There have been changes made to the laws of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) this year for the state of Oregon.
1) PIP’s time period moves from one year to two, but the baseline $15,000 limit is unchanged. This means that if you were involved in an auto accident, you know have two years to seek treatment that is covered by your PIP benefits.
2) PIP reimbursement (typically handled between the insurance companies involved in your crash) will become far more difficult for the insurers.
3) Underinsured motorist (UIM) limits will now “stack,” or sit on top of liability limits. Under the current system, if you have $100,000 UIM limits and the at-fault policy only has $50,000, you only actually have a further $50,000 beyond the at-fault policy. Under the new rules, you can claim the full, stated UIM limit (i.e. from the previous example, you can get $50,000 from at-fault, then a further $100,000 from your own policies).
4) The changes are NOT retroactive. You will have to have an Oregon auto policy issued or renewed in 2016 in order to take advantage of the new rules, and your injury must occur under the new coverage language.
5) Policies will NOT auto-renew. That means there will be a lot of people who “fall into the gap,” e.g. get in a crash in March before their policy renews in May with the new rules.
6) So you should call your agents ASAP to ask about having your policy re-issue as soon as possible in the new year. The only significant implication may involve “grandfathered” umbrella policies. If you hold umbrella coverage, make the insurer confirm in writing that it will still be in place if the policy is reissued