The Small Business Development Center will host a free workshop about flood and business insurance from 8 to 10 a.m. tomorrow, May 21, at the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs.
A lot of business owners have had trouble making sense of the current business insurance environment, especially as it pertains to flood insurance, said Ingrid Wood, disaster recovery specialist for the Small Business Development Center.
“Where people used to have flood insurance for $500 to $1,000 a year, now they’re getting crazy quotes for $5,000 to $25,000 a year,” Wood said. “And a lot of them can’t afford to pay that.”
There are other issues as well, including gaps in coverage where flood insurance won’t cover loss-of-business income and typical business insurance doesn’t include flooding.
Since the Waldo Canyon fire changed flood plains and increased the risk of flooding in certain areas, flood insurance has been a major concern for a lot of local business owners, Wood said.
The SBDC planned to organize a workshop when iManitou called and asked if it could partner with the SBDC.
The first part of the workshop will be an open forum with a panel of speakers, including a business insurance expert and representatives from the federal flood insurance program and the state. The second part will be one-on-one counseling with insurance experts for area business owners.
In addition to offering programming, Wood said business insurance expert John Putnam will collect business owners’ stories about their insurance with plans to develop a white paper to present to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies later this summer.
Wood said she’s hopeful that these grass-roots efforts will help to create some change at the state level that will require a more reasonable and navigable business insurance environment.
“We’re reaching out to educate business about their insurance options as much as possible,” Wood said.