Limited Tort - Never A Good Choice!!

By Joyce Novotny-Prettiman, Esq.

In these challenging economic times, we are all forced to examine the household budget. But when it comes to your car insurance, be careful to examine all your options.

Options outlined in past articles, approximately one-half of Pennsylvania vehicle owners have opted out of full tort coverage and elected limited tort. While the limited tort option offers savings, you need to be aware of the significant impact this choice has on you and your family's legal rights.

Unfortunately, many people learn after an auto accident, when it is too late, that their choice of limited tort eliminates the ability to receive compensation for injuries and inconvenience. You can't really understand the impact of this decision until you are the one who has been injured and your life has been turned upside down through no fault of your own. You must select full tort or you lose important legal rights.

We cannot emphasize enough that limited tort is a bad option.

You may read this and think that this advice is all well and good, but money is tight. In that case, here are some options you can investigate:

  • Shop around – compare rates with different companies
  • Ask about a multipolicy discount – many companies will give customers a discount when they purchase both auto and homeowners insurance
  • Ask about other discounts – if your car is equipped with safety features or anti-theft devices, many companies will offer a discount on your auto insurance
  • Ask about payment options – beware of extra "service charges" if you are extending your premium payments
  • Duplicate coverage – if you have a good private health insurance plan with low copays and deductibles, you may not need to purchase more than the minimum medical benefits of $5,000
  • Collision coverage – may not make sense for older cars
  • Ask about higher deductibles – increasing deductibles should reduce premiums

Most insurance agents are willing to work with you and to make suggestions that enable you to afford a policy that provides you with the full tort option.

Hopefully, you will never be faced with the task of sorting out your legal rights after an accident. Keeping full tort is the only way to be sure that your family will avoid the terrible realization that you have lost important legal rights by opting for limited tort.

As always, at Quatrini Rafferty, we are happy to review your auto insurance policy so that we can help explain your options. Please call attorney Dennis Rafferty or attorney Joyce Novotny-Prettiman for answers to questions about your policy or any other questions about a personal injury matter.

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