Full tort vs. limited tort: What’s the difference?

car accident

Full tort and limited tort car insurance coverage is important to understand if you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky because they are no-fault states. In no-fault states, regardless of who is at fault in an accident, each driver's insurance company pays for their own expenses relating to the accident.

The difference between full tort and limited tort revolves around the ability to sue someone for the pain and suffering you endure as the result of an accident. Although limited tort is the cheaper option, the coverage policy offers you less ability to sue for damages after a collision. Below we have outlined the advantages and disadvantages of limited tort and full tort.

What is full tort?

If you aren’t at fault in the accident, full tort allows you to sue for the recovery of medical expenses and additional damages like pain and suffering that resulted from the collision.

Regardless of the severity, if you have full tort insurance as the driver, you don’t need to show proof of pain and suffering to file a lawsuit. Because you’re able to get more money back for medical expenses in the case of an accident with tort, it’s more expensive to obtain.

What is limited tort?

Although limited tort is cheaper, it doesn’t offer you all the benefits when compared to full tort. Limited tort only allows you to recover the out of pocket medical bills, wage losses, and property damage.

Limited tort restricts drivers from filing further lawsuits if you are injured in the accident. There is a limited exception where a consumer with limited tort can claim for pain and suffering when the accident is considered “serious.” Different car insurance companies have different defined terms for “serious,” but it’s usually defined as death, significant deformity or impairment.

Should I get full tort or limited tort?

Deciding between full tort and limited tort is a personal decision that depends on your monthly budget, your family, and if you would ever sue another driver if the accident was not your fault.

By selecting limited tort, you’re limiting yourself in the case of an accident where you’re injured. By purchasing full tort for a little extra each month, no matter the extent of the injury that resulted from an accident, you can sue for pain and suffering.

If you’re unsure what’s best for your situation, it may be a good idea to chat with an agent or licensed insurance expert. Make sure to review the differences between limited tort and full tort carefully with your insurance provider and choose the policy that best fits you and your needs.

If you live in a no-fault state, be sure to see which companies other drivers have rated as the best auto insurance in your area.


The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

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