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Full coverage can mean many different things. Often, drivers filing a claim
are surprised to find that their full coverage does not include emergency roadside
service or rental reimbursement. These optional types of coverage must be purchased separately.
Read your policy so you understand what is and is not covered.
Not necessarily. Regardless of the visible damage, your insurance company
will determine if it is practical to have the car repaired. If the cost to
repair your car exceeds its value, it will likely be totaled. To learn about
your rights if your car is declared a total loss. Go to the Division of Financial
That is not true. Typically, you have 14 days to tell your insurance company
about a newly acquired vehicle. This drops to four days if you do not already
have physical damage coverage on another insured car. Because policies vary,
ask your agent or customer service representative exactly when you must notify
your insurance company to make sure your new car is covered.
This can be an expensive misunderstanding. Auto insurance policies generally
do not cover personal property stolen from your vehicle or damaged in an accident.
(Homeowner or renter policies do, but you will probably have to pay a deductible
first and there can be limits on certain types of items.) Bottom line: Do not
leave valuables in your car.
Not always, and not indefinitely. Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
covers only “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses incurred within two
years — up to $15,000 or your PIP limit. And your medical insurance will usually
not cover medical expenses resulting from a car accident until your PIP coverage
is exhausted. Read more about PIP coverage on the Division of Financial Regulation
Sorry, but the “grace period” for not paying your car insurance premium is
short. If you are late on a payment, the insurance company can cancel your
policy with just 10 days’ notice, as long as the cancellation warning is printed
on your bill. Insurers can choose to give you more time to pay your premium,
but they are not required to.
In Oregon, an insurance company cannot legally force you to use a particular
repair shop as a condition for payment. Many insurers have relationships with
networks of “preferred” repair shops, but you get to ultimately decide where
to take your car.
Insurance companies must work with the repair shops within their networks to make sure damaged vehicles are returned to pre-loss condition. However,
they are not responsible for repairs done outside their network, so carefully choose your repair shop. Get referrals from people you trust and check for
complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Justice. Also, make sure you are satisfied with the finished work before the insurance company
pays the repair shop.
Actually, it doesn’t. Insurance companies can opt for aftermarket or recycled
parts instead, as a way to help keep your premium costs down. For your protection,
Oregon law requires that aftermarket parts be certified equivalent to factory
parts by an independent testing facility.
When you make a claim against another driver, the insurance company investigates
to determine the legal obligation of the person it insures. If the company
cannot find the person — and cannot accurately determine what happened — it
is possible there would be no coverage. Of course, insurance companies must
make every effort to contact their policyholders.
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