If you live in the Beaver State, you have probably heard of something called personal injury protection (PIP). Oregon drivers are required to have this coverage on their auto insurance policy, and it can be handy if an accident leaves you or any of your passengers hurt.
Still, though, because the state requires you to pay for this coverage, you might be wondering, how does Oregon PIP work? Before we get into state specifics, though, you first want to know how this coverage works in general.
What is PIP insurance?
PIP insurance in Oregon — or in any other PIP state — is a car insurance coverage designed to step in to financially protect you and your passengers, regardless of who caused the accident. After an accident, medical bills can add up. But with PIP, you get help paying for anything from an ambulance ride to lost wages as you get back to 100 percent after the incident. And Oregon PIP coverage extends beyond you to cover your passengers’ medical expenses, too.
PIP coverage can be a helpful addition to your car insurance policy. Even if you have a fairly robust policy with multiple types of car insurance like liability, collision and comprehensive coverage, you may still be on the hook for your medical expenses without PIP. Liability coverage only pays for medical expenses for people you hurt while driving (like the driver and passengers in a car you rear-end). Collision coverage helps to pay for repairs for your vehicle, and comprehensive coverage can help repair your vehicle for damage from incidents other than collision, like theft and vandalism. But that still leaves you without a means to pay for your own medical bills, let alone your passengers’ injuries in an accident.
How does Oregon PIP work?
In some ways, Oregon PIP coverage works very similarly to PIP coverage in other states where it’s available. That is, PIP insurance helps cover the following in almost every state where it is required or optional:
- Ambulance rides
- Medical care, including diagnostics like x-rays
- Dental care
- A percentage of your lost wages as a result of your injury
In Oregon, specifically, state law also extends PIP insurance to cover:
- Essential services up to $30 a day over 52 weeks (if unemployed and unable to perform household duties for at least 14 days)
- Lost wages, up to $3,000 a month over 52 weeks (if employed and unable to work for at least 14 days)
- Funeral expenses, up to $5,000
- Child care at $25 per day (up to $750 max) if you are hospitalized for more than 24 hours
However, PIP limits can vary depending on your chosen coverage levels and how you are using it. For example, Oregon’s minimum insurance requirements include $15,000 in PIP coverage, but that does not mean that all of those funds can be used for essential services or child care costs.
Because all Oregon drivers are supposed to carry PIP coverage, the procedure to follow to start an injury claim after the accident is the same, whether you caused the accident or another driver did. Through your PIP coverage, your insurance company can be the one to cover injuries for you and any others in your car. So after an accident with any injuries, you should contact your insurance company to start your PIP claim and help get your and/or your passenger’s resulting medical expenses covered.
Oregon PIP insurance helps cover at least $15,000 per person. So say you get into an accident with one passenger in the car. The ambulance ride for both of you, the necessary tests to determine the extent of your injuries and any surgeries either of you need would be covered (minus any deductible and up to $15,000 for each of you). And assuming you do not exhaust the $15,000 limit with your initial medical care, if you were unable to work for a few weeks, your Oregon PIP coverage could help pay lost wages up to $3,000 a month for 52 weeks, easing a challenging season.
One last thing you should know: state law dictates that your Oregon PIP cannot come with a deductible of more than $250. The goal is to minimize the out-of-pocket expense to cover your deductible and does not prevent you from getting the medical care you need.
Is PIP required in Oregon?
Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services specifically requires that drivers carry PIP insurance of at least $15,000 per person. And since driving without the required insurance can land you with hefty fines — or even a license suspension — it’s crucial to have auto insurance in Oregon.
Beyond the $15,000 of PIP insurance per person, Oregon drivers also need at least a minimum of:
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $20,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
How much does PIP cost in Oregon?
The amount you pay for PIP in Oregon depends on your risk as a driver. Insurance companies weigh everything from the vehicle you drive, your driving history, your home address and your age when determining your car insurance rates, including the cost of your PIP insurance in Oregon.
Key things to note about PIP insurance in Oregon
Now that we have Oregon PIP insurance explained, we can look at the key takeaways:
- PIP insurance is required for all Oregon drivers
- Drivers need to have at least $15,000 of PIP coverage
- PIP insurance can cover medical expenses, lost wages, child care and more
- Oregon PIP deductibles are capped at $250
How and when do I file a PIP claim?
In Oregon, you can file a PIP claim with your auto insurance provider any time you and/or any of your passengers get injured in a car accident. This applies regardless of whether you caused the accident or another driver was at fault. To get your claim started, either call your insurance company or use their online/in-app claim form.
Are PIP and medical payments the same?
PIP is slightly different from medical payments, or MedPay, coverage in that it covers more. While MedPay helps with the cost of medical expenses after an accident, PIP may help with other expenses you might incur as a result of your injury, like lost wages or child care costs.