Pennsylvania Automobile Insurance Act

On July 1, 1990 many changes in the Pennsylvania Automobile Insurance Law went into effect. The changes are dramatic and could substantially affect your rights and the rights of your family should any of you become involved in an accident.

Under the law all insurance companies offer many choices in motor vehicle insurance coverage. One of the most important choices offered is what is called a "limited tort" or "full tort" option. If you choose the "limited tort" option you will be giving up the right to collect money damages from a negligent driver who hurts you or a family member in an accident unless you or your family member suffers what the law calls a serious bodily injury. No one can predict what will or will not be considered a serious bodily injury. On the other hand, if you choose the "full tort" option you and your family will not lose this valuable right. You will be able to collect money damages from someone who injures you or a family member regardless of whether or not the injury is a "serious bodily injury." We recommend that you do not purchase the "limited tort" option unless you first consult with your attorney.

One of the other significant choices offered to you is whether or not to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is designed to protect you and your family. Liability coverage, on the other hand, protects the other person — the person that you might negligently injure. By purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you protect yourself and your family if a negligent driver injures you or your family and doesn't have enough insurance to cover your losses. It is important to purchase as much underinsured and uninsured coverage as liability coverage.

There are also many other choices which will have to be made by each and every motorist. The choices include medical benefits, income loss benefits, and funeral benefits. The amounts of coverage which you choose in each of these categories could become extremely important to you should you be injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Because the law in this area is so important to everyone, we strongly recommend that you contact your attorney before renewing or purchasing an automobile insurance policy.  5/11

If you need an attorney and don't have one, the Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help.

Call Us Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM - Noon and 1:15 PM - 3:00 PM at (814) 459-4411.