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Metromile Insurance Review 2020

Jan. 7, 2020
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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Metromile reviews and ratings

  • Metromile has more customer complaints than other companies of a similar size.
  • Pricing is based on mileage, with lower rates for those who drive little.
  • Available in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

Metromile exclusively sells pay-per-mile car insurance policies. The company estimates that people who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year can save hundreds of dollars annually. If you don’t drive much and don’t mind having your driving tracked, Metromile’s pay-per-mile coverage might be what you’re looking for.

Metromile auto insurance rating

3.0 NerdWallet rating

Metromile auto insurance earned 3 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, financial strength, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Because of its unique pricing structure, Metromile may be able to provide cheap insurance without discounts. For that reason, we removed discounts from the star rating formula for Metromile.

How much does Metromile auto insurance cost?

Metromile’s car insurance rates are broken into two parts: a base rate and a per-mile rate, typically a few cents per mile. The base rate and cost per mile are determined using many of the factors other insurers use, such as age, driving history and credit. Metromile’s app tracks mileage using a device plugged into your car’s diagnostic port. Your monthly cost equals the per-mile rate multiplied by the number of miles you drove in the past month, added to your base rate.

Will you save money with Metromile?

It depends on your base and per-mile rates, as well as how much you drive. Let’s say you have a base rate of $40 per month and pay 5 cents per mile.

  • If you drive 500 miles in a month, your total premium would be (500 * $0.05) + $40, which totals $65 ($25 + $40).
  • If you drive twice as much in a month, or about the average 1,000 miles, your total would be $90 ($50 + $40).

But say your Metromile base rate is $60 and your per-mile rate is 10 cents.

  • Your cost for a month in which you drove 500 miles would be $110 ($60 + $50),
  • If you drove 1,000 miles in the same month it would be $160.

If you get a quote from Metromile, it’s smart to estimate your costs like this for a month’s worth of typical driving to know whether you’ll save money.

Although you pay monthly, a base rate from Metromile is actually a daily rate multiplied by the number of days in each month, so the cost is slightly lower in shorter months.

If you take the occasional road trip, don’t worry; your habit won’t result in a staggering insurance bill. Policyholders in seven of the eight states that Metromile serves — Arizona, California, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington — aren’t charged for over 250 miles per day; in New Jersey, the cap is 150 miles.

Metromile auto insurance discounts

You can get a discount on the base rate and cost per mile if you insure more than one vehicle on your Metromile policy.

Metromile auto insurance coverage options

Metromile offers all the usual types of auto coverage you would expect, with add-on options available, including:

  • Rental reimbursement: If you have collision and comprehensive insurance on your policy, you can add this coverage. If your car is in the shop due to a claim and you have the coverage, Metromile will pay up to $30 per day for up to 30 days for you to rent a car.
  • Roadside assistance can help pay if you need a tow, get a flat tire or are locked out of a vehicle covered by the policy.
  • Pet injury protection is included in Metromile’s comprehensive and collision coverage in all states it serves except Illinois and Virginia. It provides up to $1,000 if your dog or cat is injured in an accident.
  • No-deductible glass repair if you purchase comprehensive coverage, and the glass doesn’t need to be replaced entirely.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Complaints about Metromile

Metromile had far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Metromile’s app and tracking device

Tracking device: The Metromile Pulse device tracks your mileage. The free device plugs into the diagnostic port of your car and transmits data to the insurer. Unlike other usage-based car insurance programs that focus on safe driving habits, Metromile’s pricing formula isn’t based on other data such as speed, cornering or braking, but the Pulse can collect it.

Mobile app: Metromile’s mobile app is where you can check your mileage as recorded by the Pulse device. You can also view policy documents, your auto insurance ID cards and trip charges based on mileage. Other app features include:

  • Parking: Find your parked car and get street sweeping alerts to avoid tickets.
  • Trip data, including speed, distance and how much you spend on gas.
  • Car health, which tells you what your check-engine light means and where to find a mechanic.

When you sign up and make your first payment, your insurance coverage can begin as soon as the next day, even though you won’t have the Pulse device yet. You’re covered during a grace period while Metromile ships the device to you. The grace period is 10 days in every state the company serves except California, and you won’t pay the per-mile rate until you plug in the Pulse in those states. In California, the grace period is seven days and you won’t pay the per-mile cost for driving during that time.

Recap: Metromile pros and cons

ProsCons
Potentially cheap for people who drive less than 10,000 miles a year.Your driving will need to be monitored at all times, with few exceptions.
Pet injury protection is included in most full-coverage policies.Has far more complaints than other companies of a similar size.
Likely not a good option for people who drive longer distances regularly.

NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Lacie Glover

 

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home and life insurance.

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