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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Insurance Cover - Is It Enough On Its Own?

Home Inventory Services - Maximising The Efficiency Of Your Insurance
People Often Assume Insurance Is Enough! Until This Is Known For A Fact Though, Can We Rest Assured?

Could We Better The System Of Just Insurance & Produce A Superior Outcome For When Loss Occurs?

Aussie Home Inventories started taking inventory of people's property in 2006. Back then it was an uphill battle, to challenge people's comfort zones. People's primary comfort zone was believing everything was OK! They were fully covered by insurance and believed they had no under-insurance. A belief held by many, backed up by paid premiums and the belief insurance suppliers knew everything, as this was their business.

Two things we have learned during this time are:
  • In the last few years many beliefs have not changed.
  • There is still a false sense of reality, that is dangerously flawed!
In the 'Real World' what is known is this:
  • There is an increase in natural disasters due to climate change.
  • There is a hidden under-insurance problem still in Australia.
  • There is a good chance under-insurance is present, based on possibilities.
  • Under-insurance is often ONLY discovered at claim time.
  • A change of habit and facing REALITY, produces better outcomes.
So What Is Needed To Create Change & Action?
  • More natural disasters?
  • More under-insured homes?
We Hope NOT! - And We Hope You Are Not Going To Wait Until A Claim?

This would be a long, costly exercise and is just not a good idea!

Is There An Alternative, A Solution?

A Solution Where People Can Be Educated As To The Importance Of Recording & Documenting Property? Where Inventories Are Taken Prior To Insurance Cover?

The answer to both of these questions is an easy YES. Knowing the correct value of property is crucial, unless you want to gamble, with your hard earned possessions!

Taking inventory of property is the best solution for homes, property owners, small business and the insurance supplier, when added protection from future losses is being sought. Everyone knows the value of the insured assets, there is no guesswork involved! It is a win, win situation all around for everybody. 

Introducing the Home Inventory Service [HIS]. A business designed to take inventory of property for homes and business, professionally and accurately. Eliminating all of those reasons why inventories are not taken by households:
  • Short of time, experience and equipment.
  • Why Do I Need One? [Backed by a belief the insurance supplier has it all under control - ONLY TRUE when the insurer has all the details].
What we need is to remain in the 'Real World' here at all time. In the end it costs less!

Tsunami Alarm System For Everybody

In Australia at present, there are only a handful of Home Inventory Services and it is only a matter of time before this number increases.

Let us take a look at another country, which has had it's fair share of natural disasters, over recent years. Could there be proof households and property owners are changing their mindset over time, or by the occurrence of loss.

For a report on what has been happening in the USA, we asked a well known and popular Home Inventory Service, to update us on progress of the HIS Industry, over the last few years.

Cindy Hartman is the President of Hartman Inventory LLC, a woman-owned business providing commercial and Home Inventory Services in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Along with her husband Mike, they have founded and created the Hartman Inventory Systems, a complete turnkey inventory business package for those who want to establish their own inventory company.

Aussie Home Inventories would like to thank Cindy for this excellent update on the state of the HIS Industry in the USA. It supplies an insight as to what we can expect here in Australia in the future, when we wake up to reality.

Cindy Hartman's report on the Home Inventory Service industry in the USA.

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From 20 to 500 in 4 years

Why would the number of home inventory service providers grow from about 20 to over 500 in 4 years? Education, experience and time are the main reasons for this surge. When we started our company in 2004, people would state they didn’t need an inventory because they had insurance. That statement leads me to:

EDUCATION/KNOWLEDGE
Even though you have insurance, you will need to list all of your belongings if you have a fire, theft or natural disaster. The insurance companies won’t just cut a check for the amount of your coverage. They will require a list of each item listed on your claim. Could you remember everything that is gone, especially when under the emotional stress of just experiencing a loss?

We’re asked if insurance companies ‘hate’ us. Absolutely not! In fact, insurance agents are one of our biggest referral sources. They know the value in having an inventory, because they see the pain and frustration of those who did not.

EXPERIENCE
Most people know of someone who was affected by a theft, fire or natural disaster and have seen the financial loss that resulted when they couldn’t provide a thorough list of their contents.

TIME
People value family time, they are involved with more outside activities, and don’t have the time to create their own inventory. Hiring a professional makes sense. It’s the same reasoning as hiring someone to clean your house, do your landscaping or lawn maintenance, clean your carpets or have your cash washed. You can do all of these things, but it makes sense to have a professional do them instead.

Many of our customers have hired us after they experienced a loss, and state they regret not having one before. They know the benefits of an inventory and will not risk another financial loss.

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At Aussie Home Inventories we would hope that people agree the above makes sense, just as preparing before the loss makes sense. We only have to look at recent disasters to see the high percentage of homes that prepare for disaster after a loss. We only wish they had taken the same preparation prior to their initial loss!

So to summarise what we know so far:
  • Losses are occurring and on the increase due to climate change.
  • We need records & documents to prove ownership.
  • Taking inventory creates correct insurance cover.
  • Taking inventory is also good for the insurance supplier.
  • It is only a % game before we have a loss.
  • We often put off taking inventory due to many reasons.
  • We need to call our Home Inventory Service!
Only when ACTION is taken based on what we know, will the home, property owner and small business be able to rest assured knowing correct insurance cover is in place, along with disaster preparation.

Contacting your local Home Inventory Service is your EASY SOLUTION to being better prepared for loss. Contact your local insurance supplier and ask them about discounts for complete inventories of property and contents.

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