Under NY law, a spouse cannot sue another spouse – However, you can purchase insurance to protect yourself from your spouse’ negligence

New York law now permits you to purchase “Spousal Liability” insurance with your auto coverage.  Under the law, a spouse may generally not sue another spouse.

The reason for this dates back hundreds of years under English Common Law.  The purpose was to not place husbands and wives in the precarious situation of suing each other and to preserve the family structure.  However, modern inventions (e.g, the automobile) are inherently dangerous machines that can cause serious injury.

The NY legislature recognized that it would be better public policy to allow a seriously injured spouse to sue the other if they carried “spousal liability” coverage under  their auto policy.  An injured spouse might be the breadwinner in a family and to not permit that spouse to sue could cause undue hardship.

I recommend that you contact your insurance broker, agent, or carrier directly and inquire about this coverage.  Doing so could save you and your family from a horrific situation in the event you are injured due to your spouse’ negligence.

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