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Auto Insurance Knowledge: Full Tort vs Limited Tort

When deciding on automobile insurance coverage, it is important to know the difference between full tort and limited tort.  These two types of policy are especially crucial to those who have suffered an automobile accident in Pennsylvania.  It is imperative to understand these two coverage options and what each of them entitles you to in the incidence of a collision.  Fellerman & Ciarimboli has had extensive experience dealing with cases involving both full tort and limited tort insurance policies.

The option between limited and full tort became law in Pennsylvania in the late 1980s in an effort to curb rising car insurance rates. A limited tort option is always less expensive than the full tort option, saving one 10 to 15 percent on premiums.  Before this change to the law, all automobile insurance companies provided what is now referred to as full tort.

Full Tort Policies

Full tort policies allow households to receive full compensation for all the damages related to an automobile accident.  This includes:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Damage to Vehicles
  • Pain and Suffering

This policy option provides you with the most potential to receive different compensation related to an accident.

Limited Tort Policies

Limited tort policies do not cover all of the damages that can result from an auto accident.  This essentially entitles policyholders to limited recovery following an accident.  A household with a limited tort policy may receive compensation for monetary damages only. This may include medical bills and out of pocket expenses. Pain and suffering, as well as general damages, are not covered under a limited tort policy. Only serious non-monetary damages can be covered by a limited tort policy. Limited tort policyholders cannot sue for pain and suffering unless they are considered to be suffering serious bodily injury.The four exceptions to the serious bodily injury requirement are:

  • The other driver committed an intentional act that caused the injuries
  • The other driver was operating a vehicle registered in a state other than Pennsylvania or
  • The other driver had no insurance

Full tort insurance means a slightly higher premium in most cases, but the rights to compensation are broad.  With a limited tort policy, many important rights with regards to personal injury compensation are surrendered.  Although premiums may be less costly than full tort policies, limited tort policies may cost more in the long run if someone on the policy experiences a serious automobile accident.

It is important to note that full coverage and full tort are not synonymous terms.  You must specifically make sure you have full tort on your automobile insurance policy.  This full tort policy applies to all the members of your household.  In most cases, the additional money paid at a premium is worth the recovery that a full tort policy entitles you to in the case of an accident.

If you have suffered an automobile accident caused by a third party and need legal help, contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli today.  We can schedule a free consultation in hopes of getting you the personal injury compensation you deserve.  Call us at 570-714-HURT today.

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