Do I Need Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance? Find Out Now

Do I Need Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance After the New York State Auto Insurance Law Change?

Laws undergo constant evolution, aiming to safeguard consumer safety, rights, and address emerging issues while refining existing statutes. As a consumer, it’s crucial to stay informed about how these laws could impact various aspects of your life, from property and business to home and auto insurance.

The Erie County Office of Consumer Protection aims to inform consumers about a recent legislation concerning Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance. As of August 1, 2023, according to New York State Department of Financial Services, under New York State Insurance Law § 3420(g), insurers issuing policies aligned with Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 6 must include supplemental spousal liability insurance. This coverage is mandatory unless the named insured explicitly chooses, in writing and per the determined format by the Superintendent of Financial Services. To opt out and reject such insurance within their policy.

For those considering whether they need supplemental spousal liability insurance, it’s crucial to note that auto insurance policies now automatically include this coverage. However, if you deem this additional insurance unnecessary or prefer not to have this coverage, it’s essential to formally decline it in writing to your insurance provider. It’s imperative to meticulously review your policy to ascertain whether a single opt-out form suffices for the entire policy or if separate opt-out forms are required for each vehicle covered, as this can vary based on the carrier and policy type. It’s recommended that consumers consistently review policy renewal notices and any alterations to coverage to ensure they have the appropriate protection in place.

Do I Need Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance in New York? 

Following a motor vehicle collision on New York roads, a proficient personal injury attorney can pinpoint potentially responsible parties and guarantee that all pertinent insurance companies are duly informed.

Every vehicle registered in New York must maintain specific insurance coverages. An insurance company collecting premiums from the insured is legally bound by contract to provide indemnification to the insured and cover expenses, up to a defined limit, on behalf of the insured. This coverage is commonly referred to as bodily injury liability insurance.

However, there are scenarios where an insurance company might refuse coverage despite the insured causing an injury typically covered by bodily injury liability insurance. For instance, under the current New York Insurance Law section 3420(g), claims between spouses are prohibited unless the insurance policy contains a specific provision addressing this. This particular coverage, termed Supplemental Spousal Liability, becomes crucial, especially in cases where one spouse sustains injury or fatality in an auto accident caused by the other spouse.

do i need supplemental spousal liability insurance

This might appear counterintuitive: for one spouse to assert an insurance claim against the other, but Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage must be seen as an important safety net.

Spouses, naturally spending ample time together, occasionally in the car where mistakes can occur, highlight the necessity of Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage. This coverage must serve as an essential source of compensation for injured motorists, underlining the question: do I need supplemental spousal liability insurance?

Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage

Regrettably, some individuals in New York are unaware of the option to include Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage within their car insurance policy. Certain New Yorkers might mistakenly believe that bodily injury liability insurance would extend to situations where one spouse is harmed or dies in an auto accident caused by the other spouse. In fact, lawmakers have acknowledged that “[f]ew drivers understand the importance of supplemental spousal liability insurance, and insurance companies seldom advocate for this coverage.

This is the reason why New York’s Legislature enacted “[a]n act to modify the insurance law, concerning the offering of supplemental spousal liability insurance to individuals insured for losses arising from the ownership, upkeep, and operation of a motor vehicle.

If signed into law by the Governor, the Act would amend New York Insurance Law section 3420(g). Mandating insurance companies to offer Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage equivalent to the bodily injury liability coverage. Unless the insured explicitly declines the additional coverage in writing. Insurance consumers would essentially need to actively opt out of this crucial insurance coverage.

How the Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage Helps You

This coverage aims to safeguard individuals who are passengers in a vehicle driven by a spouse involved in an accident where the spouse is fully or partially responsible. Resulting in injuries to the passenger spouse.

Upon renewal or when obtaining a new policy in New York. Spousal liability coverage will be automatically included as part of the liability policy. You’ll need to complete a form indicating your decision. If you wish to opt out of the coverage and actively decline it. With this change impacting all drivers statewide, it becomes crucial for you to comprehend the significance of this coverage. And how it could be beneficial in case of necessity.

A scenario where having this coverage would prove advantageous

To truly grasp the significance of supplemental spousal liability coverage, envision a situation where having this coverage would be pivotal. Imagine yourself seated in the passenger seat while your spouse is driving. Suddenly, traffic halts unexpectedly, and despite your spouse’s efforts, the vehicle collides with the car ahead. As a result of the impact, the airbag deploys, and in an instinctive reaction. Your wrist sustains a severe injury, leaving it fractured and requiring surgery.

If you lacked supplemental spousal liability coverage. You’d be eligible for no-fault coverage for your medical expenses via your car policy. You wouldn’t have the option to file any claim against your spouse. Within your policy for the pain and suffering caused by the injury. This absence of coverage meant no possibility of receiving a settlement for your injuries. Having the coverage ensured that your medical bills remained covered through no-fault insurance. Moreover, it allowed you to submit a bodily injury claim against your own policy due to your spouse’s negligence. This inclusion meant that you could potentially obtain a settlement for your pain, And suffering via the supplemental spousal liability coverage.

Insurance that proves invaluable when you require it the most

With over 30 years of experience advocating for clients on Long Island, Mark T. Freeley, a personal injury attorney, has witnessed numerous scenarios akin to this one unfold repeatedly. Utilizing the supplemental spousal liability coverage. He has successfully retrieved hundreds of thousands of dollars for Long Islanders. Moreover, if you are married, maintaining this coverage is exceptionally crucial. You may find immense gratitude for having it at your disposal.

Periodically revisiting your car insurance policy is advisable to ensure comprehension and comfort with your existing coverage. Discussing this with a reputable attorney like the North Shore. Injury Lawyer is an excellent method to enhance your understanding of available options. Furthermore, if you have inquiries regarding your car insurance policy. Feel free to reach out by calling 631-495-9435. He will gladly provide guidance through the various choices at no cost.

Furthermore, Supplemental spousal coverage, previously an option, has transformed into an opt-out program often overlooked by numerous drivers. This insurance offers bodily injury liability coverage should your spouse cause an accident, resulting in your injury as a passenger. If one spouse’s negligence while driving leads to an accident. The other spouse becomes eligible to seek compensation from their insurance company. Due to the responsible driving spouse’s role in the car crash. This underscores the importance of understanding: do I need supplemental spousal liability insurance?

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding the significance of supplemental spousal liability insurance is paramount in ensuring protection and compensation in unforeseen circumstances. It serves as a crucial safety net for both spouses in the event of an accident. Emphasizing its importance in safeguarding against potential financial liabilities and providing essential coverage.


What does supplemental spousal liability insurance entail?

Supplemental spousal liability insurance covers injuries to a spouse caused by the other’s accident.

Do I need supplemental spousal liability insurance?

This coverage compensates if your spouse causes an accident, securing financial protection for your injuries as a passenger.

How does supplemental spousal liability coverage work?

If a spouse causes a crash, the other can claim compensation for injuries as a passenger from their insurance.

Is supplemental spousal liability coverage mandatory in New York?

This coverage is automatically included in car insurance policies in New York unless explicitly declined in writing by the insured.

Leave a Comment