Oregon Legislature Passes Significant Changes to PIP and UM/UIM Laws

Oregon Legislature Passes Significant Changes to PIP and UM/UIM Laws

On March 12, 2015, Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate Bill 411 which makes substantial changes Oregon’s personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) statutes.  The new law becomes effective on January 1, 2016.

The new law amends the PIP statute to enables a policyholder to apply PIP benefits to any damages-not just economic damages-before the insurer is able to recover expenses.  This change ensures that the policyholder is fully compensated before the insurer is able to assert any subrogation or lien rights.  Another major amendment to the PIP law is that coverage must be made available for two years from the date of the underlying accident, as opposed to one year as the prior law required.  The amended UM/UIM law permits policyholders to “stack” UM/UIM policy benefits on top of the at-fault driver’s liability policy limits.  Under the prior law, insurers were permitted to include “anti-stacking” provisions that limited an insured’s recovery to the policy’s UM/UIM limits.

The attorneys at Maloney Lauersdorf Reiner are monitoring each bill closely and will provide periodic updates on each as they make their way through the legislative assembly.  If you have any questions regarding the proposed bills, please feel free to contact us.

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