I’d like some jam, a baguette and some of that tort.

Wait, that’s not right. Well, there is that kind of torte, but today we are going to deal with the legal tort. (Far less tasty, I can assure you.) Tort is the legal ability to sue someone for something they have done to you. Since 1990, motorists in Pennsylvania have had to choose between Limited and Full Tort. This is a required choice in all automobile insurance in Pennsylvania.

The law divides potential claims into “monetary” and “non-monetary” damages. Monetary damages are those damages that are a known cost. A bottle of aspirin is $3.89. A week of lost wages is $250.00. Non-monetary damages are things like pain and suffering, whiplash, or the inconvenience of a broken arm. In Full and Limited tort, you may sue, without restriction for monetary damages. Full and Limited Tort differ when it comes to non-monetary loss.

Full Tort allows you to sue for non-monetary losses without restriction. Limited Tort states that you could not sue for non-monetary damages unless you were struck by a drunk driver, an uninsured motorist, a car from out of state, in the event of death, disfigurement, or “serious injury.” Limited Tort reduces the premium by about 15%.

Choosing what is right is a very personal decision. 50% of the people in Pennsylvania have Full Tort and the other 50% have Limited Tort. We advise that you consider where you fall on the spectrum of “I always want the right to sue.” to “I would never sue.” Consider how much the premium savings would be, and finally, think about your “exposure.” Where do you drive? How many miles a year are you on the road? Remember, the tort selection affects you in ALL auto accidents, whether you are driving, riding as a passenger, walking, or biking,