Car insurance policies vary wildly. This is true whether you are a new driver or are reviewing an insurance policy you have had for a few years.
When you look at policies, one upfront consideration is if you prioritize getting a monthly “discount” on your policy versus keeping your options open. This is because Pennsylvania has full tort and limited tort options. Here is a look at this issue and one other.
Go for full tort to keep your options open
Full tort auto insurance lets you seek compensation for pain and suffering if you are hurt in a car accident that is not your fault. That said, limited tort does allow you to seek compensation for pain and suffering in serious cases. As with anything, reading the fine print is critical. Many injured motorists with limited tort insurance later find out that they and their insurer disagree significantly on what serious means.
Per the state general assembly website, limited tort recovery can be for “all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses, but not for pain and suffering or other nonmonetary damages unless the injuries suffered fall within the definition of ‘serious injury’ as set forth in the policy or unless one of several other exceptions noted in the policy applies.”
In other words, if you believe you really do want limited tort, read your insurance policy in careful detail to be sure you agree with your insurer’s definitions of “serious.” The monthly savings of about 15 percent with limited tort are unlikely to be enough to offset the expenses of a significant injury.
Purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Another option that Pennsylvania gives its drivers is whether to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You may want to consider this as an option. If you are involved in an accident with someone who lacks insurance or who does not have enough insurance to adequately help you, then your uninsured/underinsured policy can be what saves you financially.