KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One Kansas City, Missouri business’ terrible luck is drawing attention to the inequities that still exist in our communities.
This week, a crash along Troost Avenue sent a pick-up truck through the front entrance at Anchor Island Coffee on the corner of E. 41st Street.
The security camera footage shows the moments when the truck comes through the front window and the people inside the truck jumping out and running away before the authorities showed up.
All that’s left is for owners Armondo Vasquez and Mike Hastings to work through their insurance company to replace the equipment.
“I was at home for like 30 minutes until the neighbors called me,” Vasquez said. “They said, ‘Get here now,’…I looked at the cameras and I saw a truck all the way inside the shop.”
“We have adequate coverage to cover anything that is damaged that we put in,” Hastings said.
That covers their equipment but replacing the building itself is a different matter. They say their landlord’s insurance coverage likely won’t cover the structure damage and they’re waiting to find out if their insurance will pitch in.
The truth is, they’re fortunate to have the coverage they do.
When they launched in March 2020, days before the COVID-19 pandemic, they struggled to find any insurance coverage.
“Due to the area that we are in, not all companies are interested in insuring businesses in this space,” Hastings said.
Hastings said a family friend in the insurance industry spent two days calling around before finally finding one company with the proper coverage for the shop’s outdoor seating and who would do business with them at all.
Hastings is convinced it’s because the shop sits just east of Troost Avenue, where redlining held that community back for generations.
“It’s something that’s out of our hands,” Hastings said. “It’s one of those things that we could have all the money in the world and that’s not going to change what we’re able to get.”
FOX4 asked the City of Kansas City about Hastings’ complaint. It says it hasn’t heard that specific complaint from other business owners, but it’s so concerned about that kind of potentially discriminatory practice that it’s going to start asking business owners about issues getting coverage in the future.
Refusing to cover a business just because of its location is illegal, but the Insurance Information Institute tells FOX4 there’s a lot that goes into determining the cost of coverage: crime rates, nearby police activity, or a business’ own history and financial situation. That data didn’t help Hastings and Vasquez and they say the didn’t have the capital to launch somewhere else.
Now, they wait while the community rallies around them.
“We’ve been in business for almost two years and a half, which means we have a customer base,” said Vasquez. “That customer base is not going to let us die and we know that for sure.”
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