Personal injury lawyers in Pennsylvania know too well that their clients get shortchanged when purchasing car insurance coverage, whether directly from an insurance company (ie: Progressive or GEICO), or from an agent. The difference between full tort and limited tort is rarely if ever explained, nor is uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage.
Full tort coverage means that you and your family members have unlimited access to the court system to seek compensation for personal injuries from a car wreck.
Limited tort means that for a lower premium, usually about $100-$200 less per year, you and your family members have a very limited access to the court system if you are claiming compensation for personal injuries following a car wreck.
In real terms, if a person who has purchased limited tort coverage does not have debilitating and disabling injuries, e.g; broken bones requiring surgical repair, herniated disks in the spine requiring surgical repair, then they have no claim. There are very few exceptions to limited tort coverage. Full tort coverage is not limiting at all. Full tort coverage is the better coverage, hands down, and should be the only choice when purchasing auto insurance in Pennsylvania. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your family in the event you or your family members are injured in a car wreck by an “uninsured motorist.” Underinsured motorist protects you and your family in the event you are injured in a car accident by a driver who did not have enough insurance to pay for your injuries. Full tort, UM and UIM are absolutely necessary.
I felt it was so important that my clients understood the value of these coverages that I wrote a book on the subject called Purchasing Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania. You can purchase it at Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, or you can get it from my office for free.
Maybe you’ve seen the Progressive television commercial depicting a Progressive insured going into a Progressive store (they do not exist because Progressive sells its coverage online) gleefully surprised that his insurance company is quickly paying for the damage to his car after an accident and also providing the insured a rental car.
“It’s all part of the price” the Progressive employee says. No kidding! That’s what you pay for when you buy insurance coverage. I don’t mean to single out Progressive. State Farm is not there, despite their ad that says “State Farm is there.” We all recognize the jingle. That’s just effective advertising. State Farm will make it extremely difficult on you if you have an auto claim. And if you’re insured by Allstate you are not necessarily in good hands.