Oregon Car Insurance Laws

Auto insurance requirements in Oregon

Like most other U.S. states, Oregon requires drivers to carry a certain level of car insurance coverage. Proof of this coverage must be carried at all times when behind the wheel and must be shown to any law enforcement officer who requests it. Explore the required insurance coverage types in the state of Oregon and additional coverages that can provide extra protection.

Minimum Liability Coverage: 25/50/20
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage 25/50 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 per person

Keep in mind that these limits are only what is required by the state. Your bank or leasing company may require physical damage coverage — full coverage — if you are financing or leasing your vehicle.

 

Liability auto insurance coverage in Oregon

Liability coverage is legally required in Oregon. Liability pays the other driver if you are found at-fault in an accident, covering their injuries, lost wages, and damage to their driver’s vehicle. Your liability coverage never pays for your injuries or damages to your own vehicle. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and are broken down further below.

 

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in Oregon (UMBI)

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is legally required in Oregon. This coverage pays for injury and lost wages that you or your passengers may suffer in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver who is at fault and unable to cover your damages. 

 

Personal injury protection requirements in Oregon (PIP)

Oregon requires each driver to pay for their own medical expenses after an accident, as well as those of their passengers, up to the limits of their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage takes care of the medical costs that you and your passengers incur in an accident regardless of fault. Drivers can still benefit from the at-fault party’s liability in the event of excessive medical costs or serious injury or death resulting from an auto accident. The minimum amount of PIP coverage allowed in Oregon is $15,000.

 

What are Oregon's state-mandated car insurance limits?

Limits refers to the total amount that an insurance company will pay in the event of a claim. The state of Oregon requires that you keep your minimum limit set at a certain level. This is to protect both you and other drivers. These limits can typically be increased for a moderate increase in your premium.

Oregon’s minimum liability limit is split into three numbers, typically listed as 25/50/20. These numbers refer to bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. See our breakdown of what each covers below:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is how much that your insurer will pay toward the injuries you cause to another driver or their passengers in an accident in which you are at-fault.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total dollar amount available from your insurer to pay for all injuries that you cause in an at-fault accident.
  • $20,000 in property damage per accident refers to the limit of what your insurance company will pay to fix property that is damaged in an accident that you cause.

Coverage limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are similarly split into two categories. In Oregon, the minimum limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are listed as 25/50 and explained below:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount paid out for a single person injured in your vehicle by an uninsured driver.
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the total amount paid out for all injuries in your vehicle by an uninsured driver if more than one person is hurt.

 

Do Oregon’s mandatory insurance minimums provide enough coverage?

Oregon’s car insurance requirements are about average when compared to many other US states. However, carrying the legally required amount of car insurance doesn’t automatically mean you are appropriately covered.

If you take a look at the minimum liability requirements, $25,000 to cover injuries for someone you harm in an accident may seem like a lot, but this limit can be reached quite quickly, especially if the injuries are serious. The $50,000 total for all injured parties faces a similar problem, as multiple injuries could quickly exhaust that total. Furthermore, $20,000 in property damage coverage barely scratches the surface of what it costs to replace a new vehicle in the US.

Luckily, these limits can typically be increased for a relatively small addition to your premium. Try to keep your liability limits to the highest amount that you can reasonably afford, especially if you have significant assets to protect.

 

Oregon’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance

If you get caught driving without car insurance in Oregon, you can expect there to be consequences, including the following: 

  • Fine between $130 and $1,000
  • License suspension for one year
  • Vehicle registration suspension
  • SR-22 for three years
  • Reinstatement fees

 

Optional car insurance coverage in Oregon

Oregon law requires that drivers carry liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and PIP. However, there are a number of other helpful coverages that can provide further protection. Here’s a list of some of the more common optional car insurance coverages: 

  • Comprehensive: A form of physical damage insurance that covers damage to your vehicle from weather events or other non-collision damages (though it does cover animal collisions). This coverage also covers your vehicle in case of theft.
  • Collision: This coverage type pays for damages resulting from a collision with another car or a stationary object. Collision coverage pays regardless of fault.
  • Loan/Lease Payoff: If you finance your vehicle and have a wreck in which it is totaled, loan lease payoff can help. Otherwise known as gap coverage, it pays the difference between the actual cash value — the value of your car with depreciation factored in — and what you still owe on your loan.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: This coverage pays toward the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is damaged and unable to be driven. Limits vary by carrier.
  • Roadside Assistance: If you find yourself broken down on the highway, this coverage can go toward reimbursing you for towing costs, flat tire fixes, and even overnight stays in some situations, though this can vary by carrier and by insurance plan.

 

Oregon is a diminished value state

Oregon is a diminished value state, meaning drivers are allowed to recover diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurance company. When your vehicle experiences an accident, even if it is fully repaired to its pre-loss condition, the resale value decreases. The involvement in a collision makes your car’s value lesser than similar vehicles that have not experienced an accident. A diminished value claim allows you to recoup the losses you might experience when selling your car. 

Since Oregon is one of the 15 states that offers compensation for diminution in value, you may file by contacting the at-fault party’s insurer. In order to file a diminished value claim in Oregon, certain requirements must be met:

  • You are not entitled to compensation if you were the party at fault in the accident
  • Documentation will be required to process your claim. Make sure you can provide photos, records of repairs made, and proof of the value of your vehicle by a trusted source. 
  • In Oregon, the statute of limitations for filing a diminished value claim is 6 years. 
  • Oregon does have uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value claims.

 

Why abiding by Oregon’s car insurance laws is important

Besides being a legal requirement, following Oregon’s insurance laws is a smart financial decision as well. It can protect you and your assets and give you greater peace of mind. If you are worried about the added costs of more coverage, it may be time to start shopping around. The Zebra can help you find quotes from a number of top insurance companies that allow you to compare coverage options and costs so that you can find the perfect auto policy for your needs.

 

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Ross Martin
Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross researches and writes insurance content intended to help users make informed decisions.

Ross's background is in writing and education. He holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, Investopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance