Many of us in Portland, Oregon take driving a car for granted: we commute to work, zip over to the grocery store, or visit friends on the weekend. Despite all of that time behind the wheel, you might not always consider the risks you take by driving daily. The average driver has 3-4 car accidents over his or her lifetime, and even if you’re an exceptionally safe driver, others might not be. It’s critical to have the right auto insurance to protect you.
Peggy Romero and Associates will help you design an auto insurance policy that meets your needs but doesn’t break the bank. Regardless of whether you get into a minor fender bender or need help with a more significant collision, we’ll make sure you’re covered.
Call 503-255-7828 for a quote!
What Is Auto Insurance?
Auto insurance policies help cover costs associated with car collisions or damage to your vehicle. Depending on the types of coverage you get– which will be explained in the next section– a policy will cover damage to your car, the other party’s car, your medical bills, and/or the other party’s medical bills. Non-collision issues may also be covered, so if your car is damaged by hail, flying debris, fire, or vandalism, you may be eligible to recoup those costs.
Standard auto insurance policies rely on fault to determine whose insurance pays. If you’re at fault for the accident, you and your insurance company are responsible for costs. If the other party is at fault, they are responsible for repairing your vehicle and paying your medical bills. Oregon issues standard coverage.
In the case of a collision involving an uninsured motorist, our company will also help you cover the bills.
What Does Auto Insurance Cover?
Auto insurance coverage is split into a number of different categories. Before you buy a policy, we will help you understand all of the terms.
Required in Oregon
Liability Coverage. Liability coverage kicks in if you cause an accident. Typically, it covers:
- Property, including the car or surroundings, that is damaged
- The other party’s medical bills
- Lawsuits and defense costs
Liability coverage is usually split into bodily injury and property injury categories. Oregon requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 of liability insurance per person, $50,000 per occurrence —– typically called 25/50 for bodily injury to others, and $20,000 per incident for damage to others’ property.
While those are the minimum liability limits, it may be wise to get higher limits, if you can afford them, since costs associated with a large crash can be overwhelming. We strongly advise 100/300 to all of our home owners and in many cases we feel you are better served with 250/500. We don’t want anybody to be under-insured should an occasion arise. It is not worth it to save a few dollars and be financially devastated if you are found legally liable for an accident.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP). This covers needed medical, dental, or other health-related care for you and any other party involved in a crash, regardless of fault. Oregon requires that you carry coverage of at least $15,000 per person. We recommend more coverage for people who have high deductibles or no medical insurance deductibles. You may be able to claim coverage for up to a year after the collision.
Uninsured and Under-insured Motorist Coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the case of a collision with someone who doesn’t have insurance. If you’re not at fault, and that person has no insurance or too little insurance to cover costs, your insurance company will provide additional support. Oregon requires that residents carry coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash for bodily injury.
We keep these coverage’s consistent with the liability you select.
Optional in Oregon
Collision Coverage. While not required in Oregon, collision coverage is wise for many drivers. This covers your car in the case of an accident that is your own fault and causes damage to your car. If you have a low-value vehicle, you’ll want to compare the price of this coverage with the car’s worth to determine whether you should add this to your policy. You can choose your deductible. Which means you pay the deductible amount (typically $100-$1000) and your insurance will pick up the rest of the repair bill. In the event the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle, we will pay you the retail value of the car.
Note: When you have a loan on the car this is a required coverage for most lenders.
Comprehensive Coverage. Comprehensive coverage protects you from “incidents,” not accidents: if there’s a flood, a fire, or if your car is vandalized, you’ll be reimbursed for any costs beyond your deductible. This is also the coverage that pays if your car is stolen and not recovered.
Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay). While similar to PIP, MedPay differs in that it only pays for medical bills, and it only covers you. This type of coverage may provide additional security in that you can increase the amount of medical coverage you have while not paying more for PIP, which covers all parties. Most policy holders in Oregon do not choose MedPay because PIP is required and covers much more than MedPay does.
What Amount Of Insurance Is Recommended For Portlanders?
There’s no hard and fast rule as to how much insurance coverage you should buy, except for the state limits. You should make sure that you’re covered for the total value of your assets, however, since another party may come after those assets in the case that your insurance isn’t sufficient to cover the costs of an accident you caused. The dollar amounts below are ballpark figures for a standard auto insurance policy:
- Bodily injury liability: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
- Property liability: $100,000 per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $100,000 per accident
- Collision and Comprehensive: $100- $1,000 deductible
PIP: As long as you have health insurance, you can probably just buy the minimum required. Please call Peggy’s team at 503-255-7828 if you’re unsure what coverage you need in Portland, Oregon or Washington.
These figures are just a starting point; depending on your finances, car, and driving history, you may need more or less protection.
Qualifying For Auto Insurance In Portland, OR
The majority of drivers can find insurance through private companies. However, for those that can’t, Oregon has an assigned-risk pool that provides coverage.
Several factors may put you in a higher-risk category. Those include:
- Previous accidents
- Multiple speeding tickets
- Poor payment history
- Age and gender (women may pay less than men)
- Type of car
While none of these items, on their own, should entirely bar you from getting insurance, a combination of factors will make your premium higher. You can take steps to lower your insurance by buying a car with good safety ratings, sending in payments on time, or taking a DUI Diversion Program.
Auto Insurance Costs In Portland, Oregon
Though your premium cost will depend on your driving record, age, and car, auto insurance in Oregon can be surprisingly affordable. The most recent report from the National Association of Insurance Carriers cited an average expenditure of $724 per year on auto insurance for Oregonians. That put costs a little lower than the median in the U.S.
If you’re a new driver, your premium may be higher, but it will likely decrease as you get older, as long as you don’t get into accidents or get speeding tickets. Additionally, Oregon insurers offer a number of ways to reduce auto insurance costs:
- Discounts for a vehicle’s safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, passive restraints, or anti-theft devices
- Discounts for using a devise that tracks your safe driving
- Savings for retired drivers
- Discounts for being a good student, or for parents of a resident student
- Multi-policy discounts for having your home and / or life insurance
Auto Insurance Quick Facts
What’s the typical collision claim cost?
Nationwide, the average claim in 2012 was $3,073 for property damage and $14,654 for bodily injury.
What’s the most common cause of car crashes?
Distracted driving: eating, texting, grooming, and reading, to name a few.
What do I need to do, in the case of a car crash, to get costs covered?
You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company (online or on the phone) as well as filing an Oregon Accident and Insurance Report with the Oregon DMV within 72 hours.
To get a quote on Oregon auto insurance rates, please call our Portland, OR office at 503-255-7828. We’d be delighted to help you!