New NYS Law for Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage

Effective August 1, 2023, in New York State, supplemental spousal liability coverage will now be a part of standard auto insurance coverage.

What is spousal liability coverage?

Supplemental spousal liability coverage provides protection for injuries caused by a spouse in a motor vehicle accident. Without this coverage, an injured spouse would not be able to seek compensation for injuries in an accident caused by the other spouse when driving. This means that the injured spouse cannot submit a claim through their insurance for compensation for injuries. Further, if an injured spouse started a lawsuit against the negligent spouse, the auto insurance would not cover any jury verdict or award against the negligent spouse. With supplemental spousal liability coverage, an injured spouse will be able to submit a claim for compensation for injuries.

Prior to the new law, supplemental spousal liability coverage was not included by default. Thus, to be covered, you would have to request this feature and pay an additional cost to include it in your policy. As of August 1, 2023, all new policies will have supplemental spousal liability coverage included.

Will supplemental spousal liability coverage be mandatory?

No. Unlike other auto insurance coverage, drivers will not be required to carry spousal liability coverage. This means you can opt out of paying for and holding such coverage on your auto policy. However, maintaining this type of coverage can provide extra peace of mind, because you cannot predict the future.

Is supplemental spousal liability coverage automatically added to all policies?

          Keep in mind, New York auto insurance policies purchased as of August 1, 2023, will include supplemental spousal liability coverage unless there is an opt-out. However, any preexisting policies that are purchased prior to August 1, 2023, will not include supplemental spousal liability coverage automatically. The new law only applies to policies purchased after August 1, 2023. 

If you have been injured in an accident when your spouse was driving, contact our office. We will review your accident, injuries, and auto insurance policy and can advise you of the options available to you.