The Best New Mexico Auto Insurance Companies
From deductibles and payment plans to rental reimbursement and roadside assistance, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing auto insurance. Coupled with the high rates of auto theft in Albuquerque and the fact that roughly 20.8% of New Mexico drivers are uninsured, choosing the right provider — and the right amount of coverage — can seem daunting. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to research and break down the best New Mexico auto insurance.
How We Found the Best New Mexico Auto Insurance Companies
To find the Land of Enchantment’s best auto insurance providers, we used a method similar to our national auto insurance review. We began by finding the top auto insurance providers in New Mexico by total market share. Next, we took a closer look at those providers, examining their standard and optional coverages, discounts, and online educational resources.
Then, we examined each provider’s financial stability by checking out Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s ratings. We also looked at the Consumer Report nationwide survey and the J.D. Power’s regional evaluation to get a better idea of consumers’ overall experience. We then solicited a quote from each company to get a better feel for the company’s process, premiums, and customer service. Here’s how each New Mexico auto insurance provider stacks up.
The 4 Best Auto Insurance Companies in New Mexico
USAA is only available to military members and their families. But for those who qualify, USAA is an excellent place to start searching for car insurance.
To begin with, USAA was the sole insurance provider ranked among the best for claims and overall experience in J.D. Power’s regional evaluation. Similarly, Consumer Reports gave USAA a score of 95 with excellent ratings across the board. In addition to customer satisfaction, USAA boasts the strongest financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P.
USAA’s full coverage not only includes standard offerings such as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, but rental reimbursement, something most insurers charge extra for. If you’d prefer, however, you can opt for separate coverage for policy elements such as accident forgiveness and roadside assistance.
In addition to its coverage choices, we like USAA’s payment flexibility: You can pay your premium in one fell swoop, set up a six- or 12-month plan, or pay on a military pay schedule.
We consider claims experience and financial strength — essentially, the ability to make a claim and have it quickly and easily resolved — to be the two principal elements of a good auto insurer. So, placing State Farm near the top of the list is a no-brainer.
Like USAA, State Farm received the high marks from J.D. Power and Associate’s regional evaluation, along with high praise from Consumer Reports. State Farm also boasts strong grades from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s for financial solvency.
The auto insurance provider’s standard and supplemental coverage are on par with other insurers, but its rental car reimbursement coverage stands out. Rather than simply reimbursing you for your car rental, State Farm will cover your meals, lodging, and transportation in the event that your vehicle is disabled more than 50 miles from your home.
We’re similarly impressed with the auto insurer’s discounts. You can earn up to 20% off for insuring multiple vehicles or even 25% off for earning good grades, plus up to 17% off for holding multiple policies. These discounts are common, but the percentage of savings that State Farm provides is higher than most.
Progressive is a great option for car insurance, but it doesn’t quite measure up to USAA and State Farm. Take Progressive’s financial solvency ratings. They’re good, just not as high as the top three. Similarly, it received solid ratings from Consumer Reports, but the insurer didn’t fare quite as well on a regional level. J.D. Power gave Progressive just an average rating for claims experience, and its overall rating is also decidedly below average.
We also had difficulty differentiating between standard and supplemental coverage options. Still, we like many of the coverages available. In particular, Progressive’s collision coverage stands out. Although this is a standard coverage, Progressive takes it a step further by covering your injuries, as well as your pets’ injuries if any of you are hurt in an accident.
Progressive markets itself as budget-friendly and we can see why. The site’s online quote tool provides multiple coverage choices based on your budget, and you can experiment with changing the cost of your monthly bill with the Name Your Price tool. In this vein, Progressive offers lots of discounts, including ones that are easy to obtain, like savings for starting an online quote. You’ll also earn a discount by maintaining insurance continuously, signing documents online and enrolling in automatic bill pay.
However, it’s important to examine quantity as well as quality. And that’s another spot where Progressive doesn’t match up next to its counterparts. For instance, State Farm offers a 20% multi-car discount; Progressive’s multi-car discount is just 10%.
Progressive’s lenient qualifications for these discounts are worth mentioning. Take the homeowners discount: You need to have a homeowners insurance policy with most insurers to qualify for this, but Progressive will award you a discount for owning a home, condo or mobile home, regardless of who insures it. Likewise, Progressive will give you a multi-car discount as long as those cars are part of your household, which extends beyond family members to include anyone living in your home.
Farmers had a low financial rating compared to USAA and Progressive. While an A is still an A, it’s important to keep this rating in mind when compared to the superior grades of the other providers on this list; the further you get away from the USAA gold standard of A++, the less guarantee you have of getting your claims settled. After all, when you’re filing an insurance claim, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your provider can foot the bill.
We should note, however, that while its Moody’s financial strength rating indicates Farmers is subject to moderate credit risk, its J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings were above average. As a result, Farmers is still worth looking into.
We like Farmers mainly because of its robust coverage. We were pleased to learn that Farmers offers accident forgiveness, whereby Farmers forgives one accident for every three years you drive without one. Plus, the company offers incident forgiveness, which means your premiums won’t increase as a result of a citation, provided no claim is filed.
Other add-on coverages are notable, too. For example, with Loss of Use coverage, Farmers will reimburse you with a flat sum for any travel expenses you incur while your car is repaired. And Farmers’ Customized Equipment Coverage ensures your new stereo system, subwoofers, rims, and any other optional gear not permanently installed in your vehicle is covered in the event of damage or theft.
We also like Farmers’ website, which is home to FAQs on auto insurance, claims, and discounts, plus tips for saving on auto insurance.
While Farmers might not have the highest financial rating, its coverage options – as well as the opportunity to talk to an agent in person or over the phone – make it worth considering.
Guide to New Mexico Auto Insurance
New Mexico minimum liability
Before shopping for car insurance, you should know your minimum liability requirements. Minimum liability insurance is the portion of an auto policy that covers drivers and property outside of your car, including damages to the other car, occupants of another car, or property.
In New Mexico, the minimum liability insurance requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $10,000 property damage coverage per accident
Although you are required to obtain this 25/50/10 level of insurance, you’d do well to purchase more, since accidents can be expensive. In fact, the average claim for bodily injuries was $15,270 in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s why we — and the dozens of insurance agents and lawyers we’ve spoken to over the years — recommend purchasing as much car insurance as you can afford.
But car insurance should fit your needs without breaking the bank, which is why you should compare quotes from several car insurance companies to see what types of coverages and discounts these providers will offer you. Our look at New Mexico’s top auto insurance providers should give you a good starting place for your search.
Key coverage options for New Mexico drivers
We outlined the 25/50/10 minimum liability coverage above, but bodily injury and property damage aren’t the only things New Mexico drivers need to look out for. There are several coverages that, while optional, are wise investments. Chief among these optional coverages are comprehensive coverage and uninsured and underinsured coverage.
Collision coverage is pretty self-explanatory — it covers you in the event you hit another vehicle or object, like a tree, mailbox, or guardrail. But what about situations that don’t involve collisions? That’s where comprehensive coverage comes in.
Comprehensive coverage covers damage caused by incidents other than collisions — think earthquakes, floods, fires, hail, falling trees, vandalism, and theft.
That last one is particularly important for Albuquerque residents, as the city was ranked No. 1 in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Spots Report. Here, vehicles are usually stolen to be sold for parts, taken on a joyride, or driven across the border for resale, according to the Albuquerque Police Department.
Of course, there are many preventative measures you can take to thwart auto theft, such as locking your doors and keeping valuables out of sight. However, these measures are not always enough, which is why it’s crucial to invest in comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is divided into two categories: property damage and bodily injury:
- Property damage coverage pays for the repairs to your vehicle if someone without car insurance hits your car.
- Bodily injury coverage pays for your injuries when someone with little or no insurance crashes into you.
While we think uninsured motorist coverage is a wise purchase for all drivers, it’s especially smart for New Mexico drivers. That’s because New Mexico ranks third in the nation for most uninsured drivers — a whopping 20.8%, based on data from the Insurance Information Institute.
That number is significantly lower than in the past, though, which can be attributed to the state’s use of an electronic database system to cross-reference driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations with insurance records.
According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Institute, New Mexico had the second highest uninsured motorist rate in the country at roughly 30% before the implementation of this insurance identification database. After the database’s 2002 implementation, that number dropped to 24%.
Even with rates decreasing, the number of uninsured motorists is still high, so insured New Mexico drivers would do well to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
New Mexico Auto Insurance FAQ
What are average auto insurance rates in New Mexico?
New Mexico auto insurance rates are just below the national average — $938 per year, compared to $1,009 nationwide. However, the rate you’ll actually pay could be higher or lower depending on your car, your zip code, and the coverage you choose. You can use our tool at the top of the page to find your best rates.
Is New Mexico a no-fault state for car insurance?
New Mexico is actually considered a “fault” state. What this means is that the at-fault driver in an accident is held responsible for any damages. This includes the costs incurred by the at-fault driver and any medical and repair costs sustained by the other driver.
How much auto insurance do you need?
Auto insurance is crucial for drivers in New Mexico — and not just the minimum 25/50/10. Due to the high rate of auto theft and a large number of uninsured drivers, New Mexico drivers should also invest in comprehensive coverage and uninsured and underinsured coverage. To help you get the best price possible, you should request quotes from multiple providers and regularly review your policy to ensure you’re taking advantage of all available discounts.