Professional Home Inventory Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a professional home inventory?

Your home, and often a lifetime of unique items and family heirlooms within it, are vulnerable to loss on any given day. But you can’t recover what you can’t recall. A 360º home inventory ensures that in the case of the unexpected, you have immediate access to a “visual catalog” of what you own, eliminating the burden of having to remember it all. This greatly speeds up the claim process toward maximizing reimbursement of losses. And contrary to popular belief, insurance companies are not obligated to reimburse or replace any items that a customer cannot prove they owned. So, in a way, it’s insurance for your insurance.

FACT: On average, home contents are reimbursed only up to 50 percent of the home’s insured value. (source: naic.org)

Why should I hire you when I can do it myself and save money?

A standard home inventory is a time-consuming challenge for anyone, requiring commitment, proper planning and conscious action. And that’s without adding 360º tours and interactive capabilities (if you could). Regardless, many DIY home inventory apps fall well short of what a trained professional can cover—and uncover—on site in order to get a true and complete understanding of your possessions.

FACT: While intentions are always good, statistics show about 70% of all DIY-related projects fail to meet their objectives.

How does a home inventory help validate proper insurance coverage?

A home inventory can help you “right-size” your insurance coverage by aligning it with what you actually own, and not just what the insurance company tells you you need. You may also discover you are actually “over-insured” or even “under insured,” and possibly find what may be critical gaps in coverage.

FACT: Nearly two out of every three American homes, or 59 percent, are underinsured as homeowners, on average, have only enough insurance to pay for 78 percent of costs to replace or rebuild their homes. – CBS News 

If I do have a claim, how much quicker can I resolve my claim with an inventory?

According to a survey by The Hanover Insurance Group, homeowners receive claim payments faster when they have a home inventory. Imagine how even faster it would be if your adjuster could SEE everything—not just a written list.

“We have found in our experience that the length of time to settle a claim and the amount awarded are contingent upon the level of inventory preparedness. One in 15 insured homes has a claim each year.” (source: http://factsoninsurance.com/how-to-make-a-home-insurance-claim/).

FACT: A recent poll by Insurance Journal magazine found that nearly 80% of insurance professionals believe homeowners’ insurance claims are processed 50-100% faster when customers have completed a home inventory in advance.

How can a home inventory help me and my family with heir assignment?

Death is an emotional, life changing event for any family. Having a detailed inventory with proper heir assignment can take immense pressure off remaining family members during the most difficult of times. Individual items within the inventory can be tagged according to how one prefers their property to be dispersed and/or assigned.

FACT: In addition to financial cost, advisers say cost to personal relationships must be considered. While feeling slighted by a late relative — and missing out on a potentially large inheritance — can be painful, the emotional strain of going to court can be just as tough. – AARP

In what capacity would a home inventory help with theft and natural disasters?

With theft and natural disasters, usually homeowners/businesses must provide “proof of ownership” for each and every item they claim was destroyed or stolen. Last year alone, severe weather disasters across the country inflicted more than $43 billion in damages.

FACT: A recent Allstate Insurance survey found that while more than 90% of homeowners are concerned about protecting their homes, only 41% had ever documented or valued their contents. (source: naic.org)

How long will you be in my home or place of business?

The time it takes to complete a thorough inventory depends on the option chosen (TakeStock360º, 360ºPlus or Premier), the size of the home or business, the content density, the number of Specialists engaged, and the extent of the inventory desired. But in general, time on-site can range from 1 – 6 hours.

Do I need to be present while you are conducting the inventory?

Yes, we will need the homeowner or business owner (or a representative) on the premises at all times.

How do I know I can trust you in my home and business?

Every TakeStock Specialist is insured and bonded and will not conduct the inventory without you or your representative present while they are on site. Just as you hire other trades, such as plumbers, electricians, pest control technicians, etc. references should always be checked. We encourage you to check ours, just ask!

FACT: We appreciate and respect the fact you are inviting us into your home, and will execute your service with the utmost of professionalism and confidentiality.

Advantages of Using a Professional Home Inventory Service

March 2, 2017
By TakeStock Inventory

You probably think there isn’t too much to creating a home inventory. All you need to do is list out all the items you own, right?

Actually, creating a useful home inventory is often more difficult than it seems. A home inventory app or list may provide some help in organizing the way you approach it, but to do one properly is a time-consuming and challenging task for the majority of people. It takes a certain amount of commitment and ability to create the type of home inventory your insurance company will be expecting in case of a claim. And depending on the state in which you live, simply providing a list of items may not be enough to receive full compensation in a loss (a thorough and complete home inventory can dramatically speed up the processing of your claim.)

It’s Not Only Large or Wealthy Families That Should Have a Professional Home Inventory

Home inventories are not just for large or wealthy families with big houses. In fact, many of us assume we don’t have a lot of stuff, when in reality we do. Think about it: in just a single bedroom, when you consider the bed, mattress, bedside tables, lamps, dressers, rugs, bathroom drawers, closet, clothing, jewelry, etc. you realize all that you’ve accumulated is way more than you thought—and that’s just one room! Add all the other rooms, closets, drawers, furniture, golf clubs, electronic devices, collections and it all adds up to a considerable amount of money needed to replace everything should you have to. And you have just as much of a need to make sure you protect your family treasures, as well. Having all of it in one convenient list simplifies the process and maximizes home insurance claims in the event of a loss.

Advantages of Having a Professional Home Inventory

So besides getting your home a little more organized, there are a number of benefits that a professional home inventory service provides. Here is a look at several:

  1. Protects You, and Your Insurance Company – One interesting fact is that after a fire, flood, theft or other loss, your insurance company does not have to pay your claim based simply on what you tell them. A professional home inventory is actually recommended by insurance providers so that you can definitively prove ownership of your belongings when making a claim. This protects you, as well as the insurance company.
  2. Time Savings – Did you know that the average U.S. home contains over 300,000 items? A primary reason why many people do not have a home inventory is because it takes a considerable amount of time to fully document everything inside a home. Hiring a professional home inventory service will save you a significant amount of time while delivering a significant amount of peace of mind.
  3. Valuation Services – Professional home inventory companies should offer the option of a establishing values of key items within a home such as art, family heirlooms, antiques, collections and other valuable assets. This could be simply assigning estimations based on make, model, receipts, or the view of the homeowner, or actual, certified appraisals from professional appraisal firms. By taking the extra step of valuing items, you will get to know the real market value of all that you own.
  4. Meet Your State’s Insurance Requirements – Documenting personal property is especially critical for homeowners in our State. Insurance companies in some states may require not only a list of items, but descriptions, receipts, images and other proof of ownership to ensure full compensation in a claim. A home inventory will include a comprehensive written and/or digital report that simply needs updating on a regular basis – once a year is a good idea.
  5. Security – A reputable professional will provide you with secure offsite storage of the information related to your home inventory, giving you peace of mind in case of an unexpected event.
  6. Easy Access to Information – Furthermore, your home inventory should be available whenever you need it—you will likely use it for more than just ensuring you have enough insurance coverage or when making a claim, as a professional home inventory is also incredibly useful for estate and financial planning, family law, tax planning, moving and more.

If you would like to know more about our services at TakeStock Home Inventory, or would like to take advantage of a FREE consultation, please give us a call at 844-9-CYA-NOW (844-929-2669), email us at info@takestockinventory.com, or send us a message through our Contact Us Page.