Last updated on April 26th, 2018
For auto insurance purposes the state of Oregon is considered to be a no-fault state, meaning that regardless of who is at fault in an accident each driver will be financially responsible for any injuries or damage they receive. However, like every other no-fault state in the country Oregon is really a hybrid of the two types of insurance systems due to the fact that it requires various types of coverage that are generally seen in no-fault and at-fault states. Liability insurance is one of the types of coverage required by Oregon car insurance law and it easily the most common type of insurance that is legally required in all of the 50 states. In Oregon, carrying liability insurance is compulsory for every vehicle registered with the state and certain amounts of liability insurance must be purchased in order to meet state requirements. These minimum amounts of liability insurance required included $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage and $20,000 in property damage coverage, all three of which are meant to protect the property and health of other drivers. Additionally, Oregon State law requires that every vehicle liability policy include personal injury protection and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage which, unlike liability coverage, cover the injuries sustained by the policy holder and any passengers in the insured vehicle. Also like liability coverage Oregon requires that certain amounts of these types of insurance, known as no-fault coverage, be maintained in order to meet state requirements. The minimum amount of personal injury protection required in Oregon is $15,000 while the minimum amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage required is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Most Oregon motorists have the option to purchase liability and no-fault coverage in amounts greater than what the state requires, thus reducing their financial risk of being involved in an accident.
While Oregon requires a variety of different types of car insurance there are a few types of coverage that are offered by most Oregon car insurance companies but are not required by law to be purchased as part of a policy. One of the most commonly purchased types of coverage is comprehensive and collision coverage, which serves to financially protect the vehicle owner from physical damage to their vehicle, whether it is from an accident or from an act of nature. Comprehensive and collision coverage is often purchased because it is a required by most lenders on a vehicle that was purchased with financing. Most insurance companies also offer their customers a variety of minor or supplemental forms of coverage, such as road side assistance should the vehicle break down, or out of work insurance in case injuries from an accident cause the policy holder or any passengers to miss time from work.
In order to make sure state residents are meeting Oregon’s car insurance standards the state has set up a system that allows it to monitor compliance through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Every month the DMV will select a number of vehicles at random every month and requests the name of the insurance carrier and the policy number from the vehicle owner. The DMV then verifies the information provided by the vehicle owner with the insurance company in order to make sure that the vehicle in question satisfies Oregon auto insurance requirements. If a driver is asked to supply their car insurance information and fails to do so they will have their driving privileges suspended by the DMV. If a vehicle owner makes a false claim of insurance to the DMV they will be required to prove compliance with Oregon’s financial responsibility law by filing an AR-22 for up to three years. Failing to show compliance with an SR-22 will also result in the suspension of the vehicle owners driving privileges. In addition to failing to meet the random compliancy checks conducted by the DMV Oregon drivers can also get in trouble for not having auto insurance if they are pulled over or are involved in an accident. If an Oregon resident is caught driving without car insurance they can be charged with a misdemeanor as allowed by state law and will face all penalties that such an offense carrier. Most often these penalties come in the form of a fine or suspension of driving privileges though as a misdemeanor driving without insurance can also be punished with up to three days in jail. A conviction of driving without insurance will result in a compulsory sentence of three days in jail in addition to any other fines or suspension that the court and DMV decide to hand out. Drivers that are involved in an accident but cannot show proof of insurance are susceptible to all of the above mentioned penalties in addition to the state requirement that they maintain future proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR-22.