Oregon’s auto insurance rates fall right around the national average, with the state ranking at number 24. The average rate in Oregon comes in just a little under the average rate nationwide, and Oregon drivers can bring that down further by shopping the many car insurance options available in the state.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Oregon
Oregon has some of the more stringent car insurance laws in the country, which makes it even more impressive that rates manage to come in a little below average.
Drivers in Oregon must carry bodily injury liability limits of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident – which is about average compared to other states – and $20,000 in property damage liability, which is higher than many states.
Also required is at least $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) that kicks in to pay medical expenses for you or anyone in your vehicle regardless of who is found at fault in an accident.
Finally, Oregon law also requires that you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage in amounts matching the liability limits: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident.
Although it is not required by law, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage are generally required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle as part of the terms of financing. Check with your lender to find out what specific requirements they may have for your insurance coverage before taking out a policy.
Specifics of Oregon Auto Insurance
Oregon’s car insurance laws are similar to those in other states. Although the state does require that you carry PIP coverage, Oregon does not operate with a true no-fault system. You can still be held responsible for fault in an accident, and you can be taken to court and sued for damages. The only portion of the Oregon car insurance system that is no-fault is the use of PIP, which applies to your injuries or those of your passengers no matter who is found at fault.
Oregon drivers should always remember that while legal limits are in place to make sure all drivers are financially responsible, they are often not enough to cover the damages in even a moderately serious accident. Higher liability limits are always a wise choice.
When selecting companies to make our list of the best in Oregon, we started with company reputation. All of the companies on our list have solid customer satisfaction ratings, which we based on trustworthy consumer reports as well as our own research into customer complaints and reviews. Regardless of how inexpensive a policy is, it is not worth the money if the company is not there when you need them, therefore claims satisfaction is a major part of our research.
There is no denying, however, that rates do matter to insurance shoppers, so we also looked for companies that offer a good deal on their products. A good deal means that the price is competitive for the coverage offered and also comes from a company that has a good reputation, adding up to an excellent value overall.
Another requirement to make our list is that coverage is available to all Oregonians. That means that the insurance company offers policies all across the state and that there are no eligibility requirements for obtaining a policy. Some insurance companies may be a better value for you if you meet their requirements, so do not discount them – but our list is intended to be useful the largest possible population.
Our Top Picks
These three insurance companies provide Oregonians with great value on car insurance, offering excellent coverage, great service, and a good price.
PEMCO is a Pacific Northwest-based insurance company that earned the top rating in the region from J.D. Power in the 2017 customer satisfaction survey. They earned solid marks across the board to win the annual award.
While PEMCO is likely to be most competitive on rates for those who have clean driving records, they do have a good list of discounts including some more unusual ones that can help make rates lower. Overall, they are a good value and top choice for Oregon drivers.
GEICO is the nations second biggest car insurance company, and when it comes to the best rates around, they are hard to beat. GEICO consistently offers Oregon drivers low premiums, regardless of driving history.
They are also a great choice for customer satisfaction and have been working hard to earn their place as one of the best insurance companies both nationally and in Oregon. With easy to use online services, GEICO appeals to busy drivers of all ages.
The number one personal lines insurance company in the country is also a top pick for drivers in Oregon. Ranking well for claims and customer satisfaction, State Farm also offers the assistance of an agent and very solid financial stability.
What surprises most drivers when it comes to State Farm is that they are also competitively priced. State Farm offers good rates to most types of driver in Oregon, and also has many discounts available for those that choose to bundle their insurance. State Farm is a top pick for anyone wanting all their insurance under one roof, but also has competitive rates for auto alone.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Oregon
Although Oregon does require more base level coverage than many other states, the first step to shopping for a new car insurance policy is to determine how much coverage is right for you. Experts generally recommend carrying a lot more than the minimum when it comes to liability insurance since those limits will very quickly be exceeded in an accident that is anything more than a fender bender.
Beyond the liability limits, you will also need to determine what amount you would like to carry for deductibles and what optional coverage you want to add based on your needs. If you only own one vehicle and public transportation is not an option, then adding rental car coverage to your policy is a good idea. Once you have decided what coverage you want, make sure that you request every quote you obtain matching those limits. This will avoid the pitfall of receiving one quote that is incredibly cheap because it is minimum-only and another that has a higher premium due to much higher limits on coverage – which makes it very hard to make a fair comparison.
Car insurance rates in Oregon can vary as much as the landscape – drivers in the Portland metro area will see different quotes from those in Eastern Oregon. That means the best insurance company for you might not be the best for a driver elsewhere in the state, so be sure to add even the smaller companies to your list. The more rates you have to compare, the better informed you will be when making a decision. Just make sure the company’s reputation is as good as the price.
The Bottom Line
Oregon drivers can generally get a great deal from some of the big names in car insurance, even with the higher amount of coverage required by law in the state. Checking out local companies, however, is a good idea especially if you have a good record and want the best service possible even if it is not the lowest price.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.