A huge percentage of the people who live in Oregon are licensed to drive, which means that there are millions of people on the road there. It's technically possible for a driver to get into an accident all by himself, but the odds increase dramatically when there are millions of others on the road too. With all of that in mind, it's in all drivers' best interests to maintain valid car insurance. The state of Oregon tries to compel drivers to do so by making it a requirement for operating motor vehicles. Drivers must have insurance policies that meet certain minimum requirements in order to drive legally in Oregon.
Having a policy that meets the minimum insurance requirements as set forth by the state of Oregon will keep a driver out of legal trouble, but it may not be enough to completely cover all of his financial obligations in the wake of an accident. This is why many people buy more extensive insurance coverage. Most should consider doing so. Those who are on the fence about it should consider driving statistics for the Beaver State, which are quite revealing.
Who Drives in Oregon?
Although the U.S. Census Bureau only performs an official census every 10 years, it publishes population estimates every year. In 2012, the population of Oregon was estimated to be 3,899,353. As for the number of drivers in the state, the Federal Highway Administration keeps track of that information. As of November 2012, there were 2,773,956 licensed drivers in the Beaver State, so 71.1 percent of the population is legally able to drive. That is a very high percentage compared to most states and highlights the importance of having valid insurance.
Like most states, drivers in Oregon are split nearly down the middle in terms of gender. 1,381,495 people, or 49.8 percent of all licensed drivers, are men. 1,392,461 people, or 50.2 percent of all licensed drivers, are women. There is no definitive proof that one gender is safer or less risky than the other, so insurance companies don't take this information into consideration when calculating premiums.
The longer a person drives, the more experience he has. With more experience, a driver is more likely to be safe and less likely to be involved in an accident. Insurance companies know this and give older drivers cheaper premiums as a result. In the state of Oregon in November 2012, 93,818 people, or 3.4 percent of all licensed drivers, were aged 19 and below. The biggest group, which consisted of 264,179 people, was made up of people between the ages of 55 and 59 and accounts for 9.5 percent of all licensed drivers.
Car Insurance Requirements in Oregon
Before shopping around for auto insurance in Oregon, a driver should make sure he knows the minimum requirements as set forth by the state. Unlike some states, Oregon only offers one way for drivers to provide proof of financial responsibility, and it's in the form of auto liability insurance.
The minimum requirements for car insurance in Oregon are:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- At least $10,000 in property damage coverage
- At least $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage, or PIP coverage
- At least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage
Although the state of Oregon doesn't require insurance providers to report drivers' coverage statuses electronically, it does send random letters requiring drivers to prove that they have coverage. Drivers must respond with their policy numbers and the names of their insurance providers before specific deadlines. Those who can't must file form SR-22 with the Oregon DMV for three years. Their driver's licenses are also sometimes suspended, and they usually have to pay reinstatement fees to get them back.
No one wants to face fines, fees and suspensions. Oregon drivers can avoid these issues by purchasing high-quality auto insurance and ensuring that it remains valid at all times.