September 20, 2021

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Driving Without Insurance in New Mexico – Bankrate

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Driving without insurance in New Mexico presents financial and legal risks. New Mexico is the fourth largest state for uninsured motorists with an estimated 21.8% of drivers driving uninsured, based on the latest study from the Insurance Information Institute. This means drivers in an accident stand a one in five chance of hitting an uninsured driver. If you are a part of the 21.8%, you are not just putting others in financial danger, but you are putting yourself in danger of financial or legal consequences.

Minimum insurance required in New Mexico

New Mexico state law requires all drivers to carry bodily injury and property damage liability. Currently, drivers at minimum must have a 25/50/10 policy.

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury or death
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury or death
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage

For minimum coverage only, New Mexico drivers pay around $385 a year, based on quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services. However, drivers are strongly recommended by experts to consider purchasing a full coverage policy that would include collision and comprehensive coverage.

Liability only pays for damages you cause to someone else — it does not cover any damages or financial loss to yourself or your vehicle. If you are hit by an uninsured driver in an accident, uninsured motorist coverage would help cover your medical and repair costs.

Penalties for driving without insurance in New Mexico

Even if it is the first incident, drivers in New Mexico driving without insurance face an immediate suspension of both their license and registration. Driving without insurance may also lead to an SR-22 requirement being issued.

If it is your first offense, you could be placed in jail for up to 90 days and have a fine of up to $300. For a subsequent offense, you could be put in jail for 6 months and pay a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted of driving without insurance more than two times, a judge may order an even stricter sentence.

Causing an accident while uninsured is when drivers can expect imprisonment and higher fines. New Mexico has one of the highest vehicle death rates in the country (20.2 travelers per 100,000 people), so reckless driving — especially without insurance — is severely penalized.

Fees from new-mexico’s online insurance verification system

New Mexico recently partnered with PASCO Inc. to develop an online insurance identification database through Validati. Both drivers and insurance companies can submit proof of insurance at www.driveinsured.com. If you are not in the system as having adequate insurance, you will either receive a ticket for no insurance from a police officer or you will receive notice in the mail.

If you receive a letter in the mail, you have 30 days to submit proof of insurance before your registration is suspended. If you do not meet this timeline before obtaining insurance, you will have to pay a $30 fine to reinstate your license. Drivers can pay this fee online through the MVD New Mexico portal.

Getting into an accident without insurance

Getting into an accident in New Mexico without insurance can result in much more devastating consequences. Not only will the penalties previously mentioned take place, but you are setting yourself up for a financial burden that may take you years to recover from.

Having not enough insurance is a similarly risky decision. If you have liability insurance, you may be under the misconception that you are financially safe if you get into an accident. While you are technically better off than someone who does not have insurance, you are still responsible for any damages you cause even if they exceed your coverage limits. For example, if you wreck into a vehicle with multiple passengers, their medical costs could quickly exceed the minimum liability policy limits. If you do not have insurance, you are responsible for any excess above policy limits. In order to get payment, a civil court could seize your assets and garnish your wages.

Car insurance is designed to protect you and others on the road from financial devastation, so driving without this form of financial protection will likely result in long-term financial and legal consequences.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

The state ramifications for driving without insurance are severe, but providing false insurance information can lead to criminal charges. You may lose your license, face time in jail and be ordered to pay a large fine. With New Mexico’s online insurance verification system, any false insurance information provided by drivers can be quickly discovered by law enforcement.

Furthermore, if you are dishonest to your insurance company to get approved or to lower your rate, your policy will more than likely be canceled. The incident would show up in your insurance history, which means you will likely have a more difficult or costly time getting a policy from another insurer.

How much is car insurance in New Mexico?

The average cost of car insurance in the United States is $1,674 a year for full coverage, based on quoted annual premiums. In New Mexico, full coverage premiums average $1,419 annually. On average, New Mexico drivers pay $255 less than the national rate for full coverage.

Does New Mexico require SR-22s?

Yes, New Mexico does require drivers to provide an SR-22 form in some circumstances. One qualifying circumstance would be driving without insurance in New Mexico.

What are the best insurance companies in New Mexico?

Bankrate ranks the best insurance companies according to customer satisfaction scores, financial strength and coverage and discount options. Based on our review of these factors, the best companies in New Mexico are Allstate, American Family, Geico, Safeco and State Farm. However, the best car insurance provider will differ for each driver. Comparing quotes and coverage options that fit your insurance needs is the recommended way to find the best insurer for you.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

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