As personal injury lawyers in the Hudson Valley, we traditionally have not gotten involved in marital disputes on behalf of our clients. But a new state law that took effect on August 1 is changing that somewhat.
Called Senate Bill S833, the bill shakes up what’s known as Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance. The coverage will now automatically be included as part of standard auto insurance for all policies purchased after August 1, 2023, unless the driver specifically opts out of the coverage. Of course, this is not free; according to the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), this extra supplemental insurance could cost drivers an extra $20-84 annually. Additionally, new policyholders are automatically opted into this coverage, whether they’re married or not.
More from NYSDFS:
“Supplemental spousal liability insurance provides bodily injury liability coverage under a motor vehicle insurance policy when a person is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of the person’s spouse. If you decline this coverage, then the injured or deceased spouse would not be covered under the bodily injury liability coverage in the policy.
Supplemental spousal liability insurance is included within the policy’s bodily injury liability limits and does not increase the amount of those limits.”
If you have an existing auto insurance policy, and you often drive with your spouse, you may wish to consider opting into Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage in order to increase the amount of coverage you have after a car crash.
What is Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage?
Supplemental spousal liability coverage is particularly useful in the event where one spouse is at fault in an accident that causes injuries to the other. Without the coverage, the injured spouse has limited options for seeking compensation for their injuries resulting from the crash; they wouldn’t be able to submit a claim through their insurance for injury compensation. The injured spouse would still be covered under no-fault insurance, but that has a limit of up to $50,000 per person for lost wages and medical bills. No-fault insurance does not cover other damages like pain and suffering.
The addition of supplemental spousal liability coverage changes this dynamic. With this coverage, an injured spouse gains the ability to seek larger claims of compensation for their injuries, providing a level of financial protection that was not previously available.
As New York’s auto insurance landscape continues to evolve, the introduction of supplemental spousal liability coverage stands out as a significant policy change. Understanding the implications of this new coverage and its application to different policies will empower individuals to make informed decisions about their auto insurance coverage moving forward.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving your spouse, and suffered economic and non-economic losses, you have options. Whether you have supplemental spousal liability coverage or not, a free consultation with our experienced team of personal injury lawyers in Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie, NY can help; we will help you determine the right course of action for seeking the full amount of compensation for your losses. Give us a call at 845-600-0000 to schedule your free consultation.