Before getting auto insurance in Oregon
To legally drive in Oregon you’re required to carry a minimum insurance policy. Find a policy that works for your needs and a rate that fits your budget.
Read on to learn more about car insurance in Oregon, from the state’s legal requirements to driving laws, and how you can use this information to find the best values out there.
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Average car insurance costs in Oregon
When it comes to average annual insurance costs, Oregon comes in right around the 2017 national average, costing the typical driver about $1,300 a year. Michigan usually leads the pack with costs topping almost $2,400 a year, and Maine tends to cost the least — between $800 and $900 annually.
As a rule of thumb, the cheaper places in Oregon for car insurance tend to be small towns or outlying rural areas like Corvallis and Ashland.
On the other hand, car insurance rates in the Portland area tend to cost more, with the outlying suburbs of Happy Valley and Gresham averaging $1,400 to $1,600 a year for auto insurance coverage.
How can I save on my car insurance?
Looking for some ways to save money on your car insurance in Oregon? No matter what state you’re in, use our general tips to lower your premiums and get a better value from your coverage.
State minimum requirements in Oregon
To legally drive in Oregon, you’ll need insurance that includes at least:
- $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury to others, per accident.
- $20,000 for property damage, per accident.
- $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person.
- $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage per person.
- $50,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage per accident.
When you’re shopping for coverage, you might see these numbers expressed as 25/50/20.
What additional coverage can I get?
Insurers in Oregon offer the industry standard range of coverage, from the bare minimum all the way up to comprehensive insurance options.
- Comprehensive. Pays for repairs if your car is damaged by something other than an accident — for instance, a fire or vandalism.
- Collision and limited collision. Helps with repairs if your car is damaged in an accident.
- Gap coverage. If you total a car you’re financing or leasing, this coverage pays the difference between what your insurer will cover and the remainder of your existing loan or lease.
- Rental car reimbursement. Helps pay for a rental car if you need one after an accident.
- Emergency roadside assistance. Provides reimbursement for towing and labor required for your car after an accident.
- Optional bodily injury (OBI). Helps cover bodily injuries that aren’t covered under required minimums — for example, injuries to passengers, accidents that happen outside the state or even accidents in areas where the public has no right of access.
Compare Oregon car insurance providers
Uninsured drivers in Oregon
About 12.7% of all drivers in Oregon were estimated to be without adequate coverage in 2015, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC) — very close to the 13% national average.
Oregon requires you to have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect you and your vehicle from potential accidents with uninsured drivers. Compare uninsured motorist coverage options to find the best rates for you and your vehicle.
Car insurance for high-risk drivers
If you have trouble finding affordable coverage or if you’ve been denied coverage because you’re considered a high-risk driver, you can find options through the Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans (WAAIP).
With this option, you’ll be assigned an affordable provider. Any additional risk you pose to the insurance provider is spread across the network of insurance companies that participate in the WAAIP.
What can I do if I don’t want to buy car insurance in Oregon?
Unfortunately, there’s no alternative to conventional car insurance in this state. Many states offer the option of depositing a large sum of money — typically $50,000 or more — with a bank or with the state treasury. But in Oregon, if you plan to drive on public roads, you’ll need to pony up for a policy.
Can I buy temporary car insurance in Oregon?
Yes, you can. You might need temporary insurance if you’re staying in the state for less than three months, or if you only drive here for a couple of months out of the year.
What happens if I’m driving in Oregon and I don’t have insurance?
If you get stopped by the police and need to provide proof of insurance with an ID card, a copy of your policy or a letter from your insurance provider.
If you don’t have proper coverage or you can’t immediately prove your coverage, your license may be suspended until you can prove you’re insured. And if you respond with false information or don’t respond within the time limit, you could be made to carry SR-22 insurance for three years.
What laws do I need to follow when I’m driving in Oregon?
Most states in the US share a common set of traffic laws, but Oregon has a few special regulations worth paying attention to.
- Oregon has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving — if you’re younger than 21 and blow anything above a 0.0% blood alcohol content (BAC) breath test, you can have your license suspended for up to a year.
- Drivers are prohibited from using any function of their smartphone that requires holding or touching beyond a single touch or swipe. For example, you can touch the phone to activate a preprogrammed navigation, but you need to pull over if you need to type in an address.
- Drivers are supposed to yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk who want to cross the street, whether or not a painted crosswalk is present.
What is the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Oregon?
Oregon’s BAC limit is the same as in every US state: 0.08% for normal drivers and 0.04% for commercial drivers. Oregon’s zero tolerance policy for drivers younger than 21 holds consequences for any trace of alcohol on their breath.
Driving under the influence (DUI) penalties in Oregon
|First offense||Second offense||Third offense|
|Jail||Up to 1 year||Up to 1 year||Up to 5 years|
|Fines and penalties||$1,000–$2,000||$2,000-$10,000||$2,000–$10,000|
|License suspension||1 year||3 years||Permanent unless appealed after 10 years|
Can I get SR-22 insurance in Oregon?
Yes, you can get SR-22 insurance in Oregon. SR-22 is a certificate you file with the state to prove you have the minimum liability insurance needed to hit the road. You might need this if you’re trying to reinstate your driving privileges after a suspension, if you were caught driving without car insurance or if you’re applying for a hardship or probationary permit.
What happens after an accident in Oregon?
After an accident in Oregon, you must file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with the DMV within 72 hours if:
- Damages to any vehicle or property come to more than $2,500 — even yours.
- Any vehicle is towed from the scene.
- Anyone was injured or killed.
Failure to report an accident in time could result in fines, a license suspension or even jail time in severe cases.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Deciding who’s at fault when in an accident in Oregon depends. If a driver is clearly at fault, they’ll be protected by the personal injury protection for the first two years after an accident — usual for no-fault states.
However, if a multi-vehicle accidents is caused by negligence or by violated traffic law, the driver who violated the rules is likely the one to bear responsibility.
When should I contact a lawyer?
If you’re found at fault for an accident or if you intend to file a lawsuit against the person you collided with, it might be helpful to have a lawyer represent you and guide you through the process.
However, in small-stakes situations like a fender bender or small property damages, the cost of hiring an attorney could easily outweigh the benefits of winning a case. It’s usually best to weigh your options and what you stand to gain or lose by hiring a lawyer before you make that move.
Car insurance is a requirement for motorists in Oregon, so if you plan to drive in this state you’ll want to look into your options. By shopping around and using the tips in this article, you should be able to find affordable coverage that takes care of your car insurance needs.
Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Oregon
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