What is Full Coverage?

When it comes to insurance it seems like everyone is searching for the holy grail of “Full Coverage.” But what does that even mean…and does it even exist?

Spoiler alert: There’s actually no such thing as “Full Coverage” in the sense that no plan you choose will cover every possible scenario under the sun. The phrase “Full Coverage” typically refers to a combination of coverages meant to protect you and your vehicle. But the magical plan many people refer to as “Full Coverage” is really just a myth.

What-is-Full-Coverage

Let’s break down the facts so you can truly understand what your auto insurance policy covers-and what it doesn’t.

What is “Full Coverage” anyway?

There’s no single plan you can request that will provide “Full Coverage.” If you talk to your insurer about getting full coverage, you’re likely discussing a combination that includes the following:

  • Liability or no-fault insurance that’s required by your state. This covers any bodily injury and property damages to others if you cause an accident.
  • Collision coverage that pays for damages that affect your vehicle in an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage for things like vandalism, theft, and other damages that aren’t the result of an accident.

Even with those three standard components, however, the details and amount of protection you actually get from a “Full Coverage” combo will vary depending on your insurance carrier, so it’s always important to read the fine print of your policy.

What “Full Coverage” Doesn’t Cover

But before you feel secure thinking “Full Coverage” has you covered from every angle, consider the many important things this combination of coverage doesn’t cover:

  1. Medical payments: You’ll need an additional type of coverage in order to pay for any post-accident medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault for the incident. This type of coverage may also help pay for any expenses that exceed your health insurance limits.
  2. Uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM): If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, UM/UIM coverage is the only way to receive payments that they’re responsible for but can’t deliver because of their coverage status.
  3. Emergency road services: Otherwise known as roadside assistance or towing and labor, emergency road service coverage helps pay for unpredictable emergencies like flat tire changes or a battery jump-start.
  4. Customized parts and equipment: If you’re hoping to deck your car out with the latest technology or special add-ons, you’ll want customized parts and equipment coverage to help cover the costs.
  5. Rental cars: If you need to rely on a replacement vehicle in the event of an accident, rental car insurance is the only way to get that cost covered.

Determining Which Coverage is Right for You

If all this info is overwhelming, consider this: there’s no one-size-fits-all comprehensive combination of plans. Your specific needs as a driver are unique and the type of coverage you choose will depend on a lot of personal factors. When deciding on the right coverage, think about these key pieces of info and then can make an informed decision from there:

  • What type of car you have and how new it is
  • The quality and limits of your health insurance
  • Where your car is garaged
  • Your budget
  • Your driving behavior

Remember, there’s no such thing as “Full Coverage” and the best way to understand and know what your insurance policy will cover is to carefully read the fine print. Have specific questions about your Metromile policy? Our team of licensed insurance specialists is standing by, happy to help. Just give us a call at (888) 244-1702. If you aren’t a Metromile customer and want to see your savings, get a quick quote now.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

How to Beat Traffic at its Own Game

Last week INRIX, Inc., the world leader in transportation analytics and connected car services, published its annual Global Traffic Scorecard that details their research into traffic and congestion and its associated cost for drivers in developed countries. Unsurprisingly, the United States topped the list with ten major cities making the list; Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas. INRIX contends that this congestion cost U.S. drivers $305 Billion last year, which equates to about $1,400 per driver.

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Being the data nerds that we are, who LOVE to save money for low-mileage drivers, we found this study to be tremendously fascinating. INRIX analyzed 1,360 cities across 38 countries and found Los Angeles to be the most congested city in the world for the sixth year in a row. No surprise there — traffic congestion got to be so bad in L.A. in the 90s that the State of California began requiring all vehicles be equipped with an Onboard Diagnostic Port to detect emission failures. The OBD port is actually what makes pay-per-mile insurance possible, and since the introduction of the Clean Air Act and the OBD requirement, toxic emissions have steadily decreased across the country and in Los Angeles especially. We’ve also found that people who switch to Metromile tend to drive less than they did with traditional insurance, which got us thinking: Are Metromile customers spending less time in traffic on average than other drivers?

Here’s what we found:
According to INRIX, Los Angeles drivers spent an average of 102 peak hours in traffic between the hours of 6am-9am and 3pm-6pm last year alone – more than in any other city in the world. On average Metromilers in Los Angeles are spending 2 less minutes per day navigating gridlock, that’s a total of 6.5 hours a year. You could drive to a lot of places from L.A. in 6.5 hours – Vegas anyone?

The study also claims that San Francisco motorists fared slightly better than their neighbors to the south during peak traffic hours, wasting an average of 79 hours in traffic in 2017. But according to Metromile data, Bay Area drivers spend an average of 4 and a quarter days (or 102.16 hours) a year getting to and from the places they needed to be during high traffic times.

Two other Metromile covered cities ranked on the INRIX list of Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.S.; Chicago and Seattle. INRIX ranked Chicago as the 8th most congested city in America and Seattle the 9th, with drivers in each city spending 57 and 55 hours, respectively, in traffic last year. Though Metromilers may be driving less miles in these cities on average, they are definitely spending more time stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. So far this year Chicagoans are spending 21 minutes a day, which will equate to 84 hours this year, commuting (or stuck!) during peak traffic hours. Seattle customers are spending just over 3 days per year in traffic on average (76 hours).

Conclusion:
Though we have seen improvements in the past twenty years in infrastructure and public transportation, traffic and congestion are costing consumers billions of dollars each year. Direct costs to consumers include fuel, car maintenance and most importantly, wasted time. Unless we look to innovative solutions to our transportation problems drivers will face bigger traffic jams year after year and gradually lose more time and more money.

Although not all Metromilers are spending less time in traffic than the average American driver, they do have the tools to help them reduce their overall mileage and hopefully avoid those jams altogether. Metromile customers all gain free access to our smart driving app that makes owning a car as seamless, affordable and simple as possible. The app tracks your trips so you can better understand how little changes in your commute can have a big impact on the amount of time or gas it takes to get where you are going. You can even look at details like speed, how long your trip takes and how much gas that trip cost you. If you are ready to take control of your driving (and your insurance bill) get a free quote now.

How to Prepare Your Car For Winter

Winter is coming? No, my friends (and Game of Thrones fans) – winter is here. From your car door freezing shut to navigating ice-covered roads, there’s no doubt that winter weather can seriously take a toll on the health of your car. If you didn’t get a chance to winterize your vehicle this fall (#nojudgement), there’s no time like the present to remedy that. Before going into hibernation this season with Netflix at Club Couch, make sure your car is in tip-top shape to handle anything the winter weather blasts your way — If for no other reason than you know, to ensure you’ll be able to replenish your Netflix snacks.

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Step One: The Annual Physical

While you were out having fun in the sun and sand this past summer, your car was still working hard for you. Since you make it a priority to get yourself an annual physical, you should absolutely make it a priority that your vehicle gets a checkup as well. Bringing your car in for a tune-up will ensure that all fluid levels are correct and your vehicle’s battery has enough juice – two things that are super important, especially in the wintertime. Without proper fluid levels (antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and coolant), your vehicle may be in serious trouble; having enough charge in the battery will ensure you’re not stranded with a car that won’t start. Windshield wipers and headlights/taillights should also be checked to ensure the highest quality visibility in winter conditions.

Also, be sure to have the pads on your brakes checked, particularly if you have an older car with a lot of mileage. Two of my previous cars had brake failure, so it’s of the utmost importance to get this checked – especially in older cars and especially during winter when road conditions are poor.

Step Two: The Lincoln Test

Just when you thought pennies were the most useless of all American currency, they come through in the clutch! If you’re opting to keep your current tires on your car throughout the winter season, do the ‘Lincoln Test’ to ensure your treads are up to snuff. Simply place the edge of a penny into the tread of your tire with the top of Lincoln’s head facing toward the car. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head with the penny fully inserted into the tread, then your tires won’t last you through the season. Consider swapping them out for snow tires or all-season tires, which will be much more reliable in winter weather than standard tires.

Step Three: Oil Switch

Depending on where you live, this step may be optional. The general rule of thumb is this: the colder the weather, the thinner your oil should be. The viscosity level of engine oil is noted by the first number in the name – for example, a 5W-30 oil is less viscous than a 10W-30 oil and therefore performs better in the winter months. Switching out your oil for a less-viscous option may be a prudent move if you live somewhere that gets wicked cold (can you tell that I’m a New Englander?). This tip also applies to transmission fluid, so be sure to get both checked out!

Step Four: Wax On, Wax Off

You know the stuff that your city sprinkles on the roads before a snowstorm? That stuff is a magical combination of sand and salt – both of which can desiccate and decimate your vehicle over time! Salt is extremely corrosive, and sand can ruin a paint job, so we recommend getting a fresh coat of wax on your car before the snow flies. Most of the damage can happen on the undercarriage of the car as well, so be sure to look for a wax product that will protect behind the wheels, the quarter panels, and front grille in addition to the body of the car.

Step Five: In Case of Emergency

Keeping an emergency kit in your car is a good idea all year round. However, you will need to make a few modifications during winter months to make sure you’re covered in case you get into an accident or your car breaks down. Winter-specific items to add to your emergency kit include: a snow brush/ice scraper, flashlight, warm hat and winter gloves, a bag of sand (this can help give traction if you get stuck), small shovel, extra coolant, a blanket, jumper cable, road flares, and waterproof matches or a lighter. Always good to throw in some energy bars and bottled water, too!

TL;DR – your vehicle needs year-round TLC, but it is especially important during the winter months to keep you safe and get you where you need to go. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Metromile and get a free quote. Stay safe out there and we’ll see you on the roads!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

The 6 Best Winter Destinations For Your Next Road Trip

Winter blues got you down? Once the holidays settle and the world is shrouded in snow, it can be hard to muster up the desire to do anything but snuggle inside with a mug of cocoa and watch reruns of The Office.

But, wait. Have you thought about taking a road trip? Yes, we realize Kevin and his vat of chili can seem more enticing than jumping in the car when it’s freezing outside. However, winter might just be the best time to hit the open road, because 1) less tourists means less traffic, and 2) it just might end up being your most majestic road trip yet! We are lucky to live in a beautiful country with seemingly endless scenic drives – many of which are made all-the-more breathtaking by long winter shadows on thick blankets of snow and ice. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

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Now that you’ve gotten your car scraped off, heated seats warmed up, and snow tires at the ready, drive on with confidence into these 6 unique winter wonderlands. We picked our favorite winter road trip destinations so all you have to do is go!

The 6 Best Winter Road Trip Destinations

    Lake Tahoe, Nevada: The ultimate winter destination for snow bunnies, the drive around Lake Tahoe during winter is simply a sight to behold. Start your journey at Incline Village and make your way all the way around the lake’s 27 mile circumference. Be sure to stop off at Sand Harbor to dip a toe into the icy waters (fun fact: the lake never gets cold enough to freeze, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s warm enough for anything except a Polar Bear plunge). Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the snow-dusted Sierra Nevada mountains reflected in the glassy surface of Lake Tahoe’s crystal clear water.

    Zion National Park, Utah: Zion was Utah’s first national park, and when you experience its endless beauty, you’ll understand why this place is named “Promised Land.” Shorter days mean longer shadows, so be sure to grab your camera for some epic winter desert photography; the white snow looks particularly striking against Zion’s giant stratified rock sculptures.

    White Mountains, New Hampshire: Fancy a twisty-turny scenic mountain drive? Get lost in an idyllic New England winter landscape with a drive in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Make a pit stop in Jackson, NH, where the coffee is hot and the powder plentiful before jumping back on the road and continuing your New England winter journey.

    Glacier National Park, Montana: This 50-mile drive drops scenic view after scenic view and doesn’t care who knows it. Going-to-the-Sun road cuts Glacier National Park in half, and snow-covered forests, icy lakes, and frosted mountaintops surround both sides of the road. You may want to go extra slow for this drive so you don’t miss a single thing (including wildlife)!

    Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Making the 52-mile drive along Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone during winter may be one of the most awe-inspiring road trips ever. If you look carefully, you may be able to spot packs of wolves roaming the desolate landscape. Be sure to have your brakes at the ready if a bachelor bison (an older male bison that has left the herd) wanders into your path.

    Badlands, South Dakota: Though the temperature may hover “below the donut” (aka subzero), it will all be worth it to see a light dusting of snow on the impressive rock formations of the South Dakota Badlands. Begin your journey on South Dakota Highway 240 in Wall, SD and be sure to make frequent stops throughout the day at the many scenic lookouts. During this time of year, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else poking around except park rangers and some bighorn sheep.

If the winter weather forces you to change direction or turn back, always be sure to have a plan B in place. Who knows, the road trip could end up being even more spectacular! Also, it never hurts to have an emergency kit in the car, including: a flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, a lighter, snacks, bottled water, gloves, boots, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.

Us Metromilers love and encourage road trips, which is why we cap your miles at 150/day (250 in New Jersey), so get a quote today and start planning your next winter road trip! And here’s the most important question of all: where should we go first?

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

5 Tips for a Happy and Healthy Year

Believe it or not, we’re already one month into 2018 and those resolutions you set last December are now being put to the real test. If you, like many hopeful goal setters, vowed to be happier in the new year, then you’re probably now figuring out how to achieve that feeling of well-being by finding balance in all the busy parts of your life.

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Happy people know that it’s important to allow equal time for work and play, but it’s not enough to have a killer job or a packed social calendar; to achieve true happiness, you have to be up for all that life throws at you, and that means being mentally and physically strong. To truly ensure you spend the next 11 months living up to those awesome resolutions, follow these simple tips to be happy, healthy, and motivated all year long:

    1. Start every day off right. Let’s be honest: that first less-than-healthy habit is always the start of a slippery slope. It’s so much easier to justify an afternoon candy fix or a nighttime ice cream overdose when you start your day on the wrong foot food-wise. Nip this problem in the bud before it begins by having a healthy, balanced breakfast to quiet hunger pangs and set you up for success. Not a breakfast person? Then be sure to have plenty of nutritious snacks (like fruit and nuts) on hand in case you crave a bit before lunch.

    2. Schedule stretch breaks. It sounds simple, but just calendaring time to step away from your computer can make a huge difference in how you feel, both mentally and physically. Get some coffee, shake out your wrists, or sneak in some steps by taking a walk around the block.

    3. Rethink your idea of exercise. If toiling away on the treadmill makes your skin crawl, then it’s time to find an activity you actually enjoy (and actually do). Dance, sports, yoga, and even brisk walking all count as exercise, so experiment and find a way to move for at least 30 minutes every day.

    4.Take time to unplug. Being constantly connected can be completely exhausting; find a few minutes (at least!) each day to put your phone away, shut the laptop, and enjoy the world around you. Walk to your coworker’s desk rather pushing “send” on yet another email; meet a friend for coffee and leave your phone in your bag; have a group dinner and ask everyone to put their phones out of sight during the meal – you’ll be amazed at how much life you can miss staring at a screen.

    5. Say thanks. Just because Thanksgiving is a single-day celebration doesn’t mean we should reserve our gratitude for just one holiday. Studies have found that feeling grateful can boost your mental and physical health – and it provides that nice warm fuzzy feeling we all love so much. Try keeping a gratitude journal, making a point to say a heartfelt thank you to your servers and baristas, or simply thinking about all the things you’re thankful for. Just a few seconds of appreciative energy can totally shift your mood.

If you haven’t exactly been nailing your resolutions, don’t stress – just start following these simple steps and see how much better, more balanced, and prepared you’ll feel. And just one more bonus tip for you: If you haven’t gotten quote with Metromile to see your savings, get one now. Eliminating that one major financial headache known as car insurance from your life will go a long way in improving your mood and putting a bounce in your step. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

An Open Letter to Super Bowl Ad Rankings

Dear National Media,

We’re Metromile, America’s leading pay-per-mile car insurance company.

We want to talk about something really important to most Americans — Super Bowl commercials.

After 29 years of ranking Super Bowl ads, we believe it’s time for the National media to recognize ALL commercials airing during the big game, no matter if they are national or local.

Since we don’t have $5,000,000,000 to spend on a 30-second national ad spot, we’re running our spot in Portland, OR – the birthplace of pay-per-mile car insurance and home to our first customer. Our pay-per-mile model is revolutionizing the insurance industry by offering affordable car insurance, transparent pricing based on the miles driven, data to optimize car use, and instant access to detailed vehicle diagnostics. We’re making car insurance easier and more accessible than ever before.

Here’s our ask: Create a “Local Ad Ranking” and conduct Super Bowl ranking surveys for all the local-level ads. Leverage social media and local newspapers under each of your networks. Build some buzz with local advertisers across the country. Everybody wins.

To get you started, we wanted to share “Dear Portland,” our 60 second spot that’s scheduled to run in the last spot before halftime.

We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about our ad or Metromile. Just let us know and we’ll set it up.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

– Your Friends at Metromile

10 Things You Need For a Good Road Trip

Road trips can go one of two ways: totally awesome or a total disaster. What started as a fun, spontaneous idea can suddenly take a nosedive if you go into it unprepared. From getting stranded with no data or cell service, to emergency bathroom stops, your road trip can quickly turn from freaking awesome to “I’m freaking out!”.

10 Things You Need For a Good Road Trip

Yes, there was a reason that your parents packed the minivan to the gills (I admit it… you were right about everything, Mom!). It seems the more well-planned road trips tend to go off without a hitch. Us Metromilers love road trips and encourage our customers to take them, which is why we cap your mileage at 250 miles/day (150 miles/day in New Jersey). From having the right snacks, to the right tunes, to arguably the most important thing – planned restroom stops – here are our 10 things you need to make your next road trip your most epic one yet.

    1. Hands-free phone holder: Your phone will most likely be your GPS and source of music, so be sure to invest in a hands-free phone holder to make it safer and easier to navigate. It doesn’t need to be fancy – I bought one in the Target dollar section a couple years ago and it was exactly what I needed and so inexpensive. Side note: the Target dollar section rules.

    2. Downloaded Google maps: Did you know that you can download any map in the world in the Google Maps app? This tip is super important because there will definitely be lapses in cell service and data coverage, and you do not want to be stranded without a map. This past summer, I visited New Zealand and downloaded a map of the entire north island on my phone before arriving (just in case). It ended up coming in handy when we lost data coverage on the remote back roads of the island. Thanks to the pre-downloaded map, we were still able to navigate our way back to town. Also, Google Maps will still give you turn-by-turn directions with the downloaded maps! See how to do it here.

    3. Snacks and drinks: No explanation needed. Make sure everyone in the car gets their favorite kind, and be sure to also have some more substantial snacks (like Kind Bars or Clif Bars) on hand in case anyone gets hangry. Don’t forget the bottled water, too!

    4. Fast Track toll pass: If you don’t already have one of these in your car, you should definitely get one stat. In addition to offering you discounts on tolls, it expedites the toll-paying process and eliminates the need to fumble for loose change, so you can be on your way faster!

    5. First Aid Kit and Magic Tank: You’ll most likely never have to use these two but they’re important to bring anyway as a precaution. Put together a simple first aid kit consisting of bandages, gauze, bottled water, an instant ice pack, a flashlight with fresh batteries, Swiss Army knife, Ibuprofen, Dramamine, a lighter, and rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and store it in your trunk. Also, Magic Tank is a great thing to have on hand – it’s a non-flammable emergency fuel that can help you make it to a gas station if you’re coasting on fumes.

    6. Car phone charger: This is a necessity and something that you should keep in your car at all times. There is nothing worse than needing to call for help and having a dead phone battery. Without this you will be walking, my friend!

    7. Neck pillow: Long hours in the car means cramped bodies and necks. Make your journey a little more pleasant by bringing a neck pillow so you can snooze in the back when it’s not your turn to drive. This one by Lewis N. Clark is great because it can convert into a lumbar support pillow as well. My back feels better just thinking about it.

    8. Good tunes: This one is up for debate, because it’s guaranteed that everyone in the car will have differing opinions on what constitutes “good” tunes. My road trip rules are that the driver gets to pick the tunes. And when all else fails: headphones.

    9. Toilet paper: Just put a roll in the car. It takes up zero space… and you never know when someone might need it. Ahem.

    10. Small bills and coins: It’s always good to have a bit of cash (small bills) and some coins on hand. From parking meters to issues at the toll booth, you never know when you’re going to need some to help you out in a pinch.

As one final tip: my Dad always told me, “Dress like you’re going to have to walk.” Make sure you wear comfy, weather-appropriate clothing, and reliable footwear.

That’s it! Go forth and conquer your future road trips with these tips. Metromile will be there with you every mile of the way, helping you to optimize your trip by spending less on gas, tracking your mileage, and finding your car (who remembers that Seinfeld episode?). Be sure to get a quote with Metromile today, and let’s get that next road trip on the books!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

8 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a New Car Insurance Policy

Whether you’re buying your first car or fifth, car insurance is non-negotiable. Besides protecting you, your car insurance will also protect anyone else who is involved in a collision with you. But the world or car insurance can be murky, and it can be difficult to understand the nuances of different providers and coverage plans.

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To save you some time, we’ve compiled a list of 8 questions to ask yourself before you buy car insurance (or switch car insurance!). Once you’ve answered these 8 questions, you’ll be well on your way to making a smarter and more well-informed decision about the car insurance policy that’s right for you!

    1. What kind of coverage do I need? To start, you will need the minimum coverage required by law in your state. Since this varies by state, check out a list here to see what kind of coverage is required in your state of residence. Most states only require liability insurance, which covers the costs of anyone who gets injured or killed in a car accident caused by you, plus damage to their vehicle, property damage, and legal fees. However, some states require additional coverage beyond liability insurance. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require it by law, here are some other coverage plans typically offered by car insurance companies:

    • Collision: This kind of plan covers damages to your car in the event of an accident, regardless of who caused the damage. You will still need to front the money for the deductible, however, most people who have newer cars tend to go for this option because the amount you will receive back is based on the value of the car, and the payout will be much higher on a newer vehicle.
    • Comprehensive: This type of plan covers all damages to your car, including non-collision related damage. With a comprehensive insurance policy, your vehicle is covered if there are damages due to fire, vandalism, acts of nature, and theft. With this type of policy, however, comes a price tag. As with the collision coverage, most people with newer vehicles and/or leased vehicles tend to purchase this type of policy because the deductible vs. payout ratio is greater! Be sure to check the value of your car every year to reevaluate if comprehensive or collision coverage is the right decision for you.
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection: This coverage option is less expensive than collision or comprehensive and covers the cost of your car repairs if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you. With this option, there’s no deductible, but there’s also a limit on how much you’ll be able to collect (usually about $3,500).
    • Personal injury protection: This plan is pretty self-explanatory – it’s right there in the name! This type of plan covers medical bills and loss of wages to you or your passengers if someone hits you. If you’re injured while riding as a passenger in someone else’s car, it will cover the expenses related to that as well.

    2. How much do I drive? The answer to this question is very important, because you could very well be overpaying where you don’t need to. If you’re a city-dweller who mostly takes public transportation, or even if you just have a second car that you don’t drive very often, signing up for a policy with Metromile could save you big bucks. Metromile’s policy is pay-per-mile, so the less you drive, the less you pay. Simple as that!

    3. What’s my risk assessment? This is not meant to be a scary question, we promise. A “risk assessment” is simply how the annual rate that you will pay is determined by the insurance company – as in, how likely it will be that you’ll file a claim based on many data points gathered. Have you gotten a lot of speeding tickets, been in a few fender benders, or live in an area where car theft is prevalent? Your risk assessment will be higher and you’ll pay more. Be sure to do your research and shop around to see which company will give you the best rate based on your risk assessment.

    4. Who will be covered with the policy? Every insurance company and state handles this a bit differently, so be sure to understand what your coverage will look like before making any decisions. Try to think through every possible scenario, i.e. a friend borrows your car and hits someone, your 16 year old (who is still learning to drive) gets in an accident, etc. Who will be covered? Will your insurance company pay for the damages? Knowing the answer to this question ahead of time will save you the headache of looking for the answer after the fact.

    5. What will my deductible be? This might be the most important question of all, and one that you have the most control over. With most policies, you can choose your deductible amount: the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly payment will be. Common deductible amounts are $0, $100, $500, $750, $1,000, and $1,500. If you are involved in an accident and file a claim with your insurance company, your deductible is the amount you will need to pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay the rest of the bill. Choosing a plan with a high deductible may be a wise decision, because your yearly bill (also known as your premium) will be lower and you many never get in a car accident. However, be sure that you don’t set your deductible so high that you won’t be able to pay it if you do get in an accident and need to file a claim.

    6. Do they have 24-hour claims service? Getting into an accident is stressful enough, and knowing that you can only contact your insurance company during business hours only adds to the stress of the situation. Be sure to look for insurance carriers that provide a 24 hour claims service to their customers, like Metromile! Even if it’s just a fender bender, knowing your insurance company has your back 24/7 can provide a great amount of peace of mind.

    7. Will I be using my car for work? Nowadays, many more people are using their cars for work. With the prevalence of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, anyone with a car and a driver’s license can make money. If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that commercial auto insurance is a necessity. A personal auto insurance policy will not cover you if you transport paying passengers through ride sharing apps, if you’re delivering pizzas, performing a courier service, etc.

    8. Is my car financed or leased? It’s important to note that if you still owe money on your car, or you are expected to keep your lease in like-new condition, you’ll likely be required to insure the car for its full value – and possibly for any gap between what you owe and the car’s market value. Collision and comprehensive will cover any damages that may occur to your car, and gap insurance will cover the rest.

Finding the right car insurance policy can be tough, but Metromile wants to help. As always, we’ll be here if you have any questions along the way – we have your back! We hope these questions will help guide you in the right direction. Be sure to get a quote with Metromile while you’re on your search – we may end up being the perfect car insurance provider for you!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram.

6 Tips For Road Tripping With Your Pets

Ah, vacation. Is there anything better than planning a fun getaway? The excitement of going somewhere new (or somewhere you’ve been 100 times!), the relaxation, the carefree mindset. The only downside, it seems, is leaving behind your furry friends. It’s hard to fully enjoy a vacation when you know your pet would love it as much as you do.

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The answer to this dilemma – take a road trip! Road trips offer the best of both worlds: vacation and time spent with your pets. Taking a road trip with your pet can be such a fun adventure for both of you, and with a bit of planning, may end up turning into your favorite vacation to date. Here are our 6 tips for having a safe and fun road trip with your pet.

6 Tips For Road Tripping With Your Pets

    1. Make a plan. Taking a roadtrip with your pet involves a bit more planning than just loading them into the car and puttering away. Keep in mind that your pet may have forgotten what it’s like to ride in a car, or may only have negative experiences riding in cars (going to the vet is anxiety-inducing for everyone involved). Plan to take your pet out on several shorter car rides, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car, prior to your road trip. This will ease your pet into the idea of riding in a car for longer periods of time.

    2. Pack their paperwork. If you’re planning to travel across state lines, be sure to pack your pet’s rabies vaccination records. While this generally isn’t an issue, some states will require this at certain interstate crossings or checkpoints (check out the list of states that require it here). Better to be safe than sorry and have to turn back!

    3. Plan your route. It’s important to ensure regular breaks throughout the road trip so your pet stays comfortable and happy. Plan to take a 15 to 30 minute break every 4 hours to allow your pet to stretch and relieve themselves. Also, check out this helpful planner tool for traveling with pets – just input your destination and it will provide pet-friendly options for hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, and more along the way. Having a planned route at a leisurely pace will be more enjoyable for everyone – including you!

    4. Prepare a bag. Separate out your pet’s items from your own and have the bag handy. Items to pack include: food (at least a 3 day supply), bottled water, a bowl, leash, collar with ID tags, an old towel, waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first aid, and any travel documents. Stick to providing your pet bottled water, as drinking water from an area that your pet isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort or digestive issues. Also, be sure to bring your pet’s pillows, bedding, and toys to provide a sense of familiarity while traveling to an unknown place.

    5. Tether while driving. Don’t allow your pet free reign of the car while you’re driving. Not only are unrestrained animals a distraction, they could potentially harm you or themselves while you’re operating the vehicle. A 60 lb. dog becomes a 2,700 lb. projectile in a sudden stop or accident at 35 miles per hour. Small animals like cats, rabbits, or rodents can climb under the pedals and prevent you from operating the vehicle. Harness or buckle your pets in, or place them in a secured crate – it’s safer for everyone!

    6. Arrange for care at your destination. If your final destination is at a place or event that will not have facilities for animals, such as a wedding or graduation, arrange for care at your destination. The unfamiliar environment will cause your pet more anxiety than at home, so be sure that your pet is being cared for by professionals. Also, this is a no-brainer, but do not leave your pets unattended in the car – even for a short amount of time. On a hot day, even with the windows open, your car will trap heat and become a furnace. On a cold day, a car can act as a refrigerator holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

Now that you have the tools, it’s time to plan your next road trip with your pet! Metromile offers Pet Coverage to cover the cost of any pet injuries in case of an accident when you are on the road. Pet Coverage is included with collision coverage on all policies (not available in IL or VA) at no additional charge. Metromile’s Pet Coverage provides up to $1,000 in the event your dog or cat is injured as a result of a covered claim. Click here to get a quote with Metromile today!

Are you a road trippin’ vet? Do you take your pets with you every time? Sound off with your best tips for road trippin’ with your furry friends in the comments below!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram.

5 Tips for Windshield Crack Prevention and What To Do When You Can’t Stop It From Happening

As a car owner and driver, there are many factors outside of your control. From fender benders to a dented door from a runaway shopping cart in a parking lot, car ownership can be an incredibly stressful endeavor. However, if you put in the effort and nurture your car, it will return the favor tenfold and provide you with years of worry-free bliss (almost like life’s best relationships!).

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One of the most common car ailments in the United States is a cracked or chipped windshield. Something that starts as the smallest crack can turn much worse over time and end up costing insurance policyholders a ton of money. Did you know that the most frequent vehicle claim submitted to insurance companies is glass damage, at the rate of 7.5 million incidents per year? Additionally, 80 percent of those claims are windshield damage versus side or back glass. All it takes is one small chip in your windshield to lead to total disaster.

The first step in any health endeavor, including the health of your car, is prevention. Preventative car maintenance is akin to preventative medicine. You try and get a flu shot every year, so why not pay the same attention to the health of your car? Take a proactive step and follow our best tips for preventing windshield cracks and chips.

5 Tips for Preventing Windshield Cracks:

    1. Take the road less traveled. Your likelihood of getting a chip or crack while traveling on a highly trafficked highway or freeway is much higher due to the dirt and debris being kicked up by other vehicles. Personally, I’ve had two chips and cracks in the windshield of my current car and both occurred while driving on the highway. If you have the time, try to take a less trafficked route to minimize your chances of your windshield getting damaged by an errant high-velocity pebble!

    2. Keep your distance. If you do have to travel on the highway (sometimes there’s no way around it!), be sure to give yourself plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you – especially if it’s a large semi or dump truck. Four wheels have a higher likelihood of kicking up debris; many large wheels not only kick up more rocks and debris, but throw them further, too. Also, don’t rely on mudflaps to protect you from harm. Even though it is a requirement for large trucks to have them, not all do – and sometimes the mudflaps the trucks do have are ripped or torn.

    3. Take it slow. While it’s obvious that windshield damage occurs when rock or debris hits your windshield, it is actually the forward motion of the car that hits the rock that causes the impact. In addition to keeping your distance behind large vehicles that spin up debris, taking it slow will reduce the chances of a flying rock doing some serious damage to your windshield.

    4. Avoid gravel. This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but hitting a patch of gravel can happen to the best of us. If you live in a cold and snowy climate, take care to notice when the gravel trucks come out before a big storm and proceed with caution. Don’t follow a truck that is throwing down gravel and salt on the roads – try to take a detour if you can!

    5. Made in the shade. A scorching hot day can only exacerbate weakened or brittle places in windshield glass. If you think you have a weak spot or potential crack starting to form in your windshield, try parking in the shade. The cooler temps will keep potential cracks from expanding and protect your windshield from further damage.

So, let’s say you’ve managed to follow all these tips and you still get a crack or chip – it can happen to anyone! When you’ve done all you can and you can’t manage to stop it from happening, here are some tips to help keep it from spreading.

5 Tips for What To Do When You Can’t Stop It From Happening:

    1. Assess the situation. Is the crack small or large? In your line of sight and obstructing your view? If a crack at all interferes with your ability to safely operate your vehicle, tend to the damage right away by taking your car to a repair shop – or better still, call for roadside assistance (which segues nicely into my next point…)

    2. Switch to Metromile. One of the many benefits of switching your car insurance to Metromile is the 24/7 roadside assistance service we provide, which covers windshield and glass repair. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where your windshield is cracked and needs immediate repair, just know that Metromile will be there to help you every step of the way!

    3. Smooth sailing. If you’ve assessed the damage and the crack is smaller than a dollar bill (or the chip is smaller than a quarter) and is not obstructing your view, the integrity of the windshield hasn’t been compromised and probably does not require replacement . However, take it easy on bumpy roads, speed bumps, and even opening and closing your car doors and trunk. Any additional vibrations to the car may cause the windshield crack to spread.

    4. Avoid extremes. Subjecting your cracked or chipped windshield to extreme temperature fluctuations will cause the glass to expand and contract, potentially turning even the smallest crack into a giant issue. Keep your defroster or air conditioner at a moderate temperature instead of blasting hot or cold air onto the windshield problem area.

    5. Hire a professional. Many windshield repair shops will have a technician come to you who can fix the crack or chip on the spot and in under 30 minutes. Contact your insurance company to find out what kinds of repairs are covered under your policy, and they should have you on your way in no time!

Bottom line:

Windshield cracks and chips are dangerous and can lead to much more serious problems if not addressed right away. If you follow our suggestions for crack and chip prevention and yet still manage to get one (it happens!), always assess the situation and know your options for repair. Better yet, contact Metromile to learn more about their windshield repair policy and to get a quote today!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram.