Full Tort versus Limited Tort Coverage- What is best for you?

Pennsylvania drivers must select either "full tort" or "limited tort" automobile insurance coverage. If you select the "full tort option", you and members of your household have the absolute legal right to make a claim for compensation as a result of a vehicular accident that results in injury. Full tort households have the full and complete right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent injuries, scarring, and spousal loss of consortium.

On the other hand, if you select the "limited tort option", you and members of your family are giving up certain constitutional rights to pursue recovery, even though the other driver was fully responsible for causing the accident. Under this form of insurance, you and other household members covered under the policy may seek recovery for all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses, but not for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages unless the injuries sustained fall into on of the following categories:
  1. Serious Injury - Personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment or body function or permanent serious disfigurement.
  2. If the other driver is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or accepts an ARD program.
  3. If the other driver committed an intentional act which caused your injuries
  4. If the other driver was operating a vehicle registered in another state
  5. If the other driver has no insurance

Although the "limited tort option" provides for cheaper insurance premiums, the minimal cost difference must be weighed against the significant legal rights you will be losing. In addition, the person purchasing the insurance must realize that by selecting "limited tort", it not only applies to the person purchasing the insurance, but also to all members of the household. As a result, a minor child riding in a neighbor's vehicle is deemed to have limited tort if that vehicle is involved in an accident.

For full and complete coverage, the "full tort option" is the best choice for your family.