Insurance may not always be your top priority. As a resident of Oregon, you have a multitude of activities, responsibilities, and adventures to pursue. From the mountains to the sea, the desert to and farmland, this is a rich and diverse place to call home. You may be a skier, a boater or own an ATV. You may rent your home or own it and you might also be a business owner. All of these activities and responsibilities make insurance a good investment in your peace of mind.
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Why Should I Buy From an Independent Agent?
When you shop for insurance, you should be aware that there are two different types of agents available for you to work with.
Captive agents represent only one company and can offer you products from just that market. They commonly represent big-name insurance companies that you might see commercials for on television.
Independent agents, on the other hand, represent multiple companies. They have many more options to address your insurance needs, and you can compare quotes before you select the coverage that's right for you. An independent agent can compare Oregon insurance quotes from multiple markets and offer you the coverage that is right for your specific needs and budget.
Which would you prefer? One quote from one company, or the ability to evaluate quotes from many markets? Only an independent agent can offer you that flexibility.
Buying Oregon Auto Insurance
Oregon state law requires the following minimum automobile insurance limits:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash bodily injury liability
- $20,000 per crash for property damage liability
- $15,000 per person personal injury protection for medical expenses
- Uninsured motorists coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Oregon is a modified "no fault" insurance state. In cases of minor personal injury, policyholders will turn to their own policy for indemnification under the policy's personal injury protection (PIP). In cases involving more serious injury, it is still possible to make a liability claim against another at fault driver.
In any case, the minimum limits are not adequate to protect a driver against a claim involving serious injury, and most people carry much higher limits. In addition to the coverages above, a complete automobile policy will provide coverage for:
- Medical payments, which reimburses persons for medical expenses arising from the use of your auto regardless of fault
- Comprehensive coverage, on your vehicle for such losses as theft and vandalism
- Collision damage to your vehicle
- Optional coverage for towing and roadside assistance
Finding Homeowners Insurance in Oregon
If you own your home, it's a good idea to secure insurance protection for loss and liability claims involving your property. A standard homeowners policy provides for full replacement coverage on your home, but many policyholders fail to take advantage of this benefit because they do not insure the home for its total replacement cost. A typical homeowners policy will provide the following coverages:
- Coverage on your home itself, including any attached garages and storage areas
- Coverage on detached structures on the same lot
- Coverage on your personal property
- Coverage for additional living expenses if you are forced to live elsewhere temporarily because of a covered loss
- Liability protection for bodily injury or property damage to other parties arising from your property itself or your activities
- Medical payments coverage, which covers medical costs for anyone injured on your property regardless of fault
There are some limitations and exclusions of which you should be aware:
- There are sublimits on your personal property for such things as jewelry, furs, fine arts, silverware, money and securities, stamp and coin collections
- A homeowners policy does not provide coverage for flood or earthquake
- Most homeowners policies will cover your personal property on an actual cash value (depreciated) basis, but you can amend the policy to also provide replacement cost coverage on personal property
If you would like additional protection in these areas talk to your agent about available riders to the policy or obtaining separate coverage.
Obtaining Business Insurance in Oregon
Designing a business insurance program can be a complex undertaking and it is definitely a job for a professional. If you work with an independent agent you be able to access several Oregon insurance quotes for your company's protection. Most businesses will need the following basic coverages:
- Building coverage, assuming you own the premises in which you work
- Contents coverage, to protect your business personal property
- Off premises property, to cover things like mobile equipment, property in transit and property stored elsewhere
- Business interruption coverage, to cover lost earnings and extra expenses in case of a loss
- General liability coverage, for your legal liability to others arising from your operations
- Automobile liability, for bodily injury or property damage arising from the operation of your vehicles
- Umbrella liability, to give you higher limits
- Professional liability, if you have an exposure that could arise from your errors or omissions
- Workers compensation, to cover employees injured on the job
- Employee benefits, like life, health or disability coverage
- Life insurance, to protect against the loss of a key person or to fund a buy-sell agreement
These are basic coverages that every business can consider. If you have any unusual exposures, they will have to be handled separately.
Buying Life Insurance in Oregon
There are several reasons you might want to buy life insurance in Oregon:
- You might want personal insurance to protect your family in case something happens to you
- You might need life insurance for business purposes, like protecting against the untimely death of a key person or to fund a business perpetuation plan
- You might want to include life insurance as one of the benefits you offer your employees
Life insurance comes in several different types like term, whole life or universal life. There are individual plans and group plans. You need to work with an agent who understands your needs and understands the market in order to get the right product at the best rate. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you.
Finding Oregon Health Insurance
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there are many changes to the U.S. health insurance market. If you want coverage for yourself, you might be in one of several situations:
- If you presently obtain your coverage through your employer the chances are that your benefit will continue but you may see a change in coverage or premium
- If you do not have employer provided coverage, as of October 1, 2013 you can access health coverage through the Oregon insurance exchange at www.coveroregon.com.
- Some companies will still sell health insurance on the open market
If you choose to shop the open market, you may be able to access some companies directly on line, but in other cases you will have to go through an agent. However you acquire coverage you should be aware that as of January 1, 2014 if your policy does not met the minimum requirements of the ACA or if you have no coverage at all, you are subject to a fine.
If you are seeking group coverage as part of your overall employee benefit plan, then you need to work with an agent who understands the many complexities of the modern health insurance market.
Buying Oregon Boat Insurance
From the Pacific Ocean to the Columbia River to many inland lakes and streams, Oregon offers numerous boating opportunities to natives and visitors alike. Whether you own a salt water yacht or a white water raft, you need to be sure that both you and your vessel are properly insured.
Oregon requires any boat with a motor and any sailboat 12 feet or longer be registered and titled. There is no requirement to carry insurance, but you would be foolish to go on the water without proper protection. A typical boat policy will offer the following coverages:
- Watercraft liability, in case you have an at fault accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured boaters coverage, in case you are struck by someone not carrying adequate liability limits
- Medical payments, which covers medical costs for anyone injured on your boat regardless of fault
- Hull coverage, which will protect your vessel
- Optional coverages like towing, special equipment and pollution
Be aware that many watercraft policies have usage restrictions. For example, your policy may cover you only on inland waters. If you have such a policy and want to venture onto salt water, be sure and contact your agent first.
Obtaining Oregon Insurance
Life is full of risks. You may be a single renter with one car or you may have a large family with a home and multiple vehicles. You may own a boat, an ATV or a snomobile. You could also be a business owner. Whatever your circumstances, you need a full insurance plan drawn by a professional to protect your life, your health and your assets.
A member agent of the Trusted Choice network can offer you solutions to all your Oregon insurance needs. With 226 Trusted Choice member agents in Oregon you should have no trouble finding one near you. Contact a Trusted Choice independent agent today.