SF Giants & Other MLB Teams Suing Insurance Companies

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 03: A view inside the New York Stock Exchange on August 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 03: A view inside the New York Stock Exchange on August 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) /
SF Giants
Major League Baseball and their franchises, like the SF Giants, led by commissioner Rob Manfred, are suing many of their insurance providers. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sport) /

The SF Giants, all 29 other Major League Baseball franchises, and MLB filed a lawsuit against their insurance providers, according to an Associated Press report.

A report by Jake Steiner of the Associated Press revealed that all 30 MLB teams, including the SF Giants, and the league itself are filing lawsuits against their insurance providers. American International Group (AIG) and Factory Mutual and Interstate Fire and Casualty Company have refused to pay out policies even though the league and teams were unable to welcome fans this season. Thus, the league is suing to try and compel them to pay.

Teams, of course, were unable to make revenues from ticket sales, parking, concessions, and a host of other ways they have previously in 2020. The league as a whole also lost out on large amounts of television revenue as well since the team’s only played 60 of their normally scheduled 162 games in the regular season.

The league (and its franchisees) claim to have “all-risk” policies, which should hypothetically cover those losses. However, depending on the language in the claim, the insurers may have a strong case. Some policies have language that makes exceptions for viruses/pandemics and others solely focus on physical loss or property damage. While the league claims both occurred, that’s harder to explain.

The events of 2020 have done nothing to substantially damage any of the physical property owned by MLB, like their stadiums. Furthermore, while team ownerships clearly lost revenue, it seems hard to envision franchises having actually lost long-term value. After all, Michael Cohen agreed to pay $2.4 billion for the New York Mets just last month.

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In the grand scheme of things, this case is a fight between elites. As Brady Klopfer of McCovey Chronicles described it, it’s billionaires suing billionaires. However, if the league and its franchises have a case, there’s even less excuse for the mass layoffs and penny-pinching we have seen since their losses should be covered soon.