It's About Protecting Yourself, and the Company
(see video below)
The purpose of taking walk-in pictures is to document any and all pre-existing damages such as chips, scratches, dents, marks on the floor and walls, and to have an understanding of what the site looks like and the type/state/placement of contents at the job site. This practice provides evidences that such damages and or contents existed (or did not exist) before the packout team begins photo inventory and contents removal work on site.
When the insured see's this happening, they are fully aware this site has been accurately captured. This transparency successfully minimizes future complaints and damage payouts.
The purpose of taking walk-out pictures is to document once again any and all pre-existing damages as well as the state of the room when you leave for the day. This practice provides evidences that no new damage of any sort has been caused by the pack out team throughout their presence at the job site and further protects the company from subsequent damage or leakage after the crew as left as many trades or even the homeowner have 24 hour access to the property.
Thorough and meticulous walk-in and walk-out pictures can protect your company and your team members from any unjustified claim of property damages, theft, or other insurance claims.
Remind your teams that the Homeowner and the Adjuster can see these pictures if your company has turned on this feature. In fact, the Adjuster often relies on these walk in and walk out pictures so that they have an understanding of the scope and severity of the job as they are often not able to attend on-site until much later, if ever at all.
Some companies prefer to not share this data with the insured, and keep these images as their insurance against future claims. This way the insured does not know what images the contractor has or does not have.
Good pictures keeps everyone in check and confident in the process. The name of the game is customer service. And good customer service means we do things right.
Doing things right means less problems for everyone.
Hint: If creating a room using multiple devices, and there is no internet connection available, it is good practice to have one person go through the rooms and use their device to add rooms. More importantly, the user must write down the room name and room number on painters tape and place that on the door or first available wall space in the room. This helps anyone else that goes into the room understand what room number someone else has used - so that they use the same room number. Upon upload of a final packout, all contents will upload to the same “room number”.
Hint: When creating new rooms on site and one of the devices has active Internet connection via a data plan, use that device (the first device) to create the rooms, then set the device as hotspot. Other users on site can log into iCAT, go to Settings on their respective device, and connect to the device with active Internet connection under Wi-Fi. Turn on Wi-Fi on those devices and choose the active device as network. All devices can then sync with the first device and the newly created rooms will be downloaded to each device.
Understanding why taking room pictures are important will help you take better pictures. Think about the things you normally get blamed for, and where: Scratches on stair nosing, dents in walls, scratches on hardwood floors in front of appliances, the existence or lack of money in a piggy bank, etc.. You are taking pictures first to protect your company from future claims.
Get creative! Rooms don’t always have to be “Rooms”. You could create a room called “Site Secure”, where you would take pictures of all doors locked, windows closed, etc etc. If you are using a moving company, you could create a room called “Moving Truck” and proceed to take pictures of the contents inside the moving truck to show how they were packed by the movers. Then when they get to your facility, you can take pictures as soon as they open the door. This way if there was any damage during the transport back to your facility, or even later, you have images to show how things may have been poorly covered, packaged, or stacked so to demonstrate that the mover is now liable for these damages.