Changes to Oregon Auto Insurance Law

On January 1, 2016, a new law goes into effect that creates some exciting new changes to Oregon’s automobile insurance law. SB 411, which was signed earlier this year by Governor Kate Brown, allows consumers to finally get the full benefit of the insurance coverage they have been paying for.

But you must act. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2016, applying to new policies issued on or after that date, or existing policies that renew on or after that date. Therefore, if your policy doesn’t renew until April 1, 2016, and you get into an accident after the effective date of the law, but before your policy renews, you will not have this additional coverage. In order to get the full benefit of the coverage you have been paying for, you need to contact your insurance agent and tell them you want all your auto insurance policies to renew on January 1, 2016 so you are covered. Alternatively, if you are thinking about switching insurers, you should do so on January 1, 2016, or as shortly thereafter as possible.

SB 411 Makes Two Very Important Changes to Auto Insurance Law

First, it allows “stacking” of underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UIM is an important part of every auto insurance policy, providing benefits when an accident is caused by the fault of another driver. The change allows consumers to get all of the coverage they paid for without a reduction based on the liability coverage carried by the at-fault driver. This change can have a profound impact on the benefits available if you or a loved one is injured in a collision.

Second, SB 411 makes changes to personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which provides no-fault medical and wage loss benefits if you are injured in a crash. Under current law, your insurance company is often entitled to be reimbursed for benefits they paid to you from the insurance company for the other driver. This reduces the amount of money available to compensate you. The new law prevents your insurance company from being reimbursed for PIP benefits it pays until you are fully compensated for ALL of your losses.

Additional information about SB 411, including a copy of the law, can be found at: http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2015/SB411/

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Rob Kline

Insurance law is complicated. You should seek the advice of an experienced auto accident attorney if you have questions.

(503) 224-6246