If you’re in the market for auto insurance, you’ll need to make some important decisions regarding your coverages. While most folks have at least a general understanding of basic coverages such as liability, collision, comprehensive and medical, one area that often causes eyes to glaze over is the concept of tort – specifically, vehicle owners aren’t sure whether to select full or limited tort coverage.
The term “tort” refers to the extent to which an injured party has the right to sue for damages caused by an at-fault or negligent party. Under Pennsylvania insurance law, insurance companies must offer all prospective policyholders a choice between limited and full tort.
What Is Limited Tort?
If you elect to carry limited tort coverage, it means you can only recover auto accident-related costs for your out-of-pocket medical bills, lost wages and other actual financial damages. You limit your right to sue an at-fault or negligent driver for pain and suffering or punitive damages. In other words, those personal injury lawyers you see advertising their services on TV probably won’t be able to help you!
Exceptions occur in situations where the injuries you sustain in the accident are deemed “serious”. The definition of a serious injury is not always cut-and-dried – a typical example is an injury that is classified as life-threatening. Beyond that, the waters get a bit murkier.
What Is Full Tort?
If you select full tort, on the other hand, you have a virtually unlimited right to sue a negligent party. In addition to recovering out-of-pocket costs, you can also pursue damages for pain and suffering. Full-tort coverage can be a godsend if you suffer severe injuries that negatively impact your quality of life. In many cases, complications from an accident may not arise for several weeks, months or even years. Full-tort coverage can prevent you from being stuck with future expenses resulting from an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Which Costs More: Full or Limited Tort?
As you might expect, carrying full tort will result in a higher auto insurance premium – after all, you are getting the benefit of more coverage. Electing limited tort will save you approximately 15 percent. However, many policyholders choose full tort to get the peace of mind of knowing they’re fully protected in the event of a life-changing injury.
Contact Reisinger Insurance Agency, Inc. to Explore Your Tort Options
If you live in Perry, Cumberland or Dauphin County, Reisinger Insurance Agency, Inc. has the experience and expertise to help you decide whether full or limited tort coverage is the better option for you and your family. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a no-obligation auto insurance policy review today.