When you’re choosing an auto insurance policy, there are many different options to keep straight. Most states require a minimum amount of liability insurance for drivers, but the exact amount varies from state to state. Once you add Pennsylvania’s “limited tort” and “full tort” policies into the mix, it can feel daunting to choose a plan that balances inclusive coverage and affordability. Post-accident is not the time to figure out that your policy doesn’t have your back!
Keep reading to learn more about the key differences between limited and full tort policies. An auto insurance rate comparison from CoverHound can help you find your desired level of coverage without breaking the bank no matter which state you call home.
Pennsylvania is a “choice no fault” state when it comes to auto insurance, meaning that drivers are responsible for having personal injury protection (PIP). No matter who is at fault for the accident, compensation for an individual’s injuries generally comes from their own PIP policy, up to the limit.
The idea behind the PIP principle was to cut down on lawsuits related to car accidents. In many cases, insurance companies cover the injuries for their own insured party and that’s that. The idea was that less arguing over who’s at fault would end up keeping premiums lower across the board. However, drivers must make a further choice beyond the standard PIP requirements that affects how their case can or cannot proceed.
Full Tort Coverage
To put it simply, full tort insurance allows the victim of an automobile accident to sue for pain and suffering. According to the law offices of Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, with full tort electors, “there’s no question that they have full rights. No exclusions. No exceptions. No wiggling.” These cases will still go to court, but their validity is not dependent on whether the injury is serious enough to qualify as a case.
Full tort coverage tends to require higher monthly premiums, but can earn policyholders compensation for injuries sustained in an automobile accident for which they were not at fault.
Limited Tort Coverage
Limited tort coverage means that policyholders sacrifice their right to make pain and suffering claims in the event of an automobile accident unless their injury is deemed “serious.” Determining whether an injury is serious enough to qualify is a notorious gray area, since the stipulations are vague and left up to case-by-case interpretation. A serious injury includes death, deformity, or impairment of body function.
Some drivers opt for limited tort coverage because it’s cheaper. Monthly premiums can be around 15 percent lower than full tort coverage. However, one unfortunate accident under a limited tort policy can rack up medical bills that far exceed the total of the monthly savings up until that point if the policyholder is not able to sue for pain and suffering from injuries.
The time to carefully weigh the best insurance options for your lifestyle and choose a policy that protects your assets is well before an accident occurs. An auto insurance rate comparison through CoverHound can help you explore all the options on the table.