Metromile Car Insurance
Metromile is a relatively new auto insurance company, founded in California in 2011. Geared towards city-dwellers and infrequent drivers, it offers pay-per-mile car insurance. While other car insurance providers offer discounts for those who drive less than 10,000 miles per year, Metromile considers these drivers its bread and butter. Highlights include:
- Only available in 8 states
- Monthly rates starting at $29
- 24/7 customer service
Summary of Product
Metromile is a relatively new and unique auto insurance company that was founded in California in 2011. Geared towards city-dwellers and infrequent drivers, it offers pay-per-mile car insurance. Metromile believes that the more a person drives, the higher the likelihood of being involved in an accident is and thus charges accordingly.While other car insurance providers offer discounts for those who drive less than 10,000 miles per year, Metromile considers these drivers its bread and butter.
Metromile is still expanding, but is currently only available in the below states:
- New Jersey
Metromile’s core customer profile is in line with the below:
- Age: 21-40
- Location: Live in urban or high-density neighborhoods with access to public transit
- Top Cars: Toyota Prius, Honda and Nissan
- Average Miles Per Month: 500
- Low rates start at $29
- Cheapest insurance option for infrequent drivers
- 24/7 customer service
- Rates will not increase should you take the occasional road trip
- If you drive more than 10,000 miles per year, this is not the best insurance for you
- Only available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington
- High customer complaints: according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Metromile had higher than average complaints to state regulators in 2017. While drivers may file a claim 24/7, customers report that the process has been slow and not user-friendly
- Does not insure ride-sharing programs such as Lyft and Uber
- Claims cannot be filed via app
- Rates vary each month based on mileage; not ideal for those that like a fixed monthly bill
There are many different types of car insurance, and it can be hard to figure out which type of policy is best for you. If you have questions about what each type of car insurance covers, check out our Top 20 Car Insurance FAQs.
Metromile provides varying levels of liability protection as well as choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles. Deductible options are $250, $500, and $1,000. Coverage options include:
Bodily injury: provides protection if you are found legally responsible for the injury or death of another person resulting from a car accident where you are the at-fault driver.
Property damage: money paid on your behalf by Metromile to repair the accident damage to the other person’s property when you are the at-fault driver.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: This form of coverage pays for the damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance. In most states, damage caused by a hit-and-run driver is also included.
Personal injury protection / medical payments coverage: If you are involved and injured in an accident, personal injury protection will help cover medical bills, hospital bills, and other costs not covered by your health insurance. Protection can include:
- Income continuation
- Loss of services
- Funeral expenses
- Child-care expenses
Collision Insurance: collision insurance is the second most popular type of car insurance. It is what protects your car regardless of who was at fault in an accident. It covers your car should you be involved in an accident or hit a stationary object. It does not, however, cover damage sustained to your vehicle should you hit an animal.
If you purchase your car outright, you are not required to have collision insurance, although it is recommended. If you finance your car, however, most lenders require you to purchase collision insurance.
Comprehensive Insurance: Comprehensive insurance protects your car if it’s damaged in an event other than a collision with another vehicle.
Comprehensive insurance also protects your car should damage occur when no one is driving it, such as when it’s parked in your driveway or a parking lot. If a tree falls on your car or it suffers from hail damage, comprehensive coverage will cover the damage. It will also cover your vehicle should it become vandalized, damaged from fire or even stolen. It will also pay to repair your car should you become involved in an accident involving an animal.
- Rental reimbursement: If you are involved in an accident and there is significant damage to your car, chances are you’ll need to rent a car until yours is repaired.
- Emergency roadside assistance: if you don’t know how to change a tire, you may want to invest in roadside coverage. This form of car insurance will cover common roadside services such as changing a tire, jump starting a dead battery, and more.
- Pet injury protection: this is included in all states except for Illinois and Virginia. If your dog or cat is injured in an accident, it will provide up to $1,000 in reimbursement.
- No-deductible glass repair: this benefit is available if you purchase comprehensive coverage and the glass only needs partial replacement.
Metromile charges you based off of how many miles you drive. In order to do so, it send you a Metromile Pulse device, which is a small wireless device that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port. It’s as easy to install as plugging in a USB cord. Once in place, the Metromile Pulse will begin tracking your miles and charge you accordingly each month.
While other car companies have tracking devices to reward you for good driving behavior, metromile’s Metromile Pulse only tracks the number of miles you drive; if you speed or accelerate and brake frequently, you will not be penalized.
Optimize Your Trips
Once you have installed the Metromile Pulse, you will have unlimited access to its smart driving app. This app helps you track of your trips, monitor your car’s health, and remind you where you parked your car. If you live in a city with street parking, this last part can come in quite handy!
In addition to reminding you where you parked your car, Metromile can also help you remember when to move your car. If you live in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, the app will alert you when it’s time to swap sides of the street in order to avoid tickets.
Keep your car healthy
While your car’s dashboard will remind you when it’s time to get your oil changed, Metromile will also help. It can aid in diagnosing of your car’s running condition and also help you decode any check engine lights that may suddenly appear. This is much easier than having to search through your car’s guide book every time there’s a problem.
File a Claim
If you need to file a claim, the best way is to do so onlime by visiting claims.metromile.com. You’ll need to have your policy number, date of accident, location of the accident, description of the accident, and party names and vehicles involved. Unfortunately at this time, claims are not fileable via the app.
Metromile has the cheapest monthly premiums around, which makes sense as it’s price directly relates to how many miles you drive each month. Monthly premiums start as low as $29.
While most car insurance providers only look at your location, age, gender, and make and model of your car to determine your monthly premium, Metromile also looks how many miles you drive each month. Half of your rate is based upon mileage, while the other is a flat base rate. Both are determined by your driving history, type of car you drive, and amount of coverage. As a result, your premium will change each month based on your driving habits. If you only drive a few days a week, your premium will be lower than if you drive everyday.
It’s premiums are broken into two parts: a base rate and a per-mile rate. The per-mile rate is typically just a few cents per mile. As we mentioned above, Metromile’s Pulse device tracks your mileage. Your monthly premium equals the per-mile rate multiplied by the number of miles you drove during the past month, plus your base rate. As an example, imagine your base rate is $40/month and you pay $0.05 per mile. If you drove 500 miles last month, your premium would be $65. This accounts from: [500 miles x $0.05] + $40.
What happens if you want to take the occasional road trip? No problem! Policy holders in all applicable states except New Jersey are never charged more than 250 miles per day. In New Jersey, policy holders will never be charged more than 150 miles per day.
Who Is The Underwriter?
When Metromile first formed in 2011, policies were underwritten by insurers in the National General Insurance Group. That has since changed, and today Metromile Insurance Services LLC is the Managing General Agent.
Why Isn’t Metromile Available in All States?
Most state laws actually prohibit this pay-per-mile insurance. Some consumer protection laws require insurance companies to state the premium up front, which is impossible for Metromile to do. With pay-by-mile, it’s impossible for the actual premium to be known before a six month period. Unfortunately, this prevents many states from allowing Metromile to penetrate its market.
We give Metromile auto insurance a 3.0 rating. While we like the idea of a pay-per-mile insurance, the reality is it’s not for everyone, and it’s actually illegal in most states. If you live in New York City this would be a perfect auto insurance policy for you, but unfortunately it’s yet available in NYC. In addition to its not being available in most states, the company has a record of above-average rates of customer complaints.
While Metromile has a 24-hour claims processing center, customers complain that the claims process is slower than competing car insurance companies. Numerous customer reviews state that the claims process has taken up to several months before Metromile has gotten back to the customer.
If you live in one of the applicable cities drive less than once a week this could be a good option for you, but as it’s only applicable to a small segment of the population, we don’t feel it can properly compare to its larger car insurance competitors. If you have tried Metromile we’d love to hear what your experiences have been.
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