Oregon’s 3.1 million licensed drivers know that there are laws in place to protect them and their vehicles when they are on the road. Those include insurance laws, which state that all drivers must carry a solid insurance policy with a required amount of coverage. Why is this so important? Consider the following Oregon statistics for 2018, the most recent year for which there is data:
- There were 27,717 non-fatal injury crashes
- 446 crashes led to 502 fatalities, an increase of 10.67% over the previous year
- 41,073 people were injured in crashes
- 826 crashes involved bicycles; 1,036 were motorcycle accidents
Oregon car insurance laws are designed to keep accidents to a minimum while allowing people to get where they need to be in a timely manner. Oregon auto insurance requirements, meanwhile, ensure that drivers have the financial resources to pay for injuries and damage caused by an accident.
Car insurance laws in Oregon
To meet Oregon car insurance laws, you will need to have an insurance policy that includes several types of coverage. Here is the minimum requirement for Oregon car insurance laws:
- $25,000 per person bodily injury liability
- $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability
- $20,000 per accident property damage liability
- $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
- $25,000 per person uninsured motorist liability
- $50,000 per accident uninsured motorist liability
Liability insurance in Oregon
The basic element in Oregon insurance laws is liability coverage, which merely means that you are responsible for something — in this case, any injuries or property damage that occur because you are at fault in an accident. Your liability insurance means that you would not be stuck paying possibly thousands of dollars if you cause an accident. Medical costs can be astronomical in a serious accident; your liability protects you from having to pay them, to the limits of your policy.
The minimum required liability may not be enough in some cases. If you can afford it, you may want to consider purchasing higher liability limits. Consider an accident that requires a hospital stay and surgery. Those costs could easily be well over the $25,000 minimum liability. Or think about the fact that the average cost of a new car in the U.S. is more than $40,000. If you totaled another driver’s car, that $20,000 minimum liability would not cover the cost of a new one.
There are other types of insurance that are not required by law but are useful to have. Collision and comprehensive, for example, will cover the damage to your own car following an accident or mishap. There is also new car replacement coverage, gap coverage, and roadside assistance available from many insurers.
Is Oregon a no-fault state?
Oregon is not one of 12 no-fault states in the U.S. In a no-fault state, you file a claim with your own insurer following an accident, no matter who is at fault. No-fault laws are designed to speed up the paying of claims and keep lawsuits out of the courts.
As an at-fault state, Oregon liability claims go to the insurance company representing the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay all costs, the other driver may take them to court to recover damages as needed.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Oregon
Oregon auto insurance requirements state that there will be penalties for anyone who does not have an insurance policy. Those penalties include fines of between $130-1,000, depending on the court decision, and there will be additional fees if your license is suspended, which could be for up to one year. Your car may also be impounded at the same time. If your license is suspended, you will need to have an SR-22 certificate in order to get it back.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Oregon
Once you have the Oregon minimum car insurance, there are additional coverage options you can add to your policy to provide more robust coverage. We have already mentioned collision and comprehensive, but most insurers have other optional coverages you can select such as the following:
- Gap coverage: Because of depreciation, your car loses value quickly after you drive it off the lot. If it is totaled, and you owe more on your car loan than the car is worth, this coverage will pay for the difference.
- New car replacement: If your new (one-year-old or newer) car is totaled, this coverage ensures that you will have the money to purchase a new car of the same make and model as the one you lost.
- Roadside assistance: This will cover the cost of towing, battery charging, replacing a flat tire and more if anything happens while you are driving.
- Rideshare coverage: If you drive for Lyft, Uber, or another rideshare company, this coverage will augment the minimal coverage you receive from the company and your own basic insurance.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in Oregon?
A good strategy for finding the best car insurance company in Oregon is to gather several quotes from some of the top companies writing policies in the state. Because every insurer uses its own methods for determining premium rates, you should get a range of options and can choose the one that offers you the cheapest premium rate.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Oregon?
There are a number of insurers writing cheap policies in Oregon. A good place to start your search is with Bankrate’s page on the Cheapest Car Insurance in Oregon for 2021. Any one of the companies we recommend can write you a policy that is inexpensive but provides good coverage.
How much will I pay for car insurance in Oregon?
The average cost of full coverage in Oregon is $1,346 a year, which is below the U.S. average of $1,674. Your own rate will vary depending on a number of factors, such as your car’s age and model, as well as personal characteristics such as your own age, marital status and credit rating.