DCBS Media Release
June 30, 2004
Returning soldiers shouldn't face auto insurance penalty
SALEM – Oregon Insurance Administrator Joel Ario has reminded auto insurers that state law prohibits them from denying coverage or charging higher rates solely because a driver's prior policy lapsed.
Ario sent a letter to property and casualty insurance companies doing business in Oregon after receiving information that some insurers in other states are denying reinstatement, refusing to insure, or raising premiums for members of the Armed Forces who are returning from active service.
"Continuous coverage can be a legitimate consideration for underwriting automobile insurance," Ario said, explaining that a break in coverage often is a sign a driver's license has been revoked.
"Many service people, however, simply stored their cars and let their policies lapse while they were overseas," he said. "They shouldn't be penalized for serving their country."
Ario said he hasn't heard from any Oregon service members who have had problems reinstating auto insurance policies after returning from active duty. He said service members experiencing insurance problems should contact the Insurance Division at 888-877-4894 (toll-free in Oregon) or 503-947-7984.