Navigating Oregon’s Auto Insurance Claim Laws: A Guide for Consumers

If you’re involved in a car accident or experience a loss in Oregon, it’s important to understand your rights and the claims process under state law. This guide breaks down key auto insurance claim laws and regulations in Oregon and provides tips for getting the coverage and compensation you deserve after an incident.

Overview of Oregon Auto Insurance Laws

Oregon law requires all motor vehicles operated on public roads to carry minimum auto liability coverage of:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 per accident
  • $20,000 property damage per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)

In addition, Oregon requires uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000/$50,000 to protect you if hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Oregon is a “no-fault” auto insurance state for injuries. This means your own PIP coverage pays medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault. The at-fault driver is only liable for damages that exceed your PIP limits.

Timeline for Reporting Accidents and Claims

  • Within 72 hours: File an Oregon Accident and Insurance Report with the DMV if the accident involved injury, death, or over $1,500 in damage.

  • ASAP: Notify your insurance company about the accident and file a claim if necessary. The sooner the better, as delays can complicate claims.

  • Within 60 days: For PIP claims, medical providers must submit treatment bills and denial notices within 60 days or the insurer loses the right to deny bills as medically unnecessary.

  • 1 to 3 years: Lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage must be filed within 1 to 3 years, depending on the circumstances. Consult an attorney about deadlines.

Oregon’s Claim Settlement Laws and Regulations

Oregon law sets forth certain requirements and protections related to the claims settlement process:

  • Total loss valuations: Insurers must use “fair and reasonable” methods to determine the actual cash value of total loss vehicles. Oregon prohibits basing valuations solely on the model, year, or book value of the automobile.

  • Settlement timelines: Insurers must acknowledge claims promptly and settle first-party claims within 30 calendar days if liability is clear. Total loss and disputed claims have no defined settlement timeline.

  • Appraisal clause: Policies must contain an appraisal clause allowing either party to invoke an appraisal of the loss amount if they can’t agree on a settlement.

  • Underinsurance protection: Insureds can access both the at-fault driver’s liability coverage AND their own UIM coverage if their damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits.

  • Bad faith protections: Insurers can be sued for unreasonable delays or unfair claim denials. Plaintiffs can recover attorney fees if the insurer is found to have acted in bad faith.

Tips for Navigating the Auto Claims Process

  • Review your policy and understand coverages and exclusions upfront before an incident occurs.

  • Take detailed notes of all conversations and correspondence related to the claim. Save emails, letters, and claim documents.

  • Document the incident thoroughly with photos, videos, police reports, and witness statements.

  • Avoid prematurely releasing an insurer from liability before receiving a satisfactory settlement.

  • Consult an attorney for advice if you have any concerns about bad faith, delays, or an inadequate settlement offer.

  • File a complaint with Oregon’s Division of Financial Regulation if you experience unfair claim handling or settlement practices.

Key Takeaways

  • Oregon law mandates minimum auto liability coverage but following state minimums may not fully protect motorists after an accident. Review your policy limits and exclusions carefully.

  • Promptly report accidents and notify your insurer. Carefully document incident details, conversations, damages, repairs, and expenses.

  • Understand timelines for bills, claims, and legal action. Communicate promptly with insurers and don’t hesitate to hire legal counsel if warranted.

  • Auto insurers must follow fair claim practices under Oregon law. Policyholders have legal recourse if settlement offers seem unreasonable.

With Preparation and persistence, Oregon consumers can ensure they receive the maximum auto insurance benefits and compensation they’re entitled to after an unfortunate accident.

Auto Insurance and the Oregon Injury Claim


How long do insurance companies have to settle a claim in Oregon?

Insurance companies in Oregon have at least 60 days to acknowledge a claim and decide whether or not to pay it. Oregon does not have a specific time frame in which the final payment must be made.

What is the car accident law in Oregon?

Oregon is what is called a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means that you can recover damages in a car accident, but only according to your level of negligence. If your negligence is greater than that of the other parties, however, you will be barred from recovering compensation.

Is Oregon a no-fault state for auto insurance?

Oregon Is a “Fault” Car Accident State This means that the person who was at fault for causing the car accident is also responsible for any resulting harm (from a practical standpoint, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will absorb these losses, up to policy limits).

How long after an accident can you file a claim in Oregon?

Oregon’s statute of limitations for car accident claims is similar to other personal injury cases filed in the state. Generally, Oregon’s state laws establish the following: The time limit for a personal injury claim is two years. The time limit for a property damage claim is six years.

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