What is Tort?
Tort is often a confusing coverage option to insureds so I wanted to take a moment to explain the coverage.
It is a coverage that varies state to state due to it being based on specific laws in each state.
In Pennsylvania you have two options to choose from, full or limited. I often have customer confuse the term “full coverage” with full tort(see blog article misleading term “full coverage” for details).
Full tort give the insured person the ability to seek both economic and non-economic compensation for a covered loss. Non-economic compensation is often referred to as pain and suffering which you are able to sue for if you have the full tort option on your auto policy. So if you are involved in an accident and are experiencing pain and suffering as a result you are legally able to sue the other party and receive monetary compensation.
Limited tort does not completely limited your rights to sue. You may always seek compensation for any economic loss such as medical bills or lost wages due to bodily injury in a covered loss. With limited tort there are still a few scenarios where you can seek compensation for non-economic losses.
• Serious injury(scaring, loss of limb or function, fracture of bone, etc)
• The negligent party is convicted or accepts ARD for DUI
• The negligent party is operating a vehicle registered in another state
• The negligent party has been found to attempt to injure him or herself
• The negligent party is in the business or, making repairs to, or servicing a motor vehicle
• The insured person is occupying a vehicle which is not a private passenger vehicle(commercial transportation)
In review, full tort does provide additional protection but you do pay a premium for it. It is an important option to understand and review with your insurance agent to see what amount of risk you would like to take on.