Best Auto Insurance In New Mexico

View from over the shoulder of a man driving

Just like the majority of the United States, New Mexico legally requires drivers to have auto insurance. Even so, this state has about 21% of uninsured drivers. That puts New Mexico at the fourth highest uninsured rate in the country, with the United States’ overall rate at 13%.

There are a number of other potential risks that drivers face in New Mexico beyond the possibility of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver. There are poor road conditions, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires. On top of that, even the most skilled drivers can have a bad day and cause an accident.

That’s why it’s so important to find quality auto insurance. We always recommend that you compare rates among at least three different companies at the same coverage level. But, before you do that, there are a few things you should know.

Table of Contents

New Mexico’s Insurance Requirements
Average Cost of Auto Insurance in New Mexico
Factors that Affect Insurance Premiums in New Mexico
Car Insurance Rates for Different Cities
High-Risk Drivers in New Mexico
What Kind of Coverage is Best in New Mexico?
How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in New Mexico
FAQs about Auto Insurance in New Mexico
1 What information will I need to provide for car insurance?
2 What proof of insurance will I need to register my car at the MVD in New Mexico?
3 What are the penalties for driving without insurance in New Mexico?
4 Is New Mexico a No-Fault state for car insurance?
5 Do I need uninsured motorist insurance in New Mexico?

New Mexico’s Insurance Requirements

New Mexico requires liability insurance for all cars, whether you’re driving them or not.

They require at a minimum:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury for two or more persons involved in the accident
  • $10,000 for property damage

However, if you can afford it, you’re better off going with full coverage. We’ll explain more about this a little later.

Keep in mind that if you don’t renew your insurance or decide to cancel it, your insurance company is required to report that to the MVD.

You do have a couple of other options if you don’t want insurance or can’t get it.

If you have an old beater that you’re fixing up or any other type of vehicle that you won’t be driving, you can get an Affidavit of Non-Use from the MVD. Keep in mind that you’ll have to renew this yearly, and it doesn’t provide you with insurance for that vehicle. It only means you won’t face any penalties for not having your car insured. As soon as you plan to get this back on the road, you’ll have to get it insured.

Another option is to buy a surety bond or make a $60,000 cash deposit with the state treasurer. This will cover the liability expenses if you do end up causing an accident.

Average Cost of Auto Insurance in New Mexico

Car insurance rates are created through a number of different factors. Age, claims history, credit score, and other personal factors go into the quote. New Mexico’s high rate of uninsured drivers also plays into the cost of car insurance in the state.

Even so, New Mexico’s average auto insurance cost is less than some of the surrounding states, like Arizona and Colorado. The average cost of a minimum coverage plan is $484 and $1,241 for a full coverage policy. This is also significantly lower than the national average of $1,555 for an annual full coverage policy.

Factors that Affect Insurance Premiums in New Mexico

As mentioned above, there are a few factors that affect your car insurance rates.

The first is age. In New Mexico, young drivers pay more than older drivers. In fact, 16-year-olds pay 360% more than 55-year-olds.

The next factor is marital status. Single drivers actually pay about 2% more than married drivers in the state.

Your driving record definitely affects your rates in New Mexico. Clean records get the best rates.

You’ll pay an extra:

  • 3% for a not-at-fault accident
  • 19% for a speeding ticket
  • 21% for a red-light infraction
  • 31% for having an open alcoholic container in your car
  • 39% for an at-fault accident
  • 107% for reckless driving
  • 121% for a suspended license
  • 123% for a DUI

Your annual mileage also plays a role in your car insurance rates. You’ll pay 4% more for driving 20,000 miles a year compared to someone who drives 7,500 miles a year.

Credit scores are also considered when you’re getting an auto insurance quote. Someone with a healthy credit score will pay 37% less than someone with no credit history.

The last factor is whether you choose minimum coverage or full coverage. In New Mexico, you’ll pay more than 200% more for a full coverage policy over minimum liability coverage.

Car Insurance Rates for Different Cities

Typically, you’ll find that car insurance rates get higher as the population increases. New Mexico cities are vastly different in population sizes. In rural areas, there are only 0.9 people per square mile. In comparison, Albuquerque has 3,003 people per square mile. These differences are evident in the average rates across the state.

Here’s a quick list of the average auto insurance premiums in different cities in New Mexico:

  • Albuquerque $1,419
  • Alamogordo $1,054
  • Carlsbad $1,249
  • Farmington $1,100
  • Gallup $1,134
  • Hobbs $1,267
  • Las Cruces $1,124
  • Rio Rancho $1,322
  • Roswell $1,217
  • Santa Fe $1,254

Alamogordo has a population of 32,734 and pays 12% less than the state average for car insurance. On the other end, Albuquerque has a population of 560,218 and pays 15% higher than the state average.

High-Risk Drivers in New Mexico

For drivers that are too high risk to get car insurance through a private company, New Mexico has established the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan. The state is a member of the Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans (WAAIP). This organization helps high-risk drivers to find an insurance company that will insure them.

Based on their market share, all insurance companies have to insure a certain number of high-risk drivers in New Mexico. For example, a company that covers 10% of drivers in the state must insure 10% of all the high-risk drivers there as well.

What Kind of Coverage is Best in New Mexico?

Since New Mexico is an at-fault state, you’ll need enough coverage to cover all damages that you may cause. If you don’t have enough, you could lose some of your other assets in court to pay for them yourself.

The current recommendation from most insurance professionals is $100,000 bodily liability insurance per person and $300,000 per accident.

As mentioned throughout this article, New Mexico has a high rate of uninsured drivers, so you may want to consider getting uninsured motorist coverage.

You may also want to check out collision or comprehensive insurance, especially if you have a new car. These will cost you more up front, but they’ll save you in the long run. Collision will cover your repairs if you hit something other than a car, such as a fence, animal, etc. Comprehensive coverage will protect you from things like theft, falling trees, floods, etc.

Another optional coverage is medical payments coverage, which will reimburse you for medical expenses incurred due to the accident.

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in New Mexico

The first step is to figure out what kind of insurance coverage you need. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to consider how much of a deductible you want to have on your policy. A deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. Lower deductibles will likely have higher policy costs, so choosing a higher deductible could save you money on your policy. $500 is the average car insurance deductible.

Now you can start looking into different insurance companies and try to find the best one. Make sure that you compare apples to apples by looking at the cost for the same type of policy and deductible.

In New Mexico, the top three auto insurance companies that provide affordable rates are USAA, State Farm, and Geico. However, you may want to check some regional companies as well, such as The Hartford and Safeco.

Here at QuotePurple, we’ll do the work for you. We’ll show you coverage from the best carriers to help you find the most affordable price.

FAQs about Auto Insurance in New Mexico

1. What information will I need to provide for car insurance?

This could vary, but there are a few documents and information that you’ll need to provide, no matter which insurance company you choose.

These are:

  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Your bank information
  • Make, Model, Year, and VIN of your car
  • Safety and anti-theft features of your car
  • Estimate of how many miles you’ll drive annually

This may not cover everything, but it’ll help to have this information prepared ahead of time.

2. What proof of insurance will I need to register my car at the MVD in New Mexico?

When you register your car with the MVD, they require you to show proof of insurance. New Mexico is now the only state that doesn’t accept any type of electronic proof, so you’ll need a paper copy both when you register your car and while you’re driving it.

Any one of these three options are acceptable:

  • Current insurance card
  • A copy of your insurance policy
  • A letter from your insurance company that verifies your coverage (This must be on paper with the company letterhead.)

3. What are the penalties for driving without insurance in New Mexico?

New Mexico takes this law seriously and has pretty severe penalties for drivers who don’t. For a first-time offender, you could end up in jail for up to 90 days and have a fine of up to $300. Repeat offenders can get up to 6 months of jail time and a fine of up to $1000.

4. Is New Mexico a No-Fault state for car insurance?

No, it is not. New Mexico is a fault state, which means that the driver at fault for the accident is responsible for covering all the damages caused by the accident.

5. Do I need uninsured motorist insurance in New Mexico?

Uninsured motorist insurance covers you if you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. This is definitely helpful, especially since New Mexico has such a high rate of uninsured drivers. However, the state does not require drivers to have this coverage. They do require that your insurance company offer it to you when you sign up for your insurance.

Figuring out your car insurance premium can be difficult and time-consuming. To be sure you get the right rates and the best rates, call QuotePurple at (877) 200-6113 to speak with a car insurance specialist and get a quote today!

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