If you are looking for a cheaper option for car insurance, Metromile offers an intriguing solution. Its charges are mainly based on how much you drive.
Metromile, launched in 2011 in San Francisco, sells car insurance to people who prefer to pay by the mile. As of August, 2019, it is available in eight states, including Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
The company’s target market is people who drive very little. If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, you can save hundreds of dollars a year on your car insurance.
What Metromile covers
Metromail has all the options you will get with most carriers. It covers bodily injury and property damage and has uninsured or underinsured motorist protection. It has the usual comprehensive and collision deductibles from $250 to $1,000.
You also get 24/7 claims service and even roadside assistance.
A key takeaway
Metromile is an alternative car insurance where rates are determined primarily by mileage.
Metromile uses a monitor that plugs into the car’s diagnostic port to track miles driven.
Traditional factors, such as age, credit history and driving history, determine a driver’s eligibility for Metromile insurance.
In addition to the driver’s qualifications, the car must be equipped with an OBD-II port.
Metromile insurance charges a flat monthly fee plus a mileage fee. You could pay $40 a month plus 5 cents per mile, for example. If you drive 500 miles a month, you’ll pay $65 a month or $780 a year. As with traditional insurers, the fee varies depending on your driving record, age and where you live.
There are some exceptions to the mileage rule. First, Metromile will only charge you for up to 250 miles per day, or 150 per day in New Jersey. That means the occasional road trip won’t break the bank, but you’ll need a hefty bill with a cross-country trip.
No coverage for Uber or Lyft
Metromile recently canceled its partnership with Uber and also does not cover competing ride-sharing services such as Lyft. It recently partnered with Turo to create partial insurance, which helps drivers be double or double insured. Metromile customers who are also Turo customers will only pay the fee per mile when their car is not shared with someone else through Turo. Toro’s insurance starts when someone else drives the customer’s car from Tromile.
How does Metromile know how many kilometers you travel? It uses the Metromile Pulse, which plugs into your car’s diagnostic port, which your mechanic uses to diagnose problems with your car. Pulse then sends a pool of data to Metromile that you can access in the app or online. This includes not only mileage but also the condition of your vehicle and your location. Pulse has an alert system that lets you know if you need to move your car off the street. These alerts are called street cleaning alerts. Metromile also provides Pulse adapters to support customers who may be driving an older car or cars like Teslas.
who is eligible
Metromile insurance works like any other carrier when it comes to eligibility. Your driving history, age, credit score and other factors determine your base rates and mileage. This means there can be big differences between what you and your neighbor would pay.
Also, your vehicle must have an OBD-II port. If your car is not more than 20 years old, you probably have one.
In the bottom line
The idea sounds great and it might work well if you rarely drive. A quick, unscientific look at reviews of the company found them to be mixed. Many reviews say the claims experience was less than ideal, and some people report that the price went up after six months to the point where it became cheaper to purchase traditional insurance.