Paying insurance during tough economic timesYou've lost your job. Your hours have been cut back. You are on Oregon unemployment. Your unemployment benefits have not kicked in yet or you've passed the unemployment benefit period. Now it's time to make some really tough decisions. Which bills get paid first?

Food, shelter, clothing. Those are the essentials. Water and electricity may be next in the ranking of expenses. If you own your car out-right, in other words, you don't owe the finance company or bank on your car, then you don't have to pay a car payment. Next would be gas for the car and the car payment if you do owe money on it. Transportation costs are high, that's true. Gas prices are fluctuating wildly. Repair costs of your automobile can be as much as what your car is worth. Gambling on selling your car and buying another one may land you with even higher repair costs.

Together with the cost to operate your car in Oregon with gasoline, repairs and car payments is the cost of Oregon car insurance. You must figure in auto insurance as part of the total cost or leave your car at home. Leaving your car just parked is entirely an option either as Oregon law says if you have a registered car you have to keep insurance on it at all times. When you budget your limited resources and you are trying to figure out whether to drive your car or not, you need to figure in the auto insurance. Driving your car without insurance could cost you more than two years of car insurance.

That's right. Up to two years of car insurance. We figure that it will cost you at least $1,000 if you are caught driving without insurance in Oregon. Yes, $1,000! When you add up the cost of the

  • ticket ($150),
  • release certificate ($150 and $350 if you are caught in Lake Oswego),
  • towing costs ($250-$400),
  • storage fees ($25-$50 a day),
  • increased cost of insurance over the next three years ($300), and
  • bus fare home after the officer leaves you standing on the street corner ($5).

It will cost you just about a grand. If you keep your record clean and have decent credit, you can get your insurance for about $250 for six months. Hmmm... $1,000 to get your car out of impound most of which you've got to pay right now or spend that money on buying real protection in case you get in an accident. You can't afford not to spend the money on an Oregon car insurance policy.

Otherwise, you'd be better off riding the bus or carpooling with someone who has insurance. If you have insurance and are having difficulty in paying the bill, call us. We'll talk you through the options. Most companies have flexible grace periods. We'd be happy to help you through this tough economic time in any way we can. Let's see what options you have to save and where you can cut back. You may be paying for coverages you don't need. We can review your current policy or go over the coverages we quote you if you don't.

Don't get caught stranded on the street and watch your car get towed away. Oh, and if your car is a PO* car, and you think that just leaving with the tow company is an option. Think again. They will sue you in court for the cost to tow and store your vehicle. That's right. Sue you! They will calculate the cost of the tow and the daily storage rental charge for weeks or even months until your car has been sold. They will then subtract the sale price from their towing, storage and legal expenses and sue you for the difference. If you do get your car towed, get in there to the tow company and negotiate with them immediately. Turn in the title and pay them the difference. Racking up weeks and months of storage fees will only make your bad situation worse.