Encourage Your Clients to take a Home Inventory
A Home Inventory is an excellent way to expedite the claim process and a great tool agents can utilize with their clients to separate themselves from their competition. Last year one of my clients suffered a devastating house fire that claimed not only their beautiful home but also the years of memories that resided within. After speaking with these clients in great detail about the ordeal it became very apparent the emotional anguish of losing personal items was not the only obstacle in trying to replace them. For many it is very difficult and overwhelming to recall all they owned that was lost, and for these affluent individuals it was impossible to recollect what had all been taken from them in that fire.
Preparing a list before something happens is much easier than writing one after the claim happens. Most people are already going through a very difficult experience and just want to get their lives back and be made whole again. So take the time to talk to your clients about putting together a home inventory of their belongings because I would argue that much of your competition is not discussing this with their insured’s. We as PIA members care greatly about the clients we serve so to us it is more than just writing a home insurance policy and moving on. Often it is a first time homebuyer, newly married couple or our high net worth clients that need our expertise and guidance, as it simply may not occur to them to take this important step. Why? It is the intrinsic optimist in all of us that says nothing devastating will ever happen and that bad things only happen to other people.
With all the technology we have access to today there is no reason not to organize videos, photo albums, or spread sheets that are easily accessible for such a situation. Remember, we want the claim experience for our clients to go as smoothly as possible so that we retain these clients and feel good about the job we have done. We are in the business of protecting our clients and part of that is making sure they have the tools necessary to manage potential risk.
Here are some tips for making your home inventory:
- Make your inventory as complete and detailed as possible, the insurance company will require a detailed list before paying your claim
- Take pictures and videos of each room in your house including storage buildings, attic, and the garage. Don’t be afraid to open up cabinets and drawers also.
- Keep your inventory, appraisals and receipts in a safe location and you should also have a backup somewhere off the premise with the same information.
- Save your inventory and other items onto a computer and in "The Cloud" so they can be accessed from anywhere.
To be the very best at our craft, we must always look at ways to provide more services, resources, knowledge and expertise to our clients so we can continue to compete in this industry. Discussing the importance of a home inventory is just one more opportunity for us to do just that.