state of Oregon

Living in Oregon means you’re never far from natural beauty. Miles of coastline make up the Western Border, and ancient redwood forests and mountain ranges offer plenty of options for the avid hiker. Or you can explore the vibrant culture of Portland. But before you set out on the road, you need to have proper car insurance coverage.

On average, residents of Oregon pay a little less than the national average for their car insurance premiums. However, the prices can vary quite a bit depending on where you live. And no matter what, the best way to find cheap car insurance is to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

But before you start shopping, you need to decide the level of coverage that’s right for you. So what are the minimum requirements? And how much car insurance will you need to protect yourself and your assets?

Oregon Car Insurance Laws

The state's insurance requirements make it mandatory for all drivers to carry the following minimum car insurance coverage:

Bodily injury and property damage liability

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Liability per person
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability per accident
  • $20,000 Property Damage per crash for damage to others’ property.

Bodily Injury policies will pay for medical expenses or funeral costs when someone is injured in an at-fault accident. It will also offer reimbursement for economic loss, such as lost wages. Your Property Damage policy will help repair or replace vehicles or standing structures damaged in an at-fault accident. Liability policies won’t pay medical expenses for you or your passengers, nor will they help repair your vehicle if it’s damaged.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

  • $15,000 per person.

Personal Injury Protection is a form of no-fault insurance designed to pay out quickly, regardless of who caused a car accident. It will help pay for medical expenses for you or your passengers, and will also reimburse you for economic loss, such as lost wages, and any in-home services you need as a result of your injuries. This policy will follow you and your family members wherever you go, so even if you’re riding in someone else’s car, or if you’re hit by a car while walking across the street, you can get help with your medical bills. The cost of emergency care can be outrageous, so you should consider raising your limits in case the unthinkable happens.

Uninsured motorist

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

An Uninsured Motorist policy acts in lieu of an uninsured driver’s liability insurance or in hit-and-run situations. It can also supplement their coverage if the damages exceed their liability limits. Optional coverage to consider adding is the Uninsured Motorist Property Damage policy to pay damages caused by an underinsured motorist.

In order to register your vehicle, you must provide proof of financial responsibility. For most people, this means a valid proof of insurance form. Motorists caught driving without a policy in place could face fines, suspension of driving privileges, and the towing of their vehicle.

If convicted, an SR-22 will need to be filed with the DMV for three years or your driver's license will be suspended. If uninsured and involved in a traffic accident, your driving privileges will be suspended automatically for one year, on top of being financially responsible for the cost of a car accident without the help of insurance.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Your liability coverage won’t help you pay to repair your vehicle or replace it if it’s totaled. But comprehensive and collision policies will make sure your vehicle is protected no matter who is at fault. Though it’s not required by law to purchase one of these policies, your lender will require you to maintain them until you’ve finished paying off your vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage will pay to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged by fire, floods, falling limbs, or anything else outside of human control. It will also cover you if your vehicle is stolen or vandalized, or if your car is damaged in a collision with an animal.

Collision insurance will pay for damages caused in an accident or if you hit a pole or other stationary object. It will compensate you no matter who is at fault, so if you’re in an accident and the damages exceed the other driver’s limits, you can still get your car fixed.

Of course, if your car is only valued at a few thousand dollars, the value of these policies may not be worth the price. However, it’s still worth considering if you know you would have difficulty replacing your vehicle in these scenarios.

What determines your car insurance premiums?

Car insurance uses a combination of personal factors and vehicle information to determine the premium you pay. Different insurance companies weigh these factors differently, and no one insurer offers the best rates for everyone.

The personal factors may include your age, address, driving record, credit score, and claims history. People with a lot of speeding tickets or other moving violations are considered higher risk and will pay more. Customers that live in the city with more traffic and a higher risk of crime will also usually pay more.

The year, make, and model of your vehicle will also affect your premium. An older vehicle is generally valued at less money and costs less to insure because of that. However, newer cars with advanced safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, can frequently get you a discount. Always check the price to carry coverage on a vehicle before you purchase it. If you can’t afford to insure it, you can’t afford to buy it.

Your car insurance is also determined by the maximum limits you set on your policies, the deductibles you choose, and any optional coverages you add. When comparing car insurance quotes, you can experiment with different deductibles or maximum limits to find the best value for you. However, you shouldn’t choose a policy with a deductible you can’t realistically meet, and you shouldn’t buy the bare minimum policies if you aren’t financially stable.

Buy Oregon Car Insurance Online

There are many ways to acquire automobile policies, but as of recent years, the internet has become an easy and convenient method to satisfy coverage needs. More and more consumers are choosing to buy auto insurance online due to the ease and effectiveness.

After completing a simple form, you can get competitive quotes from car insurance companies in Oregon. Make sure you research an insurer before making a purchase from them. Reading customer reviews can give you insights into how readily they will respond to claims, and how difficult it is to get reimbursement.

Always compare policies with similar levels of coverage. Comparing the price of totally different policies from two different companies won’t give you enough information to make a purchase that’s the best value to you.

Once you’ve found a couple of insurance companies with good car insurance rates for you, make sure you get all the discounts you qualify for so you can get the cheapest car insurance possible. These may include:

  • Safe driver (based on driving history)
  • Defensive Driving discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Good student
  • Airbags and other safety equipment
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Paid in full discount

The bottom line

The best way to get affordable car insurance is to drive safely, don’t let your coverage lapse, and compare many insurance companies in Oregon to find the best deal. Even if you already have car insurance, you can save hundreds of dollars a year by switching companies.

Now that you know what you need, simply fill out our questionnaire and start comparing rates today, with no obligation to buy. Once you find the one that works for you, you can make your purchase and have proof of insurance within minutes, all without having to leave the house.