Wind Insurance May Shut Down New Business

The high cost of commercial insurance is forcing some small businesses out of business. One new business that is struggling to survive is Southern Community Adult Day Care in Ocean Springs. Its wind insurance has quadrupled.

After Richard Conley's heart attack, his wife Kathleen knew he'd need more supervision than she could handle alone. For the Conleys, Southern Community Adult Daycare seemed like the perfect solution.

"I feel very confident that when I leave him here, I know that he is well cared for" said Kathleen Conley."

Sonya Ramsey's passion for caring for the elderly led the long time registered nurse to open the facility. Now her dream business is being threatened by an increase in windstorm insurance.

"It's gone up more than 300 percent," Ramsey said. "Last year we paid around $4,000 for the wind storm insurance, in addition to the other insurance for the facility. Since then, it's gone up to a total of $16,000."

After only a year in operation, Ramsey says Southern Community Adult Day Care hasn't built up the clientele to offset such a major insurance hike.

"A lot of small businesses that have been around for years have had to close their doors because of the insurance. Businesses like me that are starting out, this is like a nail in my coffin."

If Southern Community Adult Day Care has to close, that would mean turning away people like Richard Conley, who've come to depend on the care.

"I look forward to it every day. Burden them down," Richard Conley laughed.

A tearful Ramsey said, "That I've really invested a lot of time and a lot of effort. I just thought that this would be something that would be wonderful for the community and a way that I could give back. And I just hate it because I know it's going to affect the clients that I do have and their caregivers are wonderful people. I just feel like I'm letting them down and I don't want to do that. "

Ramsey says she's been told by her agent that the relief given by state legislature in the commercial wind pool wouldn't affect her costs until October.

Even then, she says, she'd still have to pay around $12,000 to $13,000 dollars a year.

Southern Community Adult Day Care has three employees. The owner fears it will close soon unless she can build up her clientele enough to offset the insurance hike.

For more information on Southern Community Adult Daycare call (228) 875-5123.