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Limited Tort vs. Full Tort Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, automobile insurance is offered in two basic types: "Full Tort" or "Limited Tort."

The Full Tort option provides you and members of your household with the ability to make a claim for compensation as a result of a car accident that results in injury. Further, with Full Tort, you can make claims for compensation to recover for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent injuries, scarring, and loss of consortium.

On the other hand, if you select the Limted Tort option, you and the members of your household surrender certain rights, to include the ability to seek money for your pain and suffering, even where the other driver caused the accident. Your right to make a claim is limited to seeking recovery for all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses. However, you cannot seek to recover for your pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages, unless the injuries sustained fall into on of the following categories:

Serious Injury - Personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of a body function or permanent disfigurement.

If the other driver is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or accepts an ARD program.

If the other driver committed an intentional act which caused your injuries

If the other driver was operating a vehicle registered in another state

If the other driver has no insurance

Although the Limited Tort Option provides for supposedly cheaper insurance premiums, the tiny savings must be weighed against the significant legal rights you will be voluntarily giving up. Also, if you are the one who handles the automobile insurance in your household, know that by selecting Limited Tort, you are giving up extremely important rights for the members of the household. As a result, your minor child riding in a friend's car will have limited tort if that vehicle is involved in an accident.

The attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford care about you and your family members. For our clients and friends, we insist upon full and complete coverage. Don't be fooled by the word "option." The option you should select is Full Tort.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

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