In this article, we discuss the coverage is available within Oregon automobile policy, and make suggestions on the amount of coverage you really need.
Oregon, like every other state, requires motorists to insure their vehicles. The Oregon insurance regulators also require that insurance companies provide a minimum amount of coverage on an auto policy. Unfortunately, the minimum coverage requirements do not protect many people who are injured in Oregon auto collisions.
Everyone is required to carry a minimum amount of coverage for their liability. In other words, if you drive carelessly and cause a collisoin and injury to another motorist or pedestrian, there is a minimum amount of coverage you must carry to cover that claim. Oregon law only requires $25,000.00 of liability coverage. This minimum coverage amount has been the law for decades, but as we all know, the cost of medical care has increased significantly over the same period of time. You must certainly have sufficient coverage to protect your personal assets, but more importantly, to make sure that someone suffering a serious injury is able to get adequate compensation.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Oregon motorists also carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This is insurance against the uninsured or underinsured. This coverage amount is usually the same amount as your liability coverage. If you are injured by somebody who does not have insurance, then your insurance company will jump into the shoes of the insurance company for the uninsured driver, and compensate you for your losses that you would be able to recover from the at fault driver. If you are not able to agree with your insurance company on the amount of compensation you are due, you can file a lawsuit in court, or go to arbitration with your own insurance company. Generally, making an uninsured motorist claim does not affect your coverage premiums. It is important to make sure you have adequate uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage because there are several motorists with inadequate coverage, or no coverage whatsoever.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP is a no-fault insurance coverage that provides medical, disability, child care, and domestic service benefits if you are inujured in a collsion. This is "no fault" coverage, which means you do not have to show another person caused your injuries. As with all insurance claims, you must document your losses. You must also allow your insurance company to obtain your medical records, and you may have to go to an examination with a doctor of your insurance company's choice to see if ongoing care is necessary, or related to the collsion. The medical coverage is the most commonly used in our experience. The minimal coverage in Oregon provides $15,000.00 of medical insurance for any accident related medical care that is incurred within two years from the date of your injury. An important consideration for the amount of medical coverage is whether you or your family members have access to health care through a private or employer sponsored health plan. Generally, your insurance company will be able to recover what it paid in personal injury protection benefits from the at fault driver's insurance company, which could affect your overall recovery.
Another part of the personal injury protection coverage is the disability benefit. If the collison disables you for 14 consecutive days, and you were employed at the time of the collision, then you can make a claim for disability benefits. Generally, the disability benefits are calculated at 70% of your average weekly wage. There are limits on the amount of disability you may be entitled to for any given month, and this coverage is generally limited to 52 weeks of disability.
Personal injury protection coverage not only covers the policy holder, but also any passengers, or anyone using the car with the policyholder's permission. If you are a pedestrian injured by an Oregon insured motorist, you may be able to access the PIP coverage of the car that caused your injury if you have no other health insurance.
Oregon auto policies will also offer property damage coverage in several forms. There is "collision" coverage, which will cover property damage, even if you were at fault. There is also a "comprehensive" coverage that covers other kinds of property damage. Often, if a new car is financed, the lender will require increased coverage to protect its interest in the car.
Another important coverage to consider is "uninsured property damage." This is similar to the bodily injury coverage for injury sustained by an uninsured motorist. If your car is damaged or destroyed by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, this coverage allows you to get the car fixed, or if necessary, replace the car if it is damaged beyond repair.
We often see people who have in adequate uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which can limit our ability to obtain adequate compensation for client. If you have questions about your auto coverage, give us a call at 503-325-8600. We answer questions about insurance coverage and insurance coverage disputes every day.