New Mexico Life Insurance
- Navigating New Mexico's many life insurance options can be challenging. Make informed decisions by learning about New Mexico life insurance regulations.
With more than 400 companies licensed to sell life insurance in New Mexico, residents have plenty of options for coverage. But deciding which provider and plan to choose isn't always easy. Fortunately, understanding your rights as a policyholder and knowing where to turn for answers can help you make more informed decisions.
New Mexico Life Insurance Rules and Specifics
U.S. life insurance companies and the plans they sell are regulated at the state level. In New Mexico, the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance implements and enforces the laws set forth in Title 13 of the New Mexico Administrative Code and Chapter 59A of the New Mexico Statutes. These laws help standardize the business practices of companies that sell policies to state residents, fostering healthy competition and safeguarding consumer rights. Policyholders and beneficiaries can expect to have certain protections, including:
- Grace periods: New Mexico law mandates a 30-day grace period if a policyholder fails to make a premium payment. Coverage continues in full force during this time, so if the insured dies, the issuing company must pay the claim. The state doesn't limit the amount of times a policy can enter the grace period.
- Timely death benefit payouts: New Mexico insurers are required to issue death benefit payouts within 60 days of receiving a claim and proof of death. If a claim remains unpaid after this time, beneficiaries are entitled to interest on the death benefit amount, and the insurance company may be subject to penalties or fines.
- Guaranteed death benefits: Consumers who purchase plans through a state-licensed entity are guaranteed continuing coverage if the issuing company fails. Protection is provided through the New Mexico Life Insurance Guaranty Association, a private agency created to satisfy state law. However, there are legal limits to the amount of coverage the state's guaranty association may provide to each policyholder.
Unlike many other states, New Mexico doesn't mandate a free look period, during which new policyholders can review their coverage after signing a contract. However, many insurance companies still provide this trial period as a service to consumers, so be sure to ask your insurer about your right to cancel before signing a contract.
Life Insurance Resources in New Mexico
Although the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance is primarily responsible for enforcing insurance laws, it also assists state policyholders and beneficiaries with questions and complaints. Consumers who visit the agency's official website can access the following state and national resources:
- A company/agency search
- An online complaint form
- An online fraud reporting form
- Links to insurance rules and statutes
- Insurance-related news and updates
- Newsletter subscriptions
For inquiries and complaints that aren't satisfied through the OSI, consumers may visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, which includes additional resources such as a policy locator service and numerous educational tools.