Oregon Car Insurance: How to Get the Cheapest Policy Rates
Nationwide, Oregon has car insurance rates that are among the lowest in the country.
At an average annual premium of $1,496 for full coverage (defined below), Oregon ranks only 38 out of the 50 states in car insurance premiums.
That doesn’t mean car insurance is cheap in the state, but that it’s lower than it is in most other states.
Even though premiums are lower than in most of the country, you owe it to yourself to get the best coverage at the lowest rates. We’ll help you do that in this guide.
Average Car Insurance Rates in Oregon
Statewide average premiums in Oregon for three popular car insurance coverage levels (all premium information we’ll be providing comes from our sister site, CarInsurance.com) are as follows:
- “Full coverage” – 100/300/100***, with comprehensive and collision coverage, including a deductible of $500 – $1,264 per year.
- Liability only, with 50/100/50 – $702 per year.
- Liability only, using the state minimum coverage levels – $690 per year.
The three numbers (eg., 100/300/100) refer to liability coverage levels in thousands of dollars.
- The first number represents bodily injury or death to one person in a single at-fault accident.
- The second number represents bodily injury or death to two or more people in a single at-fault car accident.
- The third number refers to property damage caused to other vehicles in an at-fault accident.
Full coverage also includes collision and comprehensive coverage, which pays for repairs to your vehicle no matter who is at fault.)
Average car insurance premiums are little more than a starting point.
After all, very few drivers qualify as “average.”
There are a number of factors that will determine the premium you’ll pay. But it may help to have averages as a standard to compare your own premiums against.
Factors That Will Affect Your Oregon Car Insurance Premium
Earlier, we mentioned how there are variables that will affect your premium in a way that will see you have a different cost than the “average driver.”
Below are the seven factors that will impact the premium you’ll pay.
Unlike most states, women can pay more for car insurance in Oregon than men.
A 30-year-old male living in Portland will pay $171 per month for full coverage, while a 30-year-old female will pay $185 per month for the same policy.
Age will affect your premium, but primarily for those under 25 and those over 65.
- An 18-year-old male driver in Portland will pay $708 a month ($8,496 per year) for full coverage.
- A 30-year-old male driver, also living in Portland, will pay $171 a month ($2,052 per year) for the same coverage.
As is the case in most states, insurance rates will go up once you pass the age of 65.
- A 75-year-old male living in Portland will pay $196 per month ($2,352 per year), while a 30-year-old male with the same policy will pay $171 per month ($2,052 per year).
This illustrates how rates start to rise as you move past 65.
This is the single biggest factor in determining your car insurance premium, especially if you’ve been driving at least three or four years. Fortunately, it’s a factor you can control.
In Oregon, speeding 11 to 29 miles over the posted speed limit produces a 20% premium increase. But exceeding the speed limit by 30 miles or more will result in a 29% increase.
The increase will be even greater if you’re convicted of drunk driving. The average increase in Oregon is 63% for a DUI/DWI. Subsequent offenses will be much higher and carry serious penalties.
At-fault accidents can also increase your premium.
A typical premium will increase in Oregon by 36% after an accident claim that’s determined to be your fault.
However, the increase will vary based on the dollar amount of any property damage claim, or whether or not the accident resulted in bodily injury.
This factor is a surprise to many drivers.
After all, how could good credit history possibly have anything to do with car insurance?
But a driver in Oregon with bad credit will pay 66% more on their premium than a driver with good credit.
The actual amount of the premium increase will vary from one company to another, which is why shopping between providers is so important.
As disclosed earlier, a policy with liability limits of 100/300/100 is $1,264 per year, while liability coverage limits of 50/100/50 is $702.
State coverage for minimum liability averages $690 per year.
Obviously, the amount of liability coverage you have is another important factor in determining your premium.
But that doesn’t mean you should automatically lower your liability limits to reduce your premium. Those limits should loosely match your net worth.
For example, if you have a few assets to protect, you may be adequately covered by state minimum coverage limits. But if your net worth is between $50,000 and $100,000, you’ll be better served with 50/100/50 coverage. And if your net worth is more than $200,000, choose 100/300/100.
One of the major purposes of having car insurance is to protect your assets. With inadequate insurance coverage, those assets could be the target in a major claim or lawsuit.
Primarily due to the cost of collision and comprehensive, the value of your vehicle is a major factor in determining your premium.
Newer cars are more expensive to insure than older ones.
And premium vehicles, such as luxury cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks, are more expensive than sedans. Sports cars will be more expensive due to the potential for them to be driven at high speeds.
Still another advantage with an older vehicle is that you can consider dropping collision and comprehensive entirely if the vehicle is worth less than, say, $3,000.
The insurance company
Consumers should never assume premium rates are similar from one company to the next.
Two companies operating in the same location can charge radically different premiums.
The differences can amount to hundreds of dollars per year.
Below are the average statewide premiums for full coverage (100/300/100) by six major carriers operating in Oregon:
- GEICO: $933 per year
- State Farm: $1,011 per year
- Progressive: $1,043 per year
- Nationwide: $1,121 per year
- Farmers: $1,594 per year
- Allstate: $1,656 per year
As you can see, Allstate’s premium is more than $700 per year higher than Geico’s. That makes shopping for the best premium a necessary step.
Average Oregon Car Insurance Rate Based on City
Even within the same state, there can be major variations in premium levels from one city or town to another.
With the statewide average premium at $1,496 in Oregon for 100/300/100 coverage, average premiums on a local level are as follows:
- Eugene: $1,111
- Gresham: $1,651
- Hillsboro: $1,411
- Portland: $1,437
- Salem: $1,411
Though the list above doesn’t reflect it, you’ll generally pay more for car insurance in urban and metropolitan areas than you will in rural areas.
This owes to the higher concentration of people, cars, and traffic in more populated areas. If you live in a rural area, your premiums should be significantly lower than those listed above.
What are Auto Insurance Laws in Oregon?
Oregon car insurance laws require that drivers carry minimum liability coverage limits of 25/50/20 on their vehicle.
The minimum car insurance requirements in Oregon are listed below:
- Minimum bodily injury liability, one person: $25,000
- Minimum bodily injury liability, two or more people: $50,000
- Minimum property damage liability: $20,000
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000/$50,000
- Personal injury protection (PIP): $15,000
Uninsured/under-insured motorist is a requirement in Oregon, though it’s not in most other states.
But it will cover you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who either has no insurance or only minimum coverage.
Personal injury protection (PIP) will cover medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses, no matter who is at fault in the accident. It is a requirement in Oregon.
Basic Information on Optional Coverages in Oregon
Some of the most popular auto insurance coverage options include the following:
Collision and comprehensive
Though these are actually separate policy options, they’re almost always sold as a package.
Both will cover damage to your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. And both policy provisions are typically required by lenders if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle.
Collision will cover damage to your vehicle sustained while moving, but comprehensive will cover damage while parked. That can include weather damage, theft, or vandalism.
This tandem is also where deductibles enter the picture. Deductibles are a form of “risk sharing,” in which the insurance company will lower your premium in exchange for your paying the first $500 or $1,000 (or more) of the damage sustained in one event.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
If your vehicle is stolen or totaled in an accident, this provision can help you cover the loss by paying off the lease or loan.
It’s required by lenders on cars with loans greater than 80% of the vehicle’s value, but it is recommended if you believe you owe more on your car than it’s worth.
Tips to Get the Best Rates on Oregon Car Insurance Policies
Below are the most popular strategies to get the best rates on car insurance in Oregon:
Be a safe driver
This is the biggest factor in determining your premium, and the one you have the most control over.
Keeping a clean driving history for three or more years will usually allow you to get the best rates available.
Complete a safe driver course
If you already have an at-fault accident or moving violation, your premium may be reduced by completing a safe driver course.
Make sure the course is approved by your insurance carrier before signing up.
Then weigh the cost of the course against the projected premium savings it will produce.
Take every discount available
Virtually all insurance companies offer discounts, though some offer more than others.
There are discounts for bundling your auto insurance with other types of coverage, particularly home insurance.
Other discounts are available for vehicle safety equipment, automatic payments, electronic communications, and low mileage.
Find out which discounts are offered by your carrier and sign up for all that apply.
Maintain clean credit
As we’ve already discussed, a poor credit history can increase your premium by 66% in Oregon.
You can lower or eliminate that increase by maintaining clean credit for at least two or three years.
Shop between insurance companies
We’ve shown how there can be significant differences from one car insurance company to another for what is essentially the same coverage.
Not only will you need to shop between companies when first choosing a policy, but it’s also important to check out the competition every two or three years.
Raise your deductible
By increasing the deductible on your collision and comprehensive from, say, $500 to $1,000, you can save several hundred dollars on your premium each year.
Just be sure you have the funds available in savings to cover the higher deductible if it becomes necessary.
Even though car insurance premiums in Oregon are low by national standards, you should still do everything you can to get the most affordable policy.
But don’t skimp on coverage.
Low liability limits may expose your personal assets to seizure in a lawsuit. And inadequate coverage provisions may leave you on the hook for damage to your own vehicle.