Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements in New Mexico
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Driving in New Mexico requires the proof of financial responsibility, which means you’re able to pay for any damages to property or people you might cause in the future. To most people, “financial responsibility” simply means “auto liability insurance,” and although liability insurance is one way to show financial responsibility, it’s not the only way.
If you own a business in the state, and have vehicles that you or your employees drive for business purposes, you might need a commercial liability policy. In this state, the statutes on mandatory auto liability insurance apply to businesses and organizations exactly as they do to individuals; there’s no difference in minimum limits and per-vehicle requirements.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
The state leaves it up to you to choose the method of financial responsibility you prefer, but no matter what, you must choose something. It’s illegal to drive on public roads without at least the minimum amount of liability insurance. Your choices are to:
- Purchase a policy for automobile liability insurance.
- Make a cash deposit paid to the state treasurer.
- Post a surety bond issued by a company who is licensed to do business in New Mexico.
As the owner of a business, several factors will greatly determine the type of insurance policy you choose, as listed below:
- The number and type of vehicle(s) you need to insure
- The intended use of the vehicle(s)
- The driver(s) of the vehicle(s)
- The owner of the vehicle(s)
You can choose whether you'll insure each vehicle separately, via individual insurance policies, or get a commercial auto insurance policy.
For vehicles you use for business purposes only, a general rule of thumb is that a commercial vehicle insurance policy is a good idea. Also, if you have multiple employees who drive your business vehicles―or use their own cars for business transportation―it’s wise to get a commercial policy.
For example, the owner of a small road striping business has four trucks and six employees who use the vehicles to drive to job sites. The trucks hold all the specialized striping equipment and supplies. This owner should get a commercial policy to cover his multiple (and specialized) vehicles and drivers.
If you drive your own car for business, however, and no one else drives it but you, a personal auto insurance policy could work just as well.
For example, the owner of a dog-walking business drives her own car to and from client homes. She has one employee, but he rides his bike to and from job sites. This owner is probably fine with a personal auto policy.
The following list covers other situations that would probably require a commercial auto insurance policy:
- Your business vehicles transport people or products.
- Your trade business has multiple cars driven by multiple workers.
- Your business vehicles have specialized, built-in equipment used only for business purposes.
- You want to provide coverage for your mobile employees who use your vehicles, or their own vehicles for business purposes.
- You need an auto policy with a higher amount of coverage than a personal auto policy.
If you need more assistance determining whether you should purchase commercial coverage, contact the state's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
Meeting with an insurance provider can help a lot in making your decision on insurance. Whether you want commercial or personal vehicle insurance, the agent will probably ask you the following questions:
- Who owns the vehicle(s)?
- How much do the vehicle(s) weigh?
- How do you use the vehicle(s)?
- How much liability coverage do you want?
For a commercial auto policy, you can go to an insurance provider that specializes in commercial policies, or you can go to a provider that offers a full range of policies for individuals and businesses alike. There are also companies that only sell auto insurance, and others that will insure practically anything.
It’s definitely a buyer’s market when it comes to finding an insurance provider that will meet your needs, so be sure to shop around.
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