Understanding The Difference Between Full Tort and Limited Tort Car Insurance Policies

Car insurance is an aspect of car ownership that is often overlooked because of the perceived intricacies that are involved. The problem here is that there aren’t many people who are sufficiently versed in the concepts involved in car insurance. Because of these perceived complications, they tend to simply go through with the process without much of a thought.

But by neglecting these details they could be missing out on a significant amount of money, money that could have been better off saved or used for a more important purpose. There are two general types of car insurance policies to choose from: full tort or limited tort. Knowing the difference between these two car insurance types could help you save a lot of money. But, on the other hand, you could also be taking a significant risk because your car insurance policy might not be able to cover the long-term costs that could arise from a car accident.

So, first off, what exactly is a tort?

A tort is defined as “a wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability”.

All that means is when you cause a car accident, you are found to be liable. The type of car insurance plan you opt for is going to have a major impact on how your lawsuit is going to proceed. It’s one thing to find a car insurance company, like Allstate, that you can trust so before you get your car insurance quote from Allstate, these are some concepts that you need to know first.

What Are The Main Differences?


As you may have already guessed, a full tort car insurance policy is bound to cost more than a limited tort insurance policy. This cannot simply be marked off as another case of “you get what you pay for” because that would mean that full tort coverage is a much better deal than a limited tort insurance policy.

That cannot be further from the truth because whether or not a full tort car insurance policy is going to be beneficial to you depends on your risk level as a driver. (refer to this article for an in-depth explanation on driver risk).

Legal Coverage

In the case of a limited tort car insurance policy, the policyholder is only able to claim reimbursement for any expenses out of their own pockets. This often includes car repairs, medical bills, legal fees, and the like. This is significant in terms of long-term protection (next item). 

Long-Term Protection

It’s important to understand that the effects of lawsuits extend even after the lawsuit is resolved. This is an important detail to understand because some injuries that are sustained in car accidents do not immediately surface. Oftentimes, these injuries will leave long-term effects that may even be a danger to the life of the casualty. Long-term conditions are more expensive to treat than immediate injuries, especially if these long-term injuries cause chronic pain.

A full tort car insurance policy allows you to file for damages even after you’re been reimbursed for immediate expenses. Limited tort car insurance, as you may have already guessed, does not cover these long-term effects caused by car accidents.

Which Should You Choose?

This really boils down to you, the driver. If you’re considered to be a low-risk driver, then a limited tort car insurance policy might be a more practical option for you.

On the other hand, if you get into accidents often, or you’re likely to be involved in one, then you might want to get a full tort car insurance plan instead.

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