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Longmont record store owner struggling to recoup costs after summer flooding incident

Flooded Longmont record store
Posted at 7:44 PM, Oct 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-20 21:44:42-04

LONGMONT, Colo. — Recycled Records in Longmont is still recovering after a flood this summer wiped out an estimated $110,000 in vintage records and other inventory.

“This is where it happened,” said owner Gale Taylor as she walked into a back stock room with an attached bathroom. “The main line behind the toilet burst, and this drain was plugged and we didn’t know it.”

Nearly the entire store flooded, as well as two neighboring businesses in the same complex.

“Our neighbor saw water running out our front door and into her space also,” Taylor said.

Since then, Taylor said the fight with her insurance company has been a nightmare.

“I had a million dollars in coverage, or so I thought,” the owner said. “I called my agent, and he said, ‘You’re not covered for the floors and stuff.’ He goes, ‘You have the wrong kind of policy.’”

Her policy has only paid out about $12,000 for employee lost wages, and nothing for the nearly $110,000 in lost inventory or the cost to replace the entire floor throughout her store.

“It’s been terrible, really,” Taylor said. “I want other small business owners to be aware and make sure they have adequate coverage and the right coverage.”

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Association said this is not uncommon. Many small businesses are often underinsured.

Some key takeaways for small business owners: make sure you have a business owner’s policy (BOP) and know what you are and aren’t covered for. After that, RMIA spokesperson Carole Walker said you might consider adding some endorsements to your policy, such as business interruption coverage and sewer backup coverage, which is different than water damage.

Walker said it's important to keep in mind that insurance is for sudden accidental loss, not maintenance issues. So if you’re worried about something, like a water heater or furnace failing, consider an extended warranty.

As for Taylor, she’s determined to keep the doors open and the records spinning.

“It’s not like we’re just a fly-by-night dirty little store,” Taylor said. “But that’s how the insurance adjuster is treating us. It’s just like we’re worthless.”

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