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Inventory Goes Virtual

Preparing for the Worst Creates the Best Peace of Mind

Article by Cheryl Parton

Photography by Ken Aaron

Originally published in Bend Lifestyle

Of the many challenges we face in life, the threat of a natural disaster or catastrophic event can add a layer of anxiety on top of existing stressors in daily life. Our homes are our biggest asset, but according to the Insurance Information Institute, only 50 percent of homeowners have a home inventory which is essential to get a fair settlement in the claim process. “In the aftermath of a loss, you need to both identify what is gone and provide proof of possession. I’ve seen how emotionally draining it is to sift through ashes,” says Ken Aaron, founder of Virtual Home Inventory, a professional service in Central Oregon that builds a complete record of your property and possessions, assuring the insurance adjuster receives an accurate, visual account for a quicker, maximum settlement. “It’s difficult enough to remember everything you own when it’s there, and near impossible after it’s gone,” he says. Ken’s professional career as a commercial photographer of primarily architecture and hospitality (resorts) has given him a front-row seat to spectacular homes filled with art collections, yet, “People don’t realize that in a settlement situation, it’s beyond art,” he says. “It goes beyond the value of possessions to the value of the home itself: What are the ceiling heights? What are the finishes and fixtures?” Ken uses specialized 360 and 3D cameras to capture every faucet and chandelier, contents of each drawer and cupboard, as well as the individual high-end items that need specific documentation when filing a claim.  Inventories are not just important in the event of a fire or loss but are used for family law and divorce asset verification, as well as financial and trust planning.  The virtual inventory service is made simple for homeowners, saving them the time of trying to do it themselves. On average, it takes two-to-three hours to record a complete inventory, and about a week to finish and deliver the flash drive to back up and store off site, so it can be accessed easily. According to Insurance Journal  magazine, nearly 80 percent of insurance professionals believe homeowners’ insurance claims are processed 50 to 100 percent faster when customers have completed a home inventory in advance. This is where peace of mind in a home inventory can help  people sleep at night. “The right time to create a home inventory is now,” says Ken. Being prepared saves time and stress when it matters most because while disasters don’t plan ahead, you can. VirtualHomeInventory.com

TECHNOLOGY

360 and 3D cameras give a complete view of a home's interior and exterior, so no details are missed.

A COMPLETE RECORD

Embedded info tags complement the visual record, noting important information for valuable items. For example, in the image below, a sculpture is given its own written description:  

Buddha Sculpture, Thailand

Sitting Buddha gilt in gold. 17th Century. 

Value: $2,000

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