Click a topic below to see answer

Full coverage can mean many different things. Often, drivers filing a claim are surprised to find that their “full coverage” doesn’t extend to emergency roadside service or rental reimbursement. These additional types of coverage are optional, and must be purchased separately. Make sure you read your policy so that you understand what is and isn’t covered.​
Not necessarily. Regardless of the visible damage, your insurance company will determine if it’s practical to have the car repaired. If the cost to repair your car exceeds its value, it will likely be totaled. Learn more about your rights if your car is declared a total loss on the Oregon Insurance Division website.
One month? That’s a myth. Typically, you have 14 days to tell your insurance company about a newly acquired vehicle. This drops to four days if you don’t already have physical damage coverage on another insured car. Because policies vary, ask your agent or customer service rep exactly when you must notify your insurance company to make sure your new car is covered.
This can be an expensive misunderstanding. Auto insurance policies generally don’t cover personal property stolen from your vehicle or damaged in an accident. (Homeowners or renters policies do, but you’ll probably have to pay a deductible first and there can be limits on certain types of items.) Bottom line: Don’t leave valuables in your car!
Not always, and not indefinitely. Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance only covers “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses incurred within one year — up to $15,000 or your PIP limit. And your medical insurance will usually not cover medical expenses resulting from a car accident until your PIP coverage is exhausted. Read more about PIP coverage on the Oregon Insurance Division’s website.
Sorry, but the “grace period” for not paying your car insurance premium is very short. If you’re late on a payment, the insurance company can cancel your policy with just 10 days’ notice, as long as the cancellation warning is printed on your bill. Insurers can choose to give you more time to pay your premium, but they aren’t required to.

Here in Oregon, an insurance company can’t legally force you to use a particular repair shop as a condition for payment. Many insurers have relationships with networks of “preferred” repair shops, but ultimately, you get to decide where to take your car.

Insurance companies must work with the repair shops within their networks to make sure damaged vehicles are returned to pre-loss condition. But they aren’t responsible for repairs done outside their network, so choose your repair shop carefully! Get referrals from people you trust and check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Justice. And make sure you’re satisfied with the finished work before the insurance company pays the repair shop.
Actually, it doesn’t. Insurance companies can opt for aftermarket or recycled parts instead, as a way to help keep your premium costs down. For your protection, Oregon law requires that aftermarket parts be certified equivalent to factory parts by an independent
testing facility.​
When you make a claim against another driver, the insurance company investigates to determine the legal obligation of the person it insures. If the company can’t find the person — and can’t accurately determine what happened — it’s possible there would be no coverage. Of course, insurance companies must make every effort to contact their policyholders.



Connect with an insurance expert.


Top 10 auto insurance myths (print version)