In New York, all registered vehicles must have certain insurance coverages. When individuals pay insurance premiums to a company, the company is legally obligated to provide indemnification and cover expenses, up to a specified limit, on behalf of the insured. This type of coverage is referred to as bodily injury liability insurance.
While bodily injury liability insurance typically covers injuries caused by the insured, there are instances where the insurance company may deny coverage. One such situation arises from New York Insurance Law section 3420(g), which previously prohibited claims brought by one spouse against the other spouse.
The only way to overcome this restriction is if the insurance policy explicitly includes an “express provision relating specifically thereto.” This provision is commonly known as Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage. It becomes critically important when an auto accident results in injury or death of one spouse caused by the other spouse. This coverage can be essential to ensure protection in such unfortunate circumstances.
As of August 1, 2023, in New York, supplemental spousal liability coverage will now be a part of standard auto insurance coverage.
What is the New Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage?
New York recently enacted a change in the law regarding supplemental spousal liability coverage, shifting from an “opt-in” to an “opt-out” system. This means that all auto insurance policies will now automatically include this coverage, offering protection for injuries or death to a spouse caused by the other insured spouse in an accident.
Previously, traditional auto insurance policies did not provide coverage for such incidents, leading to limited availability of spousal liability insurance under the “opt-in” plans. However, with the new law, every policy must carry supplemental spousal liability insurance equivalent to the policy’s bodily injury liability coverage unless the insured explicitly chooses to reject this coverage by opting out.
This change is a significant improvement, as it ensures broader protection for spouses involved in auto accidents. Now you no longer need to worry about whether your policy covers such unfortunate events; the coverage is automatically included unless you affirmatively reject it by opting out. This shift ensures peace of mind for all insured individuals and their spouses throughout New York.
Although it may sound odd to sue your spouse for injuries caused during a car accident, insurance companies will try to deny a spouse’s claim.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident where a spouse or family member was at the wheel, contact Feroleto Law, personal injury attorneys, today.
Will the New Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage Be Mandatory?
No! Unlike other auto insurance coverage, spousal liability coverage is not mandatory for drivers. It offers the flexibility for you to decide whether to include it in your auto policy. While you can opt out and save on premiums, it’s worth considering the benefits of keeping this coverage.
Though you cannot foresee the future, having spousal liability coverage can offer additional peace of mind. Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and preparation for any eventuality is essential. Maintaining this type of coverage ensures that you and your spouse are protected if an accident occurs where one spouse is at fault.
Ultimately, the choice to include spousal liability coverage on your auto policy lies with you. Weigh the advantages of having this protection against the cost and make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and concerns.
Is Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage Automatically Added to All Policies?
Starting from August 1, 2023, New York auto insurance policies will automatically include supplemental spousal liability coverage, except when the insured opts out. It’s essential to note that any policies purchased before this date will not automatically have this coverage. The new law specifically applies to policies purchased on and after August 1, 2023, ensuring that these policies offer the added protection of supplemental spousal liability coverage by default.
How Can Feroleto Help You?
Feroleto Law personal injury attorneys can help you understand, navigate, and make the most of the new Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage law in New York. Here’s how we can assist:
- Accident Representation: In an auto accident involving you or your spouse, we can represent you and provide legal assistance. We can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for injuries or damages sustained in the accident.
- Claims and Settlements: If an accident occurs and there is a need to file a claim, we can assist you in dealing with the insurance companies and negotiating a settlement. We have a winning record regarding how we approach our cases. We can work to ensure that you receive the full benefits of your policy, including any supplemental spousal liability coverage if applicable.
- Legal Advocacy: If there are disputes or complexities related to the new law or your insurance coverage, our personal injury attorneys can act as your legal advocate. We can represent your interests and fight for a fair resolution.
- Preventing Costly Mistakes: The insurance company will diligently search for reasons to dispute your claim. Mistakes made during the legal proceedings can be detrimental to your case. Our accident lawyer will handle all correspondence to avoid crucial errors that could jeopardize your claim.
- Policy review: If you already have an auto insurance policy, we can review it to ensure that the new coverage has been added automatically, as per the law, if your policy was purchased after August 1, 2023. If you purchased the policy before that date, we can advise you on the option to add the coverage or any potential implications of doing so.
Feroleto personal injury attorney can be your advocate and legal partner, providing essential support and guidance in understanding and utilizing the new supplemental spousal liability coverage to ensure you and your spouse are adequately protected in case of an auto accident.
Contact Our Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you need assistance with personal injury cases in Buffalo, New York, you can contact our skilled team of Buffalo personal injury lawyers today. We are here to help you with any legal matters related to personal injury, including auto accidents and more. Contact us at 716-854-0700 for a free consultation.
Attorney John Feroleto
Attorney John Feroleto understands the value of hard work. He is known in the community and by his peers for his willingness to work and go the extra mile. Other lawyers often ask John to handle their trial matters to maximize clients’ recovery. Trial lawyers know who the best trial lawyers are. He was also named Trial Attorney of the Year in 2012 by the Western New York Affiliate of New York State Trial Lawyers Association. [ Attorney Bio ]