Do I have to use the repair shop my company recommends?
No. Oregon law prohibits an insurer from requiring you to use a certain repair shop.
Many insurers have relationships with repair shops. Some consumers like the idea of a repair network; some don't.
Before you sign a contract with the repair shop, notify your insurer and make sure you understand what the insurance company will pay. If you choose the most expensive shop in town, the insurance company may not be willing to pay the whole amount.
What’s the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?
Comprehensive coverage typically covers damage from fire, theft, explosion, glass breakage, animal collision, and other incidents not covered by collision coverage.
Collision is usually defined as colliding with another object or overturning. Most auto policies have lower deductibles for comprehensive coverage than for collision coverage.
If you have an older car that may cost more to repair than it's worth, consider the following to save money:
- Raise your deductibles
- Drop your collision or comprehensive coverage
- Drop both your collision and comprehensive coverage
What happens if my loan is worth more than my car?
Sometimes the value of a car is less than the balance on your car loan. If you are in an accident and your car is totaled, the insurance company bases its payment on the actual cash value (ACV) of the car at the time of the loss, not on the amount of your loan.
A special type of insurance called "guaranteed auto protection" or GAP, can be purchased when you buy a car. It may help in case of loss if you owe more on your lease or loan balance than the ACV of the vehicle.
This coverage is sometimes available as an endorsement to your regular auto insurance. Your agent can advise you if your company offers the coverage.
GAP coverage might not pay off your entire loan balance. In addition, GAP policies usually do not pay for the deductible from the primary auto insurer, missed payments, or late fees. There could be other limits, so carefully check your policy.