Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Car Insurance in Oregon

Your questions about Oregon car insurance have been heard. You want to know how to lower the cost of your auto insurance. You want to know about how to get an SR-22. You need information about what your Oregon auto insurance policy covers. Payments and cost of your car insurance are important to you. We understand. Here we will do our best to answer your insurance questions.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a form or certificate that shows that you have auto insurance. It is the State of Oregon's way of making sure that you maintain liability insurance. You may be required by the Oregon DMV to file an SR-22 form if you were involved in one or more of the following:

  • DUI (drunk driving),
  • serious moving violations such as reckless driving,
  • in an accident while uninsured (at-fault or not),
  • driving uninsured.

 

Regulations vary from state to state, but drivers required to provide this proof of minimum insurance must do so by turning in an SR-22 certificate for at least three years. Failure to turn in an SR22 if you are required to do so during the three year SR22 requirement period will result in the suspension of your drivers license or driving privileges. You can reinstate your license by buying another car insurance policy and turning in another SR22 to the DMV. You may have to pay a reinstatement fee.

What Should I do if I Just Had a Car Accident?

If you've been in an accident, take down the name of the driver, address, phone number and license plate number. Also get the other driver's insurance company name and policy number.

Always keep a pen and paper in your car. A pen that works is helpful. Hot summer days can dry out a pen. A pencil might be better.

Please share your information with the other driver but DO NOT ADMIT FAULT. Let the insurance adjusters investigate the claim to determine who was at fault. Oregon law says you have to cooperate at the scene of an accident and give your relevant information to the other party even if you are sure you were not at fault. Also, you should cooperate with the adjusters of each of the companies involved so they may gather the claim details to make a proper assessment of who was at fault and who will get paid.

If you or the other driver were injured, seek medical attention immediately and then you should report the accident to your insurance company. If you were not injured, you should only report the accident to the company of the driver you are positive was at fault. If the police are called to the scene, be sure you write down the officer's name and badge number. It will come in handy for your adjuster to request a police report. You will need to speak with the insurance company directly.

You can report the accident to your agent, however, agents are not claims representatives and will simply be a conduit to your insurance company. Statements must be made directly from you to the company claims representative. Agents do not settle insurance claims. Claims representatives work for the insurance company and have the authority to deny or approve claims.

Which Auto Insurance Coverage Pays for Damage to My Vehicle?

Damage to your automobile can be covered on your Oregon automobile policy under two main physical damage coverages: Comprehensive and Collision. Depending on what kind of damage your car suffered and how it got damaged will determine which coverage will pay for the claim.

If you hit a deer, cow, horse or other animal in the road, your car gets stolen, burns up in a fire or is vandalized, your comprehensive coverage will pay for the claim.

If you crash your car into something and you or another driver are behind the wheel or responsible for the car (maybe you forgot to put it in park or set the brake and it gets away from you and smashes into another parked car) then your collision coverage would take effect.

Physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision) are optional coverages. Adding them to your policy will raise the price of your car insurance. We often call this 'full coverage'. However, full coverage doesn't mean you have all the optional coverages as well. You may need to consider the extra coverages like towing and rental. Some companies now offer roadside assistance coverage. True roadside assistance is not the same as towing. We'll be happy to explain the difference.

What if I Have Too Many Tickets or Accidents?

You have been turned down by other insurance companies because you have too many tickets or accidents by their standards. No problem for us. If you have a valid drivers license we have an auto insurance company who will take you? Many insurance companies set a limit of one accident and three tickets. We can handle up to three accidents and ten tickets.

Now you might have a suspended license if you have that many incidents in say a one month or twelve month period of time. Call us when your suspension is over or we can help you apply for a Hardship Permit to be able to drive during your suspension period. We will work with you and keep you informed of when your tickets will be dropping off. We even have an auto insurance company who will take tickets off in the middle of the policy giving you immediate credit so you don't have to wait until the policy renews.

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