No one wants to be in a traffic accident, and what gives most people peace of mind when they and their loved ones get into the car is that they have insurance to cover the cost of damages or injury if there is one. Auto insurance is a two-way street, providing coverage for damages or injury in an accident, but also liability coverage against injury or damages to another driver if the insured party is at fault.
When considering auto insurance coverage, Pennsylvania drivers should be aware of the kinds of policies that are available to them, and what exactly are the limits of only partial coverage if they get into an automobile accident.
For residents of Scranton and throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, it is important to have a committed legal resource that knows how insurance companies work and will go head-to-head with them to make sure that you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve.
What a tort is
The term “tort” has been used for hundreds of years in legal circles to mean a wrong committed by one person against another. A tort in the legal sense refers to the consequences of doing something illegal that causes injury or damage to another.
In the insurance industry, the award of a claim settlement for damages caused by another’s illegal actions forms one of two fundamental purposes for automobile insurance. Protection against liability if the insured caused injury to another is the other.
Full Tort versus Limited Tort
Pennsylvania law requires automobile insurers to provide the options of partial or full coverage for drivers when they are preparing car insurance policies. Both options provide coverage for the driver and family members living in the same household.
Many people see only as far as the sticker price when choosing between the Limited Tort or Full Tort policies. The partial coverage option is less money upfront, providing about a 15% savings over full coverage, but it does not cover pain and suffering.
If the driver could also choose the kind of accident he wanted to have, such as a minor accident, fender bender or minor case of whiplash, partial coverage would be ideal. But what if the accident involved serious injuries, an ambulance trip to the hospital, extensive rehabilitation and lost income?
With Limited Tort, the injured party can only sue the at-fault driver for what that driver’s insurance can pay. If the other driver has adequate insurance, upfront medical bills may be paid, but the injured party with limited coverage cannot sue a year later for life-changing consequences to a serious accident. When viewed this way, that 15% discount may not seem worth it.