Do I Need More than Basic Auto Insurance

Owning a car comes with freedom and a fair share of financial responsibility as well. And speaking of financial obligation, car insurance is an investment you can’t do without if you own a vehicle in New Mexico. In the Land of Enchantment, all motorists are required to purchase auto insurance with the following requirements:

  • Bodily injury liability to protect you when accused of causing physical harm to third parties. The minimum required is $25,000 per person and twice the amount for an accident involving multiple persons. 
  • Property damage liability (PDL) to protect you when you cause physical damage to other people’s properties. The least amount required is $10,000 per accident.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage that protects you from unpaid property damage and bodily damage you sustain after colliding with an uninsured motorist. However, you can reject this coverage in writing.

Having seen the basic auto insurance required, the next question is: do you need more than the basic auto insurance? Family Insurance Associates in Ruidoso, NM, is here to set the record straight.

Why do you need more than basic car insurance coverage?

Meeting the state-required minimums is excellent, but you will need more than the basic coverage for optimal protection. Here are the reasons:

Basic insurance has a low limit

In case of a severe accident, the state-required car liability limits are insufficient. For instance, the $25,000 required by New Mexico won’t get you very far. Medical expenses alone can quickly exceed $30,000. Add legal costs to that amount, and you could be in serious trouble. 

That said, we recommend motorists increase their liability limits. Besides, we recommend umbrella insurance if you want broader coverage.

Basic insurance covers other people

You will notice that state-required coverages are all about other people, leaving you and your car uncovered. As such, you must consider other coverages like comprehensive, collision, MedPay, among other coverages to protect your family, yourself, and the car. 

Are you shopping for auto insurance in Ruidoso, NM, and its environs? Please get in touch with Family Insurance Associates for an affordable quote.

Should I get auto insurance in New Mexico?

The Ruidoso, NM area can be a nice community to live in. If you do move to this area of New Mexico, you will likely find that having a car is a necessity as getting around town without one would be challenging. Those that do choose to purchase a car in this area of New Mexico need to get proper insurance for a few different reasons.

Auto Insurance is a Legal Requirement

A key reason that people here will need an auto insurance plan is that it is a legal requirement. If you choose to purchase a car in New Mexico, you will have to comply with the state laws surrounding coverage. Any driver here of any type of vehicle will have to maintain a liability insurance plan. With this coverage, you will have the capacity to pay for damages that could be caused by an accident. 

Auto Insurance Protects Car

You should also get an auto insurance plan as it will protect your car. Buying a car is one of the most significant purchases that you can make. As it is also an asset that you rely on, having the capacity to repair or replace it is important. With an auto insurance plan, you will get the necessary coverage you need to offset your losses if it is damaged in an accident or stolen. 

Those that want to get auto insurance in the Ruidoso, NM area should call Family Insurance Associates. There are some very important factors to consider as you are picking an auto insurance plan. The team with Family Insurance Associates understands how to help people evaluate their insurance needs and options and then pick a plan that gives proper coverage for their vehicle and overall peace of mind. 

Is My Stereo System Covered Under My Auto Policy?

Residents living in Ruidoso, NM rely on the agents of Family Insurance Associates for many things. Customized auto insurance policies are just one way the agents go the extra mile when helping their clients protect their investments. While many people leave their vehicles the way they were driven off of the lot, others prefer to customize their ride with a variety of accessories.

Stereo Systems and Other Valuable Add-ons

Stereo systems, unique lighting systems, and custom paint jobs are expensive additions to any vehicle. Depending on the type of equipment used, some stereo systems can be valued at several thousand dollars. The same is true for paint jobs and lighting systems. The more expensive the add-on, the higher the value of your vehicle. The problem is that this additional value will not be reflected by the Kelly Blue Book price that is used to determine the vehicle’s replacement cost. 

Customized Policies and Bundles

When vehicles have been customized, it’s important that you purchase an auto insurance policy that reflects their true value. You don’t want to invest a lot of money in a vehicle only to lose your investment if you don’t have sufficient coverage. By working with your agent, you will be able to determine the actual value of your upgrades and create a customized policy that will ensure you have the coverage you need.

The agents of Family Insurance Associates offer residents of Ruidoso, NM the auto insurance coverage they need to protect their vehicles as well as the accessories they have added. By creating customized auto insurance policies that account for these additional features, agents can provide the peace of mind the customer needs. Call the office now and find out how a customized auto insurance policy works.

Does Driving History Affect Premiums?

Many factors are considered when calculating premiums. One of the prime considerations is driving history. Those who have had moving violations or other citations will notice their premiums are different than those who do not tickets or accidents. To find out how driving history affects an insurance policy, consult with a reputable insurance agent. 

Driving History

Driving history, specifically driving history from the last few years, will affect insurance coverage and premiums. If there have been citations, accidents, or even DUIs, assistance with finding a policy that works for the client’s needs may require the help of an experienced insurance agent. They can provide policy options that meet current needs and offer comprehensive protection, so drivers have peace of mind, whether on the road or parked at home. 

Working With an Agent to Discover Options

Anytime people with a negative driving history are searching for insurance policies that work for their needs, they should reach out to an insurance agent who can walk them through the process and answer any questions they have along the way. Those who are currently living near the Ruidoso, NM area should consult with Family Insurance Associates to find out how they can get the coverage necessary to avoid gaps and other issues and even help with filing claims. Finding reasonable insurance doesn’t have to be a challenge when drivers work with a professional agent. 

Work with an agent to find the right insurance products by calling or stopping by Family Insurance Associates, serving Alamogordo and Ruidoso, NM. Our agents can sit down with you to learn more about your current situation and offer common-sense solutions that provide complete protection. 

Should you modify auto insurance when a vehicle gets older?

It is a good idea to have an auto insurance review at least once per year and more frequently if some substantial change occurs. Work with your agent at Family Insurance Associates, serving Ruidoso, NM, and the surrounding area, to make sure your auto insurance is adequate.

Your agent will give you a recommendation based on any changes that occurred since your last review. Be sure to inform your agent about moving, using a vehicle differently, letting other people drive it, any custom modifications that were made, and where it is stored.

Replacement vs. Actual Value

For a new or fairly new vehicle that is less than five years old, having replacement value coverage is probably a better choice than only insuring actual value. With replacement value, if your vehicle is totaled, you may be able to make a claim that replaces the vehicle with a brand-new one of the same model type.

For an older vehicle, insuring the replacement value may not be practical. You may choose to insure only the actual value. The actual value is what you could sell the vehicle for on the open market. If you are insuring a lower value, your premiums will be reduced.

As your car becomes older, you may want to adjust the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance to cover the lower value of the vehicle.


Your choice of a deductible will impact your monthly premiums. One technique to consider is to have replacement value for newer cars along with a high deductible to keep premiums lower. The deductible will be the amount you are out-of-pocket if the vehicle is totaled.

As the vehicle gets older, you can switch to the actual value and lower the deductible to have less out-of-pocket expense if the vehicle is totaled.


Lowering the insured value to the actual value of an older vehicle is something to consider with each annual auto insurance review. To get a review and a quote, contact your agent at Family Insurance Associates in Ruidoso, NM by calling 575-257-0998 to discuss your options.

Five Common Car Insurance Myths You Must Know About

When considering a car insurance policy with Family Insurance Associates in Ruidoso, NM, having the right information is critical. Not understanding how your policy works could end up costing you thousands of dollars. The following are five car insurance myths that you should know about in New Mexico.

Myth 1. Your car’s color will affect how much you pay for insurance.

Many people believe that red cars automatically have higher insurance rates, but nothing could be further from the truth. The only factors that determine your car insurance rate are details like the age of the car, your driving record, the safety features of the vehicle, and how much it would cost to replace the vehicle. 

Myth 2. A new car is more likely to be stolen than an older car.

In 2018, a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) showed that most stolen cars were older models. In fact, the most stolen car was the 1998 Honda Civic, with 6,707 thefts reported. The thinking behind this is that because many people are keeping their cars longer, thieves choose those older cars because there’s a huge resale market for their parts.

Myth 3. Car insurance will cover you if your car is totaled in a crash.

If you get into an accident, your insurance company will pay the actual cash value of your car. The only time that the full cost of your vehicle is covered is if you have gap insurance.

Myth 4. If your friend is driving your car and gets into an accident, your friend’s insurance will cover it.

Absolutely not. If your friend gets into a car accident while driving your car, you and your insurance are responsible. Insurance tends to follow the car, not the driver.

Myth 5. The older you are, the more insurance you’ll pay.

Not true. Older drivers, especially those over 55, can usually get their rates reduced by up to 10 percent if they take and complete a defensive driving/ accident prevention course.

Contact our office in Ruidoso, NM to speak with a friendly agent from Family Insurance Associates about getting a quote for your vehicle.