When Mark and Becky Thimmig suffered through a horrific fire in their Florida home and lost hundreds of personal valuables, they spent the next few months mentally shoveling through the destroyed remnants of their lives, trying to recollect exactly what they – and their two boys — had lost in the accident.
Traditionally homeowners and business owners like the Thimmigs use their valuable time in a moment of crisis trying to figure out, item by item, what was destroyed. Now, with SecureMyValuables.com, they can focus on working with the insurance company to get their home – and their lives — rebuilt.
SecureMyValuables.com is a new software product designed to keep and rebuild a digital inventory of all personal belongings in case of any emergency or natural disaster.
“While dealing with the stress and sadness of an incident like a fire, hurricane or earthquake, it’s impossible to recollect everything you owned,” Thimmig says. “I was under such duress I could barely remember my middle name, let alone all the important items in my home.”
The thousands of people who recently lost their homes in the fires in Washington and surrounding western states would be in a better position and frame of mind today had they kept true documentation of their belongings for insurance claims and reimbursement.
Yvonne Ray, 82, suffered a major fire at her Arizona home in April of 2011. Her insurance company, The Hartford, “helped me with the building damage and put me in a comfortable temporary apartment until the repairs were done,” she says.
However, when she was asked how the personal property claim went, she says, “That was really complicated. At my age it was not easy to recall items that burned beyond recognition. I was given some paper and told to write down everything I had that was lost in the fire. It took over a year to do.”
When asked if it would have been beneficial to her to have used a technology to assist her in the reconstructing of her inventory, she said resoundingly, “Well, yes!”
“Having a program with prompts for items that could be found in my home, room by room, would have helped me remember what was lost,” she says. “It would have been a great time saver and much less stressful for me. I am convinced that the fire and all the work it took me to do, took its toll on me and made me weaker. I am glad to hear that there is help out there for someone like me who had to do it all. I just hope no one ever has to experience what I did.”
SecureMyValuables.com also developed a “Memory Assist” software feature with technology designed to augment an individual’s mind and trigger the thought process that leads towards remembering even the smallest belongings.
“It’s the little things that add up and can help you get back everything you lost,” says Steve Dockins, SMV Executive Vice President. “When disaster strikes, will you remember all the things you had? The answer is no. SMV helps individuals keep a cloud-based digital inventory of all their belongings in case of any type of emergency or disaster so you never lose track of the things you had.”
Having had friends and family experience losses in fires, Dockins has seen firsthand how the process of reconstructing a personal property list is both burdensome and time consuming with most people unable to remember everything they lost. While conducting extensive research on this topic, Dockins found that there was nothing in the technological world that could help people who did not previously have a list of their belongings to reconstruct one.
As a result, Dockins and Ray Thibault, a computer-software designer, in combination with others who were former adjusters for insurance companies, developed a program to help people reconstruct personal items lost in a disaster.
Dockins has decided to go the “crowdfunding” route to get SMV’s software out to help as many people as possible. For more information: indiegogo.com/projects/secure-my-valuables-revolutionary-new-technology#/