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Auto insurance 101

Who needs car insurance?

Oregon law requires every car to be covered by automobile insurance. The cost for coverage varies so it is important to shop when choosing an insurance company.

Your driving record and premiums

Premiums reflect your driving record for the past three years. Insurance companies order driving records from the Oregon DMV and from other states. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have accidents than drivers with clean records.

Trouble finding insurance

You may qualify for coverage under the assigned risk pool. An agent can help you arrange coverage through the Western Association Automobile Insurance Plans, 800-227-4659 (toll-free).

Why companies may not renew your policy

Insurance companies periodically review your insurance policy to determine if they should continue insuring you. State law limits the situations where an insurer can non-renew your policy. Typical situations include, claim frequency, claim severity, and poor driving record.

Notice of cancellation

Your company must send you notice at least 10 days before canceling your policy for nonpayment. If your policy has been canceled or "nonrenewed" for a reason other than nonpayment, the company must give you at least 30 days' notice. The notice must explain the reason. Insurance companies must be able to prove notice was sent but not that you received it. Tell your insurance company if your address changes.

When to tell your insurer you bought a new car

While your policy spells out your company's requirements, you should inform them immediately of the change. A typical provision is 14 days, but only four days if you do not have physical damage coverage on one of the cars already insured. Your policy may differ, however. Contrary to what many people think, there is no law or rule that gives you 30 days to notify your company. The sooner you contact your agent or insurance company, the sooner you can be sure you have the coverage you need.

​​​​​​​​Questions or complaints?

File a complaint online or contact us:

Consumer Hotline
888-877-4894 (toll-free)


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