College Central®

Ask around. The Network works.®

Personal Finance
Making an Inventory of Your Home

Ross Quade -- Whether you're moving from your family home to your own apartment for the first time or are simply renting the first property that you've ever rented before, you may be surprised to find that most landlords now require home contents insurance for tenants.

There are several reasons for this, but they all come down to the fact that landlords have a financial interest in your insurability. If you have insurance for your items plus the liability insurance that comes with renter's insurance, then you won't whine to the landlord about replacing your items when a disaster hits the apartment complex, and you also will be able to pay for damages that you cause to the landlord's property.

Before you buy home contents insurance for tenants, though, you might want to take an inventory of the things that you own. There are a couple of reasons to do this. For one thing, taking an inventory helps you get a feel for how much insurance you actually need. Even if you feel that you don't own much property, you could probably do with the $10,000 insurance policy that is normally the least you can get for renter's insurance. Also, having an inventory will make things simpler if you do happen to need to replace your goods through insurance in the future because of a break-in or disaster.

It's a good idea when taking an inventory to write down approximate prices for the things that you own. Now, different insurance policies function differently here, so you need to know some things about yours. Some will pay you the actual value of your furnishings, clothes, and electronics, which means their depreciated value when you lose them. Others will pay the full replacement value, or how much it would cost you to get new furnishings, etc. if you lost them. If you aren't sure what your insurance policy pays, contact your agent, and if you are still shopping for policies, then write down both approximate prices for all your goods.

Take a camera with you and go room by room for the simplest way to get all of your goods on paper. Snap digital photos of each room, particularly of expensive items, and then write down what the item is, a short description, and its approximate price, both new and depreciated. When you get to smaller items, like clothing or dishes, then you want to group things together to do this. Once you have your entire inventory finished, you'll know how much content insurance for tenants you need. provides U.S. consumers with the opportunity to shop online for apartment rental insurance. Visit to find the best apartment insurance.

© 2010 Ross Quade

Return to top

The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.