The Judge Threw the Ticket Out!

"I went to court and the judge threw the ticket out!"

What happens in Oregon when you go to driving court and the judge "throws" the ticket out? In very simple terms the ticket will not be removed from your driving record, it will still be there. The judge might have dismissed the fine, but it is rarely if ever removed from your driving record. If you think the ticket itself should not show up on your record be smart and get a document from the court before you ever leave there or you will not be able to.

Oregon auto insurance agents hear quite often that a ticket was dismissed when they ask about driving records. Insurance agents do not have the ability to dispute a ticket. Most people have perfectly reasonable explanations for why the ticket should not count; we just literally cannot change the report. If the DMV reports it, only a new DMV report (printed on their letterhead) can update a driving record on your policy. Any updated report has to be sent to the insurance company after the policy was issued.

Make sure you tell the agent everything that has happened over the last three years, get the right quote, and if you want to dispute something you will need to go through the DMV and court system.

We want to help; we need your help to help you. Give us a call at 503-489-3143 or 503-693-2852 for a quote. You can also fill out a quote request on our website.

Auto Insurance Companies Limit Coverage

Auto insurance companies in Oregon can now reduce the amount the insurance company will pay for in an accident that invloves a driver not listed on your policy.  Yes, if the person driving your car lives with you, or doesn't but has regular use of your car, and they have an accident the insurance company can pay only the state minimum amounts of benefits.  That's a maximum of $25,000 per person to a maximum of $50,000 per accident (shared).  It doesn't take much to spend $25,000 - just a trip in an ambulance to an emergency room with some blood work and an MRI exceeds that.

This will happen if the person driving is suspended, expired, revoked, is intoxicated (alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs), the vehicle is being used for business, or if it is used while committing a felony.

And always remember - if you excluded your family member or room mate on the application that means they are never covered, even in an emergency.  Please think about exclusions before you sign them.

If you would like more information on this topic, please give us a call at 503-489-3143, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or stop by Pulse Insurance in the Powell Vista Shopping Center in Gresham, next door to the new Goodwill Donation Center.

Renter's Insurance is there to Protect You

Fire ripped through a duplex on Halloween night here in Gresham, Oregon. The fire started in the chimney, and caused damage to both units in the building. Two families are now homeless. The simple purchase of a Renter's Insurance policy would have not only provided the funds to replace their belongings, but also would have provided the funds for a temporary place to live. A standard Renter's Insurance policy in Oregon can often be added to your auto insurance and ranges from $125 to $210 a year for minimum coverage.

It's not always what happens in your home that causes the need for insurance, sometimes it is what happens next door. The chimney fire as happened in the story above, the forgotten gas grill that ignites the wood deck or house siding, the tree in the front yard that crashes through the roof. While the landlord is responsible for the building, your belongings are your responsibility, and they will not pay for them. That is what insurance is for. To protect you ā€“ from things like fire (think water damage too from the fire hose) and theft.

Think about it ā€“ from $125 a year and you don't have to worry about your neighbor's mistakes, your kid's friend that cut his toe on your screen door, or your furniture in the front room that got rained on through the hole in the roof. This is Oregon ā€“ it rains, trees fall down, we use our chimney's, and we have friends over. Liability, Personal Property, Medical Payments, and Loss of Use. Such a small premium, such a big deal if you don't have it when you need it.

Give us a call today in the East Portland Metro area at Pulse Insurance (503-489-3143) or on the West Portland Metro area at Insuresource Agencies (503-693-2852). Either office can write insurance anywhere in Oregon. We would love to help you to protect you!

Why did my premium go up this month?

There are a few reasons that can explain why your premium changed.  Is this bill your renewal bill?  Did you move?  Did you add a car or driver?  Did you delete a car or driver?  Did you ignore a letter the insurance company sent you asking for additional information about other household drivers?  Are there outstanding late or reinstatement fees due?  Any of these situations can cause your bill to change.

If it is your policy renewal bill it may be higher than you expect for a couple of reasons.  Some of the insurance companies charge 20% on the first payment of a policy period and then equal monthly payments thereafter, some do not.  It's possible that you had some traffic infractions added to your policy that were not on your driving record when you originally purchased the insurance, or that they just missed them the first time around.  Often people will receive letters from the insurance company asking for additional information about household drivers and ignore them.  This can be costly, so please don't do that.

Insurance rates are effected by the zip code you live in.  Generally the more populated the zip code, the higher the price.  So moving from a Gresham, Oregon zip code to a Portland, Oregon zip code is going to make your insurance premium increase.

Sticker shock - that's what I call it when people add vehicles and choose not to pay for the incremental monthly increase at the same time.  Let us give you an example.  Let's say you add a car, and the cost of adding the vehicle is $100 per month.  The insurance company has sent you a bill already for the current month, based on the premium before you added the new vehicle.  That means you will have the vehicle on the policy for approximately 45 days before you ever pay for the increased premium, but you will have to pay for those days.  When you get your bill for next month it will include the premium for the old car, plus the 45 days you already used on the new car, plus the premium for the new car for the upcoming 30 days.  Basically what I am saying is pay for the endorsement when you do it, at least pay an estimate.  You will be an unhappy customer if you choose not to.

If the insurance company received your premium after the the due date they may have charged a late fee.  If your policy was pending cancellation, there may be a reinstatement fee charged by the insurance company. Agents cannot waive these fees, it's not our decision. If you made a change, moved, are at your policy renewal, or did not respond to an insurance company inquiry, there will be a surprise ahead for you.

Which Unlisted Driver Lives in Your Household?

With the long-term economic crisis this country is experiencing, many insurance companies are seeing a rise in claims.  The result of this rise in claims, combined with increasing cost of paying the insurance companies own bills, is a raise in the overall rates of insurance for everyone.

While as a consumer none of us can do anything about the increased cost of electricity for example, there is one area that we can all make an effort in to assure a fair and equitable risk assessment by the insurance company for your household.

Costs associated with claims filed as a result of undisclosed or uninsured household members has risen dramatically.  As households attempt to drive down the cost of their monthly premiums, they make decisions about who to include or not include on their insurance policy.  I may be an agent, but I too have young drivers (3 under the age of 21) living in my household and the premium literally "hurts" to pay.

I have had some customers complain that it isn't the insurance company's business who lives in their household, or that their fully licensed roommate or child doesn't drive their vehicles.  If this is true, there is no argument for signing a driver exclusion or providing proof of that person's insurance.  Personal experience has taught me that it is easier to tell the insurance company up front and get the proof of insurance from your roommate than it is to explain why your roommate that was driving your car and got into an accident wasn't disclosed on the application.  If this happens the insurance company may just return your premium and deny the claim altogether, using the fact that the risk was misrepresented on the application. It's even worse if it is your child.  Please remember to disclose all members of your household over the age of 14, even if they are not licensed yet.