In the State of New Mexico, you cannot register a motor vehicle unless you provide proof that you have the proper auto insurance coverage. And when you drive an unregistered vehicle, you can expect the authorities to charge you with a violation that will most likely lead to quite the serious penalties. This is why you should never undermine the value of carrying a New Mexico car insurance policy. To help you understand better its importance, here are some of the most crucial facts you need to know about them.

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Average cost of car insurance in New Mexico

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $722.66 for car insurance in New Mexico each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$464.51 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$261.94 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$162.39 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in New Mexico

Experience is one of the biggest influencers of auto insurance premiums. Our case study backs this up, as it discovered that young drivers in the Cactus State can expect their yearly premiums to have averages of:

  • $932 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $1812.8 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $2495.6 for premium full coverage3.

Teens and those new to the road face higher rates because statistics continue to show they have remain to have the highest likelihood of getting involved in road accidents. They also have the tendency of committing traffic violations. Nevertheless, a young driver living in Clovis with an estimated population of 39,480 (2015, latest data4), can still pay as low as $43/month.

Female Drivers in New Mexico

A female driver can expect the following yearly premium averages:

  • $473.6 for state minimum coverage,
  • $922.4 for basic full coverage and
  • $1288 for premium full coverage.

With our case study’s methodology5, we found that women in NM have much lower insurance costs than teens and new drivers. How much your individual quotes will be still depends on many different factors though, particularly your age, driving record and experience, as well as the type of car you will insure.

Senior Drivers in New Mexico

We found that senior drivers can have the following premium averages:

  • $466 for state minimum coverage,
  • $871.2 for basic full coverage and
  • $1185.6 for premium full coverage.

Minimum car insurance requirements

New Mexico residents who would like to have their motor vehicles registered first need to obtain a liability insurance policy. This legal requirement protects motorists from legal liabilities, in the event that they cause an unfortunate road traffic incident. It helps pay for bodily injury to others as well as property damage.

To ensure that you comply with the state laws, make sure your policy consists of the following coverage minimums: a $25,000 coverage for bodily injury/person (including deaths), a $50,000 coverage for total bodily injury/accident (including fatalities), and a $10,000 coverage for property damage.

Note that technically, car insurance laws in NM also mandate motor vehicle owners and operators to purchase the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You have the choice not to, though. However, you should indicate it in writing that you opted out of any of these two coverage types.

Although the law only obligates motorists to have the coverage minimums listed above, you should consider expanding your policy to make way for the other useful types of insurance coverage. You can talk to your insurance company about the following options you have: collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage, as well as towing and labor coverage.

Violations and penalties 

For first time violators, expect the authorities to charge you with a fine of up to $300. You may also have to face jail time of up to 90 days. Quite a number of motorists caught driving without the proper insurance coverage had to pay a fine as well as surrender themselves for imprisonment. You may also have to wait for a specified period of time before you can have the suspension of your motor vehicle registration lifted.

Get caught for the second time and you would have to deal with more severe penalties. For instance, even when your policy has just recently expired, you need to hand over both your driver’s license and your automobile registration. Failure to do so will just lead to more penalties. A fine of up to $1,000 will also apply. The authorities may also charge you with an imprisonment term of up to 6 months.

Driving safety in New Mexico

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 91% of motorists and front-seat passengers in New Mexico use seatbelts – a number higher than the 86% national average.

The National Highway Safety Administration assessment of driving fatalities in 2015 showed that 298 cases happened in NM. 33% (98 cases) were due to alcohol impaired driving.

The CDC also rated the state’s overall vehicle occupant death at 11.1 per 100,000 residents.

Final thoughts

Judging from the New Mexico car insurance facts discussed above, you should already recognize the risks of not carrying a policy when you operate a registered vehicle. Besides, you don’t want to have the pressure of financial liabilities in the event you get involved in an accident, especially one you caused and resulted in other people getting hurt.

licensed drivers in New Mexico, 2014
privately insured vehicles in New Mexico

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source:
5Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
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