You have car insurance questions?
We have answers!

Frequently asked questions:
auto insurance

This is a common question, understandably so: most folks want to feel confident their vehicle is protected when they turn the keys over to someone who doesn’t typically drive it.

The general rule of thumb is that your insurance follows your vehicle, so when you lend your car to that co-worker whose own vehicle has fallen on tough times, or to that relative visiting you from out of town, you're lending your insurance along with it. This means that your policy is the first line of defense should any claims arise from the use of that vehicle. So it's important to ensure you’re comfortable that the person who's borrowing it is responsible.

It's important to discuss less common situations with PEMCO or your agent to ensure you'll be adequately protected, such as when the person borrowing the vehicle is also a member of your household, or when the person will use the car for an extended time.

As a general rule, yes. However, there are nuances that are important to understand.

Your policy will cover you for the occasional use of automobiles you rent in the U.S. and Canada, subject to the coverages you’ve purchased as described on your declarations page. Vehicles other than private passenger cars may receive only some of the coverages, and if a loss occurs the car rental company could levy fees that may not be covered in any case.

If you rent automobiles on a regular basis or are unsure of how coverage applies in your situation, please contact our Customer Service Department to discuss more coverage options.

Read more ...

Move your car to the side of the road, if possible. You'll want to gather details from the other party such as their name, license plate number, and insurance policy information. Next, report the accident to police. Then you'll need to call PEMCO so we can help you with your claim. For more information see the Claims page.

You can use your online account. Once you’ve signed in, you can get all policy details, including your auto ID cards, which you can produce on your home printer.

You also can use the Go PEMCO app (available for Android and iPhone). Electronic ID cards are accepted as proof of insurance in both Washington and Oregon (as well as most other states).

Those states include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We encourage you to add young drivers to your policy as soon as they have a driving permit. PEMCO does not charge for insuring young drivers with a permit. Once the driver has a license, let us know and we'll update the policy with his or her driver's license information. Insuring a young driver can be expensive, but PEMCO offers a Good Student Discount as one way to reduce this cost. The discount also may encourage students to get their homework done!
If you’re a full-time student, a PEMCO customer under 25, and have a GPA of 3.0 or above, then submit your most recent report card or transcript to us. Once approved, you won’t need to send us subsequent report cards. You can send it via email to or mail to PO Box 778, Seattle, WA 98111-0778. Please include your policy number.

It's important to ensure your policies provide the protection you need at the best rate possible.

Students living without a car at least 75 miles from home qualify for PEMCO’s Distant Student Discount, which keeps a student insured under your policy but at a reduced rate, offering a good way to balance cost and protection. Log into your PEMCO online account to update a driver on your policy.

First you'll need to call PEMCO at 1-800-467-3626 to report the accident or damage to your vehicle. We have several options available to make this process simple and easy.

Repairing Your Vehicle - PDF. A responsible driver's guide.

PEMCO's timesaver repair. Find a repair shop with PEMCO's timesaver repair to make the repair process easy for you.

Glass repair. PEMCO has streamlined its glass repair process to make it simple for you. Visit for information on repairing glass.
If your car is a "total loss," then the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds its market value. We'll assign your claim to our total loss team to handle the special process that these claims require. They'll make sure your claim is settled quickly and fairly. If you want to keep your vehicle, we'll walk you through the "retained salvage" process to keep the damaged car. For more information, click here.

Your medical plan may not give you enough protection and may be subject to a large deductible or co-payment. Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) does not have a deductible and covers reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses, including dental, nursing, pharmaceuticals, prescription eyeglasses, and prosthetic devices, related to a covered claim. It also pays for loss of income and essential services that must be performed as a result of the injury. All of those benefits apply to you and your passengers.

PIP is a "no-fault" coverage, meaning it's available whether you caused the accident or not. It applies in addition to the liability coverage that might be available from the driver who caused the accident. PIP covers all occupants of the vehicle, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists hit by the vehicle.

Click here for more information on What PIP Covers and FAQs.

Despite mandatory insurance laws in most states, approximately one in six drivers across the United States may be driving uninsured, according to a recent study from the Insurance Research Council. Underinsured Motorist provides coverage to you and your passengers for bodily injury and property damage caused by an uninsured (a person who does not have insurance) or underinsured motorist (a person who does not have enough coverage to compensate you for your damages).
Yes, you receive a discount on both your home and auto policies if you insure your home and auto with PEMCO. Additional discounts may be available if you also insure your boat or rental property with us.
If you're over age 55 and take an approved defensive driving course, let us know! You can find a list of approved courses for your state here: Washington Oregon.
Vehicles replacing those currently insured on your PEMCO policy, or additional vehicles (if you insure all of your autos with PEMCO), will share the same protections for 30 days. This gives you time to notify us with details. Please review your policy contract for additional information.
Yes, although we'll ask to see photos of the vehicle before we can provide Comprehensive or Collision coverage. Be aware that even a vehicle that appears to be fully repaired will have a reduced value if the title notes there was prior damage.

Common factors that often apply can include:

  • A recent move
    • The general rule is that in busier, more-populous areas, auto rates will be higher than in rural, lower-traffic areas. We also consider the distance typically driven to and from work. If you moved and your commute patterns changed, that could be reflected in your rate change.
  • Recently activity on a driving record
    • Tickets and accidents can impact auto insurance rates, so a new ticket or accident on a driving record could have increased your bill. Typically, such activity stays on a driving record for three years, after which it expires, which can result in lower rates.
  • Adding or removing a vehicle
    • If you have more cars on your policy than the number of drivers, the risk per vehicle is less, since at any given time there may be one or more vehicles sitting at home unused. As a result, adding an extra car might not cost as much as you think! Likewise, if you remove an extra vehicle, there can be additional risk placed on the other cars, raising their rate even while your overall rate drops. Generally you’ll pay a higher premium overall to insure more vehicles, although the cost per vehicle may drop.
  • Change in credit
    • A credit-based insurance score is one factor that influences your rates, so changing your credit habits may contribute to a higher or lower premium.
  • Policy renewal
    • Some changes that could affect rates may happen only at renewal, such as company rate changes, industry changes in how your vehicle’s risk is assessed, and the age of drivers on your policy.

This list is by no means exhaustive. For additional questions, please call us at 1-800-467-3626.

We hand-picked some typical auto insurance questions from Northwest folks like you.
Bite into 'em!