What Tort Options Mean To Your Car Insurance Policy
What exactly are tort options? As you choose your auto liability insurance you will be asked what tort options you prefer. There are two such options that affect your policy: Limited Tort and Full Tort. Choosing a tort option will affect all car insurance quotes.
Limited Tort provides a premium reduction; however, you give up your right to make a claim for pain and suffering in the event of an accident, except in the case of serious bodily injury, and in most cases where the responsible party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Serious bodily injury is limited in scope by law to only include death, serious impairment of bodily function, and serious disfigurement. Thus, if the injury sustained is classified as serious, you will maintain your right to claim pain and suffering, otherwise legally called economic damages. Economic damages also include medical bills and lost time from work due to the injury. The important thing to remember is that choosing Limited Tort liability 'limits' your ability to claim economic losses (pain and suffering) no matter which driver is at fault. In other words, even if the other motorist caused the accident and maintains full tort coverage, the person that chooses Limited Tort may not be able to claim economic damages. Choosing the Limited Tort option does not restrict the right to sue the responsible party personally for economic losses, it only affects the right to claim those losses against the insurance policy.
Full Tort reserves the right to file a claim for pain and suffering, however, it will forgo any premium reduction that would be given for choosing the Limited Tort option. Insurance premium rate reductions can be as high as 40% for choosing the Limited Tort option, yet, rights to claim could be severely impacted by choosing the Limited Tort option over the Full Tort option. The discount over choosing Limited Tort does not affect the other areas of the policy such as comprehensive and collision. It only applies to the Liability aspect of the policy.
So, what's Tort? In a nutshell, Limited Tort will result in lower car insurance quotes because the insurance company will not be held responsible for economic losses such as pain and suffering, medical bills and lost time from work. Full tort will increase the insurance quote because the insurance company will be held responsible for economic losses and the injured will not have to sue the responsible party personally for compensation of such losses. Choosing a tort option is as much a business choice as it is a personal, or more appropriately, an economic choice. The choice is yours.