Welcome Paw Anderson, Metromile’s new CTO

 

This week, Paw Anderson, a true technologist with 20+ years of engineering leadership experience, joined Metromile as CTO. He was most notably a senior leader of engineering in Uber’s Advanced Technology group, where he grew his team from 27 to 700. Beyond ride sharing and autonomous vehicles, he’s been on the front lines of technical challenges in several sectors, including GIS, Fintech and E-commerce, ranging from small startups to large, established companies. Originally from Denmark, he now lives in the Bay Area with his family.

 

 

According to Paw, there’s a thread that runs through his career. “What’s been constant is my passion for enabling teams to effectively build software, while also empowering them to enjoy their biggest personal growth,” he said.

 

As CTO, Paw is responsible for leading, coaching, motivating, and growing a world-class eng team in our San Francisco and Boston offices. He’s also a member of executive leadership, working closely with CEO Dan Preston, Chief Product Officer Shaun Clowes, and many others.

 

“We’re hyper-focused on reimagining insurance for consumers and carriers alike. What struck me about Paw is that he has a huge passion for creating products that directly help customers,” said Dan. “Paw has a bird’s eye view of the future of mobility, and I’m confident he’ll be instrumental in bringing our ‘invent the future’ value to life. He’s equally passionate on building a positive culture internally, and an environment that enables Metromilers to do their best work. Having been Metromile’s CTO in our earliest days, I’m excited for Paw’s leadership and welcome him to the team.”

 

In talking with Paw, he shared a bit about what attracted him to Metromile. Here’s what he had to say.

 

“I’m very excited to join the Metromile team. For me, there are three things that matter most:

  1. I’m an engineer at heart. I like to build things that are challenging to build, and have a lot of data-driven problems to solve.
  2. I want to build things that matter to people in real life. Something that makes people want to part with their money, that makes their life better. That matters to me a lot.
  3. I want to work with really smart people who have fun together.

 

“Metromile checks all three of these boxes and more. That’s because I very much believe in Metromile’s future. Working at Uber, I became immersed in mobility and learned how that landscape is continuing to evolve. When I think about the future of mobility, I see Metromile as a key player in expanding individual freedom.”

 

Interested in working with Paw and the rest of our eng team? We’re hiring tech talent in our Boston and San Francisco offices.  

Drive a Toyota? Here’s Your Personalized Maintenance Checklist

 

Toyota drivers, rejoice! Your patience is being rewarded. Earlier this year, we shared a personalized maintenance checklist for Honda drivers, but today it is all about you. We’re excited to share a personalized maintenance checklist. According to our research, Toyota Corolla, Camry, and Prius are among the top five cars owned by Metromilers.  

 

Since 1957, these reliable, Japanese-made cars have been cruising American roads. In fact, did you know that 80% of Toyotas sold twenty years ago are still on the roads today? That’s a sign that Toyotas are pretty reliable vehicles if you ask us. Toyota makes a vehicle for everyone. Let’s dive into some of our best car care tips for all you Toyota drivers.

 

How To Keep Your Toyota Running Like New


For all Toyota models, performing regular maintenance according to the factory-recommended maintenance schedule is the best way to keep your vehicle running in optimal condition. Take care of your Toyota now and it can be part of the 80% still on the roads twenty years from now.


If you drive a Toyota Prius:
A Toyota Prius is the ultimate commuter car. Great on gas, reliable, and easy-to-drive, the Prius is one of Toyota’s top-sellers. Maintenance schedules for the Toyota Prius can either be calculated with miles or months, depending on which you reach first. If you’re a consistent commuter, you’ll want to schedule your maintenance around a mileage system; if you don’t drive the car as often, you’ll want to follow the month system.

 

Here’s a quick list of maintenance items for your new Toyota Prius:

 

  • Every 5,000 miles/6 months: Check installation of driver’s floor mat, inspect and adjust all fluid levels, inspect wiper blades, rotate tires, visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
  • 10,000 miles/12 months: Check installation of driver’s floor mat, inspect and adjust all fluid levels, inspect wiper blades, replace engine oil and oil filter, rotate tires, visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
  • 15,000 miles/18 months: Check installation of driver’s floor mat, inspect and adjust all fluid levels, inspect wiper blades, rotate tires, visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs, and inspect the following parts: ball joints and dust covers, brake lines and hoses, cabin air filter, drive shaft boots, engine/inverter coolant, exhaust pipes and mountings, radiator, condenser and intercooler, steering gear, steering linkage and boots
  • 20,000 miles/24 months: Check installation of driver’s floor mat, inspect and adjust all fluid levels, inspect wiper blades, replace engine oil and oil filter, rotate tires, visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
  • 60,000 miles/48 months: Check installation of driver’s floor mat, inspect and adjust all fluid levels, inspect wiper blades, rotate tires, visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs, replace cabin air filter, replace engine air filter, replace engine oil and oil filter
  • 100,000 miles/120 months: Check installation of driver’s floor mat, inspect and adjust all fluid levels, inspect wiper blades, rotate tires, visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs, replace cabin air filter, replace engine oil and oil filter, replace engine coolant


If you drive a Toyota Camry:
The Toyota Camry is an incredibly reliable vehicle, and if well-taken-care-of, can stay on the road for decades. Toyota recommends a routine service appointment about every 5,000 miles for your Toyota Camry. You should also schedule additional special services at other mile intervals as well.

 

Below is a breakdown of all of the services your Camry needs and when they need to be performed:

 

  • Every 5,000 miles: Change oil and filter, check tire pressure and tread, inspect, top off fluid levels, inspect brakes and exterior light bulbs, check wiper blades and replace if needed
  • Every 15,000 miles: Check brake fluid, brake lines, and hoses, inspect steering and suspension components, check cooling system, check air filter, inspect exhaust system, rotate tires
  • Every 30,000 miles: Replace air filter (including cabin air filter), check distributor cap and ignition wires
  • Every 45,000 miles: Replace coolant and brake fluid
  • Every 90,000 miles: Change transmission fluid


It’s important to note that each service appointment should involve an oil change to promote the longevity of your engine.


General Toyota Maintenance Checklist


Low oil levels can have a disastrous effect on your Toyota’s engine, so you’ll need to check that level the most often. Following the guidelines below of items to check (but not necessarily change), you can rest assured that you have all of your bases covered:

 

  • Check the engine oil and coolant levels every time you fill the fuel tank
  • Check the transmission and brake fluid levels about once a month
  • Check your tire pressure every month, since the pressure inside the tire can change when the air temperature outside the car changes
  • Every month, check to make sure all of your lights are working properly

 

Periodic Maintenance Items By Mileage

 

  • Every 5,000 Miles
  • Check installation of driver’s floor mat
    • Inspect and adjust all fluid levels
    • Inspect wiper blades
    • Rotate tires
    • Visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs

 

The following mileage marks are when you should have these items changed, replaced or checked. Take care of these maintenance items when this mileage shows up on your Toyota’s odometer.

 

  • 30,000 Miles
    • Inspect valve clearance
    • Replace spark plugs
    • Replace air filter
    • Inspect or replace drive belts 
  • 45,000 Miles
    • Replace engine coolant
    • Replace brake fluid
  • 60,000 Miles
    • Replace spark plugs
    • Inspect or replace drive belts
  • 75,000 Miles
    • Replace engine coolant
  • 90,000 Miles
    • Change brake fluid
    • Replace air filter
    • Replace spark plugs
    • Replace drive belts
    • Change transmission fluid

 

While it initially may seem like a lot, staying on top of these vehicle maintenance guidelines will keep your Toyota in tip-top shape for years to come.

3 Signs It’s Time to Break-Up With Traditional Auto Insurance

Admit it… Have you been with your insurer longer than you’d like? Do you find yourself thinking that the relationship might not be working? Have you considered… breaking up? We’ve all been there. No matter the circumstance, breaking up is hard to do.

Before I switched to Metromile, I was in the same boat. My first experience with car insurance was with a company that my parents used, and since I didn’t know any better, I signed up with them, too. My rate was expensive (even though I had a clean driving record) and since I usually took public transportation during my weekly commute, it felt like I was paying for something I hardly used. That all changed when I spotted a cleverly-worded Metromile ad on the train and grabbed a free quote.

To find the right insurer, you might feel like you’re kissing a lot of frogs. For me, it actually felt a lot like finding that particular person worthy of a love letter, the one who makes your heart skip a beat. I switched my insurance to Metromile nearly four years ago, and I’ve never looked back.

If you’ve experienced any of the following signs, chances are it’s time to move on. Bonus: you don’t have to wait for the end of your insurance renewal to switch. With Metromile, you can switch and sign up anytime. Beyond likely saving money, you’ll get to know a different kind of car insurer.

3 Signs It’s Time to Break-Up With Traditional Auto Insurance

The relationship feels one-sided

With traditional auto insurance, paying a flat rate regardless of how much you drive just doesn’t seem fair. With Metromile, you are always charged fairly based on how much you drive. Did you know that low-mileage drivers can potentially cut their bill in half with Metromile? Every human on this earth hates paying for things they don’t use. If you drive less than 10k miles a year like me, I bet you’re spending too much with your current insurer.

You don’t want to worry about someone stealing your car (‘s heart)

Cars are pricey, and many times they can carry the same sentimental weight as a family member. Having the peace-of-mind of knowing where your vehicle is at all times is priceless. With the Metromile Pulse, a device you plug into your car’s OBD-II port, and the accompanying app, you’ll always know where your car is located. Can your current car insurance company say that? Also, did you know that the Pulse helps recover stolen vehicles? In fact, the company has recovered 94% of stolen vehicle claims – the national average is less than 60%.

Communication has broken down

Dealing with a car insurance claim can be stressful and time consuming; the customer service helplines alone can make you feel like you’re taking a number at the DMV. I’ve found that Metromile does things differently. Not only do they have s US-based claims team, but they also have AVA, a virtual claims assistant. AVA can help with car rentals, auto body recommendations, and even provide payouts in some situations.

Be safe and see you on the road!

Still Have Questions?

Visit Metromile’s Help Center! Still have a question we haven’t answered? Call 1-888-311-2909, or send an email and the Customer Experience team will get back to you right away.
Switching to Metromile is easy and only takes a few minutes. Grab a free quote today and find out how much you could be saving!

A Love Letter to my Car Insurance Company

Hey, Metromilers! It’s Julianne! Some of you may know me from my blog, The Wink, or from my side hustle, writing here for the Metromile blog. What you may not know is that I’ve been a loyal customer of Metromile for four years! What started as a trial run has turned into what I hope will be a lifelong commitment.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s a little love letter I penned to my one-and-only, my love, and the best car insurance I’ve ever had – Metromile.

Dear Metromile,

 

I was thinking today about how very much I love you, and how I really don’t tell you that enough. So I wanted to sit down and let you know how you’ve truly changed my life in the best ways possible.

Nearly four years ago, I saw your ad on the train:

 

Roses are red
Pay-per-mile car insurance
Could cut your bill in half
Ta-da

 

Were you talking to me? It felt like kismet. I was in an unhappy relationship with my current car insurance company and needed to get out; you were writing romantic poems and plastering them all over train cars. Was it meant to be? Were you looking for me, too?

I needed to meet you, so I got a free quote online. The rest, as they say, is history.

Although it’s been a few years since we met, every day with you feels like a new adventure. It’s a feeling of safety; a feeling of knowing that someone always has my back. Your unwavering support has carried me through some challenging moments in my life.

 

Remember the time my windshield cracked? I didn’t know what to do, but you held my hand and told me that it would be okay. You even came and fixed it the very same day. I’ve never known commitment like this before, but what I do know is that I’m all in.

 

Before you, I only felt frustration. I thought car insurance was a lost cause – something you’re required to have and pay out the nose for. I had a few car insurance companies before we met, but none ever really felt like “the one.” When you meet “the one,” you forget everything that came before and you never look back. That’s how I feel about you, Metromile. You’re my bae – before anything else. We’ve been going strong for almost half a decade and I’ve never once questioned my decision to switch. When you know, you know.

 

You never forget to remind me when I’m parked in a street sweeping zone. You always help me find my car when I forget where I parked. You help me keep my car healthy and decode problems right away. Your loyalty and dedication are what it means to be a good friend.

You truly complete me. These last few years have been the happiest of my life. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to always have my best friend by my side (and in my pocket).

 

I can’t wait to grow old with you, because I know you’ll be there supporting me throughout my golden years. Long after the hustle and bustle of life have subsided, we’ll still be going strong together.

 

I can’t wait to see what our future holds. Happy Valentine’s Day, Metromile.

 

 

All my love,

Julianne

How Much Should Your Car Insurance Cost?

It’s hard to think of anything more loathsome than overpaying for something you need. Imagine accidentally discovering your neighbor shells out half of what you do for internet that’s twice as fast. Pretty irksome, right?

red car passing in front of brown and white concrete building

How Much Should Your Car Insurance Cost?

If casually discussing your monthly bills with friends and acquaintances isn’t your style, then the best way to ensure you’re paying the appropriate amount for necessary goods and services is to do some research and stick to companies you trust. Case in point: Metromile, a company that believes customers should pay a fair and affordable rate for what they use (what a concept, right?). When you switch to Metromile for car insurance, you can rest assured you’re getting exactly what you pay for and never being taken for a ride.

The Average Cost of Car Insurance in 2018

While it’s totally possible to get a general sense of what car insurance costs around the country, it’s important to keep in mind that rates can vary quite a bit based on numerous factors like location, age, gender, vehicle type, etc. But all that said, you can still look at the big picture and figure out where you stand.

Our friends over at The Zebra did some analysis across the country and found that in 2018, the typical rate for Americans paying car insurance was $1,426/year or $118.63/month. Shocked? Surprised? Pleasantly at peace with what you’re paying? It’s worth understanding the methodology behind The Zebra’s findings before you freak out or celebrate. The researchers came to those numbers after examining nearly 53 million rates between September and December 2017 across all United States zip codes, including Washington, DC.

The team devised a consistent base profile for the insured driver to come to their conclusions: Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver. This fictional driver:

  • Was a 30-year-old single male
  • Drove a 2013 Honda Accord EX
  • Had a good driving history
  • Had coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • Had a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision

Taking all that and more into consideration, The Zebra team settled on the average rate of $1,426/year or $118.63/month. But to fully grasp all that went into those numbers, it’s helpful to break down the factors one by one.

What Factors Impact Your Rate

If you’ve been reading the Metromile blog for a while, then you probably know a bit about how car insurance is calculated. But here’s a refresher on the most common factors that make up car insurance rates across carriers:

  1. Age:

    According to research, age reliably correlates with risky driving behavior, and those at the lower and higher ends of the spectrum are generally considered to be greater risks on the road. Typically teens, people under the age of 30, and adults older than 70 have higher rates.

  2. Location:

    Where you live in the country may have the biggest influence over how much you pay since car insurance is regulated at the state level and priced by zip code. That means wherever your car is usually parked could heavily influence whether your monthly bill is high or low.

  3. Vehicle type:

    Just like you, your car is unique, and it has a specific identifier that no other car has: its vehicle identification number (VIN). The 17-character code is used for tracking recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and, yes, insurance coverage. When you provide your VIN to an insurance carrier, that company is able to take a peek into your vehicle’s mileage, accident history, model, etc. All those attributes are factored into your premium cost.

  4. Driving History:

    It really does pay to be safe. The more tickets, accidents, and violations you rack up, the higher your rates will be.

  5. Coverage:

    Your coverage limits and deductible amount affect your overall rate. In short: higher limits equal high rates and lower deductibles result in higher rates. The higher your deductible, the more likely you’ll have a lower rate (but, of course, it’s crucial to select a deductible amount you can actually afford).

The Car Insurance Carrier You Choose Matters

When you’re analyzing average rates between carriers, it’s important to know you’re not exactly comparing apples to apples. Each car insurance company relies on slightly different calculations to formulate rates, and, as mentioned above, each state operates differently on top of that. So while The Zebra’s national averages might be a helpful starting point when taking stock of your own rate, understanding the personal factors that are contributing to your costs will better equip you to make necessary changes.

So, what’s the bottom line, you ask? How much should car insurance actually cost? As you probably guessed by now, there’s no single clear-cut answer, and how that question is answered depends heavily on who’s asking it. But while there are no black or white answers in the world of car insurance costs, there are a few general, overarching rules of thumb worth following.

Know that you can expect small decreases in your bill as you age (until you turn 70, usually). And if you really want to guarantee you’re on track to score the best deal and truly getting what you’re paying for, then it’s time to make the switch to Metromile. Not only is Metromile the kind of company that will only ever charge you for the miles you drive, but it’s a comprehensive carrier that will help you save money on everything from street sweeping tickets to mechanic shop visits — seriously.

Ready to make the switch? Call 1.888.242.5204 or visit metromile.com to get your free quote. And if you’re already a member, consider a chat with one of Metromile’s qualified agents to find out how you could be saving even more money. Still have questions? Reach out to us on Twitter, FB, or Instagram or visit the help center.

How to Avoid a Winter Car Breakdown

A dead battery, a flat tire, a stalled engine… on a frigid and stormy night, these are every driver’s worst fear. It’s bad enough that shoveling our cars out of snow piles is a daily occurrence during the winter. When real car trouble strikes, however, it can be extremely dangerous. There’s nothing worse than car trouble, and during the coldest months of the year, it’s all too common.

road coated by snow

How to Avoid a Winter Car Breakdown

From what to do if your car breaks down, to how to stay warm when your battery dies or you go off the road, we are sharing the top causes for winter breakdowns, our tips for avoiding them, and what to do if a breakdown is unavoidable.

Top Causes for Winter Car Breakdowns:

A dead battery

Did you know that it’s more difficult for a car battery to produce a charge during the colder winter months? This means that when you turn the key, it might not produce enough energy to start your car. That’s a scary thought.

Don’t get caught in the cold with a dead battery – use our tips to avoid this winter weather catastrophe.
  • Check your car battery voltage with a voltmeter or multimeter before it gets too cold. You can also ask your mechanic to take a look when you bring your car into the shop to get winterized. What voltage should you look for? Roughly 12.40–12.75 volts is enough to ensure reliable startups in cold weather.
  • If you live in a particularly frigid place, consider investing in a battery rated for cold temperatures. When shopping for a cold-weather battery, look for one with a high CCA (cold cranking amps) count. CCA count is a measure of how many amps the battery can generate in cold or freezing temperatures.

Bald or flat tires

Your tires are your contact with the road, so it’s important to keep them properly maintained for driving in wintery conditions – especially when roadways are slick and icy. Fresh tire treads help channel snow and water away and grip the road, and proper tire pressure helps your car dig into loose or slushy surfaces (like a road covered in a fresh layer of snow!). Without properly maintained tires, your car may have trouble staying on the road or coming to a stop when you hit the brakes. Yikes.

Here are our tips to keeping your tires properly maintained throughout the entire winter season:
  • Be sure to check your tires before winter weather hits, and continue doing so regularly after the temperatures drop. Did you know that the air pressure in your tires can drop 2 PSI for every 10 degrees the outdoor air temperature decreases? Therefore, it’s important that they stay properly inflated during the entire winter season. We suggest using a gas station air pump to check your tires at every other fill-up during the winter.
    Pro tip: the recommended PSI for your tires is usually printed on a sticker on the inside of the drivers-side door.
  • Bald tires and slick roads are a recipe for disaster. It’s crucial to make sure the tread isn’t worn down on your tires during the winter. To check your tread depth, try the Lincoln test: stick a penny into the center of the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed in. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread depth is too low and your tires need to be replaced ASAP.
    Pro tip: spring for some dedicated snow tires if you live in a place with severe weather.

Engine issues

If, on a particularly freezing morning, you turn the key in the ignition and you hear a squealing noise akin to cats fighting and see steam pouring out of the hood – there’s a good chance that your radiator has either frozen or cracked. In cold weather, your engine can also overheat (yes, you read that right!). This is due to the motor oil becoming thicker and not circulating properly throughout the engine.

Here are our pro tips for avoiding engine problems in the coldest months of the year:
  • Park indoors whenever possible. Parking indoors will help prevent fluids in your engine from constantly vacillating between freezing and expanding. Be sure to also check your car’s coolant concentration before winter hits (hey, it’s called antifreeze for a reason!). Your mechanic should have it on their pre-winter checklist to make sure the fluid proportions are correct to keep them from freezing.
    Pro tip: a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water should be sufficient.
  • Try swapping out a standard oil for multi-viscosity motor oil, which will perform better in all weather conditions. Ask your mechanic or contact your vehicle manufacturer’s customer service line to find out if you should do a winter oil change – they may recommend switching to thinner, less viscous oil that’s rated higher for colder temperatures.

If You Can’t Avoid A Winter Car Breakdown… Do This

Sometimes a breakdown in winter is unavoidable. Don’t panic.

Here’s what to do in the event of a winter car breakdown:

  1. Stay with your vehicle:

    Whatever you do, stay with (and inside) your vehicle. Exposing yourself to subzero temperatures and extreme weather is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

  2. Stay warm:

    Do everything in your power to stay warm by running the heat, layering in warm clothing, and staying inside the vehicle. Your car will provide the best protection and keep you warm and dry until help comes.

  3. Stash water and snacks in your car:

    In the winter, keep extra bottles of water and snacks in your car in case of breakdown. Depending on your location or the severity of the weather, it may be hours before assistance can reach you.

  4. Call Metromile Roadside Assistance:

    Have Metromile insurance with added roadside assistance? Then call for help using the Metromile app, phone or your online dashboard. If you don’t, call for whatever help you can.

  5. Have an emergency roadside kit ready to go in your trunk:

    This includes a snow scraper brush, small shovel, road flares, blanket, warm clothing, hand warmers, a small bag of sand, etc. At the very least, these items will be enough to alert other drivers of your presence and make it easier for assistance to find you in the storm.

What not to do:

  1. Do not leave your vehicle:

    Whatever you do, do not rush out of your vehicle or try to dig your car free of a snow bank. Doing so exposes you to the cold and elements, and it will be much harder to warm your body back up.

  2. Do not fall asleep:

    In some circumstances, you may be waiting hours for help to come and it might be tempting to doze off. Do everything you can to stay awake. If you’re trapped inside your car with the engine running, you may be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. Falling asleep during carbon monoxide exposure is extremely dangerous and can lead to instant death.

Still Have Questions?

Still have questions? Reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or visit the help center. Not a part of the Metromile fam yet? Grab a free quote now and see how much you could be saving each month. Metromile customers save an average of $611 a year! Current Metromile customers: refer a friend to Metromile and get $25! Be safe this winter and see you on the roads.

Metromile Supports Customers Affected By Government Shutdown

Metromile will enable customers who are federal employees currently affected by the shutdown to pause auto payments on their current insurance bill for as long as the shutdown persists.

“Loyalty is a two-way street,” said Dan Preston, CEO at Metromile. “Metromile customers are fiercely loyal to us, and it’s our job to ensure they can rely on us for a positive experience in good times and bad. We know this is a period of hardship for many, and we want to do our part to ease the financial burden faced by customers affected by the shutdown.”

Why Does My Metromile Bill Vary?

Some things in life are consistent and predictable: long lines at the DMV, sticker shock at the movie theater, and an overflowing email inbox every Monday morning. But other things fluctuate a bit. Case in point: your monthly Metromile statement. Have you ever wondered why your bill varies from month to month? If so, you’re far from alone — it’s one of the most frequently asked questions customers have, so today, we’re tackling it head-on.

driver_holding-phone_for-web_1

Here’s the deal in a nutshell: Metromile isn’t just unique in its pay-per-mile structure and execution; it’s also totally innovative in its approach to billing. Unlike most other insurance companies who charge a hefty fee regardless of whether you drive 5 miles or 5,000 miles, Metromile charges a low base rate to cover your car while it’s parked, and then tacks on pennies per each mile your car is actually driven.

So essentially, customers really only pay for what they use, which Metromile thinks is a pretty fair way to do business. Because of that model, however, you’ll inevitably see some fluctuation from month to month. Unless you’re strictly sticking to a mileage budget, you’re probably mixing up your time behind the wheel quite a bit. Maybe one month you’re relying on public transportation a little more heavily and the next month you’re off on a road trip. No matter what comes up in your life, Metromile’s mission is to keep your costs as low as possible.

next month's base rate + previous month's total miles = 1st bill

Why Your Bill Varies Every Month and Why That’s a Good Thing

So what exactly is the math behind that monthly bill variation? There are a few good reasons for the ups and downs you observe each month.

First, let’s talk about that base rate. That sum is determined by a daily rate multiplied by the amount of days in each month. So, as you can expect, shorter months will always cost slightly less (i.e. February vs. October, or any month with 30 days versus those with 31). Despite the subtle nuances, your actual daily rate will never change within a six-month period unless you make a specific request.

While your base rate will pretty much stay the same throughout the month (give or take the cost of a few days, depending on the length of the month), the other portion of your bill may rise and fall quite a bit — that’s the pay-per-mile portion. Because Metromile doesn’t believe in charging customers for miles they don’t drive, you’ll always be in complete control of your mileage charges and have the opportunity to budget miles accordingly.

your bill pie chart

Because miles are charged retroactively, you’ll always have the opportunity to reflect on your actions from the previous month and, if necessary, make adjustments. Took one too many long joyrides or repeated Target runs last month (hey it happens)? If money’s tight this month, you might choose to do more errands on your bike or walk to work a few days a week to save some dough.

Bill Control

Having a varying bill means you’re in control of what you pay — not an anonymous insurance company charging an arbitrary rate. You can even monitor your monthly bill on a daily basis if you want to, just to be extra sure you’re staying on or below your car insurance budget. Any time you know you need to put aside some more cash for the month, you’ll know if and when driving less can save you more.

Still Have Questions?

Even when it’s simple, billing can still be confusing, so if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or visit the help center. And if you’re still not sure whether Metromile is the insurance company for you, visit metromile.com or call 1.888.242.5204 to get a free quote.

What Will Transportation Look Like in 2019?

New year… new transportation methods? Since the days of Back to the Future, the world has been poised for flying and self-driving cars. If the future really is now, how are we doing on these futuristic transportation options and what other transportation methods are available to us now that can help us keep our mileage low?

long exposure photography of road and cars

Transportation Trends in 2019

2019 is here, people. Let’s look into the forms of alternative transportation available to us now, and in the future.

Autonomous Vehicles

Pretty much every big player in the auto industry is hard at work researching and developing an autonomous vehicle. Key players include Tesla and Alphabet/Waymo (the parent company of Google). Tesla is pushing for a vision-based system, with cameras positioned strategically around the vehicle taking in the 360º view of surroundings as the car moves. Alphabet/Waymo has a LIDAR system (Light Detection and Ranging) on their vehicles, which is a spinning apparatus on the top of the car that sends out lasers and measures how long it takes for them to bounce back – similar to how bats use echolocation! This system is able to definitively calculate the distance of objects and is much more accurate and reliable than a vision-based system. However, LIDAR does not work very well in fog, rain, or dust, due to its use of light wavelengths, and doesn’t distinguish color and contrast.

Other smaller (but still extensive) companies in the space are Uber and GM/Cruse. Fundamentally, all of these companies are focused on creating a system to identify other cars and obstacles on the road and developing the navigation necessary to make self-driving cars a reality.

Some states do not allow the testing of autonomous vehicles on the road – no surprises there! The state of California requires all companies testing self-driving technology to publish a Disengagement Report. This report details how many miles the self-driving system has driven in the state of CA and reports the number of times that the human driver has had to take over for the self-driving system. Given this (and the fact that many companies are wary of publishing this information), many are moving beyond the CA state lines and testing their technology elsewhere. Uber has a large deployment of self-driving tests being conducted in Phoenix, Arizona, and Tesla has been rumored to be testing their tech entirely on a simulator.

Tunnel-Transit

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop (LA) and Express Loop (Chicago) saw a lot of testing and speculation in 2018. Often criticized, tunnels are expensive to build and take a long time. Additionally, many city infrastructures wouldn’t be able to handle it. Innovative tunnel technologies and companies, such as Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, have a ways to go before they’re ready for universal adoption. We’re at least five years out from any of them coming to fruition.

Electric Scooters

Chances are if you live in or have been to a major city recently, you’ve seen electric scooters on every street corner. Across the country, more and more cities have been adopting electric scooters as another means of public transportation. Nowadays, there are so many companies offering them it’s hard to keep track.

In the pros category, electric scooters are easy and cheap transit for short distances. They work well on flat surfaces and are faster than walking to your destination. However, the cons include a lack of dedicated infrastructure, environmental hazards (such as rain or snow), and riders not always following the rules (including wearing helmets, not riding on sidewalks, not riding when drinking, etc.). We can expect to see a nationwide crackdown on regulation of electric scooters in 2019.

Electric Vehicles

As in 2018, California will continue setting the pace with electric vehicle policies and deployment in 2019. Other states are beginning to catch up, with legislation aimed at boosting and strengthening electric vehicle development. Expect to see electric vehicles getting bigger and better this year, with more SUVs, longer mileage ranges, and lower costs.

Additionally, utility companies are rolling out programs to meet electric vehicle demand. In addition to rebate programs, many utility companies are creating time-of-use programs to shift charging times toward less stressful times for the power grid.

Public Transportation

Public transit ridership has decreased over the last year in most major markets due to an increase in car ownership and the rise of rideshare services like Uber/Lyft. To combat this and incentivize more people to take public transit, some cities are looking at enacting congestion pricing that would charge drivers more for roadway access during rush hour. This idea has been successfully implemented in cities abroad, including Singapore, Stockholm, and London.

The question remains, however: will cities be able to overhaul their current systems with long-term investment to expand current transit coverage? That’s the only way to truly make this system work on a larger scale.

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6 Habits for A Healthy New Year

It’s never a bad idea to implement positive, healthy changes in your life, but no time of year has that fresh slate feeling quite like January. Declaring “new year, new me!” may seem cliche at this point, but self-improvement is a sincerely worthy goal (whether you post about it on social media and hashtag the heck out of it or not). And while resolving to write that movie script you know will make you millions is certainly a worthy objective to work toward, setting small, actionable intentions that benefit your overall wellbeing are worth their weight in gold.

Woman running on path next to body of water. Blue sky

Here are six to get your 2019 started off on the right foot:

  1. Eat a healthy and diverse diet.
  2. Unsurprisingly, January ‘tis the season for weight loss brands to target just about everyone with get-thin-quick plans and gimmicks. At best, most restrictive diets are ineffective in the long run; at worst, they’re dangerous. Rather than falling prey to marketers and influencers trying to sell you their “groundbreaking” food plans, consider opting out of diet culture altogether and focusing on what really matters: feeling your absolute best. Barring any allergies or specific sensitivities, most people thrive on a diet plan that consists of common sense choices and a nutritious array of mostly-plant-based options (with the occasional treats thrown in to stave off potential restriction-induced binges).

    A good guide for integrating healthier options: renowned health writer Michael Pollan’s “food rules,” which include, “don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,” “don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot,” and “don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.” So maybe try stocking up on more colorful fresh produce of all kinds and cutting back on the processed stuff.

  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Celebrities swear it’s the reason for their clear skin, and just about every wellness blogger claims to consume a gallon a day: H2O. While it may not eradicate zits or solve all your problems, water is a majorly important component in helping your body process waste, regulate temperature, lubricate joints, and protect sensitive tissues. While each person’s individual water needs may vary, sipping consistently throughout the day any time you’re thirsty is a good idea. Exercise, environment, and certain health conditions will affect your total intake needs, but try tuning into what your body is telling you and remember that beverages like herbal tea and juice can keep you hydrated too. And fruits and veggies are packed with water — another reason to include more of them in your diet!

  5. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  6. You’ve heard it a million times: physical fitness is an essential part of overall health. And it’s true: exercise can do everything from reduce your risk of heart disease to regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels and more. It can even help boost your mood and sharpen your cognitive skills.
    And it doesn’t take too much to reap the benefits: experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week in addition to twice-weekly strengthening sessions.

    But according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 22.9% of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 64 are meeting the guidelines. Whether people are intimidated by the gym or stuck in all-or-nothing thinking that convinces them to stay on the couch unless they’re ready to run a marathon, too few people are taking part in physical fitness. The good news is you don’t have to chain yourself to a treadmill to get results. Recent research indicates that short bursts of activity throughout the day count toward your overall goal. So take the stairs, park a few blocks away from your destination, walk with friends, and just keep moving as much as you can.

  7. Spend more time outside and less time online.
  8. Look, we’re all guilty of falling into a swiping/scrolling spiral, sinking far too many minutes (or hours) into our tech devices and depriving ourselves of the great outdoors. But getting outside (and off your phone) is so important for your health. According to a report published in 2018, exposure to “greenspace” (i.e. undeveloped land with natural vegetation, including parks) reduced the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure. On the flip side, too much screen time has been linked to impaired vision, disturbed sleep, serious posture problems, and more. Consider logging off and getting some vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin” that’s crucial for healthy bones, teeth, immunity, and more) — just be sure to wear sunblock!

  9. Get a good night’s rest every night.
  10. Ah, sleep. That critical piece of the wellness puzzle that seems to always get overlooked. We all know we need it, yet so many of us are skimping on the 7-9 hours most adults need (more than one-third of us, actually). But sleep is a non-negotiable must for good health because it allows your body to repair, heal, and recover from the stress of everyday life. Not to mention lack of adequate sleep can negatively impact your motivation, mood judgement, and perception of events.

    There are a slew of ways you can start cleaning up your sleep hygiene, but one important tip is to ditch tech, as studies have shown the blue light emitted from screens and electronics can suppress your body’s natural production of melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep-wake cycles. Other tips harken back to some of the health goals here: integrate more exercise, balanced eating into your life and you might just find yourself drifting off to dreamland with ease.

  11. Drive less (and save more!).
  12. Everyone loves to save a few bucks (maybe it’s another one of your new year’s resolutions?), but budgeting is always better when there’s a health bonus involved. Enter Metromile: the pay-per-mile car insurance that’s perfect for low-mileage drivers. By stepping up your daily walking, jogging, biking, and more, you might find yourself keeping the car parked in the garage more than before. And while that might seem wasteful if you’re shelling out tons of cash on a monthly insurance premium, Metromile makes sure you’re only paying for the miles you actually drive, on top of a low monthly base rate. So no guilt, better, health, and more money in the bank. Sounds like a win all around — what a way to start the year!

    If you’re ready to stop overpaying for car insurance and start fresh in 2019, visit metromile.com for a free quote or call 1.888.242.5204 to talk to a qualified agent. And if you’re already a Metromile customer and you’re looking for more ways to save, contact an agent online or by phone to talk about all the options out there.