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What are the advantages of full tort car insurance?

In Pennsylvania, you can choose limited tort car insurance or full tort. Limited tort is cheaper, so it can seem appealing up front. However, it is worth your while to find out about the advantages of full tort.

Pain and suffering

When you forego full tort car insurance, you relinquish the right to recover damages for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses unless they are life-altering. You also give up this right for others covered under the insurance policy.

However, pain and suffering tend to be the largest components of a car accident claim. No wonder: A car accident can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia and other effects that are impossible to quantify. For example, suppose after your car accident you experienced severe back pain that crippled your ability to interact with your children and enjoy relations with your spouse. From that, you developed depression and anxiety. A "life-altering injury" tends to be one that results in disfigurement, serious impairment or death. It likely would not cover depression and anxiety as in the scenario above.

There are some other exceptions to the limited tort restriction, though. For example, if the driver who hit you was under the influence, from out of state or lacked valid insurance, you should be able to pursue a full tort claim.

Monthly savings

Opting for limited tort insurance can mean about 15 percent monthly savings on your car insurance, which is nothing to sniff at, especially if you are on a tight budget. And even with limited tort options, you can still recover for economic damages after a car accident.

Bottom line

According to Value Penguin, the average monthly car insurance cost in Pennsylvania is $120, although factors such as age, gender and driving history can significantly affect rates. If you are paying $120 a month limited tort, going to full tort would cost perhaps an extra $20 a month. If you can afford that, then it is a good idea to consider opting for full tort. It can mean a difference of thousands of dollars if you are ever injured in a car accident, and that is money that helps compensate you for immeasurable pain and suffering.

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