Driving around without auto insurance is like playing Russian roulette. If you drive long enough you will eventually be in an accident. It may only be a “fender bender”, but it is still an accident. It may also be your fault.
This is an important part of an accident’s criterion in New Mexico because it is a “Tort” system state. There are two types of systems in the car insurance world, Tort and No Fault. The tort system requires that someone is found at fault in the accident. Many times an officer of the law will be required to determine this, and the person at fault may get a citation for their clumsy driving technique. If you are found at fault in the accident your insurance company will pay for the medical bills, funeral expenses, and property damage up to a pre-determined amount.
Let’s say you’re driving around Roswell taking in the sights. A low flying UFO comes cruising by overhead. Obviously, you will be looking at this amazing phenomenon and not the road. You didn’t notice that the car in front of you is looking at the same thing, only they have stopped to check out the unusual vehicle. You slam into the back of them. Guess what? You are at fault, regardless of the mitigating circumstances.
In New Mexico, you will want to make sure that your car insurance meets the very minimum requirements, at the very least. New Mexico’s car insurance requirement is 25/50/10. This means you have to have bodily injury and property damage coverage in the following amounts: For the bodily injury portion: $25,000 for one person’s medical or funeral expenses resulting from the accident. $50,000 for everyone’s medical or funeral expenses resulting from the accident. For the property damage portion to cover repairs to the vehicle or other physical thing that you hit $10,000.
New Mexico does not require Uninsured/Underinsured motorist insurance, nor does it require PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage, but they are a good idea to have added to your insurance policy. They do not add much more to your premium, and are a nice cushion for your expenses.
Also, get as much insurance coverage as you can reasonably afford. The minimums are just that, you can get more. A serious accident can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have one in which you are at fault, you could easily be looking at over $100,000 between the medical, funeral, and property repair or replacement expenses. Not to mention if the injured party decides to sue you in civil court.