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Car Insurance in New Mexico
Car Insurance in New Mexico
As part of New Mexico's financial responsibility laws, registered vehicles must be covered by car insurance. This is to help protect drivers from costly and unfortunate incidents.
New Mexico Car Insurance Requirements
New Mexico law requires you to carry liability car insurance to help cover costs associated with injuries or property damage resulting from car accidents you may cause.
Your liability insurance must have the following minimum coverage limits per accident:
- $25,000 for injury or death, per person.
- $50,000 for total injury or death if multiple people are hurt in the accident.
- $10,000 for property damage.
In addition to having liability coverage, you might want to consider other types of car insurance coverage to give you more protection in the event of an accident.
Most car insurance companies offer the following optional types of coverage:
- Collision – This coverage will help pay for damages to your car after a traffic accident.
- Comprehensive – This will help you with damages to your car that result from several types of incidents that do not involve traffic accidents. Examples include water and fire damage.
- Medical payments – This will help cover your medical costs if you are injured in an accident.
- Towing and labor.
NOTE: Collision and comprehensive coverages are usually required as part of a car loan or lease agreement.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will help pay for your expenses when you've been in a car accident with a driver who does not have car insurance, or whose car insurance amounts won't adequately cover your costs.
Technically, New Mexico requires these car insurance coverages to be part of your policy. However, you do have the option to turn down uninsured/underinsured coverage and still be compliant with car insurance laws, but you must do so in writing.
Proof of Insurance
New Mexico uses an electronic database to monitor the car insurance status of all vehicles registered in the state.
It is the responsibility of your insurance carrier to report your car insurance status into the database.
If the database does not show that you are meeting New Mexico's car insurance requirements, you will be sent a letter notifying you that you must work with your insurance company to have your car insurance status updated in the database.
If you do not have insurance or you do not comply with your warning letter, you face suspension of your registration.
Reinstate Your Registration
If your registration has been suspended due to a car insurance violation, you must:
- Obtain valid car insurance.
- Have your carrier update your information to the database.
Once your information has been updated, you will have to pay a $30 reinstatement fee.
New Mexico Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan
Although all registered vehicles must be insured in New Mexico, some drivers might find it difficult to find a car insurance company willing to provide them coverage because of their driving or claims history.
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan is a program meant to help high-risk drivers obtain the legally required auto insurance.
Along with several other states' plans, New Mexico's plan is part of the Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans (WAAIP). To apply to New Mexico's plan, contact WAAIP at (415) 765-6767 and they will assist you in finding car insurance.
Because car insurance can be a complicated and sometimes highly sensitive issue, New Mexico's Office of Superintendent of Insurance provides consumer assistance.
If you are having a dispute with your car insurance company, you can:
- Call the Consumer Assistance Bureau at (505) 827-4601.
- File a complaint online.
Determining Your Car Insurance Rates
Several factors go into determining the price of your premium.
While shopping for New Mexico car insurance, keep in mind that the following will often factor into your rates:
- Your driving record.
- Your car's:
- Your credit score.
- This is the out-of-pocket amount you are responsible for towards a claim.
- Higher deductibles mean lower premiums.
Car Insurance Discounts
A great way to save on NM car insurance is to take advantage of discounts that may be offered to you.
When comparing car insurance quotes, inquire about these common discounts:
- Good driver.
- Good student.
- Safety device.
While discounts can help you save on car insurance, the best way to obtain low-cost car insurance in New Mexico is to maintain a driving record that reflects safe and violation-free driving.
Most Stolen Cars in New Mexico
Car insurance rates are typically higher for cars that are common targets of theft.
The following is a list of New Mexico's most stolen cars in 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Honda Accord.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Honda Civic.
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
- GMC Pickup (Full Size).
- Toyota Camry.
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Ford Pickup (Small Size).
- Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size).
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