As of August 1, all New York drivers are being forced to pay for extra car insurance that they may not actually need at all.

Unfortunately, the added insurance is mandatory for all drivers, even though many may not even be allowed to benefit from it.

The new law that just went into effect in New York states that every driver must carry something called Supplemental Spousal Liability. The added insurance that protects married couples is added to everyone's bill, even those who aren't married.


What is Supplemental Spousal Liability?

The insurance add-on is something that most married couples could actually benefit from. If you happen to be injured in an accident while your spouse is driving, you will receive compensation from your insurance company, even if your spouse is at fault. The added coverage used to be voluntary, but as of August 1 it is now mandatory for all drivers regardless of marital status.

Why do single drivers need to have Supplemental Spousal Liability?

They don't. In fact, they can't use it even if they want to. There is no reason why an unmarried driver should be paying for this added insurance. The supplemental coverage only allows a spouse to receive compensation if their spouse is driving. Single drivers do not benefit from this added insurance at all.

Who else should decline this coverage?

In addition to single drivers, unmarried domestic partners should also decline this added coverage. The supplement technically makes it okay to sue your spouse if you're in an accident while they're driving. If you're not married, you're already allowed to sue your domestic partner, so there's absolutely no need for the added coverage.

Businesses with auto insurance should also decline this coverage.


How much does this added insurance cost?

Depending on your policy, supplemental spousal liability could cost around $50 to $85 a year. An added $5 to $7 a month may not seem like much but it does add up, especially if it's for something that you'll never use.

Does this supplemental liability actually help married couples?

Supplemental spousal liability can have a huge benefit for married couples involved in an accident. Without it, couples would not be allowed to sue their spouse's insurance company if they were injured in an accident that their husband or wife was responsible for. While no-fault insurance covers medical costs up to around $50,000, a spouse without the added liability wouldn't be able to collect anything more if they were unable to return to work, bound to a wheelchair, paralyzed or worse.

The relatively low cost of this insurance makes it a no-brainer for many married couples.


How do you opt out of Supplemental Spousal Insurance?

Insurance companies will now automatically add this insurance onto your policy unless you opt out in writing. The online form just has to be printed out, signed and sent back to your insurance company. It's best to call your insurance provider and let them know you want to decline the coverage and they will walk you through the process.

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