Every state has its own approach to car insurance, which can make it very confusing for people to understand the basics of how these policies work. How much coverage do you need? Which riders are really necessary to protect you? With contracts that take up many pages, it can be difficult to tell.

Pennsylvania motor vehicle insurance companies offer two options for coverage that differ quite a bit from what is available in other states. You have the option of purchasing either full tort or limited tort policies. As the name implies, limited tort policies have strict limitations on your right to bring certain civil actions after a crash.

For many people, the primary deciding factor in what policy they purchase is the overall price of the coverage. However, you should also consider the value that you’re getting for your payments. Full tort insurance coverage may cost more, but it offers substantially more benefits to the people who carry this kind of policy if they find that they need major coverage in the future.

Limited tort policies restrict your right to seek compensation

Pennsylvania insurance companies ostensibly pushed for limited and full tort policies to protect themselves from expensive claims. They are profit-making businesses, no matter how warm and fuzzy they try to look in their ads.

They knew that citizens saddled with a massive expense would likely choose to limit their costs even if it restricted the coverage they received. The people who probably need the coverage the most are the ones who simply won’t pay for it.

It was a smart business idea because limited tort policies arguably save insurance companies millions of dollars each year. Limited tort policies will only pay out provable and current financial costs related to the collision. These can include lost wages, medical expenses and similar costs. However, the payout likely won’t include future expenses or any pain and suffering you endure.

Full tort policies allow you to take civil action

Full tort coverage allows you to seek compensation for your injuries and non-financial losses related to a crash. It is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced a debilitating collision and injury how these experiences can alter their quality of life.

However, full tort policies are almost always worth the extra premium cost because of the protection they provide. Insurance contracts are so complex that many people can’t make sense of them. If you aren’t sure if you have the right coverage, you can talk to an insurance agent.