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Systems and methods for home inventory and insurance




Title: Systems and methods for home inventory and insurance.
Abstract: A method of operating a home inventory and insurance system includes providing a processor, providing a home inventory database coupled to the processor, and providing an insurance database coupled to the processor. The method also includes receiving data related to an item purchased by a user, determining, using the processor and the insurance database, a policy cap for an insurance policy associated with the user, and determining, using the processor and the insurance database, that adding the item to the insurance policy will result in a value of items covered by the insurance policy exceeding the policy cap by a predetermined amount. The method further includes providing, using the processor, an insurance quote for an updated insurance policy having a new policy cap greater than or equal to the policy cap plus the predetermined amount. ...


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USPTO Applicaton #: #20120095783
Inventors: Andre Rene Buentello, Bradly Jay Billman, Gail Ann Bennett


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120095783, Systems and methods for home inventory and insurance.

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/487,866, filed on Jun. 19, 2009, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. ______, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

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OF THE INVENTION

Insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss, and may be defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for a premium. An insurer is a company that sells insurance. An insurance rate is a factor used to determine the amount, called the premium, to be charged for a certain amount of insurance coverage. Adding personal property items to an insurance policy is a manual and time consuming process and is often neglected by the owner of the items.

A home inventory of personal property items is useful in conjunction with insuring those items. A user may have a handwritten inventory, but this may be destroyed in a loss that also destroys the items. The user may store the inventory in a difficult to access location, such as a safe deposit box, which makes updating the inventory burdensome. Maintaining a home inventory is a time consuming process and therefore many people do not maintain a home inventory or keep a home inventory up to date. This may leave some of their personal property items unprotected by insurance.

SUMMARY

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OF THE INVENTION

Information may be received regarding one or more items purchased or otherwise acquired by a user, and the item(s) may be added to an electronic home inventory maintained in storage by an institution system and the item(s) may be added to an insurance policy issued by the institution system.

In an implementation, the institution system may receive information about the item(s) from the merchant who sold the item(s), an appraiser, the user (e.g., who provides information by a website, by providing a receipt, etc.), from a barcode that is provided on the receipt associated with the purchase from the merchant, by a barcode generated by the user (e.g., using data from the receipt and other information from the user), and/or via data from a financial card transaction directed to the purchase of the item(s).

In an implementation, the user may be provided with a listing of the items that they have purchased or otherwise acquired using the data provided to the institution system, and can select which items are to be included in the home inventory and which items are to be added to an insurance policy.

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the detailed description. This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments, is better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the embodiments, there are shown in the drawings example constructions of the embodiments; however, the embodiments are not limited to the specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an implementation of a system that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance;

FIG. 2 is an operational flow of an implementation of a method that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance;

FIG. 3 is an operational flow of another implementation of a method that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance;

FIG. 4 is an operational flow of another implementation of a method that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance;

FIG. 5 is an operational flow of another implementation of a method that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance;

FIG. 6 is an operational flow of another implementation of a method that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance; and

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an example computing environment in which example embodiments and aspects may be implemented.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an implementation of a system that may be used to provide home inventory and insurance. An institution system 105 may be associated with an institution which may be any type of entity capable of providing an insurance policy and maintaining in storage a home inventory of items. For example, the institution may be any type of insurance company, financial services company, etc.

A user 185 and an associated user computing device 187 are shown, along with a merchant 175 and a financial card issuer 170. The user 185 may make a purchase from the merchant 175 using a financial card 189 and insure item(s) associated with the purchase with the institution system 105. The institution system 105 may also generate an inventory of the items purchased as a home inventory and store the home inventory in storage, such as storage 108 or one more data sources 139. In an implementation, the home inventory of the user 185 may be associated in storage (e.g., in a database) of the institution system 105 with the insurance policy of the user 185 that insures the items in the home inventory.

The financial card issuer 170 may issue the financial card 189 and/or process transactions associated with the financial card 189. The financial card issuer 170 may be an entity that provides services pertaining to aspects and behaviors of financial cards. It is contemplated that the institution system 105 may handle such aspects and/or behaviors of financial cards using a financial card processor 130 for example, and that the financial card issuer 170 may not be used.

The financial card 189 may be a credit card or a prepaid credit card, for example. A credit card is a system of payment in which money is not removed from the user\'s account after every transaction. The financial card issuer 170, which may be an entity associated with the institution system 105 or a third party, lends money to the user 185 to be paid to the merchant 175. A prepaid credit card (referred to herein as a “prepaid card”) is not really a credit card, as no credit is offered by the financial card issuer 170. The user 185 spends money which has been “stored” via a prior deposit by the user 185 or someone else, such as a parent or employer. However, it carries a credit card brand (e.g., Visa or MasterCard) and can be used in similar ways. After obtaining a prepaid card, the user 185 loads it with any amount of money and then uses the prepaid card to spend the money. In addition to a credit card or a prepaid card, the financial card 189 may be any type of payment device such as a debit card, a stored value card, a department store credit card, a mobile device, an RFID (radio-frequency identification) device, or a near-field communications device, for example.

The user 185 may use the financial card 189 to make a purchase at the merchant 175. As described further herein, the institution system 105 may receive and analyze transaction data associated with the purchase. The institution system 105 may send a notice to the user 185, e.g. via email, instant messaging, telephone, facsimile, mail, SMS (short message service), MMS (multimedia messaging service), a proprietary application residing on the user computing device 187, etc., asking if the user 185 would like to add the item(s) to a home inventory and/or obtain insurance coverage for the item(s) pertaining to the purchase. The notice may request the user send a photo of the item(s) or documentation pertaining to the item(s) to the institution system 105. The notice may be sent to a computing device associated with the user 185, such as the user computing device 187.

As described further herein, information may be received at the institution system 105 regarding one or more items purchased (or otherwise acquired) by the user 185, and the item(s) may be added to an electronic home inventory (e.g., maintained in storage by the institution system 105) and the item(s) may be added to an insurance policy (e.g., a homeowner\'s insurance policy or rider to the policy issued by the institution system 105). In an implementation, the institution system 105 may receive information about the item(s) from the merchant 175 who sold the item(s), an appraiser, the user 185 (e.g., who provides information by a website, by providing a receipt, etc.), from a barcode that is provided on the receipt associated with the purchase from the merchant 175, by a barcode generated by the user 185 (e.g., using data from the receipt and other information from the user 185), and/or via data (e.g., level 3 credit card data, etc.) from a financial card 189 transaction directed to the purchase of the item(s). The user 185 may be provided with a listing of the items that they have purchased or acquired using the data provided to the institution system 105, and can select which items are to be included in the home inventory and which items are to be added to an insurance policy.

The institution system 105 may include a user interface module 120, an insurance engine 121, an inventory engine 126, and a data source access engine 137. The user interface module 120 may generate and format one or more pages of content 119 as a unified graphical presentation that may be provided to the user computing device 187 as an output from the insurance engine 121 and/or the inventory engine 126. In an implementation, the page(s) of content 119 may be provided to the user computing device 187 via a secure website 118 associated with the institution system 105.

In an implementation, instead of hosting the website 118, the institution system 105 may comprise a conventional application server hosting a proprietary online service accessible only by a private network. In any event, the institution system 105 may have appropriate security mechanisms in place to prevent unauthorized third parties from intercepting the user\'s information.

The user 185 may be an individual who owns an insurance product (also may be referred to herein as a policy) or other account that may be provided by or held by the institution associated with the institution system 105. The user 185 may provide data to the institution system 105 via the user computing device 187. The user computing device 187 may be a handheld computing device such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) or a mobile phone, for example, or any type of personal computer (PC). The user computing device 187 and the institution system 105 may be connected over a network. The user 185 may communicate with the institution system 105 by way of a communications network such as an intranet, the Internet, a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a wireless fidelity (WiFi) network, a public switched telephone network (PSTN), a cellular network, a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) network, and the like. An example user computing device is described with respect to FIG. 6. The user 185 may also communicate with the institution system 105 by phone, email, instant message, text message, web chat, facsimile, mail, and the like.

The merchant 175 may be any entity that may sell an item to the user 185. The user 185, as well as the institution system 105 and the financial card issuer 170, may be in communication with the merchant 175 via a communications network. During the authorization of a transaction, the merchant 175 may send data associated with the purchase, such as amount, merchant name, merchant category code (MCC), and financial card number, for example, to the financial card issuer 170 in an authorization message for verification and processing. An MCC is a number assigned to a business and is used to classify the business by the type of goods or services it provides. In an implementation, the authorization message may comprise additional data such as an itemized listing of the purchased items.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120095783 A1
Publish Date
04/19/2012
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




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United Services Automobile Association (usaa)


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Data Processing: Financial, Business Practice, Management, Or Cost/price Determination   Automated Electrical Financial Or Business Practice Or Management Arrangement   Insurance (e.g., Computer Implemented System Or Method For Writing Insurance Policy, Processing Insurance Claim, Etc.)  

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20120419|20120095783|home inventory and insurance|A method of operating a home inventory and insurance system includes providing a processor, providing a home inventory database coupled to the processor, and providing an insurance database coupled to the processor. The method also includes receiving data related to an item purchased by a user, determining, using the processor |United-Services-Automobile-Association-usaa
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