About New Mexico Insurance Laws, Auto Insurance, Homeowners and Health Insurance Reform…
New Mexico insurance industry boasts of a strong market that is governed by both state and federal regulations. The burden of enforcing these regulations falls to the New Mexico Department of Insurance Division. The agency’s regulators ensure that the state’s insurance companies operate in line with the laws that the state has established. Consumers are also required to comply with New Mexico insurance regulations, such is the case with auto insurance coverage.
According to New Mexico insurance regulations, all drivers must carry auto insurance coverage. The state offers a wide variety of New Mexico auto insurance companies that consumers can choose from, all of which offer equally varied forms of coverage. Drivers are encouraged to carry a substantial level of insurance coverage in order to protect themselves from the financial implications of accidents, but New Mexico has determined that drivers may hold a minimum level of liability insurance.
The minimum level of liability insurance coverage New Mexico auto insurance policy-owners may carry accounts for $25,000 per person for bodily injury; $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $10,000 for damage to property. Drivers in the state are not required by law to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Minimum Liability Limits for New Mexico Auto Insurance: $25,000/$50,000 Bodily Injury and $10,000 Property Damage
New Mexico Homeowners insurance coverage is widely available. The state regulates the insurance companies that offer homeowners insurance, as well as those that offer various forms of property insurance coverage. These insurance regulations are primarily in place to manage the business aspects of the industry, rather than require homeowners to purchase coverage. Homeowners are encouraged by the New Mexico Department of Insurance to purchase coverage so as to protect themselves from natural disasters, but they are not required to do so by the state itself.
In 2014, residents will be required to purchase and maintain some degree of New Mexico health insurance coverage by the federal government. In order to provide residents with access to affordable policies, as well as comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the state has made modest steps in establishing its own New Mexico health insurance exchange. The exchange program is a provision of the federal health care law and New Mexico must build one by 2014 or risk having the federal government take over the initiative.
State lawmakers have been leery of the federal health care law, which was passed in 2010. In April 2011, Governor Susana Martinez rejected legislation that would open up the way for the state to establish its own health insurance exchange system. Despite this, the state’s Office of Health Care Reform has been making progress on establishing the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. In May 2012, the state identified a contractor that would be involved in building the exchange, but efforts continue to be labored due to political tensions. If the state cannot build an exchange by 2014, the federal government will intervene and build one itself.
New Mexico Insurance Resources:
New Mexico Department of Insurance Website: http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us/insurance/index.html
New Mexico Insurance Commissioner: John Franchini
File a complaint: http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us/insurance/contact-us.html
New Mexico Insurance Agent Resources: http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us/insurance/insurance-bureaus.html