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Some Albuquerque businesses see rising insurance rates

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Plenty of Albuquerque business owners have faced big costs cleaning up after a break-in or vandalism. However, some are now dealing with the added impact of rising insurance rates or even getting their coverage dropped.

“We’ve been broken into four times total with one of them, which was the worst one, it was the second break-in, we were looted throughout the night by five different individuals,” said Leticia Leyba, the owner of Groove Boutique.

It hasn’t been an easy year doing business in Uptown Albuquerque for Groove Boutique owner Leticia Leyba. Tuesday marked her fourth break-in in nine months when someone threw rocks through a side window.

This time, it cost her $700 in repairs, but it’s not the only big cost she’s faced from repeated vandalism. After the other break-ins, her original insurance company dropped her coverage forcing her to a new plan at double the cost and no coverage for break-ins.

“It’s horrible because this is not our doing. We just want to run our businesses and we can’t help the crime and being broken into. But yet, we’re the ones paying for it,” said Leyba.

It’s a trend some insurance agents are seeing more of and they believe crime is partly fueling higher coverage rates. “An insurance company, in order to stay on a risk in a certain area, needs to see that a business owner is taking every precaution they can possibly take,” said Patty Padon, the CEO of Independent Insurance Rates of New Mexico.

Padon said she’s seen business insurance rates go up in Albuquerque and nationally anywhere between 25% to 60% since the middle of 2023. She said other factors causing the increase are a lack of repair contractors, inflation and more. It’s causing some businesses to consider throwing in the towel. “If I shut down and go online I don’t have to worry about insurance, I don’t have to worry about being dropped, and I don’t have to worry about being broken into,” said Leyba.

According to Leyba, she once again filed a police report after this fourth round of vandalism, but she’s never heard if the police have caught any of the people who’ve done this in the past.

If a business gets dropped from their insurance or sees a spike in rates, Padon said it usually comes with shop owners having to add more costly security precautions like alarms, gates, or cameras.

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