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Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers with Claims Rep Nikki

If you’ve ever had to file an auto insurance claim with another insurer, you know the process can be long, frustrating, and incredibly confusing. At Metromile, our claims team works hard to turn that experience on its head and support our drivers when it matters most. 

We recently spoke with Senior Claims Representative, Nikki G., to get an under-the-hood look at what life is like on the Metromile Claims team and how she’s helping to live our value of creating fiercely loyal customers.

Insurtech Careers: Metromile Claims Adjuster

What did you do prior to Metromile?

I spent more than four years working at a large, traditional insurer – almost three years as a total loss specialist years and then transitioned to non-injury auto claims with the same company. 

What brought you to Metromile?

While I enjoyed my previous insurance role, I felt my days were getting very monotonous. I missed being challenged in my job so I decided to look beyond traditional insurance carriers and see what else was out there. In my search, I found Metromile and liked that it was a younger, smaller, tech-based company. At Metromile I could tell I’d be more than just a number within a huge corporate environment., which was the experience I had at my prior firm. During the interview process, I felt immediately aligned with the culture and knew it was the place for me to work and grow as an auto insurance claims adjuster.

I first started out as a claims file owner for non-injury claims and although it was similar to previous jobs I’d held, Metromile’s training was incredibly thorough and I learned a ton of new skills. I was coached on how to become a better adjuster in the sense of gathering quality information versus just gathering the basics and going through the standard filing motions.

What does your job as a claims representative entail?

When I first started at Metromile, I was a file owner for non-injury claims but now I specialize in bodily injury claims with no attorney representation. For each case, I review statements, photos, video footage, police reports, and any other provided evidence to help me make quality decisions on liability and who is at fault. I also review the proper and applicable coverages for each specific case as it changes based on the state and can get a little complicated. After that, I look into any medical treatments that were needed as a result of the claim and then work on following up with billing and any bodily injury statements. It can be a lot of information to take in all at once but the biggest asset you can have – besides some organization – is to have confidence in what you’re doing. Thankfully, Metromile’s training program well-prepared me to take on complex claims cases with confidence.

One of the biggest parts of this job is having true empathy for the customers you work with. As a claims adjuster, you are helping them through a complicated and long process and it’s important to understand your customer to provide the best and smoothest claims process possible. Aside from that, it’s really important to build rapport with the customer as they have to be comfortable with their settlement agreements and feel taken care of when it comes to resolving any injuries. Customers also need to be well informed when it comes to offering fair and quality settlements to those involved so you need to have a good relationship with those you’re helping so they trust you to help them make a decision or settle a claim. 

What do you like most about working at Metromile?

In my day-to-day work, I love interacting and building relationships with my customers. A huge part of this job is making those connections with people and showing them that they aren’t just a number but that they’re valued customers and we at Metromile genuinely care what happens with their claims. I’ve been able to build lasting relationships with past customers I’ve helped – one customer still sends me adorable dog photos long after I helped him settle a claim! On top of that, I love the investigative process and being challenged to figure out what happened with each claim. I’ve learned so much about insurance claims and enjoy solving complex puzzles that include so many moving parts and parties. 

I also love the company feel of Metromile and how valued I feel as an employee. Our SVP of Claims, Jim, knows me by name – it’s the small things like that that really make a difference in your day-to-day work ethic and happiness. Throughout the pandemic, Metromile has also been super flexible and understanding when it comes to life outside of work and I can take time for myself when needed. 

What’s next for you?

Right now, I’m working towards developing my skills around more serious claims to prepare myself for any attorney-represented bodily injury claims roles that’ll open up. These types of claims are a lot more in-depth and require more negotiation and working with a lot of parties. Aside from that, I’d love to go back into management and work towards a leadership position. 

Do you have any advice for those looking for new roles in the insurance space?

It’s scary to leave a company you’ve been at for multiple years and switch from a legacy carrier to a disruptor but, I can confidently say it was so worth it. Working within auto insurance claims isn’t always the easiest job in the world, but it’s very rewarding work. Especially here, our culture makes auto insurance fun and people log on every day not only to do their job but to build relationships with colleagues and customers as well.

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We’re building a community of drivers who come to Metromile for the savings and stay for the experience. Our diverse team combines the best of Silicon Valley technologists with veterans from Fortune 500 insurers and financial services giants focused on using technology to reinvent insurance as a tool for financial resiliency.

Check out open positions at Metromile or give our pay-per-mile auto insurance a try by taking a free Ride Along™ trial from the Metromile app.

How to Prepare Your Car for Summer

The following is a guest blog by Brian Shreckengast, a writer at SelfStorage.com.

Now that summer is here, you might think that you no longer have to worry so much about weather proofing your car. And while it’s true that warmer weather is generally easier on your motor vehicle, you’ll still want to take certain precautions to keep your car in tip-top shape – otherwise, you could end up with peeling paint or a blown radiator. There are really three big dangers to your car during the summer: heat, sunlight, and humidity. The following steps will help keep your car protected against these elements.

summer_car_maintenance

Problem: overheating. Solution: radiator checkup
One of the biggest causes of breakdowns during the summer is overheating engines. The risk of overheating is worse if your car is older and if you live in an area with high temperatures. The intense summer heat can put a lot of strain on your cooling system. Give your radiator a check-up, making sure that there are no damages to the radiator or hoses. It’s important for your radiator to receive good air flow, so clean up any dirt or debris that may be blocking it, and make sure the cap isn’t damaged.

Problem: overheating. Solution: refill coolant
After checking up on your radiator’s condition, make sure that you’re using the proper amount of coolant. Radiator coolant should be flushed and changed every two years. Ensure that you keep a 50/50 mix between distilled water and coolant.

Problem: battery damage. Solution: refill fluids
Battery fluid can evaporate in the summer heat and internal parts can be damaged. Check that the water level in each of the battery’s cells comes up to just below the cell’s inspection hole. If levels are low, carefully add more distilled water. Clean off the battery, as dirt can be a conductor and drain power. Pay attention to the terminals, as dirt or corrosion can weaken the power feeding into your car.

How Danielle recovered her 90’s Honda with the help of Metromile

Summer brings warmer weather, beach trips, and adventure but unfortunately, summer also correlates with a higher rate of auto theft across the country. Many think higher-end luxury vehicles would be the most targeted, but vehicles like 1990’s Hondas and early 2000’s pickup trucks have the highest rates of theft. 

Older, popular vehicles like Hondas are particularly vulnerable to theft as the key slots wear down over time and can be easily picked with a skeleton key (a device that acts as a master key for loose or older locks). 

San Diego-based Metromile customer Danielle couldn’t believe it when her 90’s Honda was stolen over a holiday weekend but knew she could turn to Metromile for help. We spoke with Danielle to hear more about what happened and how she recovered her car so quickly thanks to the Metromile app and Pulse device.

Metromile app helps recover Honda, one of the most commonly stolen cars

Recently, you had your car stolen. Can you share how it happened? 

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my family and I were using our car for various errands throughout the weekend and parked it right outside our apartment on Sunday night. We got up the next morning ready to do some holiday shopping but as we walked out of our apartment, we noticed our car wasn’t where we had parked it the night before. At first, we thought we had just misremembered, but my partner was adamant he had parked the car in front of our apartment and that’s when we realized it had been stolen. 

We immediately called the police and while my partner was explaining what had happened to the dispatcher, I realized we could try locating the car with the Metromile Pulse device. I opened up my Metromile app and sure enough, the car was close by.  While my partner was still on the phone with the police, I took our second car over to where the Metromile app said it was, and sure enough, we found it parked only a few blocks away from our home. 

What happened next?

Once we got to our car, we called the police back and had them meet us at the car to inspect it before we attempted to drive it. The police filed a report for the stolen car and then added that it was recovered so we had an official account of the incident. They then proceeded to inspect the vehicle for any damage, dangerous items, or evidence as to who stole it. Once they finished, they had us use our backup key to see if it would turn it on. Luckily it did, and we drove it back to our home without any problem.

Following the police officers’ advice, we immediately called a locksmith to repair the ignition barrel (part of the ignition switch and key slot used to turn on the car) since it had been damaged during the heist. From the moment we realized the car was stolen to when we had the ignition barrel fixed after recovering it only took a matter of hours. The best part was that thanks to the Metromile app, we didn’t have to replace the car – it was just fabulous!

Certain makes/models seem to be targeted more than others, do you have advice for other drivers of vulnerable vehicles?

Yes! Here’s what I learned from the locksmith:

  • Invest in an anti-theft device, such as audible alarms, steering wheel locks, brake locks, or a kill switch. While anti-theft devices can still be picked, anything that’s going to add extra time to the process of stealing is a huge deterrent as thieves prefer vehicles that are quick and easy to steal.
  • Contact the police regardless: even If you’re able to find your stolen car yourself,  always call the police and have them conduct a safety inspection before you turn it on and attempt to drive it away. You never know what happened while your car was gone or what hazardous material could remain. And, they might find evidence that leads them to the criminals who stole it. 

Not sure if your vehicle is particularly vulnerable to car theft? Check out NHTSA’s auto theft risk calculator to learn more about your car’s make/model. You can also check out Metromile’s blog for steps you can take to protect your vehicle.

The bottom line

As Danielle experienced,  bad things can happen to your car, even when you think it’s safely parked. That’s why it’s important to have the right amount of coverage and auto insurance you can rely on. Metromile has often reunited drivers with their lost or stolen vehicles, with an approximately 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate thanks to the Metromile Pulse device.* 

Not sure if Metromile is a fit for you? Take a Ride Along™ to try before you buy. Download the Metromile app and get a free auto insurance quote. You’ll keep your current coverage and drive as you typically would for about two weeks. Then, we’ll consider your actual driving to provide you with an accurate rate. You could even save up to an additional 15% off your quote in select states for your safe driving.

*As of February 2021

Bringing Insurance to Life with Brand Designer Angela

At Metromile, we pride ourselves on providing personalized and reliable auto insurance for low-mileage drivers. The design of our website and mobile app are integral to ensuring customers and prospects alike have a delightful experience no matter how they interact with us. We recently met with one of our designers, Angela L., to hear more about how she first got into design and helps bring the Metromile brand to life through visual design and imagery. 

Bringing Insurance to Life with Brand Designer Angela

You have a background in cognitive science, how did you end up working in design?

Ever since I was a toddler, I always loved to draw but it wasn’t until later when a friend introduced me to the world of digital art that I really started to get into design and illustration. When I went to college, I studied cognitive science, which focuses on the study of the human mind, but I still had a lingering interest in art. I met others who were actually pursuing a career in design and illustration, and I realized I could too. I ended up joining design clubs and surrounding myself with innovative and artistic students who pushed me to pursue a career in art and digital design once I graduated. My degree in cognitive science allowed me to blend my knowledge about the artistic process with my interest in psychology, which is why I felt like a career in design fit me well. 

How did you choose Metromile to start your design career?

After graduating in 2019 and doing contract work, I was searching for full-time design roles and was immediately captivated by Metromile’s existing illustration style and dynamic designs. I was particularly drawn in by how diversity and representation were shown through various illustrated personas where different skin colors, hairstyles, body sizes, and cultural practices were represented and celebrated – not just lightly alluded to. Metromile’s dedication to representing all types of customers in their imagery was a huge part of why I wanted to join the design team. 

On top of that, I felt the bright colors and playful illustrations fit my natural design style already, and I saw a breadth of opportunities to build upon the current designs while improving my own skills. Beyond fitting the job description, throughout the hiring process I loved talking with the recruiters and the team members I’d be working with and got a great sense of company culture and how I’d fit in with the broader Metromile team. 

What does your design work look like at Metromile?

When I first joined Metromile, a lot of my work focused on assuring our imagery was consistent with our values and overall personality across various platforms. I worked with everyone, from product designers to HR to internal communications, to help create and maintain a cohesive illustration style across every single one of our internal and external touchpoints.

Bringing Insurance to Life with Brand Designer Angela
Angela designs our quarterly customer newsletters, this illustration is from our Fall Extra Mile Newsletter.

As time went on, I realized that I loved helping out with the UX work, visual design, and even a little bit of the product design work. So with the help of my manager, I was able to take on projects that combined illustration and visual design. This allowed me to pursue my interests while honing my design skills. I recently contributed to a project by redesigning the visual experience of our Roadside Assistance flow in the Metromile app. It’s currently in production and I can’t wait to share it with our customers as it’s the first time I was able to utilize my design skills and be a part of the larger design process.

Bringing Insurance to Life with Brand Designer Angela
Angela’s work for our claims and liability coverage.

Since first joining Metromile, I’ve been able to advance my career and pursue my interests all while contributing to existing and engaging projects in real-time. For a company like Metromile, design is such a critical part of who we are and I’m incredibly grateful to contribute to and improve the customer experience. I’m thrilled to have found a position where I can utilize my knowledge in art, design, and cognitive science, and learn more about the product design space.

Road Trips That Can Be Done On The Cheap

If you’ve opted to forego the pricey European summer vacation in favor of a more budget-friendly road trip in the States, you’re already ahead of the game in terms of saving. But while low-cost accommodations and meals will undoubtedly cut costs, diving head-first into a spontaneous cross-country excursion could still result in a nasty surprise in the form of a scary credit card bill.

Carefully plotting out your journey from beginning to end will spare you any unpleasant financial surprises, and will take the guesswork out of where to eat, sleep, and sightsee. Here are some of the very best American road trips that can be done on a strict budget.

8 Road Trips That Can Be Done On The Cheap

  • Big Bear Lake, California
    The trip from San Francisco to Big Bear is just shy of eight hours—the perfect amount of time to blast your favorite Spotify playlists and still have time for some juicy podcasts. And if you’re in Los Angeles, Big Bear is the ideal quick and easy escape from the big city (it’s about 100 miles northeast of L.A. proper). The mountain resort is a perfect budget-friendly destination, thanks to its comprehensive website full of online coupons for everything from dining and shopping to lodging and recreation. There’s no cost to visit the destination itself, so with a little research, you can tailor-make a stay that’s totally affordable.
  • Antelope Canyon, Arizona
    You’ve seen the seemingly endless stream of Instagram pics—now it’s time to get your own stunning selfie. Antelope Canyon is easily accessible from a number of starting points, including Phoenix, AZ, Nevada, or Utah. The epic attraction is also close to the Grand Canyon, so if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, this route will pack plenty of action. The canyon is located on Native American Navajo territory and required an entry fee. You can try your luck with local tour groups at the canyon entrance or make a reservation ahead of time.
  • Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
    If a 12-mile hike sounds like your idea of the perfect way to cap off a road trip, then consider driving Montana’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. The high-altitude, 50-mile winding route connects the East and West passes of Glacier National Park, and includes access to the Highline Trail, a wildflower-dotted hiking path that’s not for the faint of heart—but totally free to try.
  • Florida Keys, Florida
    A short and sweet trip south of Miami is the two-hour drive from Key West to Key Largo. The quick escape is packed with historic sites like Victorian mansions and museums (the Hemingway Home was built in 1851 and it’s where the iconic writer lived from 1931 to 1940). And if you’re looking for a nature-based adventure, you can see hundreds of butterflies, birds, and tropical plants at the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.
  • Great Lakes Seaway Trail, New York and Pennsylvania
    Get a serious history lesson on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, one of the first American roads to be designated as a National Scenic Byway. The 518-mile route follows along the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River and includes an astounding 40 state parks. Presque Isle State Park is one worthy stop in particular. The (free!) natural attraction is a 3,200-acre peninsula that features miles of beach.
  • Big Sur, California
    This central coast California destination is a must for outdoorsy types. It takes less than three hours to drive the 145 miles from San Francisco, and accommodations can be pretty cost-effective since campsites are plentiful (some cost as little as $15 a night, but you’ll have to make advanced reservations). If roughing it isn’t really your thing, you can indulge in some self-care without totally splurging—take a late-night dip in the healing waters at Esalen hot springs for just $35.
  • Canyon Country, Utah
    National park connoisseurs will definitely want to make an adventure out of a Southern Utah excursion. Within just 650 miles of desert, you’ll find five national parks that some people consider among the best in the country. Drive from Moab to Grand Junction in just 90 minutes, and you’ll have a chance to see Arches National Park and Canyonlands.
  • The Loneliest Road, Nevada
    Okay, yes, the name is a drag, but you’re bound to have a pretty great time traversing this largely-isolated section of U.S. Highway 50. Because the route follows the Pony Express path, there are actually quite a few must-see attractions on the drive from Carson City to Baker, including hot springs and old mining towns.

Before you hit the road, you’ll need to have a car insurance company that has you covered. If you’re not a Metromile customer, what are you waiting for? Visit metromile.com for a free quote today.

National Bike Month: How to Participate

May is National Bike Month, so we’re exploring ways to make commuting by bike easier and safer. Whether you ride your bike for fun, to get fit, to save the environment, or just to get around town, we’ve got recommendations on how to make cycling better for everyone. One way you can celebrate this year is by participating in National Bike to Wherever Day, on May 20th (previously Bike to Work Day). If this will be your first time participating or you’re nervous about jumping back into the saddle, here are a few tips to get you started.

biking_to_work

Plan your route. Google Maps is a good way to find bike-friendly streets by selecting the “bicycling” option. Keep in mind that your preferred route by car won’t always be the safest option while riding a bike. If you’ll be taking your bike with you on public transit, make sure there aren’t any limitations on how many bikes can be accommodated.

Check your bike. If your bike hasn’t had much action lately, double-check your tires and brakes. It’s also always a good idea to make sure your chain is well lubricated and free of debris. Take a short ride around the block just to make sure everything is in working order.

Safety first. Before leaving the house, put on your helmet and reflective clothing to help with visibility. Depending on where you live, there may also be legal requirements for a front and back light. Both are especially important when cycling at night. While riding, watch for opening car doors and follow regular traffic laws. Once you reach your destination, be sure to lock your bike securely.

Even if you won’t be able to bike to wherever this week, drivers can still help make the roads safer for cyclists. While driving, keep these quick tips in mind:

Pass with care. Give bicyclists a 3-foot buffer while passing, and on multi-lane roads, switch lanes to ensure there is plenty of room.

Exit safely. Always double-check for cyclists before opening your door.

Mind your speed. Increased speed can mean the difference between an injury and a fatality. Follow speed limits and use caution while driving near bicyclists.

If you find that you’re biking more often than driving, Metromile’s per-mile car insurance could help you save. Head over to www.metromile.com/insurance to learn more.

How Having a Hybrid Work Schedule Can Save You Money on Car Insurance

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of work culture as we know it. Work was dominated by office culture but since the public health emergency started in 2020, more companies have opted for remote work or a hybrid work schedule, and that’s here to stay. Even though there’s a “new normal” happening and a push to go back to the office, the uncertainty and rise of variants are keeping many employees working from home.

These work changes can lead to more savings, which is a bonus in a time of high inflation. You can spend less on gas and even lower your car insurance if working from home. Here’s how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted work schedules, changed driving habits, and how you might save on car insurance when you work from home.

Need Car Insurance? Work From Home Could Save You Money

How the COVID-19 pandemic changed the American workforce

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans drove to work and regularly commuted to offices and work sites. Often, drivers dealt with rush-hour traffic or long drives. In the spring of 2020, circumstances shifted, and the roads were emptier as droves of people started to work from home or lost their jobs.

By April 2020, a staggering 20.5 million people had left the workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This was the steepest decline seen on record. Nearly 75% of the drop included service workers due to restaurants and bars shutting down. Though food and drinking establishments have opened back up, many places are struggling to retain or entice employees to return

In general, there’s been what’s dubbed “The Great Resignation” — which peaked in November 2021 with 6.3 million separations from employment, according to BLS data. On top of that, millions of women left the workforce during the pandemic due to a lack of childcare and paid family leave. 

Even as things return to a new standard of normal with some employees going back to the office, the Pew Research Center found that as of January 2022 59% of employees are working from home all or most of the time. This is down from 71% in October 2020. 

While some may like remote work or having a hybrid work schedule, it has led to difficulties for some people, notably parents who have childcare responsibilities and workers who might be putting in longer hours and suffering from online video conference fatigue.

On the other hand, some remote work converts don’t want to go back to the office. So much so that an October 2021 Gallup survey found that 30% of employees would consider finding new employment if remote work was no longer an option. 

Given these data points, it’s clear that nearly every worker has been impacted by the pandemic in some way. There’s been a shift in work culture with many employees wanting to keep a hybrid work schedule or fully remote option.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed driving habits

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, regular commutes and dealing with traffic were common hassles for many employees.

Metromile analysis of driving data in 2020 found that many drivers have changed how they drive, even if they recently picked up their driving. Weekday morning and evening commute-hour driving has been replaced with afternoon and weekend trips. 

Other drivers are spending less time on the road, continuing trends that began in the spring of 2020 when shelter-in-place orders and public health guidelines limited driving.

You can lower car insurance working from home

The shift in work culture has led to not only time savings but cost savings with gas as well. One benefit you may not realize is that you can also lower car insurance working from home. 

If you currently have a remote or hybrid work schedule, you are likely driving less often. If you’re driving less, then you should pay less for car insurance as well. 

You can get car insurance that is ideal for work-from-home employees which can lead to more savings. How? By opting for pay-per-mile car insurance. 

Pay-per-mile car insurance is the best car insurance if you work from home

Many drivers are currently saving money because they have pay-per-mile car insurance. Pay-per-mile auto insurance is a type of usage-based insurance, which means rates are based on how you use your car, most notably how far you drive. 

Your premium can adapt to your lifestyle in almost real-time, as you pay for the miles you drive. This can give you more control of your auto insurance costs.

If you spend more time at home or your work schedule has changed, you could save with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Drivers pay a low monthly base rate and a few cents for each mile they drive. If you don’t often drive, you could save money.

Many Americans drive fewer than 40 miles each day and are considered low-mileage drivers. Low-mileage drivers can save up to 47%* a year when they switch to Metromile, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who switched and saved.

You can see if pay-per-mile auto insurance is right for you with a free Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app, and get a free auto insurance quote. Next, you’ll drive as you typically would for about two weeks (make sure to keep your current auto insurance coverage so that you remain covered during the trial), and you’ll see how much you could save if you switch car insurance companies. You could also earn an additional discount of up to 15%** off your initial quote in select states for demonstrating safe driving during your Ride Along.

The bottom line 

The pandemic has made sweeping changes in the work landscape in nearly all sectors. Some people have benefited from the changes and others have not. While everyone adjusts to the new reality, there’s one thing you can do to take back control — switch car insurance if you work from home. 

Given rising costs in all sectors, changing your car insurance if you work from home may help you save money. Instead of having a flat rate for premiums, get a rate that is fair and based on the miles you drive. If you have a hybrid work schedule or are a remote worker, pay-per-mile coverage may be an ideal fit for you. You can lower car insurance working from home and have a win-win situation. Get your own free quote with Metromile today. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

***Eligible drivers can save up to 15% on their initial quote with their safe driving in Oregon.

What is Usage-Based Insurance?

If you’re in the market for auto insurance, you may have come across usage-based auto insurance and wondered how it compares to other types of auto insurance. Here’s everything you might want to know about usage-based auto insurance, which is sometimes also called pay-as-you-go, pay-as-you-drive, or pay-per-mile insurance.

Usage-based insurance considers how you drive to help determine the price you pay for auto insurance. If you are a safe driver or don’t drive a lot, it could be right for you.

What is usage-based car insurance? 

Usage-based car insurance, sometimes abbreviated as UBI, calculates the price you pay for auto insurance based on how you actually use your car. The policies are generally opt-in, although there are some insurance companies such as Metromile that specialize entirely in usage-based auto insurance.

Drivers may want to choose a usage-based insurance company to save on auto insurance. Usage-based insurance typically favors drivers who don’t get on the road often, as well as people who drive carefully or safely. 

Because your insurance company can consider how you drive, usage-based insurance can be fairer for drivers. Many traditional auto insurance companies use factors such as age, gender, and even credit history in some states, without considering how you drive in real-time, which might not accurately represent whether you are a risky driver.

What factors are considered with usage-based insurance?

Usage-based insurance, as the name suggests, is based on how much you use your vehicle. Instead of paying the same flat rate each month, you can pay for insurance coverage that is correlated with how much you drive. 

The more you drive, the more risk you take on. The less you drive, the less risk there is. So when you opt for usage-based insurance, you may be able to slash costs and get a fairer rate.  

Usage-based insurance can come in different forms and goes by different names, including:

  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Pay-as-you-drive
  • Pay-per-mile insurance

These options calculate car insurance based on the miles you drive. Other factors that may be considered are:

  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Braking
  • When you drive

These driving behaviors can add more risk, which may affect your car insurance rate. Typically usage-based insurance companies use telematics devices to track important metrics while driving that may impact your car insurance. 

For example, an insurance company might consider you a risky driver if you drive at high speeds or often drive at night when the visibility is lower. Some telematics devices and technology can also assess whether you’re using your phone while driving or how you maneuver your vehicle on the road.

Usage-based insurance gives drivers more control over their rates by focusing on factors they can influence. You can do your part to be a safe driver and be rewarded with cost savings if you drive less and have fewer risks. The factors considered can make auto insurance more driver-focused and equitable. 

In contrast, traditional auto insurance companies often don’t consider these factors when determining your rates. 

Plus, you might get a flat rate that doesn’t consider the nuances or lifestyle factors that can impact your rate. On top of that, companies may also use factors like gender or use your credit score to assess risk, which can be unfair. You might be a great driver with poor credit, which could hurt your rate. 

However, this isn’t allowed in all states. For example, states like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Washington state have plans to disallow or don’t currently allow insurance companies to use credit history when setting the cost of car insurance.

Who is usage-based insurance a fit for?

Usage-based auto insurance is ideal for people who don’t drive that often or too far — in other words, someone who is considered a low-mileage driver. If you drive 10,000 miles or less each year, you may be considered a low-mileage driver. Usage-based insurance may be a good fit for:

If you fall into one of these categories, you may be able to score significant savings and avoid pricey car insurance premiums

Don’t see yourself in one of those categories? You may still benefit from pay-as-you-go insurance. Why? Because a whopping 65 percent of drivers with traditional auto insurance may be overpaying for their coverage because they’re low-mileage drivers

Aside from low-mileage drivers, usage-based insurance is also a good fit for safe or careful drivers. With usage-based insurance, it’s easy for insurance companies to gauge how safely you drive and set an appropriate rate for you or offer discounts on car insurance. If you drive safely and don’t drive that often, you should pay less based on the lower risk. 

How does usage-based insurance work?

If you’re a low-mileage driver and are considering a switch, you want to know how usage-based insurance actually works. As noted above, companies use the power of technology to offer the most competitive and fair car insurance rates. 

Specifically, telematics devices understand your vehicle’s movement, speed, and how far or how often you drive. You’ll generally need to connect a device to your car’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD-II port). 

However, you might be able to use your insurance company’s smartphone app or your car manufacturer’s online account if you drive a connected vehicle. In other words, it’s a super easy set up so you don’t have to be considered “tech-savvy” to take advantage of better rates with usage-based insurance. 

Metromile provides drivers with a Pulse device that securely and accurately counts the miles they drive. The Pulse device also offers other benefits, including automated claims and free tools to help you find your car, plan your trip, look up fuel costs, and even get street-sweeping reminders in select cities directly from your mobile phone. 

Some usage-based insurance companies may have similar devices or use a smartphone app to monitor your driving.

How you’re billed for insurance may vary based on the insurance provider. Some usage-based insurance policies might charge for insurance after each trip you drive. Metromile takes a different approach. 

Metromile auto insurance policies have six-month terms, and you’ll keep the same per-mile rate for the entire term. You can get an affordable base rate and pay a few cents per mile. The good news is that miles are capped at 250 miles per day (and 150 in New Jersey), so if you have a longer road trip, don’t worry about it. 

In some states, Metromile also considers how you drive, and unlike some other usage-based insurance, doesn’t consider individual trips or instances of speeding, hard braking, or cornering. Instead, how you drive over time is considered more important and used to determine your rate when you renew your policy. This also means you could earn a lower rate when you renew or sign up after your Ride Along™ trial. 

Privacy concerns for usage-based insurance

When you have a usage-based insurance policy, you agree to let your insurance company monitor how you drive. It’s important to understand how your usage-based insurance company will use any data.

There’s some good news if you’re interested in usage-based car insurance and concerned about your privacy: Metromile allows drivers to disable their location services without affecting the price they pay for their auto insurance coverage.

Discounts available for usage-based insurance

If you opt for usage-based car insurance, you may be able to score some serious savings. On average, Metromile customers save 47 percent a year compared to what they were paying previously with traditional auto insurance, according to a 2018 survey of Metromile customers who saved. 

And it started by switching to pay-per-mile auto insurance. 

Metromile customers save on car insurance when they drive less.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

The bottom line 

If you’re a low-mileage driver, it’s worth taking a look into usage-based insurance to see how much you might save. Safe drivers and people who don’t drive a lot can save up to $947 with Metromile and its usage-based auto insurance coverage.

If you’re not sure if usage-based insurance or pay-as-you-go auto insurance is right for you, you can take a free trial before you buy with Metromile and Ride Along.

Download the Metromile app and get a free auto insurance quote with Ride Along. You’ll then drive as you typically would for about two weeks (you should keep your current insurance policy to keep coverage during your trial). Once your trial period is complete, you can save up to an extra 40% off your auto insurance quote, depending on your state, for demonstrating safe driving habits during your Ride Along. You pay for gas by the gallon, so it makes sense to pay for car insurance based on the miles you drive. Grab your free quote with Metromile today. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How to Choose the Right Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

When was the last time you used “subrogation” in a sentence? How about “telematics”? “Indemnity”? Odds are unless you’re studying your handy insurance jargon glossary on a daily basis, you’re probably not dropping these terms into casual conversation.

The world of insurance terms can be confusing, intimidating, and downright frustrating, especially to someone just learning the ropes. Whether you’re switching insurance companies, changing plans, or just trying to educate yourself on your options, you might quickly find yourself bemoaning the often-confusing, sometimes-convoluted, always-complicated terminology.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Explained | Metromile

How to Choose the Right Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

At Metromile, we’re here to make insurance lingo make sense — even to the most inexperienced newbie. Finding an auto insurance policy that fits your budget and lifestyle and keeps you at ease is so important — not just for your peace of mind, but also for your physical and financial security. Here’s what you need to know so you can choose the policy that’s perfect for you.

What Do “Comprehensive” and “Collision” Coverage Cover Anyways?

Throw the word “comprehensive” on anything and it sounds pretty impressive and all-encompassing, right? What else could you possibly need if you’ve got something “comprehensive” on your side? Well, for starters, collision coverage.

If you’re struggling to make sense of how something “comprehensive” could omit an issue as major as collisions (especially when cars are involved), you’re not alone. Before you judge a book by its cover and go with the first seemingly all-inclusive plan you see, get to know the ins and outs of what “comprehensive” and “collision” coverage are all about:

Comprehensive and Collision

Comprehensive and collision are two types of auto insurance coverage that are often grouped together because they both cover damage to your vehicle (as opposed to liability insurance, which covers the other person and their property in the case of a collision).

Let’s dig into each separate type:

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage helps you repair damages or replace your vehicle after a covered accident — whether you crashed into another car or object, rolled your car, or the other driver is at fault but doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your repairs.

It doesn’t cover damage to your windows or windshield, weather-related damage (e.g. a branch denting your roof), damage to someone else’s vehicle or property, medical costs, or anything stolen from your vehicle.

Hit-and-run coverage is, well, hit or miss — your car could be covered with this type of insurance, but it’s not guaranteed in all states.

While you might think collision coverage should be required, it’s not — most states only require you to have coverage for injuries or damage you cause to someone else in an accident. There aren’t many states that require drivers to have insurance that covers their own damages. However, lenders will usually require you to have collision coverage for as long as you lease the vehicle — after all, they want to protect their investment.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage gets its name because it covers practically any damages to your vehicle that aren’t caused by an accident, whether the culprit is an animal, hailstorm, vandal, or something else. Plus, it protects you from the loss of your vehicle if it’s ever stolen (though in the unfortunate case that that happens, Metromile may be able to help you recover your vehicle).

However, it doesn’t cover damage caused by a collision with another vehicle, damage to someone else’s vehicle or property, stolen items, or medical expenses.

Like collision coverage, comprehensive isn’t required by state law — though your lender will likely require it if you lease your vehicle. However, it can be a good idea if you want peace of mind knowing you’re covered in the event of non-accident-related damages.

While both collision and comprehensive coverage cover a lot of ground, neither one truly protects you in all situations across the board. There are certain things neither one covers — take vehicle wear and tear, for example. If you need new brake pads or a headlight bulb replaced, you won’t be able to rely on collision or comprehensive coverage to foot the bill. And while comprehensive coverage will be a huge help if your car is stolen, it won’t help you replace any items that were in that stolen vehicle.

Do You Really Need Comprehensive and/or Collision Coverage?

In a literal sense, no — you’re not required by law to get comprehensive and/or collision coverage. Most states only require a certain amount of liability coverage, which covers other people and their property when you cause an accident.

However, just because you’re not required to have additional coverage doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t consider it.

  • Would you be able to afford repair costs out of pocket? How’s your emergency fund looking? If you don’t opt for collision or comprehensive coverage, could you repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a crash or other incident?
  • Do you lease your car? If you lease or finance your car, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage. If the car is all yours, it’s up to you.
  • How likely are you to file a claim? It’s impossible to predict the future, and as the saying goes, “accidents happen.” But if you live in areas where car thefts or natural disasters happen regularly or you’ve gotten into your fair share of fender benders over the years, then that fact is worth taking into consideration.
  • What’s your monthly budget? The more money you pay for your policy, and the lower you set your deductible, the less money you’ll have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident or other event. You don’t want to barely scrape by every month in order to afford your coverage, but you do want to settle on an amount that’s affordable and puts your mind at ease.
If you’ve mulled those questions over and come to the realization that collision and/or comprehensive coverage is right for you, then it’s time to figure out how much you need.

Here’s where your deductible comes into play — that’s the out-of-pocket expense that you agree to pay for losses up to a set amount, like $250 or $1,000.

The lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay for insurance (since your out-of-pocket expense will be lower, and your insurer will have to cover the rest). You can also choose to pay a higher deductible and pay less for insurance, but that means if you do want to take advantage of your collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to shell out more out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the rest.

So while there’s, unfortunately, no perfect mathematical formula (or magic spell) to reveal your ideal level of coverage, understanding all the factors involved and thoughtfully considering the options that fit your budget and lifestyle will help you land on a plan that leaves you feeling content and comfortable.

Still Have Questions?

Totally understandable — this stuff is tricky. One great way to get more answers to common questions is to visit the Metromile Help Center. There, you’ll be able to comb through content on a variety of topics like billing, pricing, coverage, and more. If you’ve got a question, chances are someone else has it, has had it, or will have it in the future.

If you’d rather talk one-on-one with a qualified specialist, Metromile has plenty of those, too. Call 1.888.242.5204 any time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m .PT, Monday through Friday, and a licensed agent will be able to address any of your concerns, give you a personalized quote, or start your new policy.

Already a customer? Awesome. Call 1.888.311.2909 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and a qualified specialist will help you out.

Pay-Per-Mile Comprehensive and Collision Coverage with Metromile

If money is the only thing holding you back from purchasing collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, it might be time to consider other options, like pay-per-mile car insurance with Metromile. 

With Metromile, your rate is based on your actual driving habits, which means the less you drive, the less you pay. As a result, our customers save an average of 47%* compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer.

Your driving situation is unique — be sure to choose a company that gets that and will work with you to find a customized plan that makes sense and meets your needs. Get a free quote from Metromile today.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

Promoting Belonging & Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in supporting diversity and DE&I efforts in their own communities. In part three of our series, Metromilers offer advice for those looking to break into a new industry and how to overcome imposter syndrome.

Promoting Belonging & Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

What’s your advice for those looking to break into a new industry where they feel they might not belong at first?

Prachi S, Senior Software Engineer: Whether you’re first starting out in your career or looking to switch industries mid-career, it can be incredibly daunting and confusing where to start. One of the best ways to begin is by building up your professional network and finding allies who are willing to mentor or sponsor you on your journey. 

It’s also important to remember and normalize that you won’t know everything right away. When jumping into a new industry, it takes time and patience to build the appropriate skills and knowledge – so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take a chance. Being flexible, open to feedback, and constantly practicing your skills will help you feel more confident and successful in the technology industry. 

Germaine R., Technical Recruiter: Focus on building meaningful professional relationships – this is key if you are interested in breaking into a new industry where you don’t have a lot of knowledge or previous experience. Resources like LinkedIn are great tools to find fellow alumni or past colleagues to reconnect with that can help you transition into a new field. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask if they’re open to a coffee chat. I’ve found that most people – recruiters or employees– are happy to talk even if they aren’t currently hiring. 

If you’re early in your career or new to an industry, it’s helpful to start with an internship or short-term contract to get your feet wet and start building your professional network. Take some time to research the key people or companies in your desired industry and increase your professional knowledge by following professional journals or joining appropriate LinkedIn groups. And don’t forget to always be nice to recruiters! 

What’s your advice for someone who’s experiencing imposter syndrome?

Mary S., Product Manager: It can be really hard to build yourself up, but it’s easy to let others do it for you. If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, share your feeling in an environment where you feel safe – maybe that’s a Slack channel, a professional group, or even your friends. 

When you share your concerns and feelings with those around you, they can tear all those doubts to shreds and help you overcome imposter syndrome. 

Asher Hartwin, People Operations Coordinator: I suffer from imposter syndrome myself, I think a lot of people do for various reasons and it can be difficult to overcome. I believe it comes from a lack of representation as it’s common to think “I don’t belong here” when you don’t see others like you. 

It’s really important to remember that imposter syndrome is entirely social and has no bearing on a person’s real achievements, work ethic, skillsets, or motivation.