New Mexico Insurance Questions Answered

Popular Questions about New Mexico Car Insurance

New Mexico drivers pay a bit less for car insurance than the average national driver. Car insurance is a necessity if you own a vehicle. Why not take the time to make sure you are not overpaying for your coverage?

The average American driver pays $1,318 each year for auto insurance. In New Mexico, the average rate is $1,237. You can be sure you are getting the best deal when you compare rates from a variety of insurance companies. Independent insurance agents make comparison shopping easy.

Accidents can happen to anyone – even the best drivers. Car insurance protects your finances if you find yourself in a motor vehicle collision. Here's a look at some of the ways your insurance will help..

  • Fix your car: Not required. We  call this "comprehensive and collision coverage," and though it is not required by the state, it may be required by your lender.
  • Fix someone else's car: Required/Min. $10,000. We call this "property damage liability."
  • Pay your medical bills: Not required. We  call this "personal injury protection" or "PIP."
  • Pay someone else's medical bills: Required/Min. $25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident. We call this "bodily injury liability."

New Mexico requires every driver to have a certain amount of insurance that will pay for someone else's vehicle damage and medical bills. Most states have similar laws and liability minimum requirements to ensure that drivers are able to cover costs associated with accidents they cause. 

The driver who caused the accident is responsible for covering the cost of damage.

The problem is this: Despite the laws, a large number of New Mexico’s drivers are operating uninsured vehicles. If one of these people is responsible for a collision with your vehicle, they are responsible for covering the costs. However, without insurance, they may not be able to do so and you will be left holding the bag.

That's why "uninsured motorist coverage" is so important. If you are hit by a driver who doesn't have insurance, this pays to fix your car and covers your medical bills. In a state where one in five drivers is uninsured, this optional coverage can be extremely helpful.



Popular Questions about New Mexico Home Insurance

The average American homeowner pays $1,173 per year for home insurance, but in New Mexico, the average annual premium is $982. Although overall costs in this state are lower than the national average, that does not mean you don’t have room for big savings. Let an independent insurance agent work with you to find the right coverage at the best price.

Your home insurance gives you a backup plan in case a catastrophe strikes in your neighborhood. Whether it's a fire, heavy winds or a burglary, you're covered if you have a suitable New Mexico homeowners insurance policy.

Pays for repairs to your home and your belongings

  • Example: A tree falls on your house, and rain ruins your 60" Samsung TV.

Pays for someone else's injuries or property damage when it's your fault

  • Example: Your kid is playing baseball and accidentally smacks the ball through your neighbor's window.

Pays for temporary living expenses when your home is damaged

  • Example: You need a hotel while your house's roof is being repaired due to a fallen tree.

We can’t be 100% certain, but last year insurance companies spent more than $337 million on home insurance claims in New Mexico. That's a lot of unfortunate events happening to New Mexico homeowners.

Insurance carriers calculate the cost of a home insurance policy by asking, "How likely is it that something bad will happen?" The more likely it is that something bad will happen, the more expensive the home insurance policy will be, and vice versa. We call these potential disasters "risk." Let’s take a look at how risky New Mexico is compared to the rest of the US.

Crime:

The crime rate in New Mexico is nearly twice the national average. This can lead to increased insurance rates in certain ZIP codes. It is important that you take proactive steps to protect your property and that you have a reliable insurance policy backing you up in the event of a break-in.

  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in NM: 8.30
  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in the US: 4.69

Weather:

One of the biggest risks to area homes is damage from wildfires. They can be extremely destructive, leading to the need to rebuild your home and replace all your belongings. It is therefore extremely important for your coverage limits to be high enough to prevent you from suffering a large financial loss.

  • Number of federally declared disasters in NM since 1953: 79
  • Most common cause of disasters in the state: Fires
  • Average number of tornados in the state per year: 9.7
  • Amount paid in home insurance claims in 2016: $337,652,000

Home Values:

The estimated cost to rebuild your home will play a large role in how much your home insurance costs. In New Mexico,  average home values are lower than the national average, which plays a role in why insurance costs in this state are relatively low when compared to other states.

  • Average home value in NM: $167,500
  • Average home value in the US: $188,900

Yes! There are currently 146 independent insurance agents in New Mexico who are ready to help. Did you know that independent insurance agents can give you multiple policy options to choose from? That way, you'll receive completely customized coverage that addresses all of your unique insurance needs.


Popular Questions about New Mexico Business Insurance

In 2016 alone, commercial insurance providers paid out more than $751 million in business insurance claims in New Mexico. Without insurance, business claims have to be paid out of your pocket, meaning they have to be paid out of your business’s revenue. 

Needless to say, you need a comprehensive insurance plan that gives you 360 degrees of protection if something unexpected happens.

40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some things these companies have been using their insurance on:

  • Theft or burglary: Average cost per claim - $8,000
  • Water damage and freezing pipes: Average cost per claim - $17,000
  • Wind and hail damage: Average cost per claim - $26,000
  • Fire damage: Average cost per claim - $35,000
  • Customer slip and fall: Average cost per claim - $20,000

New Mexico business insurance will pay for covered claims so your business doesn’t have to. It gives you peace of mind so you can focus on what matters: your business's bottom line.

Here’s what a standard business insurance policy should do:

Pay for damage to your building

  • We call this “commercial property insurance.”
  • Example: A tree falls on your office building.

Pay for damage to your business property

  • We call this “business personal property insurance.”
  • Example: A fire destroys all your computers.

Pay for damage to someone else’s property

  • We call this “general liability insurance.”
  • Example: A contractor does a poor job of installing a cabinet, and it falls and breaks a  homeowner's kitchenware.

Pay for someone else’s medical bills

  • We also call this “general liability insurance.” 
  • Example: A customer slips and falls on your recently mopped floor and breaks an arm.

Pay for accidents in company vehicles

  • We call this “commercial auto insurance.”
  • Example: Your salesperson rear-ends someone while driving to an appointment.

Pay for employee injuries and compensation

  • We also call this “workers' compensation.”
  • Example: An employee falls off a ladder at work and can’t work for two weeks.

Sometimes, these coverages are not enough to properly protect a business against risk. Your business most likely faces unique risks and may need additional coverages.

To make sure you're properly insured, we can match you with the right independent insurance agent who specializes in covering businesses that operate in your industry.

Commercial insurance is not mandatory for New Mexico business owners, but certain aspects of it may be. In this state, businesses that employ three or more people must carry workers' compensation insurance. 

And businesses that have company-owned vehicles must carry commercial auto insurance. To learn more about coverage that you may need to carry, you can talk with a local independent insurance agent.

It primarily depends on how risky your business is. The riskier your business, the higher your insurance. Here are two examples.

  • A sole proprietor who owns a garment hemming business: $260 per year
  • A commercial landscaper with five employees who operate heavy machinery: $22,700 per year

Business insurance rates are calculated using a number of factors such as the risks to your business property, your liability coverage needs, and the amount and types of coverage you want. Policies can vary significantly by business industry, so it is best to talk with an experienced insurance agent when building a suitable and comprehensive policy for your business.

It’s usually wise to work with an independent agent in New Mexico, since they can obtain quotes and coverage options from multiple insurance companies. Sometimes it’s difficult to find an insurance company that will offer the coverage your business needs.

  • There are 146 independent agents in New Mexico who are ready to help.
  • In 2017 our agents helped 1,032 people.

Popular Questions about Workers' Compensation in New Mexico

Accidents can happen in any workplace, from manufacturing plants to construction sites, and even in offices and stores. 

Workers’ compensation insurance makes it possible for workers to pay their medical bills and be compensated for lost wages if they are injured on the job. The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits to injured workers regardless of fault. 

Injured workers cannot sue the employer for liability for their injuries, and they receive the medical care and wage replacement benefits they need. With workers’ compensation insurance, employers can better predict costs based on their workers’ compensation premiums. 

Any employer with three or more employees in New Mexico must purchase workers' comp insurance. This includes charities, non-profits, and religious organizations. Owners, family members, and part-time and seasonal workers must be included in the employee count. 

Partners and sole proprietors are excluded from coverage, but can elect to include themselves. 

Corporate officers and LLC members are included in coverage, but can exclude themselves if they own 10% or more of the company. Exempted officers must still be included in the employee count used to determine if coverage is required. 

Other exemptions from New Mexico workers’ comp coverage include: 

  • Real estate agents and domestic employees
  • Independent contractors

The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration cannot enforce the workers’ compensation laws on tribal lands in the state, but tribal governments can choose to purchase coverage for their tribal businesses, or require it for private businesses located on their land. 

Construction employers: One or more employees

All employers: Three or more employees

Agricultural employers: Farm and ranch workers who spend the majority of their time growing or harvesting produce, meat, or dairy products are exempt

New Mexico has a private workers’ compensation market. You can purchase it from any private insurance carrier or agency that is licensed to sell it in the state. 

Businesses can self-insure with approval from the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration (WCA). Employers in the same or similar industry may join together to self-insure as a group with WCA approval.

Businesses with poor safety records or that are in high-risk industries that cannot get coverage in the voluntary or self-insurance markets can get coverage from the state-assigned risk pool. 

Medical bills

  • Example: A waiter suffers severe burns and needs to be taken to the hospital. 
  • Injured workers are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical care related to work-related injuries or illnesses. Workers are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses and time away from work for medical appointments, as well. 

Wage replacement

  • Example: An employee needs to miss three days of work to recover from a back injury that happened on the factory floor. 
  • Employees are entitled to a certain level of wage replacement if they are unable to work as a result of a workplace illness or injury. The exact amount of these benefits is dependent on the degree and duration of the disability. 

Death benefits

  • Example: A coal miner’s spouse and dependent children receive compensation after he is killed on the job. 
  • An employee’s family may receive a portion of the deceased employee’s compensation for a certain period following their death, as well as a lump sum payment for funeral expenses. 

Workers’ compensation insurance costs more for high-hazard industries than for low-hazard industries. New Mexico workman's comp premiums are determined by how many employees an employer has, the type of jobs performed, and the employer’s history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims. 

Information needed first

Classification code: The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) assigns a risk classification code (class code) to every occupation. Each class code represents industries and occupations with similar exposures to workplace injuries. 

Base rate: Class codes are used to classify workers’ compensation base rates, which coincide with the loss experience of the employers within each code. Each class code is assigned a base rate that is determined by how hazardous the occupation is for workers. 

The base rate is used as part of a formula that determines an employer’s annual workers’ compensation premium. 

Example based on $100,000 annual payroll

  • Classification Code 8380: Auto Shop
  • Base rate: $2.19
  • Premium calculation: Base rate X (Payroll/100)
  • $100,000/100 = $1,000 X $2.19 = $2,190 
  • $2,190 = Estimated annual workers' compensation premium for New Mexico auto shop

Looking for workers’ compensation insurance in New Mexico? You need the help of a trusted advisor, like a Trusted Choice independent insurance agent. 

While the examples in this article are simplified, New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance is quite complex. A Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent can help you learn more about New Mexico’s workers’ compensation requirements, to make sure you purchase the right policy to protect your business and your employees. And an independent agent can help you get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can be sure you are getting the best rates.

  • There are 146 independent agencies in New Mexico who are ready to help. 
  • In 2017, our agents helped 1,032 New Mexico residents.