Kansas City, Mo.
This week, an accident along Troost Avenue sent a pick-up truck through the front entrance Anchor Island Coffee at the corner of E. 41st Street.
Security camera footage shows the moments when the truck went through the front window and people inside the truck jumped out and fled before authorities showed up.
All that was left was for owners Armondo Vasquez and Mike Hastings to work with their insurance company to replace the equipment.
“I was home for about 30 minutes until the neighbors called me,” Vasquez said. “They said, ‘Get over here now,’…I looked at the camera and I saw a truck all the way inside the store.”
“We have adequate coverage to cover anything damaged that we install,” Hastings said.
That covers the equipment but replacing the building itself is a different matter. They say their landlord’s insurance coverage likely won’t cover structural damage and they’re waiting to find out if their insurance will be included.
The truth is, they are lucky to have the coverage they do.
When they launched in March 2020, days before the COVID-19 pandemic, they struggled to find insurance coverage.
“Because of the area we’re in, not all companies are interested in securing business in this space,” Hastings said.
Hastings said family friends in the insurance industry spent two days calling before finally finding a company that had the right coverage for the store’s outdoor seating and someone who would do business with them.
Hastings believes that’s because the store is just east of Troost Avenue, where redlining has held the community together for generations.
“It’s something that’s out of our hands,” Hastings said. “It’s one of those things where we could have all the money in the world and it wouldn’t change what we can get.”
FOX4 asked the City of Kansas City about Hastings’ complaint. It says it hasn’t heard specific complaints from other business owners, but it is concerned about the type of potentially discriminatory practices it will begin asking business owners about issues getting coverage in the future.
Refusal to cover a business just because of its location is illegal, but the Insurance Information Institute told FOX4 there are many factors that go into determining the cost of coverage: the crime rate, nearby police activity, or the business’s history and financial condition. That data didn’t help Hastings and Vasquez, and they said they didn’t have the capital to launch elsewhere.
Now, they wait while the community rallies around them.
“We’ve been in business for almost two and a half years, which means we have a customer base,” Vasquez said. “That customer base won’t let us die and we know that for sure.”
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