Many drivers have not heard of the Home State County Mutual Insurance Company. Home State has less than 1.5% of the Texas auto insurance market. But the size of Texas’s insurance market means that Home State collects about $345 million in premiums every year.
If you have a car accident with someone insured by Home State, you may need to know how to file a claim with Home State. Here are some things you need to know about Home State County Mutual Insurance Company’s claim process.
Auto Insurance in Texas
All drivers in Texas must carry auto insurance. But the things that are covered will vary depending on the types of plans that you choose.
Liability Insurance in Texas
Liability insurance pays for another person’s injuries and property damage if the insured causes an accident.
Your liability insurance will not cover your injuries and property damage if you cause an accident. When your negligence is the primary cause in a collision, the insurance company will only pay for other injured parties, which might be either your passenger or a driver or passenger in another vehicle.
If another driver caused the accident, that driver’s liability coverage pays for your injuries and property losses. In this scenario, your insurance will only pay you if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured and if you bought uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Liability insurance is required under Texas law. According to this law, Texans are required to purchase liability insurance that covers up to $30,000 per person for injuries, with a $60,000 cap per accident. Texas also requires drivers to have $25,000 in property damage insurance.
Other Coverage in Texas
Liability insurance only covers third-party claims. You need additional coverage to receive payment for your injuries and property losses. Some of the kinds of additional coverage you can buy include:
With this kind of policy, your auto insurer pays for your property damage, regardless of fault.
Medical Payment (Med Pay)
In a medical payment policy, the insurer pays for your medical bills, regardless of who is at fault.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Under a PIP policy, the insurer pays your medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault. PIP is automatically included in all insurance policies sold in Texas, although you can decline coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance
With one of these policies, your insurer will pay for your bills if the at-fault driver has no insurance or has an insurance policy that is too small to pay for all your medical and repair expenses.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage is automatically included in all Texas insurance policies unless you decline coverage.
Most people expect their auto insurer to cover their injuries and auto repairs after an accident.
But if you only buy liability insurance, your insurance company has no obligation to pay for any of your medical bills or property losses.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Texas
Texas uses an at-fault auto insurance system. This means the insurer for the at-fault driver must pay for the claim. Thus, you have two options for filing a claim after an accident:
- You can file your claim with your insurer. Your insurer will determine fault, and if the insurer determines that the other driver caused the accident, it will work with the other insurer to pass the claim on to them.
- You can file your claim with the other driver’s insurer. That insurer will determine fault, and if the insurer determines that its insured caused the accident, it will pay your claim.
In either case, you will need to supply the same information. One thing to note is that when you file a claim with Home State, you cannot submit the claim electronically.
Filing a Claim With Home State
Home State is typical of many smaller insurance companies that operate in Texas. Unlike State Farm, Progressive, and the other large insurers, Home State does not have an online reporting tool or mobile app for filing claims. Home State does not even accept claim documents at its main business email.
Instead, Home State receives claim filings the old-fashioned way. You call into the claim center for Home State and talk to a live person. Early on, you will probably not speak to a claim adjuster. Rather, an administrator will collect your information on behalf of the claim adjuster.
You will provide personal information, like your name and address. You will also provide information about the accident, including the names, insurance companies, and policy numbers for the other drivers involved.
Processing Claims Through Home State
Home State will assign the claim to a claim adjuster who will assess fault and evaluate the claim. If the adjuster determines Home State’s insured caused the accident, Home State will offer to settle the claim.
Home State’s claim adjuster will use police reports, medical records, and witness statements to decide who is at fault.
The adjuster might ask you to provide a recorded statement. In most situations, you should avoid talking directly to the adjuster without legal representation. The adjusters protect Home State’s financial interests and can use your words to deny or reduce your claim.
How Claims Are Paid Through Home State
Home State will pay your claim if it has a legal obligation to do so. For example:
- Your insurer will pay the other driver’s claim if you caused the accident.
- Home State will pay your claim if the other driver caused the accident.
If you and the other driver share blame for the accident, the insurers will try to allocate fault for the accident and pay claims accordingly. Any driver allocated 51% or more of the fault will not receive anything from the other driver’s insurance company.
For example, if the insurance companies decide that you had 30% of the responsibility for the accident and the other driver had 70% of the responsibility for the accident, your insurance company will not pay anything to the other driver. Home State will pay you, but can reduce your payments by 30% to reflect your role in causing the accident.
Home State must follow strict timelines when processing your claim. It has 15 days after filing the claim to request additional information from you and/or your lawyer. Once you provide the requested information, Home State has 15 days to approve or deny the claim. Home State can extend this deadline for up to 45 days if it provides you with a written explanation for the reasons it needs more time.
Filing the claim is just the beginning of the process. You could face additional delays if Home State denies your claim or offers a settlement below the value of your claim.