The topic of business and home inventories is being discussed often due to the repeated wild fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes we’ve experienced in the United States this year. And with the slowing economy, theft is on the rise. Therefore, it is common for casual conversations to turn to the need to have a list of one’s belongings.
Statistics vary, but range from less than 5% to just shy of 50% of the American public that has some version of an inventory. Insurance agents we interviewed believe it’s closer to the 5%, based on their policyholders. Most agents stated that they encourage their customers to record their contents, but they know that very few actually complete the task.
We conducted a survey among our readers and the results showed that 9% have an inventory. Interestingly, 95% of the respondents admitted that they would not be able to recover properly without one!
With this knowledge, we found the reasons why 91% of our readers do not have this valuable documentation.
1) I DON’T HAVE THE TIME.
Lack of time is by far the main reason given. In fact, 45% stated they don’t have the time. Family, jobs and busy lifestyles are some of the priorities over documenting their assets (which is why we provide a personal property inventory service).
A comment on our survey:
My insurance agent told me I should have one (he’s told me more than once!), but I just can’t seem to get to it.
2) I LIVE ON THE EDGE AND DON’T BELIEVE I’LL NEED ONE.
Some (20%) believe “it” will never happen to them. Even if you think you’re exempt from a natural disaster, fire or theft, think of an inventory as an investment in peace of mind. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
3) I BELIEVE I CAN REMEMBER AND PROVE EVERYTHING I OWN.
Take a moment now and try to list everything in your living or family room. How many CDs and DVDs? What is the manufacturer and model number of your television, CD player, speaker system? Though 14% who do not have an inventory believe they can remember, 100% of victims interviewed state otherwise.
4) I DON’T KNOW HOW or I WOULDN’T KEEP IT UP TO DATE IF I DID CREATE ONE.
8% of our readers fall into this category. Some feel it’s a daunting task (and it can be) and just can’t seem to get started. Others know they wouldn’t keep it up to date. Insurance companies suggest an annual update to ensure your documents are current.
Comments on our survey:
I wouldn’t know where to begin. It seems like a huge project that I just can’t seem to force myself to start.
I have an inventory, but it’s 4 years old.
Time is the main factor for not having a personal property inventory, whether for a business or residence. Professionals can complete the task efficiently and some will maintain the updates for you as well. The prevention (your time if you do it yourself and the small fee if you hire a 3rd party service provider) is minimal compared to the loss you’ll likely face.