Even if you were not at fault, most people involved in a serious car crash find that they need to access their own insurance coverage. But most of us are not very familiar with our car insurance policy.

Here’s what to do.

What to look for in your car insurance policy

In your car insurance policy, look for the “Policy Declarations” page.

This is a summary of your policy, including:

  • Policy number and dates;
  • Types of coverage;
  • Deductibles; and
  • Policy coverage amounts.

Most insurance carriers provide a condensed version of your policy online, similar to the Policy Declarations page.

The Policy Declarations page is the quickest way to understand your benefits after a collision.

Look for Personal Injury Protection, Collision Coverage, and Liability Coverage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) 

PIP pays for initial medical expenses, wage loss, and other costs.

This coverage is mandatory in Oregon insurance policies, but not in Washington.


Car Insurance Policy PIP Coverage Section


If you have PIP—or Medical Payments coverage—you will want to give this information to your doctors and medical providers.

PIP may also cover wage loss, household assistance, and other expenses.

Note that there may be a separate insurance adjuster for PIP.  You can confirm your benefits with the PIP adjuster, and ask what type of documentation you need to provide to access your benefits.


Collision Coverage

This policy add-on covers your property damage: it may be the fastest way to have your vehicle repaired or replaced after a crash.

Find Collision coverage in car insurance policy

If the other driver was at fault, your insurance will likely seek reimbursement from the adverse driver’s insurance company for these costs.

You will be responsible for your deductible.

Liability Coverage

Washington and Oregon require all drivers to have a minimum auto insurance policy with $25,000 in coverage for death or injury to another person, and $50,000 in coverage total.

But, if the driver that caused the crash is uninsured, or their insurance doesn’t cover all of the costs and damages, then you may need to rely on your own Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM).



This is some basic information, which is not intended to provide you with any legal advice or opinions. You should annually talk with your insurance broker to review your coverage and make any necessary adjustments to your policy.


Making a claim on your car insurance policy?

Organizing information for car crash insurance claim


There are a few simple things you can do to help make the insurance claims process easier.

See Tips on managing car accident insurance claims


This information is not intended to provide legal advice or legal opinions; it is general information and may not apply to claims outside of Washington, Oregon, or to your claim. Questions? Contact Coluccio Law for a free consultation.