Property crimes make up an overwhelming majority of all crimes. Homes and businesses are equally susceptible to the attention of thieves. And mostly these crimes happen when you aren't there. An overwhelming number of residential burglaries happen during the day when you are at work. And, of course, businesses are most often burglarized after normal business hours.
There are few things more violating than coming home or arriving at your business and discovering your door has been kicked in or a window smashed. You feel incredible anger and outrage when you find you have been the victim of a property crime. And when filing the insurance claim, victims often discover they can't remember everything that is missing.
Advantages of having an inventory:
YOU'LL REMEMBER. We, as business owners of an inventory service company, are constantly told that people don't recover thousands of dollars from their insurance company because they forgot numerous items. Many just give up after months of thinking because of the daunting task of trying to pull all that information together.
PROOF OF OWNERSHIP. A thorough inventory will provide the information needed - photos plus serial and model numbers - often required before a claim will be settled.
REDUCED STRESS. Having all the information in an inventory document will help alleviate the stress and other emotions associated with your burglary. You won't be thinking over and over, reliving the experience, while you try to remember what was in that corner or what was the brand name of our TV.
THE TIME FACTOR. Adjusters tell us that those with an inventory often file their initial claim within 48 hours. Without an inventory, they state it usually takes the full 12 months they have allotted to file - mainly because they know they aren't remembering everything!
When you experience a burglary, there might be a few items stolen, or an entire household. We hear of people who go on vacation, only to return to an empty home. Can you imagine walking into your house and seeing complete emptiness? No furniture, appliances, electronics - even pictures that used to be hanging on the wall are now gone!
If you're making a small insurance claim, you might think the claims process won't be very difficult. But can you remember everything that's in your purse or wallet? Most likely not, so how easy would it be to forget items in your home? And how do you know what was taken if the burglars are selective, only seeking - and taking - specific items? The loss might not be discovered for months, or even longer. Then there's the difficulty of proving ownership. Photos help. Having model and serial numbers with the photos is even better. If the police have recovered numerous computers or cameras, for example, how do you prove which ones are yours? By being able to give them the serial number!
Some burglary victims have figured their loss to be just a few thousand dollars. Even more people, though, have stated they recovered only 30%-50% of what they needed to replace everything. One customer who was burglarized prior to purchasing our service, relayed that he had over $45,000 worth of equipment and furnishings in his business that were stolen. Because he couldn't remember a number of tools and equipment or prove the high end furnishings, he received a $20,000 claim settlement. Where would you get the $25,000 to replace what the insurance company did not?
An inventory won't remove the anger and outrage you'll feel after a burglary, but it will ease the time, energy and stress you will spend compiling your insurance claim. Have you created your home inventory and/or one for your business? If not, consider hiring a local inventory service provider. It'll be done quickly, professionally, and many will update it for you on an annual basis.
Cindy Hartman is President of Hartman Inventory, a woman-owned business. Visit her website at http://www.HartmanInventory.com to discover more reasons you need a business or home inventory. Also view the Turnkey page to learn about the Hartman Inventory Systems, a complete turnkey business package; start and grow your own personal property inventory service. Cindy's blog, at http://www.HartmanInventoryBlog.com , discusses marketing, management, entrepreneurship and asset inventories.