Thursday, January 1, 2009

Have you conducted your detailed property inventory yet?

Why You Should Take an Inventory

If your home or business was damaged by fire, or a burglar made off with your valuables, would you remember the details of your possessions? If asked, could you recall your TV's screen size and brand name? How about your camera or video camera? Do you remember when and where you bought these items and how much they cost?

If your belongings are stolen or destroyed, your insurance company will ask you to provide a record of them. Without an inventory, important details are sure to escape you. Add the trauma and stress a major loss can cause, and inevitably, you'll forget items. Save yourself time, money and frustration by planning ahead and completing a personal property inventory.

Sample Questions from Claims Adjuster Interview Forms

What property was taken from the building?

  • What are the makes, models, serial numbers, and purchase prices of the items?
  • Where were the items purchased?
  • How were the items purchased?
  • Are there any receipts or appraisals for the items?
  • What condition were the items in?
  • Where were the items located in the dwelling?

How an Inventory Can Help You

An inventory is especially important for insurance purposes. When you make an insurance claim for damaged, lost, or stolen property, your insurance policy will require you to show the quantity, description, and possibly the amount of loss associated with each item. You may also be asked to provide copies of bills, receipts, or other documentation to support your figures. If you omit some items or fail to include an adequate description of others, you may receive less than full compensation for your losses. Relying solely on your memory can be an expensive mistake.

If a disaster strikes, a personal property inventory will help you:

  • Provide your insurance company with a complete list of your household goods and personal belongings so you're sure to receive compensation for everything your policy covers.
  • Promptly file a complete claim that can be settled quickly and accurately.
  • Confirm that you have adequate coverage for your belongings.
  • Determine which items were stolen and identify recovered property after a burglary.
  • Provide a record of serial and model numbers for easy identification of your items.
  • Provide a receipt from the original place of purchase.
  • Verify any parts of your loss that you may write off on your federal income taxes.

A Complete Inventory Contains

  • A listing of all your items with pertinent facts.
  • Receipts for your most valuable objects.
  • A videotape or photographs of your home and contents.
  • Current appraisals.

Special Limits on High-Value Items

Insurance policies place special limits on valuable personal property, such as jewelry, silverware, artwork, tools, special collections like stamps and coins, and firearms. If you own these items, check the limits in your policy. If they're not high enough, you may need to purchase a scheduled personal property endorsement. This is an addition to your policy that will increase your insurance limits on these items.

It's a good idea to have valuable items appraised on a regular basis and to keep your appraisals with your inventory.

Can I Do An Inventory Myself?

Absolutely. However, while many homeowners have every intention of doing it, usually they never get around to it until after it is too late. A third-party inventory can add credibility to your documentation.


Platinum Home Inventory Package includes the following:

· Detailed description of personal belongings itemized by location and category provided on flash drive.

· Serial numbers, manufacturer, manufacture date, warranty, purchase price, purchase date, make, model and retailer (provided by customer).

· Calculated grand total value of categorized items.

· Calculated grand total value of belongings in each location.

· Digital Photographs of each item.

· A full video of the outside and inside of the home or business.

Gold Home Inventory Package includes the following:

· A full video of the outside and inside of the home or business.

We will schedule a Free walk through and consultation.

You will receive an estimate of the time and cost to perform your inventory.

We will schedule the inventory date. (If time and staff is permitted we can perform the inventory the same day.

Payment in full will be due on this date.

Within 7 business days, we will present you with a portfolio of your completed inventory by USPS or hand delivered.

All data is removed from our computer system. Back up copies will remain on a flash drive by codes up to 1 year and then destroyed. The information collected by Secure Inventories will be used only for the purpose of creating your home inventory and for follow-up. Privacy is strictly guarded.

Services for Businesses

Are you a business owner and you have never done an inventory of your business property? If you own computer equipment, electronics, office furnishings, phones, tools and equipment you should have a thorough documentation of your assets. The cost of the inventory is tax deductible.

Are you a contractor and find that tools are “walking” or disappearing, or are your tools and equipment left on job sites or in trucks exposed to the possibility of theft? Do you know or will you remember what items have been assigned to your employees while they are working for you or if they should leave your employ? An inventory will make employees accountable for what they carry. It will also benefit you in the event of a loss or claim.

Contact us to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for an evaluation of your needs and a free estimate.


Platinum Package

Up to 1500 square feet.................................. $349

1501 to 2500 square feet....... ....................... $449

2501 to 3500 square feet....... ....................... $549

3501 to 4500 square feet....... ....................... $649

Gold Package. ..................................... $60/hour

Business Plan. ...................................... $60/hour

Note: The property owner will be required to provide confirmation of the space’s square footage in the form of a tax bill or other official form. In order to conserve paper and contribute to the "Go Green" movement, a printed copy of the report is only provided upon request at an additional charge.

Additional Service Prices

Duplicate Copy of Package (CD, DVD, Portfolio) $30.00/set
Paper copy of Report (bound) $20/set
On-Site Updates (includes updated package) $75.00/visit
Collector’s Items (Books, Art, Coins, Stamps, etc.) $40.00/hour

Privacy and Confidentiality

Maintaining your privacy is important to us. We understand that the documentation of your property, as well as your personal information, must remain confidential. We are fully insured and bonded and all of our personnel have been properly screened and trained. We have implemented several policies and procedures to ensure that your information is, and remains, secure.

· Your personal information is maintained in a separate, secure database

· Each client is assigned a unique identification number, and only that number is used when recording or filing the information concerning your property inventory.

· All inventory information is stored in a database separate from the client database and is referenced only by the unique client number. Stored information concerning your property cannot be accessed by name, address, phone number or any other personal information

· As an extra precaution to keep your information private, we refrain from using the names from any testimonials that we receive from satisfied clients in any of our sales or marketing material or on our website. Only your initials and city are used to with any testimonial quotes

· We guarantee in writing that all information we acquire will be kept strictly confidential and not used for any purpose other than the legitimate business purposes of American Home Inventory

· We will not release information concerning Client’s property or Client’s personal information to any other person or organization without the Client’s written consent, unless such release is required in order to comply with a law or legal process.

· We are dedicated to providing private and secure inventory solutions that give you peace of mind!

Disaster and Loss Statistics

· A burglary occurs every 10 seconds and the average loss of each burglary is $1,545. -The National Crime Industry

· The FBI estimates that one in six homes will be burglarized this year.

· A fire occurs every 60 seconds in the United States. These fires destroy 500,000 homes and cause over $6 billion in direct property damage each year.

· Every second $250 in property is lost to a fire.
· 500,000 homes are destroyed annually by fire.
· $1.2 billion is lost annually due to floods

· The National Crime Prevention Council (NPCC) says, "Make a list of your valuables - DVD players, VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry, etc. Take photos of the items, list their serial numbers and description.

· Policyholders with an inventory usually receive settlements faster when submitting claims. Those same policyholders typically collect more when settling claims. - The National Insurance Industry

Annual Property Damage Figures

Fire and lightning..................$7.68 billion
Wind and hail.......................$4.42 billion
Water/Freezing Damage......$4.96 billion
Theft..................................$1.10 billion


Secure Inventories serves Eastern Massachusetts. We are family owned and operated and have over 15 years of experience. We provide home and small business inventories by documenting, photographing, and recording all of your personal belongings and valuables.

Contact Us

Kelly Scott 617-640-3210

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