Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements in Oregon
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The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) has the same financial responsibility requirements for both commercial and private vehicles, as long as they’re fewer than 26,001 pounds and don’t transport hazardous materials.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
To prove financial responsibility in the state, you may either:
- Apply for a certificate of self-insurance from the Department of Transportation (DOT). To do this, you must show the state that you have the continued ability to pay for any accident you might be involved in, or have 25 or more vehicles registered. For more information, contact the DOT at (888) 275-6368.
- Buy liability insurance.
According to the Oregon Insurance Division, any vehicle that is used to further a business must be commercially insured. Before you begin shopping, consider:
- How many and what kind of vehicle(s) you need to insure.
- How the vehicle(s) is being used.
- Who drives the vehicle(s).
- Who owns the vehicle(s).
For more assistance determining whether you need commercial insurance, contact an insurance carrier that specializes in commercial coverage.
When you begin to contact insurance companies for quotes, the agent will ask you questions to determine whether you need a commercial policy, and whether the minimum amount of coverage will be adequate.
You will need to know:
- Who owns the vehicle(s)
- Weight of the vehicle(s)
- Usage of the vehicle(s)
- Liability limits requirements
The minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state is:
- $25,000 per person for bodily and property damage
- $10,000 per crash for others’ property damage
- $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others
The policy must also have:
- $15,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for expenses after the crash
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per crash of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Coverage for Vehicles Weighing 26,001 Pounds or More
If your vehicle weight is more than 26,0001 pounds, you will need to get $750,000 in coverage.
If you need more guidance, an insurance agent can help you figure out the appropriate amount of commercial insurance.
Before you settle on one insurance provider, try to consult with at least three to make sure you’re getting the best possible rates. Most private insurers also deal in commercial insurance. If the insurer also covers other non-auto items for you, ask for a discount.
However, there are also companies that deal exclusively with commercial insurance, and you may prefer a specialist handling your needs.
You must always carry proof of insurance with you. Acceptable items to prove coverage are:
- A proof of insurance card, original or copy. The insurance company will give you one.
- The actual insurance policy.
- A letter, containing all pertinent information (your name, policy number, vehicle identification) written on official letterhead and signed by the insurance agent.
- A DMV Certificate of Self-Insurance with the owner’s name on it.
- An Oregon auto dealer license plate (for dealer vehicles only).
Always have proof of insurance with you while you drive. If you are pulled over for a traffic stop and you don’t have this proof, the following could occur:
- Your car could be towed.
- You could be fined and cited.
If you are convicted of having no proof of insurance and are in a crash, you will also have your license suspended for a year. You or your employer may face additional penalties.
In addition, to show your financial responsibility, you'll have to file an SR-22 certificate with the DMV for the next three years.
The DMV draws names of random drivers and checks on them to see if they still have insurance. One day, you may receive a letter from the DMV that asks for your policy number and insurance company; the DMV will then contact the company and ask if you are covered.
If you don't respond to the letter, the DMV will assume you have no insurance and you will be penalized as if you had none.
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