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Shopping for car insurance can seem like a daunting task. You need to choose from the dozens of companies that offer vehicle insurance, as well as decide exactly how much and what types of coverage you need. From monthly premiums to coverage limits, there are a lot of numbers to consider and compare. Taking the time to clarify your needs and research the options available to you is worth it, though. Whether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident looking for a better deal, consider this your roadmap to finding the best car insurance in Portland, Oregon.
What Is the Minimum Required Car Insurance in Portland, Oregon?
Not only does car insurance provide financial protection if you’re ever involved in an accident, but in most states, liability insurance is required by law. Each state sets its own requirements for car insurance. In Oregon, it is illegal to drive without insurance that meets the following minimum requirements:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others, and $20,000 per crash for damage to others’ property
- Personal injury protection of $15,000 per person
- Uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash for bodily injury
Keep in mind that these are only the minimum requirements. It may be wise to opt for higher coverage to give yourself more financial protection. Driving while uninsured or failing to carry proof of insurance are both Class B traffic violations, which means they carry a fine of $135 to $1,000. However, there are exceptions to Oregon’s state insurance requirements. For instance, under ORS 806.020, the following types of vehicles are exempt:
- Farm trailers, tractors, and husbandry equipment
- Vehicles that are not driven on state highways or in areas open to the public
- Antique vehicles with a permanent registration
- Collector vehicles that are used primarily for exhibitions and parades
- Snowmobiles and ATVs (unless driven on official ATV highway access routes)
- Motor-assisted scooters and personal mobility devices
Which Companies Sell Car Insurance in Portland?
Portland residents have many well-known insurance companies to choose from. Here are a few of the top options:
- State Farm
- Farmers Insurance
- American Family Insurance
- Liberty Mutual
- Travelers Insurance
- Capital Insurance Group (CIG)
- Country Financial
Many of these companies have local agents in Portland, which can be a relief for those who prefer to discuss their insurance needs in person. You can also visit their respective websites to request a quote online.
What Is the Cheapest Car Insurance in Portland?
On average, consumers in Oregon paid the following car insurance premiums in 2019, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):
- $684.81 for liability coverage
- $281.69 for collision coverage
- $109.76 for comprehensive coverage
- $1,076.26 for combined coverage
State Farm generally offers the cheapest car insurance in Portland. However, that doesn’t mean State Farm is the best choice for every driver. Some drivers have found better rates from GEICO. Progressive, Country Financial, and American Family Insurance are also budget-friendly options.
Current and former military members should check with USAA too. USAA tends to offer better rates than other companies, but its products are only available to veterans and their families.
How Do I Choose the Best Car Insurance for Me?
Before purchasing car insurance, take the time to explore your options. Follow these steps to choose car insurance that meets your needs and budget:
- Check the terms of your loan or lease. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, meeting Oregon’s minimum insurance requirements may not be enough. Your lender may have insurance requirements that exceed state minimums.
- Consider your net worth. If you are at fault in an accident and the damages exceed your insurance coverage, a court could order you to pay the difference. The cost of extra coverage is often worthwhile to minimize your financial risk.
- Calculate your vehicle’s value. If your vehicle is paid off and you can afford to replace it, then comprehensive coverage may not be worth the higher price.
- Collect several quotes. Take the time to obtain quotes from several different insurance companies. This will make it easier to spot good deals. Since most companies offer multiline discounts, consider bundling home, renters, or life insurance into your quote.
- Compare rates and discounts. Premiums vary from company to company, and not all companies offer the same discounts. If your age, credit score, or driving record are working against you, finding extra discounts can be especially important.
- Research customer satisfaction. Although cost is likely to be the biggest factor in your decision, it’s not the only thing to consider. Browsing online reviews and resources like NAIC’s complaint index and J.D. Power’s auto insurance ratings will give you an idea of how pleasant a company is to deal with.
- Identify any desired add-ons. Your options may be limited by specialized coverage or add-ons that you need. Gap insurance, vanishing deductibles, accident forgiveness, and custom parts coverage could all be valuable additions to your policy — but not every insurer offers them.
What Affects My Car Insurance Rates?
Several factors affect your car insurance rates. Some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others due to the value of the vehicle or the average cost of repairs. Insurers like State Farm may offer discounts for vehicle safety features or anti-theft technology. Where you live can also affect your insurance rates. Not only do rates vary from state to state, but your ZIP code could also impact your premium. If you live in a neighborhood with a higher-than-average crime rate, insurers see you as a higher risk.
Other factors that affect your car insurance premium include your credit score, age, marital status, and driving record. Insurance companies rely on statistics to determine how risky you are to insure. A young and inexperienced driver, for instance, will usually pay a higher price than an older driver. However, you may be able to score discounts for being a good student, setting up automatic payments, going paperless, or bundling multiple insurance policies. You could also pay more or less depending on how much you drive your vehicle and what you use it for.
Shopping for car insurance in Portland, Oregon, doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. Once you know what you need, you can easily request quotes online and compare your options.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.