#abq4ward: At risk of losing insurance, businesses taking extra measures for security

Over and over again, his store and the ones surrounding it have been victims of crime.

“We have break-ins where they’ve thrown bricks through our windows,” Nilson said. “They’ve driven through our fences. They’ve driven through our bay doors. They’ve broken into our cars that we have here. They’ve stolen cars out of the parking lot before.”

King Kong Audio had to eat all the costs. The business has already been dropped by insurance once, and he knows other businesses around him are suffering too. That’s why Nilson is working to keep his insurance rates down.

“There are lots of different ways and different products you can purchase to do that,” said Thom Turbett with Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico.”

Just like car insurance, business owners can try to score discounts by taking steps to protect themselves. 

“If you’re going into a business and you haven’t picked a place yet, you want something that is maybe a brick building or a metal building that doesn’t burn — harder to break into as opposed to a wood building,” Turbett said.

First King Kong audio got an alarm system. They knew they needed to have that in their location in northeast Albuquerque. After the first break-in, they added security cameras. Someone had thrown a brick through the window.

A few months later, another brick came through the window. That’s when they decided to add gorilla bars.

“If I was looking to open the business right now and I had a choice between here and somewhere else, I’d look somewhere else,” Nilson said.

Even with all the security measures, the break-ins keep happening. Now Nilson doesn’t bother to report property crime claims to keep his insurance company from dropping him again.

“We have to have liability insurance,” he said. “We have to have coverage.”

“Insurance companies, as you know, have lots of data on claims,” Turbett added. “And they will look at the amount of the claim and they’ll also look at the number of claims. And then they kind of come up with formulas on which combination of those may make someone ripe for not being renewed.”

With all the crime, King Kong Audio learned all about security so they can keep doing the business they love in. Albuquerque, knowing it’ll take a lot more than criminals to stop them from building their dream car.

“The people who love this stuff will always do it,” Nilson said.

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