Oregon Car Insurance Laws
Like many states, Oregon requires that all motorists follow specific financial responsibility laws in order to legally drive or register an automobile with potentially serious consequences for those that choose to ignore these requirements. A basic automobile protection plan must include bodily injury and property damage liability equal to 25/50/20. This means that the policy limits must at least be $25,000 for bodily injury for one person with $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident, and $20,000 for property damage.
Motorists must also obtain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) with a limit of $15,000 per person and Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. The PIP portion of a policy is designed to cover many necessary medical related expenses after an accident. This can include many of the costs associated with rehabilitation, funeral expense, child care expenses, as well as potential loss of earnings for the policyholder or passengers in the vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The UM portion is in place to cover damages caused by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver up to the limits of the policy.
In order to register a vehicle or purchase a light vehicle trip permit an OR motorist must prove that they have purchased Oregon auto insurance that meets state minimum requirements. If an individual is caught driving without said coverage they may accumulate a number of fines, lose driving privileges, or the vehicle in question may be towed. This typically amounts to additional towing and storage fees for the impounded automobile. These consequences are increased for individuals that are involved in an accident and lack the proper vehicle coverage. If caught without an automobile protection plan after an accident, the offending motorist may experience the previously mentioned fines and penalties, but may also have their driving privileges suspended for up to a year, and will likely be forced to file proof of future responsibility (SR-22) with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
An SR-22 certificate is usually required for drivers that are caught operating an automobile without first meeting state financial responsibility requirements. This certificate typically comes from a car insurance company and provides proof that the offending motorist has purchased a policy that meets the demands of the state. Typically, residents that are required to obtain an SR-22 must keep the certificate for a period of 3 years from the ending date of their suspension if driving privileges were taken away, or 3 years and 33 days from the date of conviction if the document is required as a result of driving while uninsured.
To increase the chances of catching motorists that choose to drive without the required amounts of vehicle protection, the Oregon DMV randomly checks vehicles on a monthly basis and requires that the owner provide the name of their policy provider and policy number. The DMV then verifies this information to ensure that the automobile is adequately insured and that the recorded information is accurate and up-to-date. In the event that a driver does not have adequate coverage, or refuses to respond to any inquires, the motorist in question may have their driving privileges suspended. To avoid such consequences, vehicle owners are encouraged seek out an automobile protection plan that both offers a sufficient amount of coverage and comes from a reputable insurer that is licensed to sell auto insurance policies within the Beaver State.