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The A-Z guide to New Mexico Workers' Comp

New Mexico Workers’ Comp Laws

According to New Mexico workers’ comp laws, workers’ comp is required when a business has three or more employees.

Required with



Construction businesses need a policy if they have  one worker.

Coverage is not required for domestic servants or real estate salespeople.

Is workers’ comp insurance required in New Mexico? 

In New Mexico, workers’ compensation insurance is required if an employer has three employees or more, both full-time and part-time. 

New Mexico workers’ comp laws recognize a cross-state consideration, allowing businesses to hire remote or out-of-state workers that would be covered under a comprehensive workers’ compensation policy. 

For example, if an employer has one employee in New Mexico and two more in other states, all three would be covered under the employer’s insurance. 

New Mexico workers’ comp law is different for construction companies. Those working in construction are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for every employee, regardless of whether they have one or a dozen. Construction work carries more hands-on risk, meaning workers need comprehensive insurance because injuries and illnesses are more common in those industries. 

Do you need workers’ compensation coverage if you’re self-employed?

Self-employed workers do not need to have worker’s compensation insurance under New Mexico workers’ comp laws. However, it is recommended for those offering hands-on services or seeking project employment with other companies, like subcontractors or independent contractors. 

Who is exempt from New Mexico workers’ comp requirements?

Coverage is not required for domestic servants or real estate salespeople. Federal employees covered by the Federal Employees' Compensation Act or other federal programs are not required to carry coverage.

How much is workers’ comp coverage in New Mexico?

Your New Mexico workers’ comp rate will depend on the following factors:

  • The type of business you have
  • The size of your payroll
  • Your safety record
  • Claim history
workers comp policy cost

How can New Mexico small business owners save money on workers' comp?

New Mexico workers’ compensation requirements are firm but there are ways to cut down on the costs of coverage without sacrificing any policy benefits.

Small business owners can reduce their costs as follows:

Make sure to tell your agent and underwriter if any of the above is applicable to you. They will usually not voluntarily offer it to you.

How does workers’ comp work in New Mexico?

As with most other states, there is a specific process to get workers’ compensation insurance in New Mexico. 

The first step is to get quotes for worker’s comp insurance based on your estimated annual payroll. The next step is to pay the premium for coverage over the next year. 

There are different types of payment plan options. Ask your insurance company or agent for more details.

After the term is complete, your payroll will be audited to determine its accuracy. Depending on whether you overpaid or underpaid, you may get a refund or a bill.

What does workers’ comp cover in New Mexico?

Workers who file a workers' comp claim in New Mexico can receive benefits for the following:

workers comp covers medical bills

Medical bills

workers comp covers lost wages

Lost Wages

Workers' comp coverage also protects employers from legal action. This means that if an employee sues your business because of a workplace injury, the insurance will cover the legal costs of the case.

How to get workers’ comp insurance in New Mexico

There are various methods for an employer to get workers' compensation insurance in New Mexico, but the most common is through an insurance agent like Kickstand Insurance

You can get quotes from different insurance companies and compare them to find the best option for your business.

High-risk industries like mechanics, construction, or hands-on engineering can find it hard to get coverage from a typical company because the risk level is too high.

These types of businesses can turn to the assigned risk pool for proper coverage. Generally, this is more expensive than typical insurance companies.

What can happen if I don’t have workers’ comp insurance in New Mexico?

One major repercussion for New Mexico employers without workers' compensation insurance is their lack of coverage under the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act. This act is designed to protect businesses from lawsuits by injured workers, but non-compliance to New Mexico workers’ comp laws negates that protection. 

Non-compliance also opens the door to restraining orders from injured employees, which can affect business operations and incur hefty fines. 

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What are workers’ comp death benefits in NM?

In New Mexico, death benefits for workers’ compensation insurance include: 

Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses up to $7,500. 

Weekly wages for up to 700 weeks, paid out to the deceased worker’s beneficiaries, such as a spouse, children, or other dependents. 

How do workers’ comp settlements work in NM?

There are several ways that a workers’ comp settlement works in New Mexico. Here are a few examples: 

  • Workers could choose a return-to-work lump sum that gives them upfront large amounts of money if they had returned to work within 6 months of an accident and are back to earning at least 80% of their average wage. 
  • Partial lump sum payments can be chosen to pay off specific debts and medical expenses. This is the quick-resolve option to a claim and must be signed off on by a workers’ comp judge. 
  • Full lump sum settlement is the most common workers’ comp option, involving a comprehensive, written, formal agreement between an employer and employee. A judge’s approval is required, and it includes benefits for wage replacements and medical costs. 

What are the statutes of limitations regarding workers’ comp in NM?

According to New Mexico workers’ comp laws, the statutes of limitation for workers’ compensation claims include: 

An injured worker must give notify their employer within 15 days after an injury. If your injury or some other cause beyond your control prevents you from giving written notice within 15 days, the period may be extended up to 60 days.

If a disability is long-lasting for more than four weeks from the date of injury, a worker can file a claim for disability benefit payouts. 

How do I get a workers’ comp insurance policy with Kickstand Insurance?

Start by filling out a short online form about your business. We’ll use that info to get you an estimated quote. Then, one of our experienced agents will contact you to review the quote and make sure you are getting the absolutely lowest rate possible for your business. Once the quote is finalized, you’re ready to buy the policy - often with coverage starting that day!

Learn more about Workers' Comp in New Mexico

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