Limited Tort Option In Pa
In Rump v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 551 Pa. 339, 710 A.2d 1093 (1998), an insured selected the "limited tort" option for his automobile insurance policy pursuant to the MVFRL. 710 A.2d at 1095.
The insured argued that the 1705(d)(1), "registered in another state," exception allowed him to recover non-economic damages under the UM provisions of his insurance policy. Id.
Aetna argued that the 1705(d)(1)(iv) proviso applied to all exemptions under 1705(d)(1). Id. at 1095-1096.
The Court agreed with Aetna and held that 1731(d)(2) prevented an insured from recovering non-economic damages under the UM provisions of his own policy when the insured had selected the "limited tort" option. Id. at 1097-1098.
The Court, applying principles of statutory construction, noted that the "legislative concern over the increasing costs of automobile insurance is the public policy which is to be advanced when interpreting the statutory provisions of the MVFRL." Id. at 1096.
The Court concluded that:
By limiting appellant's ability to recover such damages, this Court is holding appellant to his voluntary choice of limiting his ability to recover such damages in return for a reduced insurance premium. Id. at 1098.
The Rump Court made clear that in making this ruling: this does not mean that an insured cannot seek noneconomic damages pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1705(d)(1)(ii) and (iv) in a liability action against the tortfeasor.
Instead, this ruling limits only an insured's ability to seek noneconomic damages from the uninsured motorist provisions of his own automobile insurance policy with Aetna to instances where he suffers a "serious injury." 710 A.2d at 1098.