About Metromile Auto Insurance

San Francisco-based Metromile was founded in 2011. For people who don’t drive much, Metromile offers a pay-per-mile policy which allows them to save substantially on premiums. Since 65 percent of American drive 12,000 miles or less per year, that’s a substantial number of people who could save considerable sums on their insurance coverage.

Mileage is tracked via the Metromile mobile app, which also allows drivers to find their parked cars, receive trip data information and review their policy documents. It will also let you know if street sweeping is planned for the area. The app has allowed some drivers to locate their stolen vehicles. There is also a device that plugs into the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) port, transmitting data via a cell modem for constant updating of trip information to the account. This device does not require either a smartphone or Bluetooth.

Metromile’s primary client focus is urban residents who don’t need to drive a great deal. The company can offer lower rates because their customers are lower risk – they are simply not on the road as often as other drivers. The company does charge a base monthly rate, however, so even if a driver does not use a vehicle at all for a 30-day period, they must still pay the base rate.

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Our Rating

Metromile is the new wave of car insurance, but lacks the stability of other companies that have been around for over 100 years. With a lot of offerings and easy claims and customer service, old diehard insurance companies may have something to worry about as this pay-for-miles type of policy takes more of a foothold.

Pros

  • Progressive type of insurance based on how much you drive

  • Some customers may save hundreds of dollars a month

  • Easy-to-follow claim instructions

Satisfaction Rating

Claims Rating

Shopping Rating

Offerings Rating

Stability Rating

Discounts Rating

Types of Car Insurance Available

Metromile offers many of the standard auto insurance packages sold by other insurers. These include:

  • Four levels of liability protection – The choice of which may depend on the requirements of the lender or lessor.
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Roadside assistance – This option includes towing up the mileage listed in the contract, flat tire fixing and lockout.
  • Rental cars – Customers may opt for rental car insurance when their vehicles are out of service. Those using a rental car do not need to plug their devices into the automobile for mileage determination. There is no mileage charge when driving a rental car. Customers may receive up to $30 a day for a maximum of 30 days while their vehicle is being repaired.

Satisfaction

Metromile has fewer customer complaints than insurance companies of similar size. In 2016, customer complaints centered on claim denials, delayed claim payments and unsatisfactory settlement offers, which are the major types of complaints with any auto insurer.

Claims

Report claims by visiting Metromile’s website or by calling a toll-free number. Unlike other insurers, you cannot report a claim through an insurance agent. Once you have made the claim, you can monitor its progress through the Metromile app or calling or emailing the claims representative assigned to you. Customers must file a claim with Metromile even if the accident was not their fault.

If the car is damaged, payments for repairs are made to the insured and their lender or lessor.

Claims representatives are available 24/7.

There are some actions taken by drivers that may invalidate claims, such as if the accident occurred while the driver was racing another car.

Shopping/Value

Customers pay their initial month’s base rate when they purchase the policy. At the end of that first month, customers are charged the following month’s base rate as well as any miles driven in the month prior.

Depending on their usage rate, some drivers may pay only $30 to $40 per month in premiums. Metromile states that the average customer switching to their service saves approximately $500 annually. Rates will vary according to the driver, with age and driving history a factor. The driver’s style, such as speeding or constant braking, does not factor into the insurance payments. All rates are based simply on miles driven.

All payments are made by credit card or debit card for automatic payment. New Jersey residents only may pay by check, but coverage must wait until the check is received and cleared.

Offerings

Pay-per-mile insurance is currently available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois and Virginia, and the company is expanding the program into other states.

With comprehensive and collision coverage, a Metromile offers pet injury insurance if an animal is injured in an accident while traveling in the car. Currently, this insurance is not available in Virginia and Illinois. The insurance provides up to $1,000 for the vet bills of injured pets. There is a free option with comprehensive and collision coverage.

Metromile is strictly an auto insurance company, so there is no bundling of different types of coverages as is true with most major insurers. This means you may save on auto insurance with Metromile, but end up paying higher rates for homeowners, renter’s and other types of insurance.

All mileage over 250 miles per day is free, with the exception of New Jersey, where the limit is 150 miles per day. This perk is meant primarily for drivers embarking on long trips, not commuters. Metromile is not designed as a cheap alternative for those with long daily commutes. It also does not cover those who use their vehicle for ridesharing programs such as Lyft or Uber. It does not cover commercial vehicles or vehicles such as motorcycles at this time.

Stability

Metromile does not have the longevity at this point to indicate its overall stability, as it has been in existence for just seven years. The company, headquartered in San Francisco, also has corporate offices in Tempe, Arizona and Boston, Massachusetts. The company announced $192 million in funding in September, 2016. Billionaire Mark Cuban is among its investors.

All recent Metromile insurance policies are underwritten by Metromile Insurance Company. Certain older policies were underwritten by the National General Insurance Group, but Metromile is now transitioning these policies to its own company. The managing general agent for all Metromile insurance policies is Metromile Insurance Services LLC. This agent is in charge of all customer service inquiries.

Discounts

Metromile does not have the longevity at this point to indicate its overall stability, as it has been in existence for just seven years. The company, headquartered in San Francisco, also has corporate offices in Tempe, Arizona and Boston, Massachusetts. The company announced $192 million in funding in September, 2016. Billionaire Mark Cuban is among its investors.

All recent Metromile insurance policies are underwritten by Metromile Insurance Company. Certain older policies were underwritten by the National General Insurance Group, but Metromile is now transitioning these policies to its own company. The managing general agent for all Metromile insurance policies is Metromile Insurance Services LLC. This agent is in charge of all customer service inquiries.

Sources:

  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-21/metromile-raises-192-million-to-take-on-car-insurance-business
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