Articles Tagged ‘Home inventory’

TEN THINGS A BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU

Friday, April 13th, 2012

We often share how to keep your house and belongings safe from burglaries, fires and natural disasters. As nationally certified home inventory professionals, and victims of two burglaries, we know the value of having a thorough inventory of your house and business contents.

Today we’re sharing tips from a retired Detroit police officer. This is a twist from our normal safety tips, as these are words from burglars themselves.

Here are 10 things a burglar won’t tell you:

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside.
4. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
5. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
6. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
7. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
8. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there, too.
9. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
10. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters (don’t take me up on it).

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

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5 REASONS INSURANCE AGENTS REFER HOME INVENTORY SERVICES

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Why would an insurance company want their policyholders to have an inventory of their belongings?

This is a question we’re often asked when talking to people who are interested in starting an inventory business with the guidance and advice through the Hartman Inventory Systems and becoming an member of the Hartman Inventory Group.

We’ve asked that same question to agents, regional managers, area directors and corporate executives. Every single person answered that an inventory will help the policyholder maximize their claim. Visit any insurance company’s website, and you’ll find this information for all to read. They encourage personal property inventories for their commercial and homeowner policyholders. To many, it sounds counter-intuitive. Most suspect that the insurance companies don’t want to pay out, so why suggest an inventory?

You’d think that insurance agents would rather their clients not recover well after a disaster. After all, having an inventory to refer to results in a much higher dollar settlement. Nevertheless, here are the top 5 reasons why they encourage their customers to do so:

1. Honesty When your agent tells you it is important to have an inventory, suggests that you create one, or refers an inventory service professional, they are being honest. They know the company will require a list of the items you want replaced, so you’ll recover better if you have this information. And they also know how difficult it will be if you don’t.

2. Customer Service If you don’t have an inventory, then need to file a claim, there is little they can do to help you remember what you owned. This will be between you and the adjuster, not your agent. Your agent knows that part of good customer service is educating you and making sure you realize the importance of having this information documented before you need it.

3. Saves the agent time and frustration Consider how much smoother a claim will be if you have an inventory. Then think of the stress, strain, and turmoil you’ll experience if you don’t have the photos and written report to help you complete the claim process. Agents spend a great deal of time with disaster victims because of repeated phone calls in which they receive requests for assistance and advice. They also find themselves fielding many complaints when their customers discovered they needed an inventory and state they were never told to create one.
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HOME INVENTORIES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR ESTATE SETTLEMENT

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Though not a favorite topic for anyone to discuss, we wanted to share the importance of preparing a home inventory now rather than leaving that task to your executor.

Estate Settlement
Being an executor of an estate is a time-consuming, emotionally draining experience. Most people choose an adult child to take on those responsibilties. Have you considered what you can do to make this easier for him or her?

One required task will be to compile an inventory of the estate’s assets. Consider how difficult this will be for your executor as he or she prepares this document. Emotions aside, they will also need to find the time to document the items and assign a market value to each. One executor stated that he sat for hours staring at a blank piece of paper. He didn’t know where to begin, what he should list, or how to know what value to place on each item. Most prominent was the sadness he felt when thinking about looking through everything in the house. Additionally, he was from out of state and knew it would require him to be absent from his job for a few more days. Having the inventory professionally prepared addressed all of these issues.

How can you prevent this from happening to your adult children/executor?

Estate Planning
Creating an inventory of your personal property now will ease the estate settlement process for your executor. At your death, the inventory proces will have already been taken care of it. The only changes necessary will be making any recent updates and changing the replacement value of each item to the fair market value. That will be a very small task compared to compiling the entire inventory.

Whether you are elderly or just entering your adult life, an inventory is a living document that is extremely important to have prepared. For now, to ensure a maximized insurance claim after a loss. And for later, to ease the stress your executor will face.

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

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A Different Kind of Resolution

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

For days we’ve been hearing and reading about new year’s resolutions. Personal resolutions. But what about your house? Is there such a thing as a home resolution? There is when it comes to things to do around the home. Lorene Bartos states in her blog, Resolutions around the home, that there are some key things that should be listed as a new year resolution.

As I often recommend, she says, ”…take or update your home inventory. Do you know what is in each room and the value of each item? You might be surprised when you add it all up — what you have and what it is worth if you would have to replace it because of fire or other disaster.”
Any time is a good time to create your home inventory, so why not now? Make it a resolution. You’ll be glad you did when you’re struggling to remember everything you USED to own after a major loss.

It’s as easy as putting it on your list of resolutions. Be sure to determine a deadline. If you haven’t done it by your assigned date, contact a nationally certified inventory professional to do it for you. Then next December, you can look back over the year, and realize how much peace of mind you created for yourself.

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

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