If you have lived in different states, one of the things you may have noticed is that each state has its own car insurance laws. It’s important to understand what the New Mexico car insurance laws are so that you can remain compliant and not end up paying any fees and jeopardizing your license.
New Mexico has very specific laws regarding how much insurance you must have, what penalties you face for driving without insurance, whether you are required to report accidents, and even which factors car insurance companies can use to determine your premium.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about New Mexico car insurance laws.
What Are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in New Mexico?
The minimum car insurance requirements in New Mexico are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for property
Keep in mind that liability insurance only pays out when you are at fault in an accident, and it only pays to cover the personal and property damage you cause to others. While sticking to minimum insurance may keep your premium low, you may be stuck with a lot of debt in the event of an accident.
What Factors Does New Mexico Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?
Previously, we touched on the fact that your zip code partially determines how much you pay for your car insurance. But what are the other factors your insurance carrier is allowed to consider?
In New Mexico, your carrier may look at any and all of the following factors:
- Credit history
- Driving history
- Insurance history
- Zip code
- Marital status
- Employment status
- Driving history
If you make any changes to these factors (such as improving your credit history), you should alert your insurance carrier. It may result in a lower premium at the end of the month.
What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in New Mexico?
Upon the first offense, you will receive a fine of up to $300 and may be placed in jail for up to 90 days. Upon the second offense, the maximum fine jumps to $1,000 and the maximum jail time jumps to six months. Upon the third offense and beyond, the court may assign you even harsher punishments at their discretion.
While the fines may be very costly, keep in mind the biggest cost will come from any personal or property damage you cause while driving without insurance. Without the protection of liability coverage, you’ll be on the hook for every penny of damage caused!
Am I Required to Report an Accident in New Mexico to Authorities?
You must report an accident if it results in the injury or death of anyone involved. You must also report an accident if it results in property damage of $500 or more. Make sure to report these accidents to the local police department or, if you are outside a municipality, report to the nearest sheriff’s office.