are many benefits to offering our Hotel-Casino Umbrella program to clients. Here are the top ten:
- We have the longest-standing Hotel Umbrella program in the country, insuring more than $1 million rooms.
- We insure some of the biggest names in gaming.
- We have extended delegated underwriting authority from our carriers.
- We partner with top-tier carriers.
- We provide high-limit Umbrella coverage – up to $170 million.
- We offer world-class service and dedicated claims management.
- We insure all types of risks – from luxury properties to hotel-casinos, stand-alone casinos, and card rooms.
- We can insure the hotel-casino and ancillary operations of casinos, including event space and theaters.
- We provide broad-follow form coverage including for Legionella.
- We provide Crisis Response Services in the event, for example, of a fire, shooting or assault, to help manage a crisis effectively. Resources include the costs to secure the scene if needed, a crisis management firm’s fees (approved by the carrier), medical or funeral costs for affected persons, temporary living expense for impacted individuals, emergency transport expenses, and others.
We invite you to take a closer look at our Hotel-Casino Umbrella program.
About Distinguished Programs
Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Real Estate, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its areas of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.