Personal Auto Coverage – Full vs. Limited Tort

Christine D. Lightfoot, Senior Vice President, Univest Insurance, Inc.

In the state of Pennsylvania, two tort options are offered to personal auto policyholders: full tort and limited tort. Policyholders are required to choose one of the two tort options; however, they may not fully understand the difference between them. Since the premium for full tort is much higher, it is important to understand exactly what you are getting with the two options.

Full Tort – Allows you to file a lawsuit for any type of injury you sustain as a result of an auto accident, up to your full legal rights. This includes payments for pain and suffering. The premium for full tort is significantly higher than the premium for limited tort but ensures your full legal right to sue for any injury.

Limited Tort – Restricts your ability to sue for pain and suffering, except in the cases of serious injury. The law defines serious injury as death, serious impairment of body function or permanent, serious disfigurement. However, Limited Tort reverts to Full Tort in cases such as fatality, injuries from an uninsured driver, an out-of-state driver or a DUI driver.

Policyholders in Pennsylvania are required to select in writing their tort preference as well as other options pertaining to their personal auto policy. It may have been quite a while since you’ve signed these forms. It’s always a good idea to revisit the selections you have made in the past and make sure they still fit your needs. Speak with an insurance advisor today at 800-220-3077 or email

Insurance products are offered through Univest Insurance, Inc. and are obligations of the issuing insurance companies, are not obligations or deposits of or guaranteed by any bank and are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States. Insurance products are not a condition to any bank loan, product or service. Univest Insurance, Inc. is a licensed subsidiary of Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania.

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