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When you’re shopping around for car insurance, you may come across something called tort. You can opt for full tort or limited tort…but is there a difference? Oh there is!

The tort option in your car insurance can help you to recover out-of-pocket medical and certain other expenses and there are two options full tort or limited tort.

Limited tort won’t allow you to recover certain damages – such as payments for pain and suffering unless the injuries meet certain legal exceptions. The upside is if you’re trying to save a few bucks, limited tort is significantly less expensive than full tort.

Full tort permits you to sue someone who is ruled completely at fault for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering includes emotional injuries like sleeplessness, fear, grief, inconvenience and anxiety. You definitely pay more for the rights full tort allows, as you’ll likely pay about 40% more on your car insurance policy to include it when compared to limited tort.

Still a little confusing, right? Here’s an example. Let’s say you were stopped at a traffic light, someone rear-ended you, and the other driver was found completely at fault. From the accident, you ended up requiring $20,000 in medical care. Whether you chose limited or full tort, you could sue the other driver to recover the cost of your treatments that car insurance coverage available to you did not cover.

Now let’s assume you were suffering from sleeplessness due to anxiety about the accident and you wanted to sue the at fault driver for another $50,000. This would fall under the category of pain and discomfort. With limited tort, you couldn’t sue the other driver in most cases, but with full tort you could sue them to be compensated for your pain and suffering.

So the question becomes, how much are you willing to pay to protect your peace of mind and your ability to seek compensation for your pain and suffering? Here’s a video we put together explaining the difference between full tort and limited tort which may help visualize it for you. Have more questions about full vs limited tort? Here’s a short video we made which may help to explain the differences a bit:

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