Car insurance companies have figured out a way to charge you more for your car insurance after you have had an accident that was NOT your fault. That's right. Raise your rates if another guy hits you.
More and more auto insurance companies in Oregon are adopting a method by which they can charge their own insureds, that's right their own customers, more money when they get in an auto accident that wasn't their fault. It is against Oregon Insurance Division rules for a car insurance company to charge you points for a non-fault accident. The way they get around it, however, is by removing an Accident-Free or Claim-Free discount.
Some insurance carriers are so bold as to CHARGE YOU for a PRIOR PIP CLAIM. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. Oregon is unique in that every auto policy sold must have medical coverage for the passengers. It goes on to cover medical benefits for any household member who is involved in an automobile related accident. That passenger doesn't even have to be in his or her own car or one belonging to someone on the policy. No, it is ANY car.
Auto carriers are citing increased costs of medical claims under the PIP coverage as the reason for the sky-rocketing auto insurance rates over the last couple of years. That's why they are attempting to target those who use their policies to claim PIP benefits. They take away a discount. The discount usually applies to all the cars on the entire policy. So, if you have four cars on your policy and the discount is say 20%, you could see as much as a $450 increase for six months. That's $900 a year. That really happened to one of my customers! Stopped at a stoplight and BOOM! Rear ended! Not their fault. Now they are paying an extra $450 every six months for an accident that they didn't even cause.
If this happens to you, be sure that when you go to settle with the other insurance company who is responsible for reimbursing your medical bills and paying you for ongoing care, pain and suffering, that you also include a demand that they pay you for increased cost to your car insurance for the next 5 years! Yes, 5 years. Most carriers don't give the discount back for being claim-free or accident free for 5 years. And, in the example from above, that's $4500 in extra insurance costs.
I was just asked to help in the investigation of a bank robbery. It appears that a former auto insurance customer somehow left her insurance papers in a car she sold in the glove box of a car. The documents were from 2009. Now, in 2013 a bank robber used that document to write a demand note on the back to hand to the teller. Now that customer is being implicated in the robbery as an accomplice. I'm sure she'll be exonerated, but, the hassle and defense costs will be enormous.
It's a really good idea to clean out your car before you sell it of any sort of document that might be used against you at a future date.
Prospective Client: I want to get a quote for car insurance.
Oregon Auto Insurance Agent: Is the car you want to insure registered to your name?
Prospective Client: No, I just want to insure it.
Oregon Auto Insurance Agent: Oregon law and most car insurance companies require that the owner of the vehicle be listed as owner of the policy or at least an authorized listed driver on the policy.
Prospective Client: But it's my car.
Identity Theft. It's in the news and on the tongues of most Oregonians. You see and hear ads all over the media offering you identity theft prevention, protection and clean up services. How do you lose your personal information and what can you do to protect it? What are the potential points of personal data loss? This article will address these and other issues regarding the security of your personal data.
Independence. It's a word that gets thrown about with beneficial properties. For one to be independent implies choices. You get the feeling of freedom. Free to grow, free to choose, free to learn. With that independence one might feel a little be lonely. There is an aspect to independence that begs for solitude. When it comes to buying auto insurance, you are independent to choose the company, coverages and agents you want and need. But, you are never alone.
You are probably asking yourself, "How can so many car insurance companies advertise and claim they can save me so much on my car insurance if I switch my policy to them?" That's an excellent question if you are a sharp and savvy car insurance shopper.
If every auto insurance company makes that promise, which car insurance company are they comparing themselves to? Is there an auto insurance carrier out there which purposely charges $459 more a year so the rest can make that claim?
Credit and Insurance. What does one have to do with the other? If you have bad credit your auto insurance will cost more in Oregon. If you have no credit, even worse. It's a good idea to establish some kind of credit if you have none.
How do you get credit? You have to take out a credit card. Debit card doesn't count. Must be a credit card like VISA or MasterCard. Then buy something with it or pay a bill. Then, take a couple months to pay it off. Just don't get used to using the card. You want to be able to show on the credit bureau reports that you are creditworthy; if you borrow something, that you give it back!
A new customer from Beaverton, Oregon came in to buy insurance today that I quoted about three days ago. He told me about how he'd been shopping around since he got my quote from companies he found through searches and banners he clicked on while surfing online. His best quote was initially from one of the big television, radio, billboard and online companies. He gave the agent on the phone his entire information, included drivers license and social security number. The quote he got was amazingly inexpensive. He then authorized that agent to proceed with the policy. At the moment he gave the agent his credit card information, he told him that the price had tripled. My customer then questioned how that was possible. The agent told him it was because he hadn't checked the customer's credit and driving record until that moment.
I've heard this and many other stories like it. What is worse is the company sells you the policy at the 'unscored' rate (meaning they haven't checked your insurance credit score or driving record) and then the policy gets issued at the 'scored' rate which can be hundreds of dollars higher.
Moral of the Story
Before you approve the direct writing insurance company from taking your hard earn money, be sure and ask if he or she has run your:
If the agent cannot guarantee that those reports have been received and used in the calculation of the premium, you cannot be guaranteed that the quote he gave you is the actual price you will be paying. Accuracy in quoting is extremely important when shopping for insurance. There is no excuse now, with the technology we have, for getting an inaccurate quote.
The reason why you are reading this blog post is because:
A. You are bored and just randomly exploring the Internet,
B. You have gotten a ticket for no insurance and you got a letter that says you have to have and SR22 and you wanna know what the heck that is, how to get one and what's it going to cost,
C. You are working on a paper for high school, or
D. You love taking quizzes.
Man, if you randomly stuck "SR22 insurance in Oregon" in your search engine and you got this blog post, you really need to find something more interesting to explore, say, quantum physics or UFOs or something. If you are doing a research paper for a high school or college class, I welcome you. But, mamas, please don't let your baby's grow up to be insurance agents! If you like taking quizzes, then you are among friends. Especially the multiple choice ones.
However, if you really are here because you got one of those scary letters from the Oregon DMV that says you must have an SR-22 certificate or your driving privileges could be suspended, then you have come to the right place. READ ON!
Frequently a customer will call or come in to my office in Oregon and ask for a car insurance quote. Through the process I ask questions about other drivers in the household and discover the client has a wife or husband living in the household as well. The customer will often state that the spouse has his or her own insurance and wants to keep the policies separate.
Here is a perfect example of why you should insure all drivers and cars under the same policy in the household: