Asset Tracking Database for Insurance Inventory
You probably have an insurance policy that protects your assets in case of loss, vandalism, burglary or theft. Losses can also happen through natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and floods or accidents like fires or other unexpected perils, like messy sewer backups. Whether you own your home or business or rent an apartment or house, you probably have insurance coverage for your property to cover you for these types of unexpected events. Fortunately, even if these events happen, your insurance will likely compensate you for losses. However, in order to take full advantage of your insurance policy you will need to provide your insurance adjuster with a list of items that have been lost or damaged. This is where a database that tracks your valuable assets can be invaluable. You can have the best insurance policy available, but it won’t help you if you are unable to backup your claim with evidence of your losses.
While you may choose to use a spreadsheet or paper records to maintain an inventory of your assets, these types of techniques can quickly become cumbersome and unreliable. By using a dedicated database system, you can easily generate reports showing you a snapshot of your inventory when you need it, with minimal hassles. This functionality is especially import during stressful situations, when you are trying to recover from an unexpected loss.
What to Track
When you are tracking assets for insurance inventory there are several things that you should keep track of. Obvious attributes may include product type, purchase price, purchase location, manufacturer, date of purchase, condition and features. You may also want to scan or take a picture of the receipt, and store a copy of the receipt directly in your database. Finally, you may want to keep track of the replacement value of your items (some insurance polices will give you all the money you need to go out and replace items, others will just give you the actual cash value of the items).
And it’s always a good idea to keep track of up-to-date pictures of your items. Taking pictures is easy these days with your digital camera or mobile phone or tablet. These pictures can provide further proof to your insurance adjuster that you actually owned the items in question. Further, they can prove that your items were in excellent condition, reducing depreciation costs. Taking multiple pictures from multiple angles is recommended. A database system like our own Tracker Ten can keep track of multiple pictures for each asset in your database, from asset procurement to asset retirement, covering the complete asset lifecycle.
While you may be tracking an item for insurance inventory, a database can be used to track other item attributes as well like product loans, item location, warranty information, service histories and product manual links or scans. Our Tracker Ten software can even provide you with reminders of upcoming service and maintenance due dates. And if you have specialized needs, you can rename categories and fields to suit your exact needs.
Business and Home Insurance Contents Calculator
Not only can a database system keep track of assets, it can also calculate a total value of goods for insurance recovery purposes. In fact, if somebody was to ask you what the replacement value of all of the contents of your home or business was, you may be hard pressed to come up with even a ballpark answer. This is exactly why you need to maintain a record of the items you own. All of our Track Ten products have built in reporting features that can calculate the total value of goods. These reports can be printed or exported, making it easy to get the data to your insurance adjuster as needed. In fact, after you do a full inventory of your items, you may find that your current insurance is not even adequate to cover the replacement value of your items. It’s much better to find this out before a disaster strike, then after! In fact, if you have a complete record of your assets, your insurance broker will be able provide you with much better coverage.
Home and Contents
Your home insurance policy likely covers 2 aspects – the structure itself and the contents. Home contents can range from appliances, furniture, toys and electronics; to jewelry, watches, wine, artwork and designer clothing; all the way to pet supplies and sporting goods. If you don’t trust banks, you may even have money stuffed in your mattress, or cryptocurrency on a hard drive! And although you may not be aware, your insurance policy may also cover things like the value of the food in your refrigerator or pantry.
In any case, the value of the structure is relatively easy to determine based on the size of the property, the location and the finishing’s. But the contents are much more difficult to value, especially in the case of a total loss.
This might especially be the case if you own collectibles that fluctuate in value, or your valuables are spread-out throughout your property in places like garages and sheds. And if you own a vacation home or cabin that is left unattended for large periods of time, you are even more likely to forget what was stored inside. Regardless of where you are items are stored, especially in the case of a traumatic loss, you may not even remember everything that you own.
However, if you have a record of all of your assets in a software program like our Tracker Ten for Home Inventory database, you can easily provide your insurance adjustor with a list of your assets that need replacement.
Churches, Schools and Other Non-Profits
Educational institutions, churches and non profits often have valuable equipment on site premises. Schools may have audio visual, computer and laboratory equipment (easily tracked by our Tracker Ten for Classroom Equipment software package). Non-Profits and Churches may have office equipment, furniture and other valuable assets. These types of items can be tracked using our Tracker Ten for Inventory software program.
Commercial Contents Insurance
You can also get insurance for items that you use at your business, garage or office. These types of items may include computer equipment, furniture, photocopiers, telephones, tools, manufacturing equipment and more. These types of items can be easily tracked in our Tracker Ten for Inventory software.
And if you have a specialized dental or medical office, you may need to track even more expensive laboratory equipment and medical supplies (these may be best tracked using more specialized software products like our Tracker Ten for Medical Equipment program).
By maintaining an accurate record of these items, you can recover the full value in the case of an unexpected loss. In fact, your insurance company or insurance adjustor will likely require and update to date list of your assets before they will process any claims.
Insurance for Warehouses, Stock Rooms and Retail Stores
If you operate a warehouse, retail store or salon, you probably already have an asset tracking or point of sale system to keep track of your incoming and outgoing inventory. However, if you are still performing asset tracking by hand, you should look into our Tracker Ten for Inventory Control system. Not only can this barcode enabled system handle your inventory for you, it can also keep a record of your items for insurance purposes.
And never forget about all of the auxiliary equipment that goes into managing your shop or operation. In a warehouse you might use forklifts and other machinery. In a retail store you likely have expensive POS point of sale equipment. By using our Tracker Ten for Inventory software you can keep track of all of these valuable and expensive to replace assets.
Construction Site Insurance
If you operate a construction company you probably have significant assets deployed to your work sites. These items may include construction materials and the tools and equipment you need to do your job. Unfortunately, construction sites are not always secure, and are prone to fires and theft. If you are not already using a software system to keep track of items at your work sites, have a look at our Tracker Ten for Stock and Tracker Ten for Tools products. These software products can keep track of tools and materials that are deployed at your project sites.
Storage of Data
For insurance inventory, it’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your data in multiple locations. If you experience a total loss at a location due to a fire, theft or other disaster you don’t want your insurance records lost along side. One strategy might be to save a copy of your data onto a USB jump drive and put the drive in a fire proof safe. However, this strategy is not fool proof if your safe is broken into or damaged.
Accordingly, you should regularly store copies of your data offsite. This does not mean that you need to physically copy your data to an offsite USB drive or external hard drive. You can also make an outside copy of your data to a cloud-based system like Drobox or Microsoft One Drive. Just make sure you have your information stored somewhere other then the physical site you are trying to protect.