What's New in Oregon
We try to stay in touch with the latest insurance related developments happening in Oregon. What happens in Salem can affect all of us from the price of gasoline to how much it will cost to drive on our freeways. Insurance related laws and orders are considered and passed constantly that will affect how much you or your insurance company will pay and the limit you will receive after an accident. The companies are constantly inventing ways adjust how they charge based on the analysis of data they collect on you, your car and all drivers. We just want you to be informed so you can make the right decision.

I had fun researching this one. Honestly, I knew nothing about electric or hybrid cars until recently when my daughter bought a Tesla. She still hasn’t taken me for a ride in it yet. I got to sit in it for a minute. She showed me all the cool features. Still, I didn’t know how it worked.

The horror stories of electric cars spontaneously bursting into flames and burning down houses with people asleep inside kept me from investigating them further. A customer asked me the other day—hence the reason for this article—which was cheaper, a regular gas car or electric. I didn’t know the answer. So, we looked online for vehicle identification numbers of various electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models to compare the prices.

The car manufacturers made it challenging to compare a model within a single brand. I expected every car manufacturer to have one model made in all four platforms. Boy, was I wrong. Maybe one car company made a gas and hybrid option, but not all four.

For this customer, the price varied from $700 to $1,500 for six months, depending on the model and the insurance company. We noticed that power platform didn’t matter. The electric vehicles varied from $800 to $1,500. The hybrids (no plug-in) were like the plug-in models in price, maybe a little lower. Gas or diesel cars were all over the board, depending on safety features. Some were as low as $600, others $1,500. Your insurance costs might be higher or lower depending on your driving record and credit history.

What did we conclude? Shop around. Before you buy, give your agent a bunch of VIN numbers to research which one will be the cheapest for you. Don’t settle on the first one the salesperson shows you. We were both amazed at how much the price varied in all four platforms. Of course, the price of the car, number of seats, and the country of origin all influenced the cost of the insurance. Perhaps the insurance companies factor in the availability of parts. Most of the vehicles we quoted were in the $30,000 to $50,000 price range.

Final note. I now know that there are a ton of safe options out there along the vehicle power plant spectrum. The dangerous, exploding electric cars are rare, and enough time has passed for the manufacturers to solve most problems. My research persuaded me toward the plug-in hybrid. That way, if your battery runs out of charge, your vehicle can run on fuel until it gets recharged by the energy produced by the car, or you can plug it in. Some PHEV’s claim they can go as far as 700 miles on a single fill of a 12-gallon tank and a charge with 70% less toxic emissions. I reached this conclusion because I do little city driving. My driving includes longer road trips. My 15-gallon tank can go barely 380 miles on the freeway. A hybrid might be better for you if you drive in heavy city traffic. These indeed are exciting times.