New Mexico is the fifth-largest state in the United States and entered the Union in 1912. This former Mexican territory is a vast and varied landscape of deserts and mountains that is home to hundreds of massive cattle ranches, mines, military installations and technology centers. New Mexico’s average cost of living is on average with the nation as a whole, but car insurance in New Mexico is more expensive than the average nationally.
New Mexico Driving Hazards
New Mexico, like many Southwestern U.S. states, has both mountains and deserts. In the mountainous regions in the northern parts of the state, average snowfall can exceed 100 inches per year, while in the desert summer temperatures can exceed 100 F for weeks at a time. Both areas have their particular driving hazards, such as whiteouts, landslides, flash floods, sandstorms, washouts and animal strikes. However, New Mexico’s biggest driving hazard is its drivers themselves, as bad driving accounts for over half of the vehicle crashes in 2009.
New Mexico Facts and Figures
- New Mexico had the highest rate of uninsured drivers (29%) in the country in 2007.
- The state ranked as number 31 on the national list of least-expensive auto insurance prices. The average price for car insurance in New Mexico was $678 for a policy with duration of 6 months, with liability-only coverage. Of course that number will be higher for auto insurance for teenagers.
- Albuquerque, NM ranked as number seven on the list of US cities with the highest rate of vehicle theft in 2007, and had 6,476 vehicle thefts reported in 2009.
- New Mexico had 46,156 vehicle crashes in 2009, with 319 fatalities reported from those accidents. Economic losses from these crashes exceeded $2.7 billion.
Mandatory Auto Insurance
Car insurance in New Mexico is a requisite for renewing a driver’s license, vehicle registration and license tags. New Mexico is a standard tort state, meaning that in the event of an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for any damages or medical expenses incurred by the victim. If they do not have insurance, the injured person must sue in court. Bodily injury and property damage liability are the only kinds of auto insurance required by law in New Mexico under 25/50/10 minimums. This translates into:
- $25,000 maximum payout per individual in bodily injury compensation
- $50,000 maximum payout per incident in bodily injury compensation
- $10,000 maximum payout per incident in property damage compensation
Auto insurers recommend that everyone maintain liability coverage of $100,000 per individual in bodily injury and $300,000 per incident, to avoid financial difficulties if the injuries or property damages in a major accident surpass the mandatory minimums. It is also recommended that drivers carry other New Mexico car insurance, such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage. These types of insurance will cover the driver’s costs if they are at-fault in an accident, hit by an uninsured driver, or experience theft, vandalism or natural damage.
Getting Cheap New Mexico Car Insurance
With the high rates of vehicle theft and accidents in New Mexico, the auto insurance premiums are expensive. Drivers need to take advantage of every possible discount offered by their auto insurer. Capitalize of safe vehicle discounts by installing car alarms, and earn reductions in premiums by taking advantage of defensive driving courses. If you carry collision and comprehensive New Mexico car insurance, you can lower your monthly payments by increasing your deductibles on claims to $500 or more.
The best way to get cheap New Mexico car insurance is to compare prices. Get several quotes tailored to your individual needs by using our service. We work with all the most reputable auto insurers that are licensed to do business in New Mexico, and we can help you find the right policy for the right price.