Does Car Insurance in Oregon follow the car or the driver?

A friend asks to borrow your car while they are in town.  Is it a safe idea to do so? Maybe. 

In Oregon, Car insurance typically follows the car rather than the driver. This means that the insurance coverage primarily applies to the vehicle itself, regardless of who is driving it. As long as the policy is active and the driver has permission to use the vehicle, the insurance should provide coverage for any accidents or incidents involving that car. However, it’s important to note that there can be exceptions and variations depending on the specific terms and conditions of the insurance policy and the laws in the jurisdiction where the incident occurs. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to review your insurance policy.  The team at EPB&B  will  work with you to help you to understand the extent of coverage and any limitations to your auto policy.

Here are some examples of common scenarios to consider before loaning your car or driving another person’s vehicle.  

  1. Permissive use: Many car insurance policies provide coverage for you when you drive someone else’s car with their permission. This coverage (on your own policy) is typically secondary to the primary coverage provided by the car owner’s insurance. So if the car owner’s insurance limits are exhausted, your insurance may kick in to cover additional damages, up to your policy limits.
  2.  Exclusions: Some insurance policies exclude coverage when you’re driving a vehicle you don’t own. In such cases, if you’re involved in an accident while driving another person’s car, you may not be covered by your insurance policy.
  3. Business or commercial use: If you’re driving another person’s car for business or commercial purposes, your personal car insurance policy may not cover you. You would typically need commercial auto insurance for such activities. This normally only applies to jobs involving “delivery” or carrying people or products for a fee.
  4. Rental cars: Car rental companies often offer insurance options when you rent a car. If you decline these options and rely on your personal car insurance, it may or may not provide coverage when there are certain kinds of loss. For example, most personal auto policies do not cover potential diminished value following an accident. We always advise customers to purchase insurance from the rental car insurance at the time you rent.

Navigating auto insurance can be confusing and it helps to have a trusted advisor by your side. Contact the team at EPB&B to make sure your auto policy is current and has the coverages you need to protect you, your vehicle and the people you care about. 


EPB&B gives a gift to Stone Soup in recognition of their fifth anniversary

As a Portland based insurance agency, one of our core values is giving back to the local area non profits that provide help and hope to those in need in our Portland Community. Stone Soup is one of the organizations we have been proud to support since their inception five years ago. This week we were honored to be a part of their Celebrating Five Years of Portland Good and Good for Portland in recognition of providing five years of workforce development & hands-on culinary expertise to people at risk of houselessness. Guests of the event got to sample items off their new catering menu while learning about some of the exciting new changes in their culinary program in the year ahead. And of course, never one to arrive empty handed, the team at EPB&B brought along a gift of $5,000 in appreciation for all that Stone Soup does for our community.

Stone Soup empowers individuals to feed communities.  Stone Soup trains in workforce development and hands on culinary expertise for people who might otherwise be facing homelessness. Their participants learn the skills necessary to obtain gainful employment by making tasty, healthy and fresh meals for shelter guests, all within a trauma-informed environment.  Their work has expanded over the past five years to include a retail soup line, catering services, and community meals for local county and private shelters, day centers, and schools. 

Congratulations to Stone Soup and looking forward to the next five years!


Car theft is on the rise; Five ways to protect your vehicle.

Auto thefts continue to be on the rise.  According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), 2023 was a record breaking year for auto thefts across the country, with Oregon ranking ninth with an auto theft rate of 394 per 100,000.  Criminals are using more advanced technology to find weaknesses allowing them to bypass even the most modern security systems.  While the NICB is continually working with State and national law enforcement to curb auto thefts, there are precautions vehicle owners can take to lower the chances of being a victim of auto theft. 

Here are five ways individuals can protect their cars:

  • Install an Alarm System: Despite more sophisticated criminal technology, a  car alarm is still one of the most effective deterrents against theft. Modern alarm systems come with various features such as motion sensors, sirens, and even remote notification to your phone if there’s a breach. Ensuring that your alarm is prominently displayed can deter potential thieves.
  • Use Steering Wheel Locks or Wheel Clamps: Steering wheel locks and wheel clamps are physical barriers that make it difficult for thieves to drive or tow away your vehicle. These devices are highly visible and act as a strong visual deterrent. Thieves are less likely to target a car with such obstacles in place.
  • Park in Well-Lit Areas: Parking your car in well-lit areas, especially at night, reduces the likelihood of theft. Thieves prefer dimly lit places where they can work undisturbed. Parking under streetlights or in monitored parking lots can make your car less attractive to thieves.
  • Install a GPS Tracking System: GPS tracking systems allow you to monitor your vehicle’s location in real-time. If your car is stolen, you can track its movements and quickly inform law enforcement, increasing the chances of recovery. Some advanced systems even allow you to remotely disable the engine, immobilizing the vehicle until authorities arrive.
  • Hide Valuables Out Of Sight :  If you must leave something of worth in your car, keep them out of sight where they will not tempt a thief; A trunk or a locked glove box for example.  Even items that may not be valuable but could catch the eye of a criminal should be tucked away.

By implementing these measures, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of car theft and protect their vehicles from unauthorized access.

If your vehicle is stolen, call law enforcement and your insurer immediately because reporting a vehicle as soon as possible after it is stolen increases the chance of recovery.  Proper auto insurance can help protect you from costs related to car theft as well as other types of auto incidents such as  accidents, damage and injuries.  Contact the team at EPB&B insurance today  to review your auto insurance  policy


Eight things to consider before purchasing a vacation property

Purchasing a vacation home is an exciting endeavor.  Whether you are looking for a tropical escape from the dark Portland winters, craving the bustle of a big metropolitan city or looking to add to your investment portfolio, purchasing a vacation home  requires careful consideration and having the right insurance coverage  is an important part of the process. 

Take the time to weigh the  pros and cons  of making a vacation home purchase. Here are eight important things to consider before making the decision to buy a vacation home:

  • Location, Location, Location: The location of your vacation home is crucial. Consider factors such as proximity to attractions, amenities, accessibility, and the overall appeal of the area. Research the neighborhood’s safety, weather patterns, and local regulations regarding vacation rentals.
  • Usage and Rental Potential: Determine how often you’ll use the vacation home and whether you plan to rent it out when you’re not using it. Assess the rental market demand in the area and the potential rental income. Keep in mind the seasonality of tourism in the region.  Make sure you have the appropriate Landlord insurance policy in place before placing it up for rent. 
  • Financial Considerations: Evaluate your budget carefully. Factor in not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and possibly management fees if you’re renting it out. Also, consider financing options, interest rates, and taxes applicable to vacation homes.
  • Maintenance and Management: Owning a vacation home requires regular maintenance, whether you’re using it frequently or renting it out. Consider how you’ll handle upkeep tasks, such as cleaning, repairs, landscaping, and any necessary renovations. You may also need to hire a property manager or engage maintenance services if you’re not local.
  • Long-Term Investment Potential: Assess the long-term investment potential of the property. Look at historical property value trends in the area, as well as any planned developments or infrastructure projects that could affect property values. A vacation home can be a valuable asset, but it’s essential to consider its potential for appreciation over time.
  • Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Familiarize yourself with local zoning laws, homeowner association (HOA) regulations, rental restrictions, and tax implications specific to vacation homes. Some areas may have restrictions on short-term rentals or additional taxes for non-primary residences.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for your vacation home. Depending on factors such as location, property type, and usage (personal use vs. rental), you may need specialized insurance policies such as vacation rental insurance, flood insurance, or hurricane insurance.
  • Exit Strategy: Have a clear exit strategy in place. Consider how long you plan to own the vacation home and what circumstances might prompt you to sell it. Be aware of the current real estate market conditions and potential resale value of the property.

Contact the team of professional at EPB&B Insurance as part of your home buying process .  Having the right insurance in place is critical and with many insurance products to choose from, we can help find the right insurance for your new home.