Ask Amy: Can an apartment complex require you to buy insurance? Plus, a roofing scam warning

Nearly half of all Houstonians pay rent every month instead of a mortgage. So, many of you may relate to our first question about renters insurance. Also today, the warmer weather is nice but it also means the prime season for roofing scammers. What you need to know if someone knocks on our door offering to help you.

Do I have to buy renter’s insurance?

Question: “We live in a complex that requires that the residents buy renter insurance. Is it a law and should we have a choice? I wish that the people could decide if they want to invest to buy. The rent is already up the roof and many people are still unemployed. We should not be forced to buy insurance.”

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Answer: Renters insurance is not required by law in Texas, but your landlord can require renters coverage as part of the lease agreement. Yes, they can make this mandatory. Renters insurance covers your belongings from theft or damage from something like a fire or a busted pipe. The average renter’s policy in Texas is about $20 a month.

Renters insurance also protects you if someone is hurt in your home by covering legal costs if taken to court. But renters insurance does not cover losses due to flooding. You might already be covered if you are a dependent. Your parent’s homeowners policy may cover your belongings even if you are not living at home.

Don’t trust just anyone who comes knocking

We are always in touch with our friends at the Better Business Bureau. It’s the time of year we see more roofing scams.

(Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Here’s what the BBB wants you to know:

  • Roof scammers often come to your home unsolicited - they might say they are already in the neighborhood. But if you ask questions about where the business is located or how their services work, you’ll most likely be met with vague answers
  • They offer to inspect your roof for free. The BBB warns that often if they don’t find enough wear and tear to merit a whole new roof, they may fabricate it, by tearing off shingles to mimic wind damage. Or they may simply show you pictures of someone else’s damaged roof.
  • Your best bet - if you think you have roof damage, call a roofing company you trust to come out and take a look. Before signing any paperwork or contracts with a roofing company, have your insurance company to come out for an inspection to verify the need for repairs or replacements. Keep in mind, if you call your insurance company asking them to come inspect, this could go on your record and could affect future claims or your continued coverage. So, you don’t want the roofer to file a claim if it’s not needed.
  • Research roofing companies. Just like with any contractor you would hire for your home, look at a company’s business rating on Check reviews and comments on social media sites too.

Do you have a question for Amy? Email us at and we will work to find you an answer.

About the Authors:

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.