Member Refers Member

Thank youWhen you joined NICA, you most likely read the list of Member Benefits. Though there are many benefits to being a member, we believe that giving referrals is one of the most beneficial. Whether it’s a service you don’t provide or the location of the inventory is too far away, using the Directory can help you find someone to who you can refer.

Our office received a letter from member Tricia Hoekwater, owner of Uniquely Yours Digital Solutions (dba Norcal Inventory), telling us of a referral she received from Donna Courtney, owner of Courtney Inventory, located almost 3,000 miles away, that turned into an excellent inventory job. Not only did Tricia show the benefits of members working together to benefit clients throughout the country, but she also provided some great tips for those who choose to tackle the arduous task of loss inventories.

Thank you, Tricia, for allowing us to share this letter…

“In 2020 my colleague, Donna Courtney, received an inquiry for a loss inventory that occurred outside of her normal work of South Carolina. The client was filing an insurance claim due to the California, San Rosa fires and needed help documenting the personal property that was lost. Donna referred the client to me as I was physically closer.

This opportunity required getting to know the client, their personal preferences, where they shop, their original home layout, and their sense of their possessions. During our meetings, I was able to establish a good rapport with the client from our initial meeting and each subsequent communication gave me more insight into the items they lost in the fire. This level of knowledge allowed me to efficiently spend my time researching the Internet for the same or similar items.  

With the client’s permission, I was able to deal with the insurance company on their behalf to ensure the proper documentation was being provided. Using an Excel worksheet template provided by the client and initial correspondence with the claims adjuster, I was able to document in detail each item listed in the insurance claim.

The client gave me “artistic license” to research and add items to the inventory for their review and approval.  As I submitted each update for review, I received positive feedback confirming that they had those items. This process would also jog their memory for more specifics on name brands and quantities.  As an example – while documenting their extensive wine collection, I was able to research specific wineries and vintages in the Sonoma Valley, where they lived, which met the price point provided by the client. This allowed the clients to confirm that they had owned specific bottles of wine. Knowing the client flipped houses, a second example involved researching tools and equipment that would be used in flipping a house. This included everything from handheld tools to heavy equipment and end of project cleaning supplies and tools.

The insurer required a great deal of detailed information including:

  • Item name
  • Item description
  • Quantity
  • Item price
  • Extended price
  • Source of information (url). 

I also included notes for each line item if there were changes to the insurer’s valuations or descriptions. The final report was 1 spreadsheet with 34 individual worksheets that linked back to two summary worksheets. 

This was a great experience. I enjoyed being able to take this tedious and time-consuming task off the client’s plate. I was able to save the clients’ money, allow them to release the stress of creating the inventory, and they were able to continue with their travels and other commitments.

A very special “Thank you” to Donna Courtney. This was an incredible experience and I am more than grateful for her referral.”

Again, we thank Tricia for sharing this great story. If you have a similar example of working together with other NICA members, please send them in so we can share them in future newsletters.