YOU ASK:

Shall I buy full tort or limited tort auto insurance?

WE ANSWER:

Whether to go for the full tort or the limited tort option is completely up to you. If the limited tort alternative exists in your state, it can considerably lower your auto insurance premiums. However, remember that by opting for limited tort auto insurance, you waive your right to sue the other motorist and receive compensation for your pain and suffering if you sustain bodily injuries as a result of an accident.

Characteristics of Limited Tort Auto Insurance

In some states, such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you can get a significant discount on your auto insurance premiums (roughly 15% off) in exchange for giving up the right to sue a negligent driver for any injuries and inconveniences that you might suffer as a result of an accident.

This does not mean that you won't be indemnified for your material losses if you happen to be the victim of an accident - the at-fault driver's liability auto coverage and your own auto insurance will cover your medical expenses and the damages to your car. However, you might feel that you have not been adequately compensated for your suffering and might wish to file a liability claim in court against the other motorist. The bad news is that you cannot do this if you have selected the limited tort option.

There are, however, a number of circumstances in which you can file a claim, even though you have selected the limited tort option:

  • If you have suffered a severe injury or permanent disability.
  • If the at-fault motorist is convicted of DUI driving.
  • If the other motorist drives an out-of-state vehicle.
  • If at the time of the accident you were behind the wheel of a vehicle used for business purposes.

Why Buy Full Tort

If you pick the full tort option, you retain the right to sue a negligent driver for your pain and suffering resulting from a car accident. You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist and be completely reimbursed for your injuries, regardless of whether they are serious or not. As a result, you can win thousands of dollars in compensation.

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