Be honest: When was the last time you shopped for new car insurance? If it has been more than a year, it’s time to see whether or not you qualify for a new, better insurance rate.
But where should you start collecting quotes? Most people can use an online aggregator to get multiple quotes at once, but infrequent drivers may find deals by looking elsewhere.
In particular, infrequent drivers (people putting well under 10,000 miles per year on their vehicle) might benefit from checking into pay-per-mile insurance options including Metromile. This is also why we include Metromile as one of our top choices for the Best Car Insurance For College Students.
- Pay as you drive car insurance
- Multiple insurance options that are based on the mileage you drive
- App-based insurance and tracking
What Is Metromile Insurance?
Metromile insurance is a “pay-as-you-drive” car insurance company. People who insure through Metromile pay a monthly fee (starting as low as $29 per month) plus a mileage rate (for example, $0.06 per mile). The mileage is measured through a small device called a “Metromile Pulse.”
The Metromile Pulse not only tracks mileage, it also feeds data to the Metromile app, so you can get quick information on various check engine codes, and how to reduce your mileage. If you don’t drive at all in a given month, you’ll only pay the monthly fee.
With Metromile, the less you drive, the less you pay. Of course, that means that your bill will change every single month. Metromile advertises that it could offer savings for anyone driving less than 10,000 miles per year.
People who insure through Metromile can opt for full auto insurance coverage, or they can reduce to just the state-required minimums. Coverage options include: comprehensive, collision, bodily injury, property damage, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury or medical coverage, rental reimbursement (up to $30 per day for 30 days), and optional roadside assistance. In fact, Metromile even covers up to $1,000 in veterinary expenses if your pet is injured in a covered claim. Plus, your car remains insured while you park it.
However, it’s important to note that if you drive for a ride-sharing company (like Uber or Lyft), you cannot purchase your insurance through Metromile.
Metromile allows you to insure multiple people including your spouse, all children over the age of 15, and others who are “regular” users of the vehicle. In every state but Virginia, you can “exclude” a certain driver from the insurance policy. This will lower your rate, but that claim may not be covered if the excluded individual is involved in a car accident.
The deductible for Metromile ranges from $250 to $1,000 per claim.
Is Metromile a Legitimate Insurance Company?
Although Metromile isn’t a well-known insurer, it offers legitimate auto insurance. All new insurance policies that Metromile offers are underwritten by the Metromile Insurance Company. Some older policies are underwritten by the National General Insurance Group.
Either way, Metromile isn’t a scam. If you file a claim through Metromile, you can generally expect them to pay out as expected. Most existing customers who filed a review through the Better Business Bureau believed that Metromile satisfied their claim in a satisfactory manner. Metromile has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at this time.
Where Does Metromile Offer Insurance?
Right now, Metromile offers per-mile insurance in the following states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
How Does the Cost of Metromile Compare with Other Insurance Options?
Most people who had complaints about Metromile cited costs (specifically cost increases) as the driving factor behind their dissatisfaction. Although monthly rates on a vehicle can be as low as $29 per month, many drivers had monthly rates that were close to double that amount. On top of that, the per-mile rate of $0.06 may be available for some drivers, but others saw rates closer to $0.10 per mile.
Many people saw their rates increase even when they kept coverage the same, and did not have an accident during the previous covered period.
So is Metromile really cheaper for infrequent drivers? Unfortunately, this is one question that has to be answered on a driver-by-driver basis. It is free to get a quote from Metromile, so take a few minutes to get one next time you shop for insurance.
To get an “apples-to-apples” comparison of Metromile and more traditional insurers, be sure to multiply your mileage rate by your expected monthly mileage. Then you can compare the price of Metromile to the price of other insurers.
However, don’t be too hasty when comparing auto insurance prices. The other issue to consider with Metromile is the idea of multi-policy discounts. Often, people who insure their vehicle and home through the same insurer get a massive discount (in my case, close to 20% off all policies). (The same is true for those with renters insurance.) Since Metromile only offers auto insurance, that discount isn’t available. Even if Metromile is technically less expensive as a standalone policy, it may be more expensive once you factor in the discounts.
The moral of the story? Infrequent drivers should get a quote from Metromile — but don’t count on it being less expensive than other insurance options.
Should You Opt for Metromile Insurance?
People who drive very infrequently may get the insurance they want at a lower cost through Metromile. The next time you shop for auto insurance (which should happen at least once per year), grab a quote from Metromile. If you can save money while getting the same insurance coverage, go with Metromile.
- Pricing and Discounts - 90
- Coverage and Benefits - 80
- Products and Services - 60
- Customer Service - 90
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.