Author Topic: PA (or similar state) Auto: Full Tort vs Limited Tort?  (Read 1522 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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PA (or similar state) Auto: Full Tort vs Limited Tort?
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:10:02 AM »
I am in the process of moving to Pennsylvania and will need to switch auto carriers. One of the unique things I found out about Pennsylvania is they have an option of "Full tort" vs "Limited tort". I'm not sure if other states have something similar but I was wondering what brighter minds than I think about it and if it's worth it. I haven't put in the exact differences for a quote yet, but I believe you can save ~15% by choosing the "limited tort" option rather than the "full tort." A few references for those who are unfamiliar:

From my reading it seems like the "limited" option puts restrictions on how much you can be awarded with in regards to "pain and suffering." It seems a little vague so I wanted to see if anyone else from this forum has any thoughts/experiences. I certainly subscribe to the "insure what you need and self-insure the rest" philosophy, but since I don't fully understand this option, I would like to know what the best option is going forward. Thank you. 


  • Stubble
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Re: PA (or similar state) Auto: Full Tort vs Limited Tort?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 07:42:45 PM »
Your reading is basically correct.  Pain and suffering are damages on top of the more concrete things like lost wages, and the amounts awarded can vary widely.  Could be a modest (1.5-3x) multiple of medical bills, for example.  Very hard to say because it's case-specific.

I chose full tort under the theory that this would likely be something falling under the "large dollar amounts and outside of my control" part of insurance -- it's mostly an option used when you're not at fault, and when the consequences of the accident are pretty serious.  But it's a bit murky, since things like dismemberment let you sue for pain & suffering no matter what.  I don't think you're going to find a really clear answer on this one.

(For reference, I take a fairly MMM view on insurance for the most part;  I have a ridiculously high deductible combined with a rather large umbrella liability policy:  I'm happy self-insuring for things in the low thousands or tens of thousands, but want to protect my 'stache in the event that someone sues me for a million bucks.)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: PA (or similar state) Auto: Full Tort vs Limited Tort?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 10:57:07 PM »
I chose limited tort.  I don't need money for pain and suffering.  Under the theory that everyone gets that unpaid with life now and then, anyway.  J/K.  For me the choice was based on math and statistics.

I've been living in PA for about 10 years now, and I estimate we've saved about $1800.00 in premiums going with limited tort.  I've been involved in two accidents (not at fault for either!) since moving to PA, and I would not have made any pain/suffering claim even if I had full tort since I walked away totally fine in both cases.  Statistically speaking, if you are involved in an accident, you are more likely to be fine than injured.  I can't find more current stats, but in 2015 there were 6.3M car accidents in the US, and 4.5M were property damage only accidents (no injuries or deaths).