In Oregon, you cannot register your car without required car insurance. You are legally required to hold several types of car insurance coverages which include personal injury protection, liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
Car Insurance Requirements
Oregon car insurance laws require you to hold the following types of insurance coverages:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Personal injury protection
- Uninsured motorist.
If you are a new resident in Oregon, you have up to 30 days from the time you become a resident to register and title your car. To do so, you must show proof of the required Oregon car insurance.
Liability insurance is required to cover the cost of property damage and injuries to others resulting from an accident you cause. The minimum required limits for liability insurance include:
- $25,000 for death or bodily injury per person
- $50,000 total for death or bodily injury per person
- $20,000 for property damage.
Personal Injury Protection
Your policy must include personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance cover will help pay for your own medical bills for up to 1 year after an accident. The minimum requirement for PIP is $15,000 per person.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Your insurance policy must include Uninsured Motorist coverage. This policy pays for injuries that result from an accident with a driver with inadequate insurance cover, or a driver without insurance. The following are minimum limits for Uninsured Motorist Coverage:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per crash.
Optional Insurance Coverage
While Oregon car insurance laws require you to have minimum insurance coverages, you may opt to purchase other optional insurance coverages to help protect you further. You may consider purchasing the following types of optional coverages:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Rental reimbursement
- Uninsured motorist property damage.
Assigned Risk Pools
If you have a bad driving record, most Oregon car insurance companies might refuse to insure your car as you may be deemed a high-risk driver. If you are unable to find insurance coverage through the open market, you can apply for it through the Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans (WAAIP). Insurance policy through WAAIP comes with higher premiums. For more information on WAAIP insurance plan, call (800) 227-4659.
Proof of Insurance
As a driver you must show proof of minimum car insurance when registering your vehicle or stopped by a traffic officer. Proof of car insurance includes:
- A valid current insurance card
- A valid liability insurance policy
- Insurance binder
- A signed letter from an insurance company official
- A DMV certificate of self-insurance with your full names.
DMV Insurance Verification
The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicle is responsible for insurance status verification. They normally carry out a monthly random vehicle insurance verification procedure. If your car is selected, you must provide the name of your insurance company and your policy number. The DMV then verifies the information you provide with your car insurance provider. If you fail to respond or provide incorrect information, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Oregon Insurance Violations
If you are caught driving without car insurance, you will face the following penalties:
- $100 fine
- 30 days in jail
- Driver’s license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment.
You will also be required to file and carry SR-22 proof of insurance for 3 years.
SR-22 Proof of Responsibility
SR-22 insurance filing is done by drivers who have caused accidents or those who have been convicted of serious violation of traffic regulations. SR-22 can be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicle through your car insurance company. SR-22 insurance guarantees that you will hold and maintain minimum coverage for 3 years. If you fail to file an SR-22, you will face the following penalties:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Vehicle registration suspension
- License plates suspension.
If you transfer to a new car insurance carrier, you have to get your new carrier to file an SR-22 before cancelling current SR-22 and insurance policy.
Car Insurance Policy Cancellation
Oregon car insurance companies have the right to cancel your car’s insurance policy for the following reasons:
- Frequent claims
- Bad credit history
- Poor driving record
- Nonpayment of premium.
If your car insurance company decides to cancel your insurance policy because of premium non-payment, they must give you a 10 days notice. However, if they intend to cancel your policy for any other reason, they must give you at least 30 days notice before cancellation.
Concerns about Your Policy
If you have any complaint against your car insurance policy, you should seek resolution with the Oregon Insurance Division. You can do so through the following means:
- Online through English or Spanish form
- By mail or fax using the address on the above forms.
Note: The Oregon Insurance Division cannot act as lawyer, determine the claim or determine who was at fault in the event of an accident.
Determination of Your Car Insurance Rates
Oregon car insurance companies use the following factors to determine your car insurance rates:
- Your driving record
- Your claims history
- Your marital status, age and gender
- The location of your car’s parking space
- The intended use of your vehicle
- Your car’s make, model, and year
- Any prior coverage
- Your credit history.
Most Stolen Cars in Oregon
Driving a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase your car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the 2013 most stolen cars in Oregon include:
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Acura Integra
- Subaru Legacy
- Toyota Corolla
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.