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All drivers in Oregon must carry car insurance with bodily injury and property damage, personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage. The state sets limits on these coverages, too, which means you'll need to be careful when purchasing a policy.
Oregon's financial responsibility law
The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles enforces its financial responsibility law through its Automobile Liability Insurance Reporting (ALIR) system, which is a verification program. Every month, ALIR randomly selects vehicle registrations among state residents and asks the selected owners to provide their insurer's name and policy number. If you're caught driving without insurance — through ALIR or when a law enforcement officer pulls you over — then you could face the consequences.
Oregon required car insurance coverage
|Oregon required min. limits|
Bodily injury (BI)
|$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident|
Property damage (PD)
|$20,000 per accident|
Personal injury protection (PIP)
|$15,000 per person|
Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI)
|$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident|
Oregon car insurance minimum requirements
You can fulfill your financial responsibility in Oregon by purchasing a car insurance policy that includes bodily injury and property damage coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage. The policy has to meet the minimum coverage amounts (limits):
Bodily injury (BI): If you cause an accident in Oregon, this type of coverage pays the other party's medical bills and repair costs — up to $25,000 for each person injured and $50,000 per accident, unless you raise your limits.
Property damage (PD): This type of coverage pays up to $20,000 per accident for any property damage you cause, such as hitting a mailbox or fence.
Personal injury protection (PIP): This coverage, which is also called no-fault insurance, pays for your medical expenses when you are injured in a car-related accident, regardless of fault. The minimum PIP covers you up to $15,000 per accident and includes these benefits:
- Income loss: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can claim up to 70% of the wages that you could have earned, subject to a maximum of $3,000 per month.
- Essential services: If your injuries prevent you from performing essential daily activities (for example, cleaning your house and walking the dog), then you're entitled to as much as $30 a day. However, it won't cover the first two weeks of your disability.
- Funeral benefit: This benefit kicks in when a covered person (for example, the policyholder or a household family member) dies from the accident. Your Oregon insurer will pay up to $5,000 for funeral and burial expenses, on top of the $15,000 limit.
Despite the PIP or no-fault coverage, Oregon is not considered a no-fault state. In other words, even with PIP coverage, you still retain full rights to sue the negligent driver for compensation of your loss. In other states, such as New York, you can only sue for economic losses such as lost wages and extra medical expenses. In Oregon, you can take the other party to court for both these quantifiable bills, as well as intangible harm like pain and suffering.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): This coverage pays up to $25,000 per injured person in your car, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, if you're hit by an uninsured driver. UMBI pays for your medical expenses up to the limits in place of the uninsured motorist's insurer — as if she or he had been insured in the first place. You can purchase UMBI in higher limits, but availability varies by insurer. Your UMBI limits should never be higher than your BI on the same policy.
Optional coverage in Oregon
Most insurance agents and government officials in the Beaver State will tell you that the bare-minimum auto insurance will not fully cover you. Apart from purchasing higher limits, you may also want to consider including one of the following optional types of coverage to make up a more comprehensive policy:
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): Oregon motorists have the option to include UMPD in their policy. While UMBI covers your medical bills in case the at-fault driver is not properly insured, UMPD pays to repair your car following an accident. Higher limits are available, but your UMPD coverage amount can't be higher than your PD limits.
Physical damage: This portion of your policy includes two coverages: collision and comprehensive coverage. In short, they take care of your car's repairs, regardless of fault, following a collision or another type of incident. But you'll need to choose a deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. This will affect your coverage premiums.