Articles Tagged ‘Documentation’

Slow Economy Plus Disaster Equals More Difficult Recovery for Businesses

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Cindy1

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are experiencing the pinch of the slow economy. Budgets are tightened, purchases are delayed, hiring has been put on hold and many have frozen wages. Many are also feeling the pain of lessened lines of credit and reduced limits on credit cards. Just one of these instances would make it harder to recover from a fire, theft or natural disaster at any time. And now most, if not all, are quite likely situations your business is facing.

Consider what would happen when you have to file a claim. The first thing the insurance company will request is a detailed list of your assets – a personal property inventory. The list should include the manufacturer of each item – desks, chairs, tables, file cabinets, appliances, projectors, computers, printers, monitors, etc. They’ll also ask for the model and serial numbers of electronics, appliances and all computer equipment. The insurance adjust will also request that you provide the cost and year of purchase of each item you’re asking to be replaced or repaired.

Without this information immediately available, what will you do while you’re spending time (the norm is 4 months, minimum) compiling a list for your initial claim? Many business owners who have had a loss state they spent a minimum of 40 hours a week trying to remember every item that was in each office, conference room, reception area, break room, etc. Then, their time was consumed while they were on line getting pricing. During this time, the insurance claim is not being filed.

Will you have sufficient funds to purchase what’s needed to re-open? You’ll need equipment, furniture, computers, chairs – and these are just the essentials. Most likely, you’ll have to rely on available credit or a loan. If you don’t re-open immediately, how long can you wait? How long will your employees wait to start receiving a paycheck again? How long will your customers wait before they seek a competitor (then, will they come back when you’re open for business again)?

In a better economy, you might have a healthier cash flow. A line of credit might be more accessible. A new credit card could be opened. But with today’s economic condition, your options for recovery are not as readily available. An investment in an inventory of the company’s assets will provide the information the insurance company needs, allowing you to file your claim quickly. Usually within 48 hours. And that will help you receive your money faster, resulting in a faster recovery. Essential in today’s economy, and always helpful no matter how good the economy might be.

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC
317-501-6818
cindy@hartmaninventory.com

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Fraud Will Affect You Even When You Are Honest

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Cindy1

For the past few months, at Hartman Inventory, LLC, we’ve spoken to victims of burglaries and fires. They have been telling us that it’s been very difficult to get a maximized claim from their insurance company. The reporting process has been rigorous, to say the least. The insurance companies and the adjusters are requiring more documentation than ever.

Serial numbers are being required. Photos are being required. Questions are being asked, and asked again. Why? They want proof! Insurance fraud is on the rise, mainly due to the financial situation many people have place themselves in. And often padding an insurance claim is a way people are attempting to get ahead.

Houses are being set on fire so people can get out from under their mortgage. People are claiming they owned items that they really didn’t own in an attempt to “make money” on a claim. Some are even claiming a burglary when they didn’t really have one.

What’s all this have to do with an inventory? If you have a prepared document, prior to your loss, it’s easier to remember what you had so you don’t forget anything. And if you are being scrutinized by an adjuster, it becomes extremely valuable. You’ll be able to show them photos! And to really prove what you had, and the value, you’ll be able to give them a model number and serial number of electronics, appliances, power tools, etc.

Fur or leather jackets? You’ll have proof. Shoes that cost $300 a pair? You’ll have proof. Love music and have more than 500 CDs? You’ll have proof.

When you have proof, your adjuster will see you’re being honest – that you aren’t one of the people committing fraud – and you will be much more likely to receive a maximized claim that will get you back to where you were prior to your disaster.

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC
317-501-6818
cindy@hartmaninventory.com

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