Driving in an uninsured vehicle in Oregon carries a stiff penalty. If caught, you will be fined up to $250 and will be required to file proof of insurance with the DMV for a period of three years. In addition to the fine, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If you cause an accident, you may also be sued for money damages by an injured person.
Oregon auto insurance laws require that every driver carry a minimum of $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. If you are struck by an uninsured driver, then you must make a claim against your own insurance carrier for your medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering, interference with normal activities, and permanent injury.
Besides uninsured motorist coverage, Oregon drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 in underinsured coverage. If you have a personal injury claim against a driver with the same insurance coverage as your underinsured coverage, you will not receive any benefits under your coverage. Your insurance company will only pay the remaining amount not covered by the at-fault driver’s coverage.
No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Your insurance carrier must also provide no-fault Personal Injury Protection or PIP, which pays immediately to health care providers, no matter who is at fault in the accident. This coverage includes up to $10,000 for reasonable medical, hospital, dental, surgical, ambulance, and prosthetic services incurred within one year of the accident. There is also compensation of a maximum of $1250 per month for a period of 52 weeks if you are disabled and cannot work.
How to Protect Yourself from the Under and Uninsured Motorist
The rule is to buy as much uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance as you can afford. It is fairly inexpensive, with the difference between $50,000 and $300,000 coverage being a few dollars a month. A $1,000,000 million dollar umbrella policy that includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may be as cheap as $300 per year. You will never regret buying an umbrella policy if you are ever in a serious accident.