When Oakland cafe owner Cortt Dunlap emailed his insurance agent in January, he got some shocking news: His carrier of 15 years was dropping him.
His downtown coffee shop, Awaken Cafe & Roasting, had been hit by crime too frequently, Farmers Insurance decided. It had been vandalized once in 2020 and burglarized twice in 2022, including one time when a person threw a trash can into the Broadway cafe’s front windows. Then, in December, someone stole the catalytic converter from Awaken’s cargo van. Dunlap’s claims had reached a “severity greater than anticipated in our rate structure,” Farmers Insurance wrote in a nonrenewal letter.