New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance

NM Motorcycle Coverage

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New Mexico requires all riders to provide proof of financial responsibility. Riders can do that in one of two ways. The first is to deposit $60,000 or offer a surety bond in that amount to the State Treasurer’s office. The other is to purchase motorcycle liability insurance. The insurance option is the least expensive, so the most common way to prove financial responsibility.

Further impressing the need for insurance is the fact that New Mexico is an ”at fault” insurance state. Without the proper coverage in place you can face fines, penalties, license suspension, and potential jail time on top of owing all medical and property bills associated with the accident if you are found to be at fault. To help you understand the motorcycle insurance issues in New Mexico, let’s have a look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the coverage levels and types you may need.

NM Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

If you purchase motorcycle insurance in New Mexico instead of offering a surety bond, then your policy must meet the minimal limits below:

  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
  • $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons
  • $10,000 for damage or destruction of property

The minimum coverage in New Mexico is fairly high when compared to other states, but an accident that results in a serious injury could quickly reach those limits. When your policy falls short, you will be responsible for all additional costs, potentially draining your life savings, whether you are at fault or not.

Recommendations for New Mexico Riders

Granted, the minimum motorcycle coverage amounts required in New Mexico are fairly high, but liability does nothing to protect your bike itself–only your financial liability. Some policy types that you should consider are:

  • Collision coverage, which protects your bike in an accident with another vehicle or stationary object.
  • Uninsured/Under-insured motorist coverage, which protects you in case the other driver is from a state with lower minimum requirements or the injuries exceed the policy caps of an at fault motorist. Given that nearly 22 percent of the motorists in New Mexico are uninsured on any given day, you can understand the need for this type of coverage.
  • Comprehensive coverage, which covers damage not caused by an accident.  Examples include fire, flood, wind, theft, and animal strikes.
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage, which covers saddlebags, backrests, seats, and chrome pieces, but not helmets. Some insurers require that you have comprehensive or collision coverage in force in order to have an accessories policy.

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New Mexico Motorcycle Laws

New Mexico uses a very broad definition of a motorcycle. The state says that a motorcycle is…

”…any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel with no more than three wheels in contact with the ground; excluding a tractor and personal mobility devices.”

The statutes go on to say that the engine must be 50 cc or larger and the vehicle must be able to travel in excess of 30 mph on flat ground.

New Mexico Street-Legal Motorcycle Requirements

The Land of Enchantment can be a wondrous place to ride. All you need to do is leave the crowded urban areas around cities like Santa Fe and you are in breathtaking desert settings. Whether you are competing with congested traffic or not, your bike needs to be street legal at all times. In New Mexico, the equipment you and your bike must have includes:

  • Eye protection: required, unless equipped with a windscreen.
  • Handlebar height: no restrictions.
  • Helmet: required for all riders under the age of 18, reflectorization required.
  • Mirrors: one required.
  • Turn Signals: not required.
  • Passenger Seat and Passenger Footrests: required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
  • Headlight: required; a modulating daytime headlight is approved.
  • Muffler: required, not cutouts allowed, no acoustical requirements.
  • Safety Inspection: not required.

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