Greg and Latasha Cain remember feeling helpless when someone broke into their Montgomery, Alabama home in 2003.
The couple was even more dismayed after receiving an insurance check that was less than what they expected, the reason being the Cains failed to keep adequate records of the cost of jewelry, electronics and other valuable items in their home.
So the pair decided to start their own business, CainVision, and create a program to help others avoid similar frustration. The company’s product, HomeView 2007, is a computer application that lets people create an electronic inventory of their belongings and a document to give to the insurance company if their home is burglarized.
“It began as a personal thing,” said Greg Cain, 31, an IT manager at Norment Security Group on Mobile Highway. “But we let a few people look at it, some co-workers and family members, and they liked it.”
The process of starting the business turned out to be cathartic for the family, which now lives in Millbrook. The Cains have two daughters, Jazlyn, 6, and Kamille, 3.
“It has given us an avenue to get out our frustration,” Latasha Cain, 27, said.
The couple had been in the Capital City only two months when the burglary happened, having moved from Atlanta, for Greg Cain’s new job. They were in bed one night when they heard several knocks on the front door.
“We were in a new city and didn’t know anybody, so we thought it was maybe someone at the wrong place,” Greg Cain said. “We didn’t answer. A few moments later, we heard a big boom. The back door had been kicked in.”
When the Cains didn’t see anyone, they fled to get help. While they were gone, the burglars returned and stole hundreds of dollars worth of items, including clothing, jewelry, a laptop and a PlayStation.
As frightening as that experience was, it was only when the couple tried to collect on their insurance that they realized the price they ultimately would pay.
Because they didn’t have adequate records of their valuables, they were not able to collect the money they were anticipating for their losses. The experience sent them into a tailspin.
“I spent several months in a rut mentally,” Greg Cain said. “I didn’t feel like I could protect my family.”
Then came HomeView 2007, which Greg Cain wrote himself. The application is loaded onto the homeowners’ computer hard drive, where they can input a personal profile, as well as purchase dates and serial numbers of items. Documentation such as receipts and bills of sale can be scanned in, and digital photos of the items can be added.
“The program creates a final report with all the items, the photos and links to the documents,” Greg Cain said. “You can save it (report) on a disc, you can print it, e-mail it to yourself. I recommend that people e-mail it because then they have access to it from different locations, even if they can’t go back to their home.”
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