The Cheapest and the Best Car Insurance in Oregon (2019)

To help you find the finest car insurance Oregon drivers can get, we got quotes from all the major insurers in the state. We then used A. M. Best’s financial strength ratings and J.D. Power’s 2018 customer service rankings in Oregon to make an ultimate list of the top companies. In addition, you’ll find a separate classification for each of the five biggest Oregon cities and a guide on the state’s insurance laws. If you’re looking for affordable, high-quality car protection in Oregon, this is the best place to start your search.

The Best Auto Insurance Companies in Oregon

  • Overall Winner: PEMCO Insurance
  • Runner Up: Geico Insurance
  • Best for Discounts: American Family
  • Cheapest Option: Progressive Insurance
  • Best for the Military: USAA Insurance
  • Best for Senior Drivers: The Hartford

The Overall Winner: PEMCO Insurance


If you want the finest protection for your vehicle in Oregon, it’s hard to look past PEMCO. This company is a regional insurer that sells its products in Oregon and Washington only, but you can’t find better customer service in these two states. First, PEMCO is the only company besides USAA to get a full five starts in J.D. Power’s ranking for Oregon. Second, its NAIC ratio is 0.14, which indicates it gets fewer complaints relative to its size than any insurer we tested. If you want to be treated fairly (and who doesn’t), PEMCO should be your number one option.

And it’s not just customer service that makes PEMCO a terrific choice. This company also offers quite affordable prices. Additionally, PEMCO provides some unique discounts on its Oregon auto insurance policies, like the one for University of Washington alumni. On top of that, you can even qualify for some rare optional coverages like pet protection and camper or canopy insurance (check our PEMCO review for full details). PEMCO even has an excellent website and mobile app.

However, the company has one glaring weakness. PEMCO’s A. M. Best rating, which indicates its financial strength, is only “B++” or “Good.” That’s the lowest rating we’ve seen out of all companies we tested. At this point, the doubts start to creep in about whether the company would have enough money to pay claims if a severe natural disaster happened. Nonetheless, PEMCO’s superb customer service indicates the insurer has been willing and able to help drivers in their needs thus far. That’s why we highly recommend PEMCO to any car insurance customer in Oregon.


Rating of PEMCO Car Insurance in Oregon in five different categoriesChoose PEMCO for outstanding customer service, affordable prices, great discounts, and many optional coverages.

Look elsewhere if you want a company with excellent financial strength.

The Runner Up: Geico Insurance

Geico Auto Insurance Logo


Geico usually scores well in our state-wide studies, and Oregon is no exception. It’s a combination of factors that make Geico a superb choice. For starters, the company is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most prosperous enterprises in the US. This means Geico has excellent financial strength, which its highest possible A. M. Best rating only confirms.

The company also has a no-nonsense website, mobile app, and quoting system, meaning you’ll be able to get everything done fast. Additionally, when it comes to ranking low-cost auto insurance companies in Oregon, Geico offers the most affordable premiums after Progressive.  

However, like many big insurers, Geico scores only average in customer service. Its J.D. Power rating in the Oregon region is three out of five stars, while the NAIC ratio is 0.62. None of these scores is bad, but many competitors outperform Geico in this area. Furthermore, the company doesn’t offer some common options, like GAP insurance, which may be important for drivers who bought their car on a loan. Nonetheless, due to its many advantages, we would advise most customers to give Geico a chance.


Rating of GEICO Car Insurance in Oregon in five different categoriesChoose Geico for affordable prices and excellent financial strength.

Look elsewhere if you want the finest customer service or some particular optional coverage.

The Cheapest Option: Progressive Insurance

Progressive Auto Insurance Logo


If low-cost auto insurance in Oregon is your cup of tea, Progressive should be the starting point. By far, the company offers the lowest premiums in every Oregon location we checked. In addition to dirt-cheap prices, Progressive has many things going for it.

For starters, it’s an insurer that specializes in high-risk drivers, meaning it won’t overcharge them the way many other companies do. In addition to providing some of the cheapest car insurance in Oregon, it’s one of the biggest insurance companies in the US. This means Progressive also has excellent online tools and many useful optional coverages and features. One such perk is Progressive’s Name Your Price Tool. You just need to input the amount you’re ready to pay, and the AI will create a car insurance policy for you. It’s a smart way to save time and money.

However, similar to Geico, Progressive’s customer service ratings are mediocre. The company gets three out of five stars in J.D. Power’s 2018 regional study, and its NAIC ratio is slightly better than the industry average. However, as we’ve learned in our car insurance comparison in Oregon, no insurer is perfect. And we think Progressive’s strengths will appeal to many.


Rating of Progressive Auto Insurance in Oregon in five different categoriesChoose Progressive for the lowest prices in Oregon and its overall solid performance.

Look elsewhere if you want the best financial strength or the most reliable customer service.

Best for the Military: USAA Insurance

USAA Auto Insurance Logo


The first thing you should know is that USAA sells its products only to former and current US army members and their close families. Despite its limited availability, we often sing praises to USAA in our state-wide studies. And the auto insurance it offers in Oregon is hardly any different.

For starters, USAA is among the cheapest options available in the state. It also offers a decent variety of optional coverages and useful features, together with excellent online tools. Furthermore, it gets exceptional scores in the 2018 J.D. Power regional ratings, holding the full five out of five stars rating in customer service.

However, in a study by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation , USAA gets an extraordinarily high number of complaints relative to its market share. Because of that, we had to dock two stars from its customer service score. Nonetheless, for those in a position to buy their coverage, we still think its the best car insurance option in Oregon.


Rating of USAA Car Insurance in Oregon in five different categoriesChoose USAA for low prices and excellent financial strength.

Look elsewhere if you aren’t a current or former US army member, or you want the most dependable customer service.

The Best for Senior Drivers: The Hartford

The Hartford Car Insurance Logo


We didn’t include The Hartford in our Oregon quote comparison because you need an AARP membership to qualify for their insurance. Nevertheless, we verified that the company offers affordable rates, particularly for older drivers. Furthermore, The Hartford insurance comes with all the benefits of an AARP membership, including discounts in restaurants, bookstores, and pharmacies. The good news doesn’t stop there, as the company has the second-highest possible A. M. Best rating in financial strength: “A+” or “Superior.”

The Hartford even holds second place in J.D. Power’s ranking of Oregon auto insurance companies in customer service, scoring four out of five stars. However, much like USAA, in a study by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, The Hartford gets more complaints than average. That’s why we’re hesitant to give it a universal recommendation. But for senior drivers, it’s an optimal choice.


Rating of The Hartford Auto Insurance in Oregon in five different categoriesChoose The Hartford for its solid scores across the board and the unique benefits of an AARP membership.

Look elsewhere if you want the best financial strength or the finest customer service.

The Best for Discounts: American Family

American Family Auto Insurance Logo


If you have a pristine driving record and drive a safe vehicle, you should be able to qualify for several discounts on your car insurance in Oregon. With this in mind, American Family demands your attention. That’s because this company offers all the industry-standard discounts in addition to some that are hard to find elsewhere.

For instance, American Family offers its Generational discount, which provides young drivers a chance to save if their parents are American Family customers too. Steer into Savings is another premium reduction that not many companies offer. It guarantees you’ll pay less for car insurance if American Family manages to lure you away from its competitors.

However, it’s not just the discounts that make American Family one of the best car insurance options in Oregon. This company is also third from the top in J.D. Power’s 2018 rankings in customer service, scoring four out of five stars.

We should note that American Family’s A. M. Best rating is only an “A.” This is the third-highest rating possible. Many competitors, such as Progressive, Geico, and USAA, score higher. If you want an insurer that offers several discounts but better financial strength, give State Farm a chance. Additionally, in our quote comparison, American Family was among the more expensive companies in Oregon. However, if you qualify for some of its many discounts, it can be a terrific choice.


Rating of American Family Car Insurance in Oregon in five different categoriesChoose American Family for good discounts and reliable customer service.

Look elsewhere if you want the lowest base rates or the highest financial strength.

The Cheapest Auto Insurance in Oregon by City

We conducted a quote comparison among the five most populous cities in Oregon to determine which companies offer high-quality, affordable insurance. Our quote was for full coverage. This means we selected higher limits for liability and uninsured/undesired motorist coverage, together with comprehensive and collision insurance, each with a $500 deductible. A driver with a clean record driving a 2018 Honda Accord was the reference we used when requesting our Oregon car insurance quotes. We weren’t able to modify PEMCO’s online offer, but their limits were pretty similar to our reference quote.

Portland

Portland is the largest and the most populous city in Oregon, but it’s not the capital. Did you know that the town got its name in a coin toss? Two of Portland’s founders couldn’t agree on the name, so they decided to try their luck by flipping a coin. Francis Pettygrove won, and he named the city after his hometown: Portland, Maine. While Portland has many nicknames, the recent “Beertown” is gaining the most traction. That’s because Portland has more craft microbreweries per capita than any other city in the US. 

car insurance price comparison in Portland, OregonYou just cannot beat Progressive when it comes to cheap car insurance in Portland, Oregon. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other companies. PEMCO and Geico are also excellent, affordable options. The former offers the most reliable customer service in Oregon while the latter is one of the biggest US insurers, scoring well across the board.

Salem

Salem, the state capital, is the second most populous city in Oregon. One theory claims the town got its name from Salem, Massachusetts, where the notorious witch trials occurred. It’s more likely that the name was given by William H. Wilson, who Anglicized the Biblical word “Shalom.” It means “peace,” but it can also stand for “goodbye” or “hello.” While Portland is famous for its craft beer industry, Salem’s perfect position in the fertile and sunny Willamette valley makes it the place for producing exquisite wine.car insurance price comparison in Salem, Oregon

When it comes to car insurance rates in Salem, Oregon, Progressive again stands out as the cheapest option, especially for middle-aged drivers. Older and younger customers should also consider State Farm, Geico, and of course, PEMCO, which got our title of the best auto insurer in Oregon.

Eugene

Eugene is famous for its beautiful nature. For instance, in the Owen Rose Garden, you can see the oldest Black Tartarian cherry tree in the US. The city is also praised for the many recreational opportunities it offers, and it’s constantly ranked among the best cities for cyclists in the US. Eugen is even the birthplace of Nike, the biggest sports apparel brand in the world.

car insurance price comparison in Eugene OregonWhen it comes to car insurance, Eugene is the cheapest city in Oregon, with an average monthly premium of $188. Progressive is again by far the most affordable insurer, while American Family is the most expensive. Our top picks would be Progressive, State Farm, and PEMCO due to their affordability and great scores overall.

Gresham

Gresham is the fourth most populous city in Oregon, at 105,594 according to the 2010 census. However, it wasn’t always a large city. It was primarily a farming community, with just 4,000 residents in the 1960s. However, the city experienced a slow-burning population boom in the 1970s that brought to where it is today.car insurance price comparison in Gresham, Oregon

Surprisingly, Gresham, Oregon, has the highest car insurance cost out of any city we tested. The average monthly price was $304, which is $40 more than Portland. Because of the high prices, we can only recommend Geico, Progressive, and PEMCO. Of these three, PEMCO insurance is the premier choice.

Hillsboro

Hillsboro is Oregon’s leading tech city. It hosts many high-tech companies, including InFocus, Xerox, HP, Epson, and Intel. Those fascinated by more mundane things should visit the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks. There you can find minerals, gems, meteorites, crystals, lapidary specimens, fossils, and much more. Hank Shrader would be excited.

car insurance price comparison in Hillsboro, OregonWhen it comes to auto insurance prices, Hillsboro is the second least expensive city after Eugene. State Farm, Geico, and Progressive are all worth checking out. Nonetheless, PEMCO stands out as the premier option due to its affordable prices and excellent customer service ratings

What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Oregon?

Our average price was $244 per month. We base that number on research that included quotes from multiple Oregon insurers for three different age demographics in the five biggest cities. We chose full coverage, meaning we selected higher liability and uninsured motorist limits than the minimum. Additionally, we purchased comprehensive and collision car insurance, each with a $500 deductible. Our reference vehicle was a 2018 Honda Accord.

Discounts on Auto Insurance in Oregon

Bundle

If you’re insuring multiple vehicles or buying different types of policies from the same insurance company, you’re bound to get a discount.

Accident-Free

Most insurance companies offer up to a 10% discount for a customer who’s been violation-free for the last three years.

Good Student Discount

Teens and students can get up to a 20% discount on their Oregon car insurance quotes. All they have to do is maintain a GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. Drivers under 21 can also qualify for an even higher premium reduction by completing a certified training program.

Defensive Driving Course

It’s not just young drivers who can benefit from a discount. Customers who are 55 or older can complete an accident prevention course that’s approved by the Oregon Division of Motor Vehicles and get substantially lower rates. However, to qualify, older customers cannot have a driver under 25 can be listed on their policy as a regular driver.

Safety Features Discount

This is one of the easiest ways to get cheap Oregon car insurance. Common factory-installed safety mechanisms like anti-lock brakes, airbags, and anti-theft devices can get you lower rates for collision/comprehensive coverage.

Student Away at School

Drivers under 25 can get a discount on car insurance if they go to a university that’s far from the place where the car is garaged. The exact minimum distance varies from 80 to 100 miles depending on the insurance company.

Oregon Car Insurance Laws

Driving in Oregon When You Aren’t a Full-Time Resident

If you are visiting Oregon, you can legally drive with a US or Canadian license. However, if you have moved to the state, you’ll need to get an Oregon driving license within 30 days.

Oregon’s Car Insurance Requirements and Minimums

The following are the Oregon minimum car insurance limits you’ll have to carry on your policy:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident

This coverage pays for the injuries you’ve caused to others in an at-fault accident (it may include other medical-related expenses, too, such as lost wages or burial expenses).

  • Property Damage Liability – $25,000

This covers any damage you caused to another person’s property in an at-fault accident. Most often, that property is their car, but it may also include personal belongings or items like fences and mailboxes.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – $15,000 per person

This coverage pays yours and your passengers’ medical expense regardless of who was at fault.

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (Bodily Injury) – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

This coverage pays the damage you suffered from being hit by a driver without auto insurance.

SR22 Insurance in Oregon

SR22 isn’t a form of insurance but a certificate that an insurer has to fill out and send to the nearest DMV after a severe violation. It shows that your auto insurance policy carries adequate limits. You need an SR22 form after violations like driving under the influence or inflicting bodily injury in an at-fault accident.

Once you enter the program, the government tracks your driving record, and after a certain period, you can switch to regular insurance. Typically, that period is three years in Oregon. Nonetheless, depending on the nature of your violation, the period may vary. It’s always smart to contact the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles for the exact details.

No-Fault Laws and Price Optimization

Oregon uses a combination of no-fault and at-fault insurance, since both PIP and bodily injury liability are mandatory in this state. This keeps car insurance costs in Oregon at a reasonable level.

For the most part, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays the injured party’s expenses. If the damage exceeds the at-fault driver’s limits, you can sue them for the remaining costs. The PIP limit can be used to cover your medical expenses during the first year after an accident. It can also cover lost wages or pay for any services you can’t perform due to injuries.

The Oregon authorities have taken no action against price optimization. This means that automobile insurance companies in Oregon can incorporate non-underwriting factors when determining rates. And according to the report by Insurance Journal, nearly 45% of the largest US insurers use price optimization. Basically, they use software to estimate the maximum amount you’ll pay for car insurance and try to charge you that exact price. That’s why it’s smart to shop around every now and then—and let your insurer know you’re looking at other quotes before committing to a renewal. They’ll offer you their best deal to keep you as a customer.

Tips for Finding the Cheapest Car Insurance in Oregon

Compare Multiple Quotes

Many factors determine the price you’ll see on your auto insurance quote. First, there’s your profile, which includes things such as your experience, age, previous violations, and the model of your car.

Second, insurance companies often have different market strategies. For example, Progressive specializes in high-risk drivers, while Geico prefers safer categories. State Farm is expensive, but it offers the best financial strength together with many perks and optional coverages. While PEMCO’s more affordable, its offer is comparatively basic.

Since so many factors determine your rate, it’s wise to get your car insurance quotes from various Oregon insurers. We would include at least five different companies and add more if we don’t like the results. The whole ordeal shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.

Read Reviews

When you’re making your shortlist of car insurance companies, you’ll want to learn a little about their prices and the quality of their products. However, if you research each company’s website, you’ll find that every auto insurance company in Oregon advertises low prices and superior customer service.

That’s where an unbiased analysis can help. Our expert reviews provide just that. They include price comparisons, customer service ratings, and data on discounts and optional coverages. Furthermore, despite being proud of the quality of our reviews, we always recommend checking other insurance reviews too—even if you prefer a specific insurer. We often found that we generally agreed with other experts, but there are always going to be subtle differences.

Check the Discounts

In Oregon, low-income drivers may find car insurance expensive, but you can always decrease your premium by taking full advantage of the discounts. Start by exploring different companies and shortlisting only those that offer the discounts you qualify for. Afterward, make sure to select all the discounts you’re eligible for. For an online quote, that’s just a couple of clicks. If you communicate with an agent by phone, it may be more complicated, but remind them to list all the available discounts. Often, it’s even worth taking proactive measures—like enrolling in a defensive driving course—to get a higher premium reduction.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What car insurance is required in Oregon?

These are the minimum limits you’ll have to carry on your policy:

  •         Bodily Injury Liability – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  •         Property Damage Liability – $25,000
  •         Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – $15,000 per person
  •         Uninsured Motorist Coverage (Bodily Injury) – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident

2. What happens if you drive without insurance in Oregon?

You’ll need to pay a fine ranging from $130 to $1,000, you’ll have your registration and license suspended, and you’ll need an SR22 certificate for the next three years. Additionally, the authorities may impound your vehicle. In that case, you’ll have to pay all the subsequent fees.

3. Who has the cheapest car insurance Oregon drivers can get?

Progressive is by far the most affordable insurer in Oregon for all age demographics. Other companies offering reasonable premiums are USAA, Geico, and Pemco.

4. How much is car insurance in Portland, Oregon?

The average monthly premium is $261. We based this number on research that included quotes from multiple Oregon insurers for three different age demographics in the state’s biggest city. Our quote was for full coverage, meaning we selected higher liability limits than the minimum. Additionally, we purchased comprehensive and collision car insurance, each with a $500 deductible.

5. Is Oregon a no-fault state for auto insurance?

Yes and no. Oregon has a hybrid system that we would describe as 80% “fault” and 20% “no-fault” insurance. After an accident, it’s always the at-fault driver’s insurance that pays the expenses. However, you can still use the mandatory PIP coverage regardless of fault to pay injury-related outlays up to one year after the accident.

6. How much does it cost to insure a car in Oregon?

Our average price was $244 per month. The kind of car insurance Oregon drivers get isn’t as expensive as in some other states, like Michigan, or even Colorado. Our number is based on multiple quotes for full coverage insurance from the major insurers in Oregon’s five biggest cities.

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