You finally have your license, you have a car, and your best friend has already planned the first official road trip, but apparently you aren’t ready yet; you need insurance! To legally drive in Oregon, you must have a minimum liability insurance policy of $25,000 per person medical coverage, $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 for property damage. You’ll need personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist protection. So, what on Earth does that mean? Well it’s not as complicated as it may sound, but there are a few terms and ideas you’ll need to understand before you call an insurance agent for the coverage you need.
What is liability? Liability simply means that you are responsible for what happens to you and other drivers when you get behind the wheel. Your liability limits are a dollar amount that the insurance company will pay out in the event of an accident. You can get a quote for the state minimum or you can get higher limits for more coverage. A good agent will always offer the best coverage to suit your needs.
Deductibles are a dollar amount you will pay out of pocket before your insurance pays when you file a claim. A deductible is separate from your premium. It applies to full coverage, which is collision and comprehensive coverage. These coverages protect you for more than just your liability portion of an accident. The idea behind a deductible is to encourage you to avoid making small, and often times unnecessary claims. So, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium, but the lower your deductible, the higher your premium.
Lienholder or Loss Payee– Do you make payments on your car or do you own it outright? If you make payments to a bank, credit union, or through the dealer, they are considered the loss payee or lien holder. Those terms are used interchangeably to describe an entity who has insurable interest in the car and is requiring that you have a certain amount of coverage on the car. An agent would need to list them on the policy as well. You’ll need the name and address of the lienholder.
VIN: vehicle identification number. You’ll want to have this handy when you call in. It’s the number the car is registered under and can be found in multiple places. You’ll find it on the registration, inside of your driver side door, on the dashboard near the windshield, or on the old insurance card.
And lastly, your driver’s license number. You’ll be able to shop around or you can call Focus1 Insurance Group, where we can do the shopping for you! Call today!