People are driving less these days. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 60% of American workers who say their jobs could be done remotely are working from home most or all of the time.
If you’re no longer commuting to work — or are only commuting a few days a week — you may be wondering if reducing your car insurance premiums is possible. Metromile, an auto insurance company, offers usage-based car insurance that bases your premium on how many miles you drive.
But how does Metromile insurance work? And is it worth switching over to it? Let’s explore its structure, affordability, and availability.
Metromile auto insurance: Is it worth it?
|Our verdict: Metromile might provide cost-effective coverage for low-mileage drivers in eligible states who work from home or don’t often commute. However, those who commute daily or often drive long distances might be better off with a traditional insurer.|
What is Metromile?
Metromile was founded in 2011 as an auto insurance company that uses technology to change the typical car insurance business model. David Friedberg started it to reduce the carbon footprint and incentivize car owners to drive less and walk or bike more.
Traditional car insurance relies on statistical studies of historical data to determine car insurance premiums. Factors that affect car insurance rates include credit scores, driving records, age, gender, and vehicle make and model.
By contrast, usage-based car insurance calculates premiums based on the driver’s mileage. Lower-risk drivers — for example, those driving fewer miles than average — might not file as many claims as higher-risk drivers. This means that their premiums could be lower based on their driving.
This form of pay-per-mile car insurance from Metromile has been seeing increasing demand. The insurance company had 98,416 active policies in December 2021 compared to 92,635 active policies in December 2020.
|Types of coverage||
|Where you can use it||
|Availability||Available in 8 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington|
How Metromile puts its finger on the pulse
To determine your insurance rate, Metromile uses a telematics device that uses GPS technology and onboard diagnostics to make the measurements needed.
The device, named Pulse, connects to your diagnostics port to track your driving habits and the number of miles you drive and monitor your car’s performance and condition. You’re required to keep the Pulse device connected at all times unless a mechanic is servicing your car since it allows Metromile to calculate the mileage rate for each policyholder.
The device requires an OBD-II port to connect it to, which has been required for all U.S. cars and light trucks that use a traditional engine since 1996. However, older cars might not have this port, and electric cars are not required to have it either. Without this port, your vehicle will not qualify for Metromile insurance.
What insurance does Metromile offer?
Metromile offers several forms of coverage options to include in your auto insurance policy:
- Liability Insurance: Liability car insurance coverage is mandatory in most states. It comes in the form of bodily injury coverage, which helps with costs associated with injuries or damages to another person, and property damage liability, which covers damages to another individual's property that you cause in an accident.
- Collision: Collision insurance protects you against damages to your car if you are in an accident with another vehicle or object. It is optional unless you are leasing or financing a car, in which case the lender may require it.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage protects you against damages caused by incidents other than auto accidents, such as storms, theft, or fires. Your leasing or financing provider may also require this form of full coverage.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): PIP coverage availability varies by state. If you live in a state that allows PIP coverage, it’s used to cover medical bills for you and your passengers.
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist: This coverage helps you pay for damages to your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver who has inadequate coverage.
- Medical payments: Medical payment insurance assists in paying for medical bills or treatments not covered by your health insurance provider.
- Roadside assistance: This optional coverage is designed to help you with emergency services if your car breaks down, such as towing, tire replacement, or locksmith assistance.
- Rental car coverage: If you purchase collision and comprehensive insurance, you get rental car coverage from Metromile. It covers damages to a rental car up to a specific reimbursement amount.
Metromile only operates and offers these insurance options in eight states. To be a Metromile customer, you’d need to live in one of the following states:
- New Jersey
Currently, Metromile doesn’t offer other types of insurance. However, Metromile announced in February 2022 that Lemonade, another technology-based insurance company, would acquire it. Unlike Metromile, Lemonade offers a range of insurance products, including homeowners, renters, life, and pet insurance.
Metromile auto insurance: How cheap is it?
According to Metromile, its customers save an average of 47% on car insurance premiums compared to what they paid with their previous insurers. Metromile states that its rates start at just $29 per month, plus $0.06 per mile.
Keep in mind that your total monthly premiums will change every month based on the miles you drive. However, there are several discounts you might be able to qualify for to bring your premium down.
How to find discounts
Metromile offers several insurance discounts you could utilize to save money on car insurance, including:
- Multi-car discount: If you insure more than one vehicle with Metromile, you may be eligible for the multi-car discount.
- Anti-theft: Cars that have anti-theft alert systems installed are eligible for discounts.
- Safe driver discount: If your driving history doesn’t include an auto insurance claim in the past few years, you may be eligible for Metromile’s safe driver discount.
How to maximize savings
Limiting your driving is how you could save as much money as possible with Metromile. The auto insurer bases your premiums on your mileage, so you could save more money by consolidating your errands.
For example, instead of making multiple trips to the grocery store, plan ahead and do all your shopping once a week. You could also plan more errands on your way to and from the grocery store to reduce the miles you might drive.
How to get an insurance quote from Metromile auto insurance
If you’re wondering how to get car insurance through Metromile, it’s simpler than you may think. To ensure the application process is as quick and easy as possible, have the following information on hand ahead of time:
- Name and address.
- Phone number and email address.
- Driver’s license number.
- Social Security number.
- Car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Typical monthly mileage.
You could then request a quote and finalize your policy entirely online in a few steps:
- Request a quote: Click on the get a quote button on Metromile’s homepage.
- Enter information: Metromile will ask questions about where you live, your age, employment, education, and vehicle. It will also ask how many miles you typically drive per month.
- Choose your coverage: Metromile offers three simple coverage options, but it also allows you to adjust your coverage amounts and select a deductible that fits your budget. Metromile will adjust your premium in real time based on the options you select.
- Finalize your policy: Metromile will show you a base rate and an estimated cost range for the policy that works for you. Next, you could choose an effective policy date and pay your first premium. The entire process takes just a few minutes to complete.
FAQs about Metromile auto insurance
Is Metromile a legit company?
Metromile is a legitimate auto insurance company operating in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Metromile was founded in 2011 and currently serves over 100,000 customers in select states.
What states does Metromile cover?
Currently, Metromile only serves residents in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. For every other state, Metromile allows you to join a waitlist that would send you a notification if the insurer begins offering their coverages there.
Does Metromile Pulse drain your battery?
Metromile’s Pulse telematics device should have little to no effect on your car battery and its life. Metromile states that the device would not drain a healthy battery even if you don’t drive your car often.
Metromile could be a viable alternative to other car insurance companies for car owners in the states where it operates.
Metromile insurance may be particularly valuable if you work from home, are a stay-at-home parent, or live in an urban area with convenient public transportation. Metromile might help you save a good amount of money as pay-per-mile insurance.
However, Metromile might not be as cost-effective for those who drive long distances or commute to work every day. If you do, you may want to shop around with other insurers to find the best car insurance policy for your needs.
FinanceBuzz researches a number of factors in each auto insurance provider to create our reviews. These factors include cost and discounts, complaints and customer satisfaction, coverage, and ease of use. We also gather information from sources such as J.D. Power, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the Better Business Bureau to ensure we provide the most useful information to our readers.