Metromile

Online diagnostic tools, trip tracking, and built-in GPS make Metromile an attractive pay-per-mile car insurance provider.

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InsuranceRanked Score 4.4
Year Founded 2011
AM Best Rating NR

Metromile 2021 Review


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Metromile Car Insurance Review – Pros, Cons and Coverage

Online diagnostic tools, trip tracking, and built-in GPS make Metromile an attractive pay-per-mile car insurance provider.


Metromile is one of the only companies for pay-per-mile auto insurance in the United States. Highly affordable and easy to sign up, if you are looking for a new car insurance provider, Metromile could be the right fit for you.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Metromile car insurance, including reviews from their customers and how to apply for coverage.

Metromile: What You Need to Know

Metromile is a car insurance company for the urban dweller or anyone who uses their car on a sporadic basis. Why pay for insurance if you hardly use your car? Metromile provides a more practical, affordable option.

Drivers are charged a low monthly base rate and then a per-mile rate above that. The service is designed for those who drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year.

For example, assume someone has a $50 base rate and a $0.05 per mile rate. If they drove 500 miles in a month, his monthly premium would be ($500 x $0.05) + $50 = $75 – much cheaper than your standard auto insurance.

How Does Metromile Car Insurance Work?

Metromile charges its customers a monthly base rate, plus a per-mile rate. This means that drivers basically pay for insurance for the little bit that they drive, versus overpaying for the entire month.

Even then, Metromile’s monthly bill depends on how many miles users drive. Customers who want a lower monthly bill can plan ahead to bike, walk, or use public transportation a few days a week.

Pulse

Every Metromile customer agrees to use Pulse. Pulse is an on-board device that plugs into your OBD-II port to track your mileage. GPS is included but can be turned off.

It also has these functions:

  • Parking – Finds your parked (or stolen) car and gets street sweeping alerts to avoid tickets (available in Chicago, LA, San Diego, and San Francisco)
  • Trip data – Tracks distance, speed, and money spent on gas
  • Car health – Alerts you if your check engine light is on and recommends nearby mechanics
  • Accident data - Collects data from your vehicle that can help pay out accident claims

Mileage

All miles up to 250 miles/day are free (150 miles/day in New Jersey).

However, you won’t be charged an arm and a leg if you go on a long road trip. Customers won’t be penalized with higher rates for driving long miles. They just have to pay for the miles they drive above 150 miles/day in NJ or 250 miles/day elsewhere.

Where is Metromile Insurance Available?

Metromile car insurance is available in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

Corporate offices are located in San Francisco, Boston, and Tempe.

How Much Does Metromile Cost?

Metromile consists of both a base and a per-mile rate. Therefore, the total cost is unique to each customer.

Here are the factors that Metromile takes into account when calculating rates:

  • Age: Younger and older drivers get hit with higher premiums. Teens, people under the age of 30, and people older than 70 usually pay more.
  • Your State: Car insurance is regulated by your state and priced based on your zip code. Where you park your car has a big influence on your insurance.
  • Vehicle Type: A vehicle’s mileage, accident history, and model is factored into your monthly premium.
  • Driving History: If you have tickets, accidents, or traffic violations, you’ll pay more
  • Coverage: Higher coverage limits mean higher rates. Higher deductibles mean lower rates - but don’t set the deductible out of your budget.
  • Driving Experience: New drivers generally have higher rates. As you get more years of experience, your rates usually go down, but then they increase once you’re over a certain age again.
  • Gender: Women usually get lower rates than men. This is because men are statistically more likely to get into accidents.
  • Surrounding Population: The rate of theft where you live can affect your rate. Insurance companies also charge more to people living in densely populated areas.
  • Safety and Value: Cars with high safety ratings get lower rates. New car buyers can save thousands over their lifetime if they keep this in mind. How expensive your car would be to repair or replace is also considered.
  • Marital Status: Married people get lower rates than unmarried. If you are newly married, let your insurance company know, and your rates may decrease.
  • Accident History: This is a big driver of insurance rates. Drivers with at-fault accidents get higher rates when they renew.
  • Driving Record: Tickets and traffic violations also affect your rates for about three years.
  • Annual Mileage: Cars with low mileage may see a discount.
  • Credit Score: Good credit scores could mean lower rates.

Billing

Billing is a little different with Metromile because customers pay per mile. Hence their bill fluctuates from month to month.

When you enroll, you will be charged a first month’s base rate, plus any needed prepayment. The second month, you’re charged your base rate plus however many miles you drove the previous month.

Payment is made monthly and customers will only get one bill per month.

Metromile uses eDelivery for bills and correspondence. Policy documents are online or on the mobile app.

What Does Metromile Car Insurance Cover?

Metromile car insurance provides coverage for:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Under/uninsured motorist
  • Medical payments coverage

Coverage Limits and Deductibles

Here are your choices for liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability

  • $15,000/30,000/5,000
  • $50,000/100,000/50,000
  • $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • $250,000/500,000/100,000

Comprehensive/Collision Deductible

  • $250/500/1,000/No deductible

Other Reimbursements

Metromile also offers these services:

*   **Rental car reimbursement **
    *   Available for comprehensive/collision
    *   Pays up to $30/day for up to 30 days 
*   **Roadside assistance** - Helps if you’re stranded, need a tow, or are locked out of your vehicle
    *   Up to the distance outlined in your policy
    *   Only for covered vehicles
*   **Pet injury protection**
    *   Available for comprehensive/collision
    *   Pays up to $1,000 if pets get injured in an accident
    *   Not available in Illinois or Virginia
*   **No-deductible glass repair**
    *   Available for comprehensive
    *   If the whole glass doesn’t need replacement

Tips for Choosing the Right Level of Coverage

Here’s what you need to know to make sure you have the right coverage at the right price:

  1. Higher deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage equal lower monthly payments. Remember to pick a deductible amount you can afford to pay if an accident happened.
  2. Make sure the value of your car justifies the level of coverage you select. For instance, comprehensive and collision coverage makes sense for brand new vehicles. People with older vehicles can probably get away with liability coverage only. If you need more advice on this, feel free to call Metromile.

Metromile Car Insurance Features

  • Founded in 2011
  • Uses AI claims assistant to decide on some claims instantly
  • Charges customers a base rate plus pay-per-mile
  • Pulse plugs into the OBD-II port to track drivers’ miles
  • General driving habits (like stopping and braking) are not recorded
  • AVA collects information from the vehicle to assess claims and accidents
  • Must keep the device plugged in or inform Metromile if the vehicle is idle
  • Customers save on average $600/year
  • Uses AI and telematics to keep costs down

Pros and Cons of Metromile Car Insurance

Here are some pros and cons we found about Metromile car insurance.

Pros

  • Pulse helps locate stolen cars and alerts users about things like street sweeping
  • AVA can connect people with car rentals and auto body shops and approve certain claims
  • Has a callback option instead of sitting on hold
  • Good for people who rarely use their cars

Cons

  • 150 miles charged per day automatically if the Pulse stops transmitting
  • Must notify the company if the insured vehicle is sitting idle or is in the shop
  • Poor customer service record
  • Pulse devices can malfunction (stop transmitting or drain car battery)
  • Metromile raises customers’ rates if statewide rates increase
  • Some policies are underwritten by National General Insurance Company (NGIC)

Discounts on Metromile Car Insurance

These are the discounts we found for Metromile car insurance.

  • Multiple vehicles
  • Safe driver
  • Anti-theft
  • Low mileage
  • Refer a friend and get $25 - friend must have a valid driver’s license to get a quote

Metromile Car Insurance Customer Reviews

After reading reviews around the web, some customers see savings with Metromile. Low-mileage drivers can enjoy lower rates.

However, there’s a trend of major statewide increases in states like California that got passed onto customers. This isn’t entirely Metromile’s fault as we know that 2017 was the worst year for insurers on record.

Some customers complain about increases in both their base and per-mile rate after three or four months. The increases wiped out the savings that lured them.

However, the majority of the Metromile reviews are positive, coming to a 3.5+ star rating on most major review sites.

“Metromile has worked out wonderfully for me since now that I'm retired and drive a fraction of my former mileage. I've saved several hundred dollars a year over what my previous insurance company had been charging me a high premium simply due to my age.” - Nancy

“Best auto ins. decision I ever made. Cut my monthly expense by around $100 and the payment setup is super easy and streamlined. The website is easy to navigate and the customer service agents were very patient and helpful when I first inquired.” - Wendy

How to Apply for Metromile Car Insurance

Applying for Metromile can be done online or over the phone.

To get a quote online:

  1. Go to www.metromile.com/quote
  2. Enter information including your name and phone number.
  3. You will consent to receive marketing calls and texts from Metromile.
  4. If you don’t wish to receive calls, choose the next option.

To get a quote by phone:

  1. Call Metromile at (888) 244-1702 for a free, custom quote.

How to File an Insurance Claim with Metromile

Filing an insurance claim is never a welcome experience. Metromile wants to make it simpler.

Here are the ways you can file a claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Call (888) 595-5485 and talk to a Metromile claims specialist.
  • Go to Claims.metromile.com and start your claim online.
  • File a claim directly from your Metromile mobile app.

App

Most insurance providers only let you file a claim online or over the phone.

At Metromile, you can do it all from the app. AVA reconstructs the scene of the accident using data from the vehicle. Certain claims can be paid right away.

How to Contact Metromile

Corporate Office: 690 Folsom Street, Suite 200 San Francisco, CA 94107 Get a quote or start a new policy: 1-888-242-5204 Mon - Fri, 6am - 6pm, PT Customer support: 1-888-311-2909 Mon - Fri, 6am - 6pm, PT Cancel your policy: 1-888-244-1702 Mon - Fri, 6am - 6pm, PT Other methods: Twitter: @metromile Facebook: facebook.com/metromile Instagram: instagram.com/metromile/ Website: metromile.com/help/contact

Does Metromile Offer Other Kinds of Insurance?

No, Metromile only offers pay-per-mile personal auto insurance at this time.

Summary

Metromile is a top favorite for drivers looking for reduced rates for not driving their cars very often. It is much more affordable than overpaying for the month.

However, Metromile has been suffering from a horrible few years along with some other insurance companies due to state rate increases. The online reviews show customers disappointed in frequent rate and premium increases.

Hopefully, going forward Metromile will be more realistic in its initial rates.

Metromile could be a solid choice for car owners who drive fewer than 10,000 miles/year. Drivers can track their mileage through the app to make sure they’re getting the best savings.

Metromile is still working out some kinks of pay-per-mile auto insurance. As the company matures, many of its issues will disappear.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not ready to repair my car. Should I file a claim?

Yes, you should still file a claim. Your claims representative will walk you through the process. Then you can do the repair when you’re ready.

I don’t like e-billing. Can I get my policy documents mailed directly to me?

No. To sign up with Metromile you must consent to receive correspondence by email. Your policy documents are viewable on the app or on your online account.

Do I need to use the app to have Metromile car insurance?

No, it’s not required to use the app. Everything relating to your policy is viewable on your online account. The app provides extra tools you may find useful.

Why is my base rate different from month to month? I thought it was supposed to stay the same.

The base rate varies depending on how many days in the month there are. The base rate from January which has 31 days will be a bit different from June which has 30 days.

My OBD-II dongle (Pulse device) has stopped working. What should I do?

First, try taking the device out and putting it back in. If the red light still doesn’t come in, check that your OBD-II port is functioning. You might try installing the Pulse on another vehicle if possible.

If the red light still isn’t coming on, call Metromile at 1-888-311-2909 and they will send you another device. In certain cases, they can send out devices that work with your cigarette port instead.

If you don’t get trip data from your device on your app, double check that you have cell reception where you’re parked. If not, please move your vehicle to another location with reception.

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