Popular Questions about New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance is a commercial insurance policy that is designed to protect employers as well as the people who work for them.

It shields the employer from financial losses and potential liability lawsuits if an employee is severely injured on the job or is stricken with an occupational illness. 

It protects employees by ensuring that if they are injured on the job, they will have full coverage for all necessary medical care and related expenses and that they will not suffer a large financial setback due to lost wages.

Workers’ compensation rates in New Mexico are higher than the national average. Costs are based primarily on the number of employees you have, how much they are paid, the types of jobs they perform, and your company's history of accidents and workers’ compensation claims. 

Every occupation is assigned a base rate according to the likelihood that an employee will be severely injured on the job. These rates are set and managed by the New Mexico Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are required to use these base rates, but they can make adjustments up to 25% through policy credits or debits. 

The following are examples of workers' compensation cost ranges per $100 of employer payroll for a variety of different jobs in New Mexico:

  • Landscapers:  $3.55 to $10.39
  • Tree trimmers, removers, and pruners:  $7.08 to $20.69
  • Plumbing contractors:  $2.53 to $7.41
  • Roofing contractors:  $11.25 to $32.88
  • Retail store workers:  $1.13 to $3.30
  • Clerical/office employees : $0.16 to $0.47
  • Restaurant workers:  $0.97 to $2.84

Employers with a solid history of employee safety will pay rates at the lower end, while those whose worker injuries exceed industry expectations will pay rates at the higher end.

To find out how much workers’ compensation insurance will cost for your New Mexico business, you can consult a local independent agent.

New Mexico state law requires all businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Construction businesses must have this insurance regardless of how many people they employ.

There are a few exceptions. For instance, coverage is not required for:

  • Sole proprietors, though they may insure themselves if they want to
  • Household/domestic workers
  • Real estate salespeople
  • Companies located on sovereign tribal lands unless mandated by the tribe

In New Mexico, workers' compensation insurance can be purchased from a commercial provider or, for high-risk and hard-to-insure businesses, through New Mexico’s state-administered fund. With approval, financially sound businesses may opt to self-insure.

In New Mexico, workers' compensation insurance can cover employees who are injured on the job or who are diagnosed with an occupational illness by paying for:

  • Medical care: Workers’ compensation insurance will fully cover all necessary medical care including things like ambulance rides, emergency and other medical treatment, follow-up care, prescription medications, physical therapy, hospital stays, and all needed supplies like wheelchairs, slings, and crutches. Employees should pay nothing out of pocket.
  • Mileage and travel reimbursement: Employees who must travel more than 15 miles to get to medical appointments can be reimbursed for their travel expenses. For trips that require an overnight stay, employees will be entitled to a lodging and meal allowance.
  • Disability pay: Employees that must take time off work to recuperate from a work-related injury or occupational illness are entitled to disability pay. Depending on the nature of the disability, this may be covered by temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD), permanent total disability (PTD), or permanent partial disability (PPD).
  • Death benefits: In worst-case scenarios, workers’ compensation can cover burial costs up to $7,500 and provide the deceased employee’s spouse and dependents with death benefits for up to 700 weeks.

Independent agents in New Mexico can explain the coverage offered by workers' compensation insurance companies in greater detail.

Workers’ compensation covers most worker injuries and occupational illnesses, but it does have some exclusions.

Workers' compensation insurance will not cover claims involving:

  • Employee injuries that did not occur on the job
  • Injuries or illnesses that were preexisting conditions
  • Accidents that occurred while the injured employee was under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • Intentional or self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries that occurred while the employee was committing a serious crime
  • Acute, common illnesses like influenza, headaches, and colds

It is always a good idea to review what your policy will and will not cover when you make a purchase. This information should be clearly communicated to your employees.

Construction workers and other contractors often have to provide prospective clients with proof of workers’ compensation coverage, particularly if they are trying to win a government contract. This is because their clients want to be certain that they will not be named in a liability lawsuit if a worker is injured while doing a job for them.

If you are asked for proof of coverage, you will need a workers’ compensation insurance certificate. This is a document that provides information about your coverage, including details like:

  • Name and address of the insured
  • Name of the insurance provider and all relevant policy numbers
  • Effective date and expiration date for each policy listed

You will be issued this certificate by your insurance company when you purchase or renew your policy. 

Independent insurance agents make it easy to find the best workers’ compensation coverage. These agents are free to work with several competing insurers, so they can present you with policies and rates from a selection of highly rated insurance companies that specialize in covering businesses in your industry.

No business in New Mexico is too small to benefit from having the help of an independent agent. Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get started.

No. In most cases, workers' compensation is not considered taxable income at the state or federal level.

However, if you are simultaneously collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security Supplemental Income insurance (SSI), you may face some tax consequences. Talk to a tax expert or financial advisor to get more information.

Find Workers' Compensation Insurance Near You

National Workers' Compensation Insurance Stats

Healthcare $1,825 Per $100,000 payroll

Retail Trade $2,850 Per $100,000 payroll

Construction $7,430 Per $100,000 payroll


Average Cost Per $100,000 Payroll

CityTop Industry 1 / Workers' Comp CostTop Industry 2 / Workers' Comp Cost
AlbuquerqueProfessional, Scientific & Technical Svcs: $695Retail Trade: $2,850
AlamogordoPublic Administration: $300Construction: $7,430
CarlsbadMining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas Extraction: $4,780Retail Trade: $2,850
ClovisPublic Administration: $300Construction: $7,430
FarmingtonMining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas Extraction: $4,780Retail Trade: $2,850
GallupAccommodation & Food Services: $2,195Healthcare Services: $1,825
HobbsMining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas Extraction: $4,780Construction: $7,430
Las CrucesAccommodation & Food Services: $2,195Educational Services: $1,285
Rio RanchoRetail Trade: $2,850Public Administration: $300
RoswellRetail Trade: $2,850Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas Extraction: $4,780
Santa FeRetail Trade: $2,850Construction: $7,430
TaosRetail Trade: $2,850Accommodation & Food Services: $2,195


Workers' Compensation Insurance Laws in New Mexico

  • With few exceptions, all New Mexico construction businesses with at least one employee and all other businesses that have three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
  • All employers who are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance must pay a quarterly workers’ compensation assessment fee to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.
  • All employers who are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance must comply with safety inspection requirements.
  • Covered employers must display the Workers’ Compensation Act Poster, which explains injured workers’ rights, in a conspicuous location accessible by employees and must have Notice of Accident forms attached to the WCA poster in the space provided so that injured workers can easily make reports of their injuries.
  • Employers who fire or retaliate in any way against employees who file workers’ compensation claims may be subjected to civil penalty fines of up to $10,000.
  • The employer may choose the employee’s treating health care provider (HCP), provided the selection is done in writing. If the employer does not designate an HCP, the employee may seek treatment from the physician of their choice. After 60 days, the party that did not choose the initial HCP may select another doctor for continued care.
  • Failure to carry required workers’ compensation insurance in New Mexico can lead to penalties including fines and injunctions against the business. In some cases, a stop-work order can be issued until coverage is obtained.
  • If an employee is injured while a company is in non-compliance with workers’ compensation laws, that company is liable for all incurred medical costs and lost wages.


Common Workers' Compensation Claims in New Mexico

There are many ways that workers can be injured on the job in New Mexico. Some types of injuries are more common than others.


The Top 5 most common worker injuries in New Mexico

  1. Punctures, cuts, and lacerations
  2. Sprains and strains
  3. Contusions
  4. Burns (caused by fire, heat, chemicals, electricity, steam, sunlight, or radiation)
  5. Fractures


The Top 5 most hazardous occupations in New Mexico:

  1. Transportation and material moving occupations
  2. Construction occupations
  3. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction occupations
  4. Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations
  5. Educational and health services occupations

Every year, there are around 17,000 workers' compensation insurance claims filed in New Mexico.