Oregon Police Use Automatic License Plate Reader

You may have heard about this but at least here in the Portland metropolitan area the policy now have programs installed in their vehicles to automatically read your license plate number. This program tells them everything about your car. Even if you have insurance!


The program is referred to as ALPR (Automatic License Plate Reader). Information includes who is the registered owner, whether the vehicle is stolen, and if you have car insurance or not. This means when a police officer drives behind you, or past a parked vehicle, this information is on the screen. If the vehicle is stolen it is flagged and they stop to investigate. There are also non insurance related uses on both the state and federal level for the system. The list is really quite extensive and it is used world wide.


For some time we have been writing about the typical driving violation stop where the police officer asks for your proof of car insurance, license, and registration. Now that officer is just giving you a chance to prove you just got car insurance and it isn’t in the system yet. Remember though you are still required to carry the proof, either electronic or paper. That is still a valid law.

We can help you if you need insurance, or if you are a current customer and need an electronic version of your ID card. Give us a call at 503-489-3143 (Pulse Insurance) or 503-693-2852 (InsureSource).

Why is My Insurance So High? I’m Old!

I got this call today from an off and on customer that yes is about 58 years old, married, has two cars, and one ticket. I quoted him $224 a month for his car insurance. He wanted to know why it was so high when it should be around $170 per month. It was an easy answer that was not so easy to say. It is his insurance score.


As with many people these days keeping his car insurance in force it a problem. With rates so high it is hard to afford and if you let your insurance cancel or lapse it does not get better, it gets worse. First the policy you have is based on the rules at the time you bought it, and those rules can change at any time for new policies.  Second every time you have a cancellation or a lapse it gets reported on your insurance score which makes you less desirable to insurance companies.


Part of it is that they spend money to get you has a customer, to pay to produce your actual policy, and pay to send you notices. The other part of it is that one of the biggest factors in insurance is risk. You have to have insurance because there is always a risk that you could be in an accident or injured in or around a vehicle. When an insurance company looks at your record they look at tickets and accidents as they show how risky of a driver you are. So does your habit of driving without insurance - that says risk taker to insurance companies and your rate is higher.


Keeping your insurance in force, and increasing your limits just a little bit as soon as you can catch a break will both give you cheaper insurance in the long run. You won’t look risky.

Fortunately when I put it to this customer pretty much this way he understood. And he knows what he has to do if he wants cheaper insurance. Give us a call at Pulse Insurance 503-489-3143 and we will help you get the cheapest insurance you can so you can get it even cheaper in the future.

Cell Phone Tickets Are Not Minor Violations

Believe it or not I can still remember when there were no cell phones. When we first started using cell phones they were amazing, and with no speakers on them everyone would drive with this thing held between their ear and shoulder. It was just like holding the phone that way at home while doing chores. No one saw any problem with that. Oh how things have changed.

Cell phones now come with speakers and Bluetooth devices that hook right up to your car stereo. On newer vehicles you can’t receive a text while the car is turned on. For some of us we can’t even hook the Bluetooth up if the car isn’t off. There are no excuses for talking or texting when you drive.

Car insurance companies have linked more accidents to cell phone use - especially texting - than to any other cause. As a result what used to be a non chargeable violation has become a major violation. And before you take the position that it is in the car insurance companies favor to make this a major violation think about it.

People using their cell phones while driving are distracted. Of course they are. They are looking at their phones. They are dialing, they are checking social media, they are texting. That means they are taking their eyes off the road and not watching. How many times have you seen someone not going when the light turns green or swerving over the line. They don’t see you stop quickly. They don’t see the dog run in the road. They don’t see the car that just cut you off. So they aren’t driving defensively and they don’t react. They are risking not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

How do you stop people from doing that? Simply making it illegal has not worked. If you get a cell phone/texting ticket you will pay the cost of the ticket and up to $40.00 a month more on your car insurance for three years. If your insurance company is on the $40.00 end of the scale that’s $1,440.00 over three years just for the ticket on your insurance.

There are a variety of ways to handle phone calls and texts while you are driving. The one that works best for you depends on the age of your vehicle. We will be doing some research on what is out there and available so give us a call at 503-489-3143 and we will be happy to share what we find with you.

At Pulse Insurance we care about you. We care about the guy in the car next to you. And we care that we are behind you.

Tips on How to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates in Gresham Oregon

1. Shop Around
Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others do not use agents. They sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet. Don't shop price alone. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Pick an agent or company representative that takes the time to answer your questions.

2. Before You Buy a Car, Compare Insurance Costs
Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based in part on the car's sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft.

3. Ask for Higher Deductibles
Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.

4. Reduce Coverage on Older Cars
Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars. Review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance needs haven't changed.

5. Buy your Homeowners and Auto Coverage from the Same Insurer
Many insurers will give you a break if you buy two or more types of insurance. You may also get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. You may save money buying from different insurance companies, compared with a multi-policy discount.

6. Maintain a Good Credit Record
Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price auto insurance policies.

7. Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts
Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive a lower than average number of miles a year. Low mileage discounts can also apply to drivers who carpool to work.

8. Ask about Group Insurance
Some companies offer reductions to drivers who get insurance through a group plan from their employers, through professional, business and alumni groups, or other associations.

9. Seek Out Other Discounts
Companies offer discounts to policyholders who have not had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. You may also get a discount if you take a defensive driving course. If there is a young driver on the policy who is a good student, has taken a drivers education course or is at a college out of the area without a car, you may also qualify for a lower rate.

How do I get an SR22 in Oregon?

First, be sure you need an SR-22. Usually, you need an insurance policy with SR22 in Oregon because somewhere along the way you have been convicted of driving with no insurance, had an accident (at-fault or not) involving no insurance, been convicted of a major infraction like DUI, or had your car randomly selected from the DMV database as not having insurance. Do any of these apply?

Read more: How do I get an SR22 in Oregon?