Every month, every six months or every year, you pay to renew your motor vehicle liability insurance policy. New Mexico requires that every driver have insurance that applies to their vehicle and protects them if they drive someone else’s car.
The policy that you carry will reimburse anyone affected by your driving if you cause a crash. If you are not the one at fault, then you can depend on the coverage of the other driver to help you pay your vehicle repair bills and hospital expenses after a crash.
Unfortunately, New Mexico has somewhat low requirements for liability insurance, which means that you could wind up with uncovered expenses after a major crash.
What does New Mexico mandate?
There is always the potential for you to cross paths with someone who doesn’t have insurance on their vehicle at all. However, you are more likely to get into a crash with someone who doesn’t have enough coverage.
Insurance laws in New Mexico require $25,000 in bodily injury coverage when a crash hurts one person, and that minimum coverage goes up to $50,000 when two people get hurt. A couple of days in the hospital or an emergency surgery could use up all of that coverage and leave you with nothing to reimburse you for all the days of work you had to miss.
Property damage coverage is even lower. A driver might only have $10,000 worth of property damage coverage. That might not even be enough to repair your vehicle, let alone buy a new car after the insurance declares your vehicle a total loss.
How do you handle uncovered expenses?
If you aren’t at fault for a crash, you shouldn’t have to worry about long-term financial hardship because of the collision. When the other driver’s insurance policy isn’t enough, you may have the right to make a claim against your policy. You need uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Otherwise, your best option may be to file a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the wreck. Understanding how the low requirements for insurance in New Mexico may put you at risk can help you take the right steps after a car crash.