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Auto Insurance

Oregon law requires people who drive a motor vehicle be able to pay for any automobile accidents and or related personal injury for which they have liability.  Licensed drivers do this by purchasing automobile liability insurance.

Auto insurance pays for damages, injuries, and other losses specifically covered by your policy. Coverage can vary by policy and company. Read your policy carefully to know exactly what it covers. Pay special attention to the exclusions section, which lists the things your policy does not cover. The front page of your policy is called the declarations page.  It contains descriptive information, such as the exact name of your insurance company, your policy number, motor vehicles covered, the amount of each liability coverage and deductibles.

Oregon law requires minimum coverage of $25K per injured person, up to a total of $50K for everyone hurt in an accident, and $20K for property damage. This basic coverage is called 25/50/20 coverage.  However, basic coverage might not be enough if you are held liable for an accident.  Therefore, it is prudent to consider buying more than the basic limits to avoid limited benefits in a more serious incident.

How to Lower Your Cost

Models make a difference
Shopping for a new car?  Or are you shopping for a collector, classic or antique car?  The type you choose can affect your costs.  High-end luxury cars and performance vehicles cost more to repair, maintain and insure than family sedans.  The age of the car also makes a difference.  Newer cars might cost more than older cars.

One company + combined policies = lower cost
The more insurance policies you have with a company, the more substantial the savings.  So, try having one company cover all of your insurance needs.

Determine your deductible
A deductible if the out-of-pocket amount you are willing to cover in the event of a loss.  The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.  Increasing your deductible saves you money.  Decide if you’re comfortable paying more out-of-pocket after a loss later in order to save money now.

Update your agent on any changes in your life
Are you still insuring drivers who no longer live with you?  Do you drive less for your job than you used to?  Has your Insurance Bureau Credit Score changed?  Just graduated from college?  Moved to a new neighborhood?  Your teen driver getting good grades (they may qualify for a “good student” discount)?  All of these things affect how much you pay and could result in discounts.

Other Factors That Influence Auto Insurance Cost

What you pay for auto insurance could be determined by many factors.  In addition to the information above, here are some other things that may affect how much you pay:

How much you drive
Drivers who use their car for business and long-distance commuting usually pay more than your average driver.

Your age, gender, and marital status
Statistics show that these factors relate to accident rates so they are a consideration.

Where you live 
Rates vary depending on city, state, sometimes even different neighborhoods and ZIP codes within a city.  Insurance companies research the accident/claim rate in an area, and your premium will reflect that.  Live in a high accident area?  Expect to pay more.

Your driving record
Drivers with a history of accidents or motor vehicle violations (such as speeding tickets) generally pay more than those who are accident-free for several years.

Your credit history
Studies have shown that credit history relates to accident rates and may make you seem like a higher risk.  Find out more about your credit score and how it can affect your rates.