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What it means to live in a “choice no-fault” car insurance state

Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” car insurance state, which means that drivers have the option to choose between no-fault insurance and traditional tort insurance policies.

Choosing a no-fault policy

If you own a no-fault policy and end up in an auto accident where an injury is sustained, regardless of who is to blame, the injured party will turn to their own insurance coverage for compensation. Choosing a no-fault policy restricts a person from suing another unless the accident as resulted in a “serious injury.” Pennsylvania courts explain a “serious injury” during an auto accident as one that leaves a person seriously disfigured or with a serious impairment of a body function.

Choosing a traditional tort policy

Pennsylvania offers two options for traditional tort insurance, limited tort and full tort coverage. Choosing a limited tort policy is usually the cheaper option; agencies will typically give you a discount on your monthly premium. Limited tort coverage does not allow the policy holder to sue for pain and suffering should they become injured in an auto accident.

Choosing a full tort policy, however, does allow the holder to sue for pain and suffering in the event of an injury due to an auto accident. A full tort policy might not be the cheaper of the two traditional options but it is certainly the safest bet in keeping you protected.

Get insured

No matter which type of policy you choose, Pennsylvania requires at least a minimum insurance plan for all drivers.

Important: If you are operating a motor vehicle, please make sure that it is properly registered and insured. It is illegal to drive a car without a minimum insurance plan. If you find yourself in an accident with an unregistered driver or a driver without insurance, call the police right away. A person driving without car insurance might take the risk of fleeing the scene of the accident before proper authorities arrive or information is exchanged. It is crucial to gather as much information about the car and driver as possible (i.e. license plate number, make and model of car, vehicle color, name, personal description).


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