Calling low-mileage drivers: This startup could save you a bundle on auto insurance.
When you buy a car insurance policy, your provider assumes that you’re the typical American who drives every day.
But what about city dwellers who drive only on weekends — or even a mere few times a month? Metromile has a solution that can save low-mileage drivers money: pay-per-mile coverage.
- Pay per mile driven
- Charged for only up to 250 miles per day
- Designed for low-mileage drivers
What is Metromile?
Metromile is a startup based in the heart of a city that’s difficult to drive in: San Francisco. This car insurance provider is designed to benefit urban drivers, who typically don’t drive as much as their suburban counterparts, with what it calls “pay per mile” insurance.
With Metromile, you’re quoted a monthly base cost along with a fixed per-mile rate. You agree to transmit your mileage through its proprietary Metromile Pulse, a device that plugs into your car. Policies come with a 24/7 customer service and a claims team accessible through a full-service app.
What car insurance coverage does Metromile offer?
Metromile is designed for drivers who maybe shuffle throughout the workweek on a bike or the subway, reserving their car use to a few hundred miles a month.
The real difference is in how it breaks down your monthly premium. With Metromile, you’re quoted a base rate in addition to a rate per mile that’s typically a few pennies. Monthly bills are adjusted to reflect that base price and the cost of your total miles driven in the previous month.
Coverage options are similar to those you’ll find with other providers:
- Liability protection. Choose from four levels to suit your individual needs.
- Comprehensive coverage. Protects against damages that aren’t in your control, like fire and theft.
- Collision coverage. Pays for repairs to your vehicle after an accident.
- Pet injury protection. Full coverage comes with up to $1,000 toward vet bills for your puppers or kitty injured in an accident.
- Rental reimbursement. Collision and comprehensive coverage also comes with up to $30 daily for up to 30 days to cover a replacement car while yours is in the shop.
- Roadside assistance. This add-on can get you a tow truck or other help if you’re stranded on the road.
How does the Metromile Pulse device track my mileage?
When you sign up with Metromile, you’re sent the Metromile Pulse that plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostic port. This device transmits your driving data to Metromile’s system, where it’s available for you to view and play with through the Metromile app.
You can also use the app to pull up your insurance cards or policy documents, see where you last parked, learn about your car’s check-engine light and more.
Pros and cons
If you’re a sporadic driver who’s OK with tracking your mileage, you could save hundreds of dollars over traditional policies.
- Easy claims. File a claim online or call a toll-free number to report your policy number, accident information, names and vehicles involved in your accident.
- Handy driving app. A sweet app can track your trips, decode your car’s diagnostic codes and alert you to city-specific sweet-sweeping and parking reminders.
- Multicar discounts. Add more than one car to your quote to save on each car’s base and per-mile rates.
There’s a lot to like with Metromile. But it comes with plenty of restrictions at the moment.
- Limited states. While Metromile plans to expand, it currently services only California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington. (Sorry, New Yorkers!)
- Older vehicles excluded. Metromile’s mandatory mileage device excludes older vehicles that may not have a port to plug it in.
- Not all drivers eligible. Underwriting guidelines could prevent some drivers from qualifying for pay-per-mile insurance.
Does Metromile offer other types of insurance?
No, this startup is focused on rolling out pay-per-mile insurance in states with dense urban populations.
Metromile vs competitors
- vs Progressive
- vs Geico
- vs Allstate
- vs Liberty Mutual
- vs State Farm
- vs Nationwide
- vs USAA
- vs Travelers
- vs American Family
- vs Farmers
- vs Direct Auto
- vs The General
If you’re a city-slickin’ car owner who doesn’t drive much, look into this cool new startup to potentially save on your auto insurance.