A basic guide to buying insurance in Oregon: Why does it matter what they advertise?
A lot of people try and save money by switching to cheaper car insurance. This is basic guide to consider some of the downfalls of moving to a company that can only offer a cheaper quote as they often fall short on service.
1. Price vs. Service
Most people believe that they will never need to use their insurance so that it is best that you simply get the best deal for your money. “I’m a safe driver, I won’t get into an accident. Even if I do, it will be the other persons fault.” Maybe that is the case. However, I have heard plenty of nightmare scenarios from clients when dealing with their own insurance WHEN THE OTHER DRIVER IS AT FAULT. There are 2 common situations in which your insurance will be your primary contact even if the other driver is at fault: personal injury protection benefits and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. I won’t name companies, but generally the companies that advertise price and don’t discuss service are a nightmare to deal with and the are constantly trying to reduce the value of your claim.
2. Underinsured/Uninsured coverage
Oregon uninsured motorist laws, specifically Oregon Revised Statute 742.502 (ORS), require each driver to have at least $25,000 in uninsured motorist Oregon coverage. When somebody is in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, their own auto insurance will *fill-in* for the at-fault driver’s insurance. That means your insurance will be who you are dealing with. Statistics vary, but up to 1 in 4 driver’s in Oregon are uninsured. That means there is a 1 in 4 chance you will be dealing solely with your own insurance during your claim. This is the point where most people switch from the cheaper companies because of their negotiation tactics and cutting corners.
Similarly, if you are in a horrific accident, the liable driver may not have enough coverage and you will have to use your underinsured coverage. Again, you will deal with corner cutting tactics.
Your personal injury protection benefits are the medical benefits you use after you are injured in an accident. Liable or not, your PIP coverage comes first and if the other driver is at fault your insurance is reimbursed. Cheaper companies are notorious for questioning appointments and denying care by using what is called an Independent Medical Examiner. These independent Medical Examiners are anything but independent or neutral and are hired by the insurance companies to try and deny further treatment after a doctor spends very little time with you. I rarely see companies that advertise service go this route unless treatment is clearly excessive.
4. Always confirm what your new policy is offering if you switch
Before you jump at a low quote from a new insurance company, make sure you know exactly what you*re getting. Some companies may offer a lower rate, but the quote may be for less coverage than you currently have. If you end up having to increase your coverage after you buy the new policy, the cost will be higher than you initially thought,.
To avoid this kind of confusion, review and match the features * including your coverage types, limits and deductibles * of any potential new policies to your current one when comparison shopping. Sendg prospective insurers a copy of your current declarations page, which lists the key particulars of your policy, and letting them know that*s the coverage you need for your quote.