New Mexico auto insurance rates fall a little below average when compared to the rest of the country, with an average rate of $1,201 a year for a ranking at number 33. Big name companies rule the market in the state, and our list of the best companies for car insurance in New Mexico makes it clear there is a reason why.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in New Mexico
New Mexico’s state laws require all drivers on the road to carry a minimum amount of car insurance in order to ensure financial responsibility in the event of an accident. The state’s legal minimums are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury, and $10,000 for property damage.
That places New Mexico about average for bodily injury liability limits, but on the low side for property damage coverage. Carrying higher limits for both parts of the required coverage is highly recommended, as a serious car accident can cost well above these limits.
As an alternative to car insurance, New Mexico drivers can provide a cash deposit or bond with the state in the amount of $60,000.
The state does not have any other requirements for car insurance in order to be on the road legally. If you have financed your vehicle or have a lease agreement, however, you will need to meet any insurance requirements set out in that agreement. Most lenders require comprehensive coverage and collision coverage on the vehicle as part of the agreement; other requirements may apply. Check with your lender or leaseholder before you buy insurance to make sure you are buying what’s needed.
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Specifics of New Mexico Auto Insurance
New Mexico operates on a tort system, which means that the person found to be at fault in a car accident is responsible for damages. The driver’s car insurance policy will pay out for injuries, death, and property damage as well as court costs up to the limits of the coverage chosen by the driver.
After the limits of the policy are met, any excess amount owed will be the responsibility of the at-fault party. That means that if you carry the legal minimum and are involved in a serious accident, you could find yourself facing a court judgment that requires you to pay thousands out of pocket. Carrying higher limits is the best way to protect yourself.
First and foremost on our list of criteria for the best car insurance in New Mexico is the requirement for a good reputation. A car insurance company is only as good as the service they provide, and no matter how inexpensive the policy, it is not worth it if the company does not have your back when a claim happens. We looked at ratings from trusted consumer reporting sources and also reviewed our own research into customer reviews and complaints about each company.
While inexpensive is not the top requirement to make the list – for the reasons above – we did look for companies that offer the most competitive rates for New Mexico drivers. All of the companies on our list represent a good value in car insurance, which means they offer a combination of excellent service and a fair price for the coverage they provide. We looked for companies that offer a comprehensive policy to allow New Mexico drivers to save on the coverage they need, not only on the legal minimum.
Our final criterion is that each company on our list offer coverage to the general public, and not only to a certain subset of the population. That means that while there are some great companies, like USAA, with eligibility requirements, we left them off in order to make the list useful to the largest portion of the population. All of the companies we chose cover drivers across the entire state as well, regardless of location.
Our Top Picks
These three companies offer the best combination of service and price to New Mexico drivers across the state.
The biggest car insurance company in the nation is also a top pick for New Mexico drivers. They are well known for great customer service, and J.D. Power’s regional rating of the company in the top five confirms that is true for New Mexico. They also provide the personal attention of an agent.
All of that also comes with some of the most affordable rates in the state. State Farm consistently provides competitive quotes to drivers of all types, regardless of record. Rates can come down even more thanks to State Farm’s great bundling discount if you also add your home insurance.
Progressive climbed to the number three spot nationwide for car insurance on their promise of low rates, and they keep that promise for New Mexico drivers as well. They consistently have some of the lowest rates across the board.
Progressive also ranks well for customer service on the regional survey and has been working to build that reputation over the past several years. They are a great pick for anyone who wants the convenience of online services along with customer service that is there when you need it.
Rounding out the top three in New Mexico is the car insurance company that holds the number two spot in market share nationwide. GEICO earned that spot with a combination of price and service that is hard to match anywhere else.
GEICO is consistently one of the lowest priced options for New Mexico drivers, even with a less than perfect driving record. They also have a great reputation for customer service and make it easy to handle insurance needs on the go with mobile and online services. They are a great pick if budget is your main concern.
Shopping for Car Insurance in New Mexico
It is not hard to tell that the big-name companies hold sway in New Mexico; the top three companies in the country are also our top picks for the state. That does not mean you shouldn’t shop around, including some of the smaller car insurers out there, to find out if there is a better option for you. Comparing as many companies as possible is the best way to make sure you are getting the best value for your insurance dollar.
Before you start, however, you should know what kind of coverage you want. We highly recommend choosing liability limits above the legal minimum; many drivers are surprised to learn it does not cost much more to be better protected.
Most insurance companies have standard coverage limits and deductibles at which they present their quotes; if you do not specify what you want you will likely wind up with a list of quotes that aren’t really comparable because they don’t include the same coverage. Choosing your coverage ahead of time and obtaining quotes with that same coverage every time is the best way to get fair quote comparisons.
The Bottom Line
For New Mexico drivers, the big three are all great picks. They offer great value along with name recognition and financial stability. Check all of your options, however, before you make a decision. Each driver and situation is different, and sometimes the right company for you can be a surprising outlier.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.