Which is Better: Full Tort or Limited Tort?

Cynthia Closkey Personal

The answer to that question really depends on what how you want to be covered on your auto policy for the ability to sue a negligent party. Either coverage is fine on an auto policy. Let’s look at the difference between the two.

First, let’s talk about full tort. Full tort coverage gives you unrestricted rights to bring a suit again a negligent party. Imagine you’re driving down the highway with your family and are struck by a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign. No one in your car is hurt badly, just some bumps and bruises. Even though none of you were badly hurt you may still sue the negligent party that ran the stop sign and hit your car.

If you had the same scenario with Limited Tort coverage, you would not have the right to sue that driver. But you still have the ability to recover your out-of-pocket medical and certain other expenses. There are seven exceptions to the limited tort option.

  1. If you were injured while riding a motorcycle.
  2. If you were injured intentionally.
  3. If you were injured while being a passenger on a bus, truck, taxi or any other commercial vehicle.
  4. If the driver who caused the accident is charged with drunk driving,
  5. If the driver who caused the accident was operating an out of state vehicle.
  6. If you suffered injuries that resulted in serious impairment to a significant bodily function.
  7. If the other driver had no insurance.

As you can see you still have some options to recover some of the debts that can occur due to an auto accident.

When you look at your next auto policy renewal, look to see if you have Limited or Full Tort Coverage. Most people do choose the limited tort and are perfectly fine with that selection. Now you may be able to understand your auto policy a little better and decide for yourself what your family needs to have the best coverage that fits you.