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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Full tort vs. limited tort: what's the difference?

Full tort and limited tort refer to one's ability to sue for pain and suffering damages after a car crash in Pennsylvania. Limited tort coverage provides less ability to sue for damages sustained in a collision. Limited tort is often more affordable than full tort insurance. Let’s explore the pros and cons of full tort and limited tort coverages in detail.


Full tort vs. limited tort in Pennsylvania: explained

Full tort and limited tort coverage options were created to reduce the number of liability payouts made by car insurance companies. Prior to full and limited tort options, Pennsylvania residents could sue for pain and suffering no matter the amount of damage suffered. This drove up car insurance premiums and overwhelmed the state's small claims courts. Pennsylvania's legislators and insurance industry responded by creating personal injury protection and tort insurance options.

Personal injury protection (PIP) covers drivers' medical bills, regardless of fault. This option is intended to reduce the number of pain and suffering lawsuits sent to small claims court. In addition to PIP, Pennsylvania car insurance policies also allow drivers to sue for damages through full and limited tort coverages.


What is full tort insurance in Pennsylvania?

Full tort coverage allows a driver to sue for pain and suffering after a not-at-fault accident, regardless of the severity. The driver does not need to prove pain and suffering passed a certain threshold. Full tort insurance allows drivers to file a lawsuit claiming inconvenience and ongoing pain.

Full tort insurance is more expensive than limited tort coverage.


What is limited tort insurance?

Limited tort allows a driver to recover solely actual monetary losses after an accident: out-of-pocket medical costs, wage losses, property damage, or other related expenditures. Limited tort restricts drivers from pursuing further claims (lawsuits for pain and suffering, for instance). It's difficult to recoup money for damages using limited tort coverage unless the accident resulted in death or serious injury.

Limited tort is usually much cheaper than full tort.


Which is right for you: full or limited tort?

This decision depends on your risk tolerance. If you choose limited tort, understand your options in the event of a not-at-fault accident. Although limited tort offers cheaper monthly car insurance premiums, you cede certain rights. Make sure you review each option carefully and understand the specifics of the policy you choose.

If you’re interested to see price comparisons of full tort and limited tort by car insurance company, enter your Pennsylvania zip code below!



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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.