Watch the full video at https://rumble.com/v2v5rvb-no-coverage-to-run-down-your-wife.html and at https://youtu.be/kEdfCLknNr8
Plaintiff Eric Levy sought a declaration that Defendant New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company (New York Central) is obligated to provide coverage, defense and indemnification to Plaintiff for an August 29, 2021 automobile accident in which he negligently injured his wife. New York Central moved for an order granting summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint and a declaratory judgment declaring that it is not obligated to provide a defense or indemnification to the plaintiff for the motor vehicle accident alleged to have occurred on August 29, 2021, because Spousal Supplemental Liability /spouse exists for this requirement.
IN Eric Levy v. New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance CompanyIndex no. 66227/2021, 2023 NY Slip Op 23183, the New York court found in favor of the insurer.
FACTUAL AND RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On August 29, 2021, while driving his car, the plaintiff accidentally struck his wife Lisa Grauer (Grauer), and Grauer allegedly suffered serious injuries including a fracture. At the time of the accident, plaintiff had active motor vehicle insurance through New York Central with bodily injury liability limits of $250,000.00 per injured person. Grauer filed a claim against plaintiff with New York Central, alleging that she was injured as a result of plaintiff’s negligence.
Plaintiff alleged that New York Central is liable for breach of contract in the amount of $250,000.00 for failing to provide Plaintiff with coverage, a defense and indemnification. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on its amended complaint and seeks declaratory judgment as set forth in the first cause of action. The plaintiff filed an affidavit, detailing the events that transpired and alleging that he was not properly notified of SSL coverage.
New York Central argued that there is no SLL coverage for plaintiff’s policy, that it met all notice requirements, and that plaintiff declined to purchase SLL coverage. New York Central issued a revised renewal policy that added an additional vehicle and included an SSL endorsement. The additional premium for the SSL coverage was $78.00 and the plaintiff declined to purchase it.
Spouse Supplemental Insurance provides bodily injury liability coverage under a motor vehicle policy to cover an insured spouse’s liability due to the death or injury of his or her spouse, even if the injured spouse must prove the insured spouse’s culpable conduct.
Insurance Law § 3420 (g) was amended by Chapter 584 of the Acts of 2002 to require insurance companies to offer their insureds supplemental spousal liability (SSL) insurance for an additional premium. This SSL coverage allows drivers to be insured in cases where their negligence causes death or injury to their spouse.
Both parties introduce the policy in support of their motions for summary judgment and do not dispute its contents. The court found that New York Central has made a prima facie showing that it is not obligated to provide plaintiff with indemnification or a defense for the motor vehicle accident that occurred on August 29, 2021, because there was no SSL liability for this claim. Because the plaintiff declined to purchase SLL, an insurer is not obligated to provide coverage for injuries sustained by an insured’s spouse.
It was undisputed that the plaintiff was advised of the availability of the spousal supplemental liability insurance and he refused to pay the additional premium of $78.
Accordingly, it was ordered that plaintiff Eric Levy’s motion be dismissed in its entirety. New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company’s Cross Motion for an Order Granting Summary Judgment Dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint and Granting Declaratory Judgment; and it was further ordered that defendant New York Central, since there was no supplemental spousal liability coverage; and it was further ordered that the case be dismissed, and the clerk directed to enter judgment accordingly.
Insurers do not like, because of the risk of fraud, to insure against injuries to a family member of the insured. New York passed a law requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for injury caused to a spouse as long as the insured pays an additional premium. Mr. Levy refused to pay the extra $78 and, by doing so, denied the coverage he wanted only after the accident. No luck as he got the offer and the fee and turned it down.
(c) 2023 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.
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