To say Southern California resident Leon is a “car guy” is an understatement. Even with his collection of cars — now in the double digits, ranging from a Nissan Versa sedan to a high-end Maserati Ghibli — he manages to save on his insurance with Metromile’s fractional car insurance.
How did you start hosting on Turo?
I’ve always been a big car fan, even since I was a little kid. I’ve met a lot of great people from hosting, and it’s been a way to make a bit of extra income.
How many cars do you share on Turo?
At most, I had 22 vehicles on Turo. I started with just a few and then was able to find good deals and add more over time. The only thing is insurance is the number one issue when you have this many cars. I try to be organized, but I was juggling six to seven different insurance policies at once across different companies. I wouldn’t have had the success on Turo if it hadn’t been for Metromile — it’s so much easier now!
How do you keep track of all of your cars?
I use the Notes app on my iPhone to make different lists, like which are due for maintenance. All of the numbers and cost breakdowns are in Excel; and my wife helps me out, too. It’s much easier to manage the insurance costs now that all of them are on Metromile!
With so many cars on Turo, have you seen a pattern in your bookings?
Absolutely. I’ve been doing this for so long now that I can almost pinpoint which car a customer is going to book. Younger customers tend to go for the Maserati over one of the economy cars.
When did you find out about Metromile?
Turo’s CEO chats with “power hosts” to get feedback and hear about our experiences at the end of the year. I had asked about the progress of your partnership with Turo and was eager to know when it was getting started. Once it launched, I hopped right on it!
Have you seen changes in Turo reservations because of COVID-19?
During the initial stay-at-home order, I took all my cars off Turo. I have many listed now and am only getting about half of the reservations I typically do since people aren’t really traveling or taking leisure trips. Lately, my economy vehicles have been getting reserved by guests who need to work since public transit is less common in Los Angeles.
What’s been the best part of your Metromile experience?
When I became a customer, I was excited to try out the Metromile app. I love it, even from my first experience interacting with it. The opening messages and visuals are very inviting and very easy to figure out. It was also so easy to install the Pulse device.
Now that you’re retired, we wouldn’t be surprised if you drive less often than before because you’re not commuting to work every day.
Chances are you’re probably putting fewer miles on your car.
That means you might save money by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance. Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance policies only charge you for the miles you drive, which gives you more control over how much you pay.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why Metromile might be the best car insurance for senior citizens.
5 reasons pay-per-mile insurance makes sense for seniors
Let’s take a look at how senior drivers could save money with Metromile:
1. You’re not ready to give up your keys just yet.
Seniors are driving later in life than ever before.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, more than 45 million people who were 65 years or older had a driver’s license as of 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. That means about 72% more senior drivers are on the road than 20 years prior in 1998.
That might not surprise you, but what’s more astonishing is that more than 4 million of these senior drivers are at least 85 years old.
We believe driving can give seniors a sense of independence. If you have your own car, you don’t have to rely on family or friends to get around; you can continue to take care of yourself instead of depending on others.
That’s a great reason to stay behind the wheel, and as a responsible driver, you’ll need a car insurance policy that matches your driving habits and lifestyle.
2. You don’t drive as much these days
While you still enjoy driving, you probably don’t get behind the wheel as much as you used to.
Seniors drive an average of 7,646 miles per year, which is about half as much as most drivers, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
This sharp decline might be a reflection of the fewer responsibilities you have at this stage of life. For example:
If you recently retired, you no longer have to drive to work five days a week.
If you’re an empty nester, you probably stopped driving your kids around a while back.
You also might have cut back on driving for health reasons.
Older adult drivers are more than twice as likely to report having a medical problem that makes it difficult to travel, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
One such problem is arthritis, the National Institute on Aging points out.
Your joints may get stiff, and your muscles may weaken as you get older, the institute explains.
The National institute on Aging continues: “Arthritis, which is common among older adults, might affect your ability to drive. These changes can make it harder to turn your head to look back, turn the steering wheel quickly, or brake safely.”
That’s not to say you don’t drive at all anymore. Just that you don’t drive as often as you used to.
Whatever the reason may be, if you’re driving less frequently, you might save money with Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance.
3. You’re living on a fixed income
You might be living on a smaller income in retirement.
If you don’t have a large nest egg and you’re mostly relying on Social Security checks, you could be facing a tighter budget than you did when you had a full-time job to pay for your expenses.
With pay-per-mile car insurance, control how much you pay each month. Car insurance can be one less thing you have to worry about.
We recognize that your decades of experience behind the wheel usually translate into safer driving practices.
Generally, older adults drive more safely than other age groups, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older adults are more likely to wear seat belts, drive when conditions are safest, and don’t drink and drive.
These safe driving habits can help you avoid accidents. “Even at 85, senior drivers crash less often, per mile, than teens,” a Consumer Reports study found.
5. You drive an older car
Insurance companies consider the type of car you drive when determining how much you might pay for car insurance. Older vehicles tend to be cheaper to insure.
So if you drive an older car, we’re happy to pass the savings on to you.
How much do Metromile customers save?
People who don’t drive often (the majority of Americans) and switch to Metromile can save hundreds of dollars. The table below shows you just how much the average driver can expect to save based on how many miles they drive each year, month, or week.
Keep in mind: seniors drive an average of 7,646 miles per year, which means they could save between $500 and $700 a year.
When you break it down by gender, older men drive 10,304 miles per year, while older women drive only 4,785 miles per year.
As life slows down, you might find yourself driving less than you used to when you had a job to get to or kids to bring to school.
That’s why today could be the perfect time to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. If you’re driving less than you did before, find out much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.
Eric is an entrepreneur, freelance writer, and self-described personal finance expert from Ventura, California. He knows a thing or two about finding the best deals to maximize a budget. He switched to Metromile four years ago because it fits his family’s low-mileage lifestyle and now saves half of what he used to pay by paying per mile.
How did you find Metromile?
When we moved to Portland, Oregon, my old insurance company raised our rates, and the customer service was pretty bad. On a really heavy driving day, I’m only putting 10 miles on the car at most. It got me thinking: why would I pay so much when I’m driving so little?
I like to shop around every few years to see if there is a better price out there. I came upon Metromile and got a quote. The math made sense when I saw the rates. We switched and are now saving 50% of what we used to pay! Over the years, our family has grown. Even when we moved to Southern California, we stayed with Metromile and have continued taking advantage of the great savings!
How has Metromile affected your family’s budget?
Having Metromile makes it manageable and affordable for us to have two cars. My wife’s minivan gets the most use with errands and toting the kids around. Since I’m not traveling to conferences or going into the office these days, my car just sits in the garage. You would think that it wouldn’t be worth having a secondary car that barely gets driven, but because of what we’re saving, it not only makes sense for us to keep it — it’s affordable!
Metromile is the perfect service for having that extra car. On the occasional road trip, we appreciate the cap on the miles. We don’t feel like we’re getting gouged when we take our kids to visit their grandparents out of state.
What do you think about usage-based insurance pricing?
Metromile’s fair, pay-per-mile pricing has changed how I think about how I buy and use other products and services.
Soon after switching to Metromile, I did the same for my cell phone. I’ve moved away from a standard provider that charges a flat rate for data usage to one where I can pay per gigabyte of data. I’m saving $10 a month there, which doesn’t feel like a lot, but when you add that up over a year and compound potential interest earnings, it can make a huge difference in your budget and is worth checking out.
How can you save money by unbundling services?
There’s a lure with having everything bundled under one policy, in one place, on one bill. But it should be about the per unit cost and being a savvy consumer. I’m a big fan of unbundling insurance and other services. People tend to be more comfortable paying a bill that’s a consistent amount, even if it’s technically more expensive. But if I’m able to pay less overall, who cares if it’s a different balance every month?
Think of it like shopping at the grocery store: sometimes, the price per ounce is different based on the size of the container. With Metromile, I have that same insight and transparency into the pricing of my family’s car insurance. I know my per unit cost based on what I drive. If you have traditional insurance, that’s a lot harder to figure out. Metromile has revolutionized the way I think about my recurring expenses and spurred me to seek alternatives that bill more fairly based on how I’m using those services.
I’m a travel “hacker” too. I always thought roundtrip tickets were the best value, but now with dynamic pricing, it’s sometimes less expensive to buy each flight separately. Take advantage of those rate aggregators. For a multi-city European vacation I took a few years ago, I was able to add another destination for free just by breaking up how I booked my flights!
What do you like most about Metromile?
I consider myself a “good millennial” who wants to “self-serve” everything on the Metromile app. I appreciate that I can handle most of everything I need there, but I also know I can call someone when I need help with my policy.
One of my favorite features is the check-engine-light tool. If anything lights up on my car’s dashboard, I check to see a warning code on the app. There was one instance where I got an alert and, since I knew what the code was, I knew it was minor enough that my car could make the drive to the shop without complicating the issue. I showed up and, since I could already tell them what was wrong with the car, they were able to give me a better repair estimate!
Michael Johnson is a self-made businessman from San Leandro, California. His entrepreneurial spirit, love of sports cars, and dedication to providing top-notch service recently helped him become one of Turo’s top new hosts in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an industry insider, he recognizes the value of an excellent customer experience and holds the companies he works with to a high standard. In his view, Metromile fits the bill. He’s saved $500 a year by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance.
How did you get started as a Turo host?
I’ve always been into cars. When I was in college, I had an internship at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I was previously working for Coca-Cola full-time and renting my car out as a side hustle when I wasn’t driving on the weekends. Then I added a second sports car, and it just snowballed from there. Now I host on Turo full-time. It never feels like work because I’m doing what I enjoy.
Did your internship influence how you run your business on Turo?
For sure — I had gone through an intense training program as a part of my internship. Enterprise likes to recruit college students and athletes: people with a type-A personality and a competitive spirit. I tried to soak everything in so I could learn how to be the best salesman. Now I’m able to take all of this insider industry knowledge to make my business that much better. I’ve even co-authored an e-book on how to build a business sharing cars on Turo.
What attracted you to Metromile?
I heard about your partnership early last year on calls with Turo’s upper management. Prior to Metromile, insurance was the main pain point for other Turo hosts and me because we were essentially paying for double insurance that covered when I drove andwhen a guest drove. I was eagerly waiting for Metromile to go live. I kept calling them, asking if it was a “go” yet!
There are a lot of insurance options out there, but they only offer really high deductibles. I don’t use my cars for personal use very much, so being able to have affordable coverage that only charges me for the miles I drive and not the miles driven by guests — that’s huge.
How have Turo reservations changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Before COVID-19 hit, I worked to scale my business, where I could still be cash flow positive. About half of my Turo business is from people traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area. To adjust, I’ve been running ads targeted at locals for staycations, folks who aren’t comfortable taking BART or other public transportation, or essential workers who don’t want to have to pay for a rideshare every day. Fortunately, I’ve seen my reservations pick back up to a pretty normal pace lately since I was able to pivot my business so quickly.
How do you get your business on Turo?
I get a lot of customers through word of mouth because my business is so local. I share my Turo profile on Instagram. With Turo, you can be more specific to what you want compared to traditional rental cars where your choices are pretty much limited to the class of car: economy or mid-size.
I’ve built up my sports car fleet based on my interests. People on Turo are more niche; they want that sports car experience, driving up to Napa or down the California coast. They’re willing to pay more for the experience, and I want to make sure they have the best experience possible.
What have you enjoyed most about Metromile?
I’m extremely satisfied with the product I’m getting from Metromile. The Metromile app is straightforward. Navigating the app is really easy; I’m able to see everything on the dashboard, like how many miles I’ve driven at any particular time.
Customer service is the biggest thing; it’s very personal for me. Every time I’ve called Metromile customer service, I’m able to get through to someone really quickly. I was on hold for 45 minutes with my old insurer, just to cancel my insurance policy.
I usually drive whatever car isn’t rented. My personal car is a 2016 Camaro XS, and with Metromile, I’m now saving more than $500 a year or about 70% compared to what I used to pay!
You might have heard some insurance companies are offering car insurance refunds because policyholders aren’t driving as much during the pandemic.
The savings typically range from 10% to 25% of your premiums.
Unfortunately, those discounts don’t match the decline in driving we’ve noticed from many of our customers. We don’t think that’s fair. If the risk goes down for insurers, so should the price you pay.
That’s why Metromile offers pay-per-mile car insurance. So if you’ve reduced your miles by more than 25% during the COVID-19 pandemic, you could save even more with us simply by driving less.
3 reasons why pay-per-mile insurance makes sense during COVID-19
To see how driving habits are changing in response to COVID-19, Metromile looked at the traffic patterns in three cities — San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle — in June 2020 and June 2019.
The changes are staggering.
We found 22% fewer cars on the road in June 2020 than there were a year earlier, and those who still got behind the wheel drove 30% fewer miles.
What does that mean for you?
1. You could save money on car insurance wherever you live
Metromile customers in all three cities are driving far less often than they used to.
Seattle noticed the biggest decline with people driving 33% fewer miles.
In Portland, people drove 30% fewer miles.
While people in San Francisco drove 28% fewer miles.
Even in San Francisco, which experienced the smallest decline, drivers could still save more money with a pay-per-mile policy than traditional auto insurers’ discounts.
Metromile customers saved about 30% on average on car insurance, beginning in April, because they pay per mile. Unlike with other insurers, they didn’t need to ask for a discount or let us know their driving habits had changed—their bills dropped automatically when they stayed home or drove less.
2. You could save money on car insurance if you’re working from home
We also looked at how many miles people drive on weekdays compared to the previous year.
In Seattle, people drove 33% fewer miles.
In Portland, people drove 31% fewer miles.
In San Francisco, people drove 29% fewer miles.
It looks like people may be working from home, and they are spending much less time on the road because they don’t have to drive to work. These drivers have a lot to gain from switching to pay-per-mile insurance.
3. You could save money on car insurance if you’re following a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order
We also looked at how many miles people drive on weekends.
This gives us a better idea of how shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders are changing driving behaviors when people are not working and have more time to get out of the house for a few hours or take a weekend trip.
In San Francisco, people drove 20% fewer miles on weekends.
In Seattle, people drove 30% fewer miles on weekends.
In Portland, people drove 31% fewer miles on weekends.
Even though people are more likely to drive on the weekends, they’re still spending significantly less time behind the wheel than they did before COVID-19. Even if you take an occasional weekend road trip, you could save money by switching to pay-per-mile insurance because you’re likely driving less overall.
How much could Metromile save me in a post-pandemic world?
Some studies suggest the decline in driving may be even greater.
Between March 19, the start of many shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders, and April 20, 2020, Metromile customers collectively drove 58% fewer miles than they did last year.
Similarly, the Brookings Institute reports traffic has declined at least 53% in every major metropolitan area across the country, based on StreetLight Data’s statistics that use drivers’ cellphones to track vehicle miles traveled.
You might be wondering when things will get back to normal?
They might not.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies to rethink their remote work policies and pushed consumers toward online shopping more than ever before. If these changes and others like them continue, it’s possible driving patterns may never fully recover, even after health officials come up with a vaccine for COVID-19 and society returns to normal.
Notably, the accounting firm KPMG sees a future where Americans drive 270 billion fewer miles each year than they did before COVID-19, which would represent more than a 9% decline in traffic.
If you see yourself driving less in the long run, Metromile might make more sense, because you’ll only be charged for the miles you drive.
Right now could be the perfect time to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. If you’re driving less during the COVID-19 pandemic, find out much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.
From Day 1, we set out to provide drivers with a new type of car insurance. Traditional car insurance doesn’t meet drivers’ needs: high rates, mediocre service, and policies that don’t consider how people’s lifestyles and driving behaviors can change.
Today’s news is the start of a fundamental shift: Metromile is teaming up with Ford to provide owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity with personalized car insurance that will be more affordable and fairer.
This is an important milestone for Metromile, and it’s even more important for drivers. That’s why I’m so excited about it. It’s a tangible example of how car insurance can adapt more closely to how our lives are changing — where we live and work (for many of us, that’s the same place right now), how we drive, and where we drive. Connecting your car directly to your insurance is a big step toward making insurance much more personalized to your driving habits. We’ll see more convenience, customization, and savings than ever before.
On the surface, Metromile and Ford might seem like an odd couple. Ford, founded in 1903, is among the top 15 largest corporations in the U.S. by revenue, and Metromile is a VC-backed startup launched less than ten years ago. Still, both companies share several things in common. We’re both fiercely passionate about the future of mobility. We’re both committed to delivering meaningful experiences to vehicle owners, and we’re both eager to use connected vehicles to create new ways to save on insurance and reduce the cost of ownership.
For us, Ford will help us rapidly evolve how we price insurance, measure real-time risk, and put drivers in control of an individualized pay per mile rate based on how and how much you drive. Connected vehicles like Ford’s — packed with sensors and safety features — open up myriad opportunities for us to leapfrog ahead in each of these areas.
For Metromile customers: know that we’re relentlessly striving to make car insurance as fair, personalized, and advanced as we possibly can. Ford is just one example of how we’re making that happen (for example, we invented fractional insurance so that vehicle owners can avoid overpaying for too much coverage).
I, and many Metromilers, are customers ourselves. Our parents, friends, and families are also Metromile customers. We’re proud of what we’re building, but for us, that’s not enough. We want to save you money and make you smile when you open the Metromile app. We want to be the kind of company that you tell your friends and family about. You have enough companies in your life that feel like an obligation, or like you chose the lesser of two evils. That’s not the company we’re building, and it never will be. We’re continually exploring ways to set the bar higher and finding ways to improve your savings and experience. You have my word. As we progress — both with our work with Ford and more broadly in our march for fairer insurance — I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts on the Metromile blog and LinkedIn.
For many of us, a commute is a reality of life, whether it’s to work or the local shops for our everyday necessities. Most of us don’t have the good fortune to live close to where we work and need to shop. If you can’t travel by car, here is a guide of alternative transportation methods, so you can get where you need to go.
Should I start riding a bike?
Bicycles are an eco-conscious, healthy, and affordable option for transportation. Once you buy the bike, you don’t need to worry about expensive fuel, maintenance, or car insurance. After all, you power the bike yourself.
Cities are increasingly becoming more bike-friendly, adding new bike lanes and cracking down on dangerous driver behavior threatening cyclists. Fortunately, these steps are making the streets safer for those of us who don’t ride a bike, too.
A common choice for cyclists is an electric bicycle. You can generally fold the bikes in half for easy storage in seconds and ride them as traditional bikes. For added convenience, some electric bikes charge your smartphone and come with companion apps to track your distance or even turn on built-in LED lights to ride in style.
If you’re nervous about purchasing a bicycle because of cost, especially when some bicycles can now cost thousands of dollars, look into whether your city has a network of public bikes you can rent. Cities big and small, including New York, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, have bicycle stands with bikes available for rent, and there are now apps that have “dockless” bikes. These bike-sharing apps can help you find a bicycle that’s closest to you and can be more convenient. Often, there are also monthly or annual pass options suited for more regular riders, which could cut down your commute cost as well. And with docking stations located throughout bustling business areas of downtown, they offer a convenient alternative to hunting down an open parking space.
Pros of commuting on a bicycle:
Many cities are limiting through traffic on some main streets and expanding their network of bike lanes to make cycling safer
Healthy for you and the environment
Can be more affordable: you can purchase your own bicycle cheaply or rent a shared bike to keep costs low
Cons of commuting on a bicycle:
Regular car traffic can be dangerous, especially in congested areas
Your office or home may not have space for you to store your bike securely
Some bicycles, including electric bikes, may be expensive to purchase or maintain over time
Should I buy a moped to commute?
Mopeds often bring to mind driving along some idyllic European coastline, but they can be a great way to get around here in the U.S., too. Like bicycles, mopeds can keep commute costs low, as they’re cheaper to purchase and maintain than cars.
If you’ve never driven a moped, companies now make it easy to start riding. In some cities, app-based moped rentals are becoming commonplace and usually cost just a few dollars. And there’s no need to own a helmet for the occasional ride — these companies often provide helmets in the cargo trunk, ready for riders!
Pros of commuting on a moped:
Can be more affordable: typically cost a few dollars to unlock and ride
Ready-to-ride with helmets often readily available
Faster than biking and less exerting on your body
Cons of commuting on a moped:
Congested streets can be dangerous or scary, especially for new moped drivers
Limited storage space for your bag, briefcase, or shopping bags
Is public transportation safe for commutes?
Public transportation, whether by bus, rail, or subway, can be a convenient way to get to work and around town. In many major cities and suburbs, it is the most common method of transportation. Generally, costing just a few dollars, it is also the most cost-effective. Plus, when taken instead of driving a car, public transport can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the effects of climate change on the environment.
Pros of commuting on public transportation:
Generally the most cost effective: fares can range from a few cents to a few dollars
You can be more productive while commuting: multi-tasking gives you the opportunity to read your emails or a book
Can be less stressful: you don’t need to worry about traffic because someone else is driving
Cons of commuting on public transportation:
Can be very crowded and uncomfortable during peak morning and early evening commute times
Wait times can be long because of COVID-19, as some agencies have cut frequencies of service
Limited personal space or social distancing when crowded
Cleanliness may be an issue in heavily frequented routes, stations, or stops
Should I continue commuting by driving?
While carpooling may be less common because of health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, many car owners are finding more value in their vehicles now more than ever. Driving with your family or people who you live with can help alleviate some cleanliness and hygiene concerns.
Pros of commuting by driving:
Convenience of getting on the road straight from your home
If you’re able to commute with a partner, friend or coworker, you can take advantage of the carpool lane for a potentially quicker ride
Could allow you to better maintain social distancing and personal space
Cons of commuting by driving:
Heavy traffic or accidents on the road can slow you down and stress you out
Driving is a significant contributor to climate change
Gas prices and car maintenance can be costly
Car insurance can be expensive and is another added cost to owning a car
If you find yourself driving your car less during the week or with a changed routine, Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance could be a great way to save money. When you drive less, you can save more because your bill is based on the miles you drive.
Demi Greco is a communications specialist, plant mom, and under-baked cookie connoisseur from San Francisco.
College students know as well as anyone how expensive it can be to get an education.
Between tuition, room and board, and books, you probably don’t have much room in your budget. But one cost you might not be expecting is car insurance.
Student drivers could end up paying thousands of dollars each year in insurance premiums.
But if you’re looking for ways to save on car insurance, you’ve come to the right place. In this not-so crash course on car insurance, we’ll show you what most people pay and a few ways how smart, responsible college students might be able to save money.
How much is the average car insurance for a college student?
Student drivers can face sky-high insurance rates.
But just how expensive is it?
According to a study by ValuePenguin, college-age drivers pay between $4,000 and $7,000 each year in insurance premiums.
Take a look:
That’s more than some people spend on their first car!
Another way of looking at it? During four years of college, the average student driver will spend nearly $23,000 on car insurance. That’s almost as much as the amount of student loan debt the average student graduates with, according to Student Loan Hero.
Why is car insurance so expensive for college students?
Many auto insurers grade on a curve.
“Teenage drivers represent the highest risk segment of the population and are involved in more serious and fatal accidents than anyone else,” according to the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance industry association.
“From the insurance company’s standpoint, high risk requires a higher insurance premium.”
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens. Immaturity and lack of driving experience are the two main factors leading to the high crash rate among young people,” the Insurance Information Institute reports.
The Insurance Information Institute adds: “Teens’ lack of experience affects their recognition of and response to hazardous situations and results in dangerous practices such as speeding and tailgating.”
How can I get cheaper car insurance?
Just because the average college student pays an outrageous amount for car insurance doesn’t mean you have to.
There are a few ways you might be able to save money.
The way it works is Metromile customers plug in a secure device in your car that counts how many miles you drive. You’ll pay a base rate that could be as low as $29 per month, plus a few cents for every mile you drive.
So the less you drive, the more you’ll save.
Here’s how much the average driver saves when they switch to Metromile:
7 reasons Metromile can help college students save money on car insurance
The average American drives 13,476 miles per year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
But as a college student, you probably don’t drive nearly as often. So why pay an insurance company for all those miles you don’t drive?
Here are a few reasons why pay-per-mile car insurance might make sense for you:
You’re taking classes remotely. If you’re living at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might not drive as much as you used to. With your spring break road trip canceled and no parties to attend, because of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders in your area, your car might start feeling lonely.
You live on campus. You’re so close you can walk (or bike) to classes.
You have a short commute. Even though you live off-campus, if you have a short drive to your classes, or take public transportation to school, you probably don’t put many miles on your car.
You work near campus. Whether you work on campus as part of a work-study program or have a job nearby as a barista at a local coffee shop, unless your employer is 20 miles away, you probably aren’t putting many miles on your car.
You can’t find parking. If parking spots are hard to come by in your college town, it might be easier to find another way to get around.
You take rideshare when you go out. If you Uber everywhere, those are miles you’re not putting on your car.
You’re a freshman. Some schools require first-year students to leave their cars at home, so they can get better acclimated to college life. If your car is parked in your family’s driveway, it’s not racking up miles.
If you’re tired of paying so much for car insurance when you barely drive, you might want to consider switching to a policy that only charges you for the miles you drive. You can get a free quote from Metromile today to learn more.
Metromile customer Marc is a British expat who currently resides in Los Angeles. He works with a favorite product of ours, Drop Stop, a “Shark Tank”-backed company manufacturing vehicle gap fillers that block off the area between the side of your driver’s seat and middle console. Driven by a similar passion, Marc’s hunt for the best deal led him to Metromile.
We have to ask: has it been hard to learn to drive in the U.S.?
Surprisingly, no! It actually works out better for me since I’m right-handed and drive a stick shift, so I’m not forced to be ambidextrous.
Thanks for being a Metromile customer! What spurred you to switch insurance companies?
I was on the hunt for better insurance and pricing. During my extensive research, I read a lot of your reviews. The Metromile representative I spoke with was so good; they answered so many questions for me so quickly. My OBD-II port is used for a heads-up display, and the representative assured me I could still receive the same benefits and functionality of the Pulse device by opting for your cigarette lighter adapter. Seeing what I’d save with pay per mile insurance and having a great interaction with your service team was huge for me.
I’ve had zero issues, am paying a price that I’m happy with every month. I really believe in your company.
Was your previous coverage different compared to Metromile?
I was paying more with my previous insurer — around $200 per month. I think they are really ripping people off. With Metromile, I’m saving $50 every month, even with a newer, better car!
Have your driving habits changed in recent months, during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Oddly enough, I’ve been driving more these days. Prior to COVID-19, my trips were more direct, to-and-from errands. Now, I’m making more of an effort to get out of the house to get some fresh air and take in the nature and scenery around Los Angeles.
Which Metromile feature do you enjoy the most?
I use the online dashboard the most. It’s cool to have quick access to all of my information in one place.
I’m also very active with my referral link. If I find a really good product or company, I want to spread the word about it!
In the fast lane: Speed-round questions!
Are you a better driver or passenger?
As I love driving and exploring, I’d have to say I’m a better driver, so I can be behind the wheel and start the adventure!
If you could take a road trip with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to show a family member who is no longer here around the beautiful city of Los Angeles and all of the favorite spots I think they’d love!
Do you like to listen to any music when you drive?
I love listening to Spotify and my various playlists. Each playlist is a little different!
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of our lives are changing. Many of us are reevaluating our expenses, sometimes budgeting for the first time in a while. Recently, many jobs have also moved to remote work.
If you transitioned to working from home, here are some steps you should consider to make the most of your new lifestyle:
1. Assess your lifestyle as you live it now.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the changes the COVID-19 pandemic brought into our lives. Our routines have changed. Suddenly, we’re shopping online more frequently, skipping the usual morning latte, and maybe focusing more on necessities like groceries and utility bills like the internet.
Instead of getting bogged down in what will be a good fit, months from now, focus on how you live life today.
Start by reviewing where you stand today. For example, it can pay to look into your financial situation to understand what you’re working with and to avoid any budget surprises.
If you’re working from home, look into whether your company has provided guidance about when you might need to go back into the office. You may be in for the long haul if your company has been quiet about a return-to-office date. Notably, some large employers like Google and Uber announced they wouldn’t return to their offices until 2021. Others, like Twitter, Square, and Shopify, have entirely shifted their employees to permanent remote work. Your company may have similar plans.
2. Find easy ways to save.
With the everyday commute and morning rush hour that was commonplace for so many of us practically gone, our car could be an easy place to look for savings. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic could be a good time to switch car insurance companies.
Car insurance coverage is a necessity, and the price we pay seems fair when we’re driving all the time. But what about now when we use our cars less?
Pay-per-mile car insurance could be a fit for many drivers now. For example, Metromile bills adapt to your lifestyle in near real-time because you pay for the miles you drive. The pricing structure can give you more control over your monthly budget, and bills can be lower because you pay just a few cents per mile.
3. Look for services that provide flexibility.
We’re interacting with our service providers differently these days, but we still expect them to be there for us when we need them. Stand-out companies should have flexible terms and be willing to adapt, just as we change our lifestyles.
Recently, large car insurance companies have made some changes to the premiums they charge drivers. Customers have recognized the unfairness of paying the same flat-rate premiums, despite driving less in response to the stay-at-home and lockdown orders enacted to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Many insurance companies offered one-time discounts or flat-rate COVID-19 discounts on their policies, but many drivers continued to overpay because their driving reduced considerably, or the savings were too small to make a difference in people’s budgets.
Low-mileage drivers (the majority of Americans!) can save with Metromile. There’s no need to wait for a discount or refund because savings are built into the pay per mile model. Metromile customers saved about 30% on average beginning in April and can continue to save because they pay per mile.
If your driving patterns change or you need to resume your regular commute again, Metromile can still help you save. Metromile customers, including essential and frontline workers, saved $741 a year on average, according to a survey of new customers who saved with Metromile in 2018. Additionally, Metromile doesn’t charge cancellation fees, so you can switch with confidence.
Demi Greco is a communications specialist, plant mom, and under-baked cookie connoisseur from San Francisco.