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Here’s How Americans Are Returning to the Roads in 2021

Drivers are returning to the road, but how they are driving in 2021 has changed. Metromile data shows a new normal is emerging.

Drivers are springing back to the roads, Metromile data from the first three months of 2021 shows. 

The total number of miles driven across the U.S. surged in March 2021 compared to the same time last year, after months of continued slumps, according to an anonymized and aggregated sample of Metromile customers nationwide.

But as the U.S. recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, Metromile data shows life for many people may look different than it once did. Like the so-called “K-shaped” economic recovery, a bifurcation in driving and mobility is developing nationwide.

The recent driving behavior may be a good indication of a “new normal” as more people embrace flexible hybrid schedules for in-office work and use their cars differently than they had last year.

How has driving in the U.S. changed in 2021?

While driving recovered occasionally in 2020, notably in the summer and year-end, vehicle use remained low. Metromile customers nationwide collectively drove 30% fewer miles from April through December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Early data showed signs these low levels would continue in 2021. 

Miles driven nationwide in January and February 2021 were both 28% lower year-over-year, not dissimilar from the 30% drop observed throughout 2020.

The situation changed dramatically in March. Drivers nationwide collectively put 19% more miles on their vehicles year-over-year and 20% more than February 2021.

Despite the recent rebound, mileage hasn’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. The total number of miles driven nationwide in March 2021 is 79% of the miles driven in February 2020.

People in Illinois and Washington state ramped up driving the most by 29% and 30% in March, respectively, from the year prior. The increased mileage might be a result of resumed commutes as large employers in both states reopened offices. Notably, tech giants encouraged employees working from home to return to their Seattle area campuses at the end of the month.

Californians and Oregonians added 19% and 16% more miles on their vehicles, respectively.

Smaller upturns in driving came from East Coast Metromile customers. The total number of miles driven in March 2021 grew by 18% in Pennsylvania, 12% in New Jersey, and 11% year-over-year in Virginia.  

Arizona, one of the last states to implement a stay-at-home order last year, saw the smallest increase in March 2021. Mileage in the Grand Canyon State rose by only 6% compared to the year before.

Will these new driving trends continue in 2021?

While the total number of miles driven is quickly approaching pre-pandemic levels, it is becoming more apparent how people drive has changed. A new normal may be developing.

People returning to the office may be in for a pleasant surprise: Drivers may find fewer congested roads, as people plan to commute less often than they did before. The trend will likely persist as employers embrace hybrid work schedules, and full-time remote work continues to be more accepted.

Already, the number of miles driven from January to March 2021 during the weekday morning rush hour of 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. fell by 15% year-over-year.

The changed behavior could be positive for road safety. Rush hour and evening driving are typically more risky journeys because of increased road congestion and poorer visibility, respectively.

Drivers have also shifted when they get into their vehicles to the weekend and the afternoon.

The increase in miles driven nationwide may be a result of road trips and other long-distance driving. Highway driving, as measured by miles driven 60 miles per hour or faster, grew considerably in the first three months of 2021 compared to the year before.

Metromile customers nationwide took 14% more trips to new locations more than 75 miles away in 2021, and the number of miles driven in trips 75 minutes or more soared by at least 25% year-over-year.

While miles driven nationwide increased recently, traffic levels remain at pre-pandemic lows. The number of miles driven at 30 miles per hour or slower is down — no matter the trip duration.

News headlines have also focused on the sharp increases in reckless driving and speeding as fewer cars are on the road during the pandemic. According to Metromile data, high-speed driving is most common in short trips between 15 and 30 minutes and on road trips of two hours or more.

While speeding 75 miles per hour more is up 74% from January to March 2021 compared to the previous year, there is some reversion to pre-pandemic norms emerging. 

Speeding in the first three months of 2021 has decreased by 32% compared to last spring, and the average speed of trips between 30 and 75 minutes has also reduced.

The bottom line

The COVID-19 pandemic created a nearly instant shift in the way people get around the United States. 

Local and state shelter-in-place and public health orders minted millions of new low-mileage drivers overnight, as many people limited their vehicle use to the bare minimum.

While some drivers may return to their pre-pandemic habits, Metromile data from the first three months of 2021 reveals how people return to the road has likely diverged. Emerging social trends, such as increased remote work and household moves to further away suburban and rural communities, may advance these changes and create different driving routines and a new normal going forward.

How I Built My Career: Claims Adjuster to Salesforce Administrator

At Metromile, we like to do things a little differently. (We are disrupting the auto insurance industry after all.) From offering drivers more fair and personalized pricing to streamlining claims with our AI-powered process, innovation is at the core of everything we do. 

Especially when it comes to our employees’ development.

In this blog series, you’ll hear from some of our very own to get a taste of what’s possible with a career at Metromile.

Metromile is hiring! Learn about Kyle’s career path and how he became a Salesforce administrator in less than two years.

Kyle, Salesforce Administrator

Metromiler since August 2017

Metromile is hiring! Learn about Kyle’s career path and how he became a Salesforce administrator in less than two years.

How did you hear about Metromile?

A few years ago, a recruiter at Metromile reached out to me about a claims adjuster position. At the time, I was perfectly happy working in a similar role at a big-name auto insurance company and wasn’t necessarily looking to go anywhere. But they had taken the time to reach out, so I figured why not hear them out and see what they have to offer.

At the large insurer I was at, career development happens in a singular funnel, confined within your department. Learning more about Metromile through the interview process, I could already foresee a lot more growth from the breadth of the role’s scope. 

What sold you on Metromile? 

Being part of a smaller company gives you more opportunities to help pave the path and directly impact the business — something that means a lot to me that I didn’t have in my previous role. And with technology and innovation being such a core part of the company, it really got me looking forward to what the future could hold. 

I started my career with Metromile as a standard claims adjuster. After about seven or eight months, I was able to move into an injury adjuster role — still within my insurance wheelhouse, but it was definitely a different daily workload. 

A while later, a position opened up for a Salesforce administrator. This was a bit more in line with what I was looking to do long-term. I’ve always been super interested in technology and being able to own a product within the company. My previous Salesforce experience up to that point had been fairly limited, but as I started learning what exactly an administrator is responsible for and seeing the career opportunities available with that role, the more I was excited about the position. So I reached out to my manager to let him know I was interested in applying, and he was all for it. Having that openness and encouragement meant so much. I went for it, and here I am two years later!

In your role, how are you helping our customers’ experience?

Our sales, customer service, and underwriting teams use Salesforce. I’m responsible for debugging that platform and ensuring everything works and improving and expanding on our use of the tool. Essentially, I help optimize it so our agents will have to make less clicks, type less and spend less time on tasks so that they can get our customers the information and help they need more quickly and efficiently. By continually improving our Salesforce platform, we’re ensuring we maintain our high level of service and create fiercely loyal customers!

What excites you the most about your role?

The problem solving! I love diving right into fixes, as well as identifying areas of improvement that we want to implement down the road, and figuring out how to piece that strategic puzzle together. If we want Z, we also have to do X and Y to get there. And then I get to work on those individual pieces to get closer to the end result. It’s pretty exciting. And the same holds true even for small debugging tests. If one of our licensed agents lets me know they click somewhere and get an error, I follow that string of errors back to the source issue. 

Currently, I’m working on making further efficiencies to our policy management system. It’s a project I’ve been able to be involved in at a high level at first, but as we’ve started to implement it, I’ve taken a step back to start working Salesforce into it and manage more of the backend to ensure the integrations are working correctly.

What do you love most about working at Metromile?

Career growth is a big one. I’ve been responsible for Salesforce for a little over two years. In your work here, you can see the immediate benefit in real-time to both our customers when they interact with us and our agents who are using these platforms on the other side. 

I’ve been able to take on additional programs to grow the scope of what I do. And even then, there’s always an outlook for even more growth, as the company and the scope of Salesforce grows, which definitely keeps me busy!

Beyond that, I’ve loved everyone that I’ve worked with. Our team is motivated to do their part and see how their work carries over into Salesforce and the end-results. Whenever I release a new product or improvement to the Salesforce platform, everyone rallies and is fired up about the changes and improvements. And the flip side of that, whenever a platform change indirectly has a bit of a negative effect on our users, the team is always quick to tell me so that I can iterate on the issue and start working towards a solution. It’s a level of collaboration I haven’t had at past companies, making us that much stronger as a business.

What career advice do you have for insurance professionals about joining a startup?

Metromile is the newest company I’ve worked for, but it has been so worth it. When I first switched from the large auto insurance company, I was a little bit unsure, but I was excited about the notion of working for a startup. 

My best advice would be to be open and ready for a change of pace. As a company, we may set our eyes on a certain goal or objective, and before it’s complete, we may make calculated changes along the way based on the results we’re seeing. That’s fairly normal, I think, for smaller, more nimble companies. It was definitely something that, at first, I had to adjust to, but after a while, I came to enjoy the whole journey. 

I would say it’s 100% worth it and way more exciting than you could even imagine. And after being here for three years, it’s come to blow my expectations away and make me even more enthusiastic about my work than I ever thought I would be. 

Interested in joining the Metromile team? Check out all of our open positions. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Experience the power of pay-per-mile auto insurance and see how much you could save by taking a Ride Along™. 

Get your free quote in minutes, or earn rewards when you refer your friends and family.

Demi Greco has also been on the career jungle gym at Metromile. She is a communications specialist by way of a receptionist turned executive assistant.

How is car insurance calculated?

Many drivers could save money with Metromile because they don’t drive often. Metromile customizes bills based on someone’s driving habits.

Have you ever wondered how your auto insurance rate is calculated?

Most car insurance companies consider your driving record, the type of car you drive, how much policy coverage you want, and demographic information, such as your age or where you live and park your car. 

But Metromile takes it a step further and focuses the rate you pay on how you drive.

Unlike other insurance companies, Metromile’s rates are based on how far you drive. Instead of paying a fixed rate, your actual car usage determines your car insurance premiums. This means low-mileage drivers could save money with one of our pay-per-mile insurance policies. And if you’re a safe driver, we want to recognize and reward that behavior, too.

But before we get into all that, let’s take a look at how insurance companies calculate car insurance rates.

What factors into my car insurance rates?

Car insurance companies look at certain factors when setting your rates.

While each insurer has its proprietary formula, many insurance companies tend to use the same information to calculate your car insurance premiums:

  • Your age
  • Your gender (in some states)
  • Your education (in some states)
  • Your job (in some states)
  • What type of car you drive
  • Where you live
  • Your credit score (in some states)
  • Your driving record
  • Your insurance record

Age

Your age can play a big role in determining your car insurance rates.

Studies have shown that young drivers, especially teenagers, who might have less experience on the road, are more likely to get into car accidents than older drivers. So if you’re just starting, your rates might be higher due to the increased risk.

The best thing you can do is prove you’re a safe driver by following the rules of the road, so you don’t get traffic tickets or into accidents. 

Over time, insurance companies will reward your safe driving with lower prices or discounts. 

Gender

Gender might also play a role in determining your car insurance rates.

Men are more than twice as likely to be killed in a car accident than women, according to the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, 11,896 male drivers lost their lives in crashes, compared to 4,868 female drivers.

This might be because men tend to drive more often and may be more willing to take risks on the road.

So you might be surprised to learn that some auto insurance industry studies show women, including those older than 25, might pay a little more than men for car insurance.

Because of this, places like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and certain areas in Michigan have banned car insurance companies from considering gender when calculating a driver’s rates. But in many other states, insurance companies can still consider gender.

Education

Some car insurance companies also look at your education.

While some states have banned this practice, in other states, drivers with a higher level of education, such as those with a college degree, could save money on car insurance compared to those who only have a high school diploma.

Some insurers might also provide a discount for college students.

Occupation

Auto insurers might also look at the type of job you have.

While this practice is not allowed in some states, your job could affect your insurance rates in other places. 

Some companies and professional groups work with insurers to provide an auto insurance discount to their employees. On the other hand, some professions might travel a lot more than other drivers, for example, and might be considered riskier and pay higher rates.

Car type

Car insurance companies also look at the type of car you drive.

If you trade in an older vehicle for a fancy sports car, it stands to reason you might pay more for insurance because your new car would cost more to replace. The more expensive it is to replace your vehicle, the greater the risk and cost for your insurance company. So they might charge a higher premium to make up for the pricey repairs.

Geography

Where you live can have a big impact on your car insurance premiums. 

That’s because some places are more dangerous for car owners than others. 

No matter how safe of a driver you are, sometimes accidents caused by other drivers are unavoidable. And even if you don’t get into an accident, your car could get stolen or affected by the weather.

So if you live in a big city with more cars on the road, where accidents and vehicle thefts might be more common, you might pay more for insurance than if you lived in a rural town.

Some car insurance companies might also ask you where you park your vehicle at night and whether it’s parked somewhere covered. It could be riskier to park your car on the street than inside your home’s garage, and this additional risk could increase your car insurance rate.

Credit score

Building an excellent credit score is not only a good way to qualify for an auto loan with low interest rates, but it could also save you money on car insurance.

In some states, car insurance companies might use your credit score to determine how responsible you are. They figure if you’re responsible with your finances, you’re more likely to be a responsible driver or less likely to file a claim.

Insurance record

Similar to your credit score, car insurance companies track your auto insurance history.

They look at previous claims you’ve filed and whether you maintained continuous insurance coverage. If you filed a claim after an accident or totaling your car, that could factor into your rates. Likewise, in many states, if you sell your car, stop driving and skip insurance coverage for a few years, it might be more expensive when you start back up.

Driving record

As you might imagine, car insurance companies are especially concerned with your driving record.

While things like your age, gender, and where you live might help car insurance companies gauge your risk, your driving record provides the most accurate representation of the type of driver you are.

If you have a pile of speeding tickets or were at fault in a car accident, your car insurance rates could skyrocket.

But over time, a clean driving record can go a long way toward helping you save money on car insurance.

What things DON’T affect the price of car insurance?

You might have been surprised about some of the information car insurance companies might use to determine your rates. But you’ll be relieved to know that your race, ethnicity, and religion should never be factored into your car insurance rates.

That information is strictly off-limits.

Furthermore, while insurance companies might look at the type of job you have, they’re not supposed to factor in your income into your car insurance rates.

How does Metromile calculate my car insurance rates?

At Metromile, we care more about the way you drive.

Our pay-per-mile car insurance policies focus on your driving record, insurance claims history, the type of vehicle you drive, the amount of coverage you get, and theft and accident rates in the neighborhood where you live.

In some states, we might also consider your age, driving experience, education, profession, and whether you’ve had continuous insurance coverage.

But what sets Metromile apart is our ability to look at your driving patterns in some states. The Pulse device we send you to count your miles can also gauge how safely you drive over time and give us an understanding of the quality of each mile you drive.

All of this information helps us get a better picture of you as a driver to personalize your insurance rates, and hopefully, offer you a lower price.

How can I save money on car insurance?

Now that you know how car insurance is calculated, let’s take a look at how you could save money on car insurance.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Shop around: Compare prices from different car insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best price. Auto insurance prices can change over time, so you’ll want to stay up to date on the latest rates.
  • Take a closer look at your insurance coverage: You might be able to adjust your coverage levels or deductible to save money on your monthly premiums if your lifestyle has changed. But it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before making any changes to your policy.
  • Drive safely: Metromile offers discounts to good drivers who are accident-free and mature drivers, as well as those who install safety equipment in their cars in select states. 

The bottom line

One of the easiest ways to pay less for auto insurance is to drive less. Low-mileage drivers could save hundreds with a pay-as-you-go car insurance policy from Metromile.

Metromile offers a Ride Along™, so you can try before you buy for free. 

After you download the app and get a free auto insurance quote, you’ll have a 17-day trial period (you should keep your current insurance provider to maintain coverage) to show us how much you drive and whether you’re a safe driver. We’ll then use how you drive to show you an accurate rate or give you a discount up to an additional 40% off your quote, depending on your state, for safe driving. 

What It’s Like to Drive in the United States During COVID-19

Many Americans drove less during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for some, auto insurance prices remain high. Metromile can help low-mileage or infrequent drivers save with pay-as-you-go auto insurance.

It’s not your imagination: Many of us now drive less often than we did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decline in driving may have started last spring, as states and other areas adopted stay-at-home orders and other public health guidelines beginning in March 2020. In some cases, the number of cars on the road dropped dramatically. In the month from March 19, 2020, the total number of miles driven dropped 58% nationwide, according to Metromile data.

Some signs point to this trend continuing.

Driving in the United States before the coronavirus pandemic

A majority of Americans are infrequent drivers, and this trend started before the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported Americans drove less than 37 miles a day on average in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. In fact, 65% of Americans drive less than the national average, making them low-mileage drivers

And there is no single group of low-mileage drivers, a sign of how commonplace this is across the United States. Some of these drivers include:

How driving in the United States changed because of COVID-19

Despite indications last year that driving may be rebounding, including increased road trips in December 2020, the number of miles driven nationwide remains lower than pre-pandemic levels.

Metromile customers nationwide collectively drove 30% fewer miles year-over-year from April through December 2020.

Coastal drivers had the most significant changes in 2020. Virginia drivers put 33% fewer miles on their vehicles, the largest drop among Metromile customers during the pandemic, while those in California and Washington state plunged 32% and 30% miles from their daily routines, respectively. People in Oregon and New Jersey both reduced miles driven by 25%, while Pennsylvania cut their driving by 26%. 

Arizona and Illinois drivers may have rebounded the soonest, as their miles fell 21% and 23%, respectively, the lowest decreases among Metromile customers.

There are also indications Americans changed how they drive during the coronavirus pandemic.

While Metromile customers drove less overall, they started to take longer trips. The number of trips to new locations 75 miles or further away from April through June 2020 increased by 21% compared to the same period in 2019.

During the same period, drivers across the country drove more often in the afternoon, seemingly replacing their morning commutes and late-night driving with mid-day trips.

What the new driving trends mean for auto insurance

As Americans drive less often, they could stand to save on auto insurance.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance, sometimes called pay as you go or pay as you drive auto insurance, can reduce costs for low-mileage and infrequent drivers. Instead of paying a flat rate with traditional car insurance companies, drivers can instead pay for what their lifestyle might require.

Unlike other auto insurance, pay-per-mile insurance rates focus on someone’s actual driving.

Car insurance savings can add up. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Metromile customers collectively saved about 27% in per-mile premiums from April to December 2020 because they pay per mile. 

As a result, some drivers saved double (or more) the auto insurance discounts provided by other insurance companies or suggested by the state.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Virginia drivers, who reduced their driving the most among Metromile customers during the pandemic, saved the most, paying 41% less in per-mile premiums than they did the year before.

Drivers in Washington state and Arizona had per-mile premium reductions of 31% and 29%, respectively.  

Metromile customers in Oregon and Pennsylvania paid 26% less than they did in per-mile premiums than the year before, while California drivers cut their per-mile bills by 27%. 

Finally, Illinois and New Jersey drivers saw 20% and 18% lower per-mile premiums, greater savings than the partial refunds some insurance companies provided during the pandemic.

The bottom line

Many Americans could benefit from pay-per-mile auto insurance. For many drivers, Metromile can provide the same coverage as other car insurance companies without a pricey bill. 

Metromile offers a trial called Ride Along™, which gives drivers the opportunity to try pay-per-mile auto insurance before they buy. 

After you download the app and get a free auto insurance quote, you’ll drive as you typically would for about two weeks (you should keep your current insurance provider to maintain insurance coverage during the trial) to show us how much you drive and whether you’re a safe driver. We’ll then use how you drive to show you an accurate rate or give you a discount up to an extra 40% off your quote, depending on your state, for safe driving.

How do car insurance claims work?

Metromile makes it easy to file an auto insurance claim. Here’s how it works and what you can expect if you need to file a claim.

After getting into a car accident or having your car stolen, it’s normal to feel pretty shaken up. After the shock wears off and you ensure everyone involved is okay, it’s time to deal with the not-so-fun part — filing a car insurance claim. 

It can be tough to deal with everything you have to do, and you might have a lot of questions. In this guide, learn about the car insurance claim procedure and what you need to know to get started. 

How do auto insurance claims work?

After a car accident or instance of car theft or damage, you generally need to file a car insurance claim. As part of the insurance claim process for car accidents, vehicle damage, or personal injury, you will want to get in touch with your insurance company and provide details about what happened. 

The car insurance claims process can differ depending on the nature of the event. For example, the insurance claim process for car accidents will be different from a stolen car insurance claim investigation. Typically you’ll need the following information to get started:

  • Names and contact information for everyone involved
  • Insurance policies for both parties (as part of a car accident claim procedure compared to a stolen car insurance claim investigation)
  • The date, time, and location of the incident
  • Photos of any damage 
  • A copy of the police or accident report

When you file a claim with a car insurance company, you’ll get assigned a claims adjuster. The adjuster will review all of the information and determine which party is at fault. In some states, an insurance company can find you partially at fault and therefore partially responsible.

The claims specialist will help determine who’s at fault. If you disagree with the settlement, you can get started with the car insurance claim dispute process.

If the other party is at fault, your insurance company may seek payments from the other insurance provider. If you’re deemed at fault, you’ll need to pay your car insurance deductible. 

How do car insurance deductibles work? 

A car insurance deductible is an amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company covers anything. So let’s say you had a $1,000 deductible, and the damage to your car would cost $3,000, your car insurance provider would cover $2,000 for the repairs. 

It’s important to know how much your deductible is and what type of coverage you have, such as collision coverage or comprehensive coverage

Frequently asked questions about car insurance claims 

You might have a lot of questions about how auto insurance claims work, so here are some answers to some common FAQs. 

Do I need to file an auto insurance claim?

Yes, in most cases, it is advised to file a car insurance claim. 

You must report and file a claim if there has been an accident. If there are minimal damages and no injuries, some people think it’s a good idea to settle with the other party (Hint: it’s often not). You could open yourself up to trouble down the line if they realize the damage is more than they initially realized, and your car insurance company may not cover you since you didn’t report it. 

If the damage to your car is minor, for example, scraping the side door, and no one else is involved, you generally don’t need to file a claim. The cost of repair may be less than your car insurance deductible, which means you’ll have to pay for any necessary fixes out of pocket. 

When do I file an auto insurance claim?

You need to file a claim if there has been an accident or injury involving another party as soon as possible. 

If you’ve experienced car theft, file a claim quickly so your car insurance can get started with a stolen car insurance claim investigation.

Should I file a claim with my insurance or the other person’s insurance?

If a car accident is your fault, you’ll want to file a claim with your own insurance company. 

If you’re not at fault and have collision coverage, it’s a good idea to file a claim with your own insurance company. This is a good route if the other party isn’t cooperative or has issues with their insurance. 

Lastly, if you’re not at fault and want to avoid paying your car deductible, you can file a claim with the other party’s insurance. 

Should I use my insurance company’s network of repair shops?

After a car accident, your car insurance company may refer you to a network of repair shops to help fix the damaged vehicle. These repair shops are vetted and help keep costs affordable, but you’re not required to use them. If you have another repair shop you’d rather work with, you can do so. 

Some people may get a payout if there is a total loss when the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s value, so you may not need to visit a repair shop. 

How long do I have before I need to file an auto insurance claim? 

You should file a claim with your car insurance provider as soon as possible after an accident. Consult with your insurance policy to see about file claim deadlines. 

Why the vehicle insurance claim process is important 

Whether you’re in an accident or dealing with car theft or some other issue, the car insurance claim process is important for a number of reasons. Car insurance can provide financial support or peace of mind during a difficult time.

The auto insurance claims process should ideally be easy to manage, but often, it can lead to a lot of back and forth. That’s why Metromile set out to create a car insurance claim procedure that is different from the rest. 

How car insurance claims work with Metromile

Traditional car insurance companies treat filing a claim differently than Metromile. Notably, Metromile aims to save you the hassle by using technology to help you with the car accident insurance claim procedure. In some cases, your entire claim could be completely automated, meaning you can be made whole again more quickly.

We have AVA, which is Metromile’s AI claims system that can make the car insurance claims process easier than ever. AVA guides you through getting damage photos, collecting information, and even same-day payments for some claims. Using this innovative technology, you can resolve the issue at hand sooner. For example, AVA can help determine what actually happened and connect you with local repair shops or rental cars for your convenience. 

Our goal is to make auto insurance seamless. Because when you’re in a position when you need to file a claim, the last thing you need is to add any more stress to your plate. 

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 I Recovered my Stolen Vehicle with Metromile

After thieves stole Isabel's car from a covered garage in Oakland, Calif., Isabel used the Metromile app. She then recovered her stolen vehicle.

As a long-time Metromile customer — and former Metromile employee! — Isabel is well-versed in the ways of pay-per-mile auto insurance and Metromile’s insurance coverage.

But Metromile still found a way to surprise Isabel.

Now that she’s working from home, her odometer may be taking a break, but her Metromile insurance is still hard at work — most recently helping her recover her stolen Audi in February 2021. Here’s how Metromile reunited Isabel with her car.

What’s been your experience as a car owner living in the city?

Let me start by saying I’ve had terrible luck with parking garages: a popped tire here, a yanked-off bumper there. 

I never had a problem when I lived in San Francisco and would park on the street. You would think someone would have broken in then! Half of the time, I would forget what street I parked on, so I always pulled up the Metromile app to find my car. 

Now I live in Oakland, California, in an apartment building that has an attached covered garage. During the day, it’s open to the public as paid parking. Since I’ve been working from home this past year, I don’t drive very often, and I don’t check the app as frequently anymore. 

How did you find out someone stole your car?

One night I received a text alert from Metromile saying my check engine light was on. It was really bizarre.

I brushed it off, thinking my car was parked safe and sound downstairs. It wasn’t until the next day, around noon, that I discovered my car was missing. I just wanted to get the pack of La Croix I had left in the backseat!

I remembered, from my time on the Metromile customer experience team, when I helped people find their stolen cars; I immediately pulled up the Metromile app to find my car’s whereabouts. 

Luckily, the thieves hadn’t spotted my Pulse device or thought to pull it out. I could see them driving around in Oakland, California. I called the police, and we waited for a few hours until the car stopped moving. It ended up only a mile and a half from my house behind a motel.

How did they manage to get your car out of the garage?

The people who stole my car were very professional. On the security footage, you could see them drive into the garage in another Audi. They managed to start my car without breaking any of the doors or windows. It took them less than five minutes, so they were in and out before they had to pay for parking. 

They exited the garage with both cars close together so they could get out in one go before the barrier arm came down. The police said the way they stole my car is very common nowadays. 

I would have thought that would only be the case in public parking garages. That’s why I pay extra for my parking spot in the first place! 

What state was your car in when you found it?

The thieves had tinted the windows, spray-painted the wheels, and changed the license plates in just a few hours. 

The engine was fine, but they must have tried tinkering with something under the hood, which had prompted the Metromile alert earlier. 

The interior was full of trash and all of the tools you would need to steal cars, like power tools and batteries. There was a cell phone, computer parts, and some people’s identification cards. Thankfully I hadn’t left many personal items or valuable items in the backseat, so I’m really lucky. 

It was pretty inconvenient and feels a little violating, but it could have been much worse had I not had Metromile. 

Having gone through this, what advice do you have for other occasional drivers like yourself?

My tip for other drivers out there: even if you have covered parking, beware. 

Without the help of the Metromile app, I wouldn’t have gotten my car back. Metromile has saved me money, and now, having recovered my car, I love it even more!

The bottom line

As Isabel learned, things can happen to your car, even when you’re not driving much, or take precautions like purchasing covered parking in a garage. This is why it’s important to have the right amount of auto insurance coverage for your lifestyle and budget.

Metromile has reunited drivers with their lost or stolen vehicles. We even boast a 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate as of the end of February 2021.

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 40% off your quote in select states for your safe driving.

How to Get Car Insurance Online

You can buy auto insurance so quickly it’s almost instant. Learn how you can save and get the most accurate car insurance quotes online.

Getting a car insurance policy is now easier than ever. You can do it from the comfort of your own home on your schedule and do it all online. 

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know before getting auto insurance online. 

How to get car insurance quotes online 

Thanks to the magic of the internet, it’s possible to get insurance quotes online easily. Many car insurance companies allow you to get auto insurance quotes online directly from their website in a few simple steps. 

Typically, you’ll need to provide your personal information as well as details about your vehicle, including:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Any recent accidents or traffic violations
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle
  • Drivers license number 
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Current mileage or whether you often drive for professional reasons

Providing this information can help you get the most accurate car insurance quotes online. You might see ads for cheap car insurance online that offer a quick quote anonymously. While it might seem better not to hand over all your personal information to get quotes on car insurance, oftentimes, those rates are inaccurate. 

By providing accurate information about yourself and your vehicle history, you can get a more accurate car insurance quote and make meaningful comparisons to other rates, including your current policy. 

The good news is some car insurance companies will offer a discount if you buy insurance online, so not only is it more convenient, it could save you money as well. 

Consider comparing at least three to five car insurance quotes online so you have a good idea of what average rates are like and so that you can score a great deal. Auto insurance quote comparison is crucial if you want to find a deal and the coverage for your situation. 

Even if you currently have auto coverage, it doesn’t hurt to look at what’s out there. Why? You may be able to find a better rate, as rates are always changing. Plus, you might be eligible for certain discounts you weren’t qualified for before. For example, if you got married, changed jobs, moved, or have a different car from when you purchased your last car insurance policy, check out insurance comparison quotes. You may be able to save money, which could be put toward other things in your life. 

What factors to look at with car insurance quote comparisons

When reviewing insurance quotes online, there are various factors you want to look at to get a fair assessment. 

  • Deductibles. An auto insurance deductible refers to how much you’ll pay the car insurance company before your insurance policy covers anything else. 
  • Liability limits. A liability limit is the maximum amount a car insurance company is willing to pay in the event of an accident or injury. 
  • Coverage types. Car insurance costs can vary depending on the coverage type. There are six types of coverage, including personal injury protection, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
  • Discounts. Many car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers for various reasons, ranging from being accident-free to installing safety equipment in your vehicle, and more. Review which types of car insurance discounts are available with each company. 
  • Extra perks. Compare any additional perks a car insurance company offers. For example, Metromile charges you based on how much you actually drive, so you can save if you don’t drive often. 

Doing your research and looking at all of these factors can make the auto insurance quote comparison process easier. 

The good news is you can do this research online at home to ultimately help you buy car insurance online. You don’t have to go through an agent anymore and can get a car insurance quote exclusively online. 

What determines the cost of auto insurance 

If you’re looking to buy cheap auto insurance online, you probably want to know what actually determines the cost of auto insurance. Here are some common factors that determine the cost of auto insurance:

  • Your age. The older you are, the more affordable your rate may be. Younger, more inexperienced drivers are likely going to have higher rates. 
  • Where you live. This matters because where you park and the city you live in can affect the likelihood of theft and accidents. More populous city drivers typically have higher rates. 
  • Driving history. Your driving history matters. If you have a clean driving record, you’ll score the best rates. If you have speeding tickets or at-fault accidents, your rates will be higher. 
  • Type of car. Your car type determines repair costs, the likelihood of theft, and more, so it affects your car insurance rates. 
  • How much you drive. The more you drive, the more at risk you are for accidents. So how much you drive can affect your rates. 

Some other factors that may be considered include your gender and your credit score, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 

How to get quotes on car insurance online with Metromile 

What makes Metromile unique is that instead of believing you get what you pay for, we believe you pay for what you get. In other words, you pay based on your mileage and how much you actually drive. Instead of a blanket flat-rate amount that doesn’t take your mileage into account, we believe that if you end up driving less, then you should end up paying less, too. 

To get the most accurate and affordable quote with Metromile, you can download our app for free. After that, with our Ride Along™ feature, you’ll score the most accurate quote based on how much you really drive. 

The way it works is you drive as you normally would for 17 days and get your free personalized auto insurance quote. Using our trial (you’ll need to keep your current insurance provider before you switch to Metromile), you get not only an accurate car insurance quote but you could also earn up to an extra 15% to 40% off your initial quote in select states as a bonus for safe driving. 

The Ride Along feature gives you personalized insights into driving behaviors like acceleration, turning corners, and braking. Once your Ride Along is complete, we’ll send you an email with your personalized rate for a pay-per-mile car insurance policy. Then, you can start your coverage with Metromile.

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.

Why do car insurance rates go up?

There are many reasons why your car insurance rates might go up, but with Metromile, you have the power to lower your premiums if you don’t drive very often.

Are your car insurance rates going up?

When it’s time to renew your policy, your car insurance company might send you a letter to let you know your rates are increasing.

That might not be a surprise if you recently got into a car accident or received a speeding ticket. But what if you’ve never filed a claim before? 

Sometimes, even if you drive safely, your car insurance rates might rise for reasons that are out of your control.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why your car insurance might be so high and how a pay-per-mile auto insurance policy from Metromile could help you save money.

What factors impact your car insurance rates? 

Car insurance companies consider a number of factors when setting your premiums.

It’s important to understand that your auto insurance rates could be based on things like:

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why your car insurance rates might be going up.

Why did my car insurance go up? 

There are several reasons why your car insurance rates might go up.

Sometimes your car insurance premiums increase as a direct result of your driving behavior. Other times, it could have nothing to do with you. Your rates could go up simply because of changes in the market.

Here are four common reasons why car insurance rates go up:

1. Your auto insurance rates might go up if your driving record changed. 

If your recent driving shows you might be a risky or dangerous driver, your car insurance premium can increase at renewal.

For example, if you were determined to be at fault in a car accident, you’ll almost certainly notice an increase in your premiums. If you got caught speeding or running a red light, paying the ticket might be the least of your worries. 

Plus, you might lose any safe driver discounts you used to have, which could increase your rates even more. It’s a double whammy and more reason for you to drive safely.

2. Your auto insurance rates could rise for reasons that have nothing to do with driving.

For example, if your credit goes down, your car insurance premiums might increase. 

Even though it has nothing to do with your driving habits, a sharp drop in your credit score could be an indication of risky behavior that insurers fear could carry over to the streets or a greater likelihood of filing a claim.

3. Your auto insurance rates could also go up if you added insurance. 

This could be as simple as buying a new car that’s more expensive to replace, adding a new driver to your policy, especially if it’s a teenage driver, or increasing your coverage amounts. This doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. 

But because the insurance company is taking on more risk or providing more coverage, they could raise your premiums.

4. Your auto insurance rates could also increase for reasons that are beyond your control. 

If you move from a quiet town to a big city, where car accidents and stolen vehicles are more common, your car insurance company might raise your rates to make up for the additional risk.

As car repairs or health care costs go up, they could also increase your premiums because it can become more expensive to pay for any vehicle damages or injuries you might cause in an accident. 

Lastly, don’t forget car insurance companies also have to factor in inflation.

What auto insurance discounts are available? 

Your car insurance company might offer various discounts.

If your car insurance rates are going up because of your driving record, you’ll probably have a difficult time finding another insurance company that will give you a better price. But if they’re increasing your rates for other reasons, you might be able to save money by shopping around for a more affordable car insurance policy that offers better discounts.

Here are some common car insurance discounts that you should make sure to ask for:

  • Safe driver discount or a no-accident discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Mature driver discount
  • Safety equipment installation discount for anti-theft equipment or car alarms, for example
  • Multi-vehicle discount

At Metromile, you could also score a discount of up to an additional 40% off your initial quote in select states by taking a Ride Along™ and demonstrating safe driving. 

What is Ride Along™, and how does it work? 

Ride Along™ is like a free trial that lets you test out Metromile without needing to commit.

All you have to do is download the Metromile app for free. Then, you’ll just drive as you would ordinarily for 17 days. We’ll take it from there and count how many miles you drive, so we can estimate how much you’d pay on a regular basis with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

While we’re at it, we might also consider your driving behavior, like whether you speed or how hard you brake. If you demonstrate you’re a safe driver during this trial period, you might qualify for an additional discount of 15% if you live in Arizona or 40% if you live in Oregon.

Then, you can switch to Metromile and start your coverage. (You won’t be covered by Metromile during your Ride Along.)

How else can I save money on car insurance with Metromile? 

Metromile offers pay-as-you-drive auto insurance.

Instead of charging you a flat rate for car insurance, we start you off with a small base rate and then charge you by the mile after that. 

While your rates may still be determined by things like your driving record, what type of car you have, and where you live, the price you pay is based on how many miles you drive. So if you’re a low-mileage driver, think about how much money you could save on auto insurance!

Miles Driven Per YearPer MonthPer WeekSavings*
10,000 miles833 miles192 miles$541
6,000 miles500 miles115 miles$741
2,500 miles208 miles48 miles$947
*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

What’s next?

Still wondering why your car insurance rates are so high?

If your car insurance rates recently went up, you might be looking for ways to save money. While other auto insurers give you little choice over how much you pay, Metromile puts you in the driver’s seat. We provide you with control over how much you pay each month based on how many miles you drive.

The less you drive, the more you save. 

Think you might be a low-mileage driver? Get a free auto insurance quote from Metromile today to see how much you could save.

Behind the Scenes with Junna Ro, Metromile’s New General Counsel

Junna Ro joined Metromile as general counsel. A former AAA insurer chief ethics and compliance officer, she is excited about making auto insurance accessible for more people.
Junna Ro, Metromile’s new general counsel

We founded Metromile to offer what we believe no one else currently can: Insurance you pay for only when you use it. Our goal is to reinvent insurance for drivers with an exceptional experience, including smart-driving features and the opportunity for lower rates with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Junna Ro, an insurance industry veteran of 15 years, recently joined Metromile as general counsel. She has dedicated her career to advocating for others and working to make insurance more accessible, and we are excited to welcome her to the Metromile community.

We asked Junna why she decided to join the community and what she is most excited about for Metromile.

What should people know about you, Junna?

I’m a native San Franciscan. I went to UCLA and majored in political science before attending Santa Clara University School of Law. I started my legal career in-house at VERITAS Software, a software company focused on backup and storage software. I know something about hyper growth: I was there for seven years, including the merger with Symantec. When I started, we had about 700 employees, and the company grew to about 14,000 employees when I left.

What did you learn from your experience at AAA?

I saw an opportunity to work for a trusted, well-known brand: AAA. I moved to CSAA Insurance Group, an AAA insurance company; but AAA is more than just insurance: it offers a full package of travel services and automotive and roadside assistance services. They’re very values-based and customer service-oriented as a membership organization, and it’s something that made for a really great experience as an employee. The change in culture and mindset was very compelling.

I learned a lot there, especially about the critical role that insurance plays in the economy. You’re protecting people’s assets and personal interests. Insurance is important, as it gives people the opportunity to pursue their goals with peace of mind, knowing that they’re protected. I love that insurance is there to help you during a time of need, to help you get back on your feet after you’ve experienced a setback — that really resonates with me.

How did you decide to join Metromile?

Transitioning to a values-based, customer service-oriented organization was important to me, especially when it aligns with my values. Seeing how it makes such a difference from an employee perspective was striking, and it translates into a better customer experience. You’re creating a community at Metromile, and it translates into how you treat your customers.

The idea that Metromile is an insurance company that started as a technology company is also attractive because there’s an opportunity to truly innovate in an industry that I believe has otherwise gone relatively unchanged for many decades. Frankly, coming from a traditional insurance company that’s been around for a long time, I know the challenges that come with trying to innovate. Being a part of the movement at Metromile to do things differently so that we can be relevant and accessible for the next generation of drivers, and meet and exceed their expectations, is exciting.

What opportunities do you see for Metromile?

I think Metromile is on the cutting edge of doing something very relevant, including making traditional insurance processes easier. We want to create a new insurance customer experience, especially for those driving less or taking alternative forms of transportation for their lifestyle or the environment.

Many traditional insurance companies are challenged with moving into the digital world, which is imperative in today’s market. I want to help drivers understand their coverage and demystify the policy, so people know what they purchased and how it will come to their help during their time of need. 

You’ve dedicated your career to advocating for others. Based on your experience, what can the insurance industry do to promote diversity, belonging and inclusion?

We still have a way to go. I remember walking into an insurance industry conference earlier in my career, and I felt like the odd one out. I didn’t see a lot of people that look like me. While there has been progress made today, I’ll say the industry still lags with the representation of women and people of color, especially in executive leadership ranks across the board. 

I firmly believe that representation matters. It is crucial to understand your customers and to be knowledgeable about their experiences and needs; this is relevant if you want to stay relevant. We have a way to go, and I want to be part of that movement.

I worked together with colleagues to found an organization called the National Association for Diversity in Compliance with compliance leaders at different companies. We thought it was essential to provide a place to support each other’s careers and ensure people feel they have a voice. We saw there were no other organizations focused on diversity in the compliance profession and found like-minded people to provide a great network for professionals, wherever they are in their careers.

What are you passionate about?

Recently, I got more actively involved with civic engagement. I was a political science major, and the recent election brought me back to my college days. I volunteered and took six shifts of an election protection hotline to help voters in various states across the country understand their voting rights. I answered questions like where their polling place was, how to navigate voter eligibility rules, and how to find safe alternatives to voting in person. It was gratifying to me, and it made me realize it’s so easy to take our democracy for granted. Representation is important.

I was also passionate about getting out the vote. It resonated with me. When I was in college, I was 17 on election day during a presidential election year. I was so frustrated that I wasn’t old enough to vote. I remembered that and helped register students who turned 18 after election day to vote in the subsequent U.S. Senate runoff elections in January. Even amid the pandemic, I found ways to get back to my roots and get involved in meaningful ways.

Most importantly, how do you spend your time?

I love to spend time with my family. We’ve been bonding a lot more because of the pandemic, and I treasure my time with them. I have two teenage kids: my son is a first-year at UCLA and was a nationally ranked competitive fencer, and my daughter is a junior in high school who is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter. She’s the creative writer in the family. The pandemic has allowed us to slow down from our otherwise harried pre-pandemic life. We have game nights, and they work hard to win.

How Washington State Drivers Can Save on Auto Insurance

Drivers in Washington state could save with Metromile’s pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Whether you live in Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, or Walla Walla or closer to Canada or the Olympic Mountains, chances are you could get more from your car insurance coverage.

Washington state drivers can save with pay-per-mile auto insurance and keep the same or better coverage.

How to save on auto insurance in Washington state

More than 124 million Americans, including many Washington state drivers, could be paying too much for auto insurance because they do not pay per mile.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance, sometimes called “pay as you go” or “pay as you drive” auto insurance, is based on your actual driving. It can be fairer because it focuses on how far you drive, which gives you control over how much you want to pay.

Savings can be substantial and add up fast. According to a recent survey of new customers who saved with Metromile, drivers can save as much as $947 a year in savings.

Miles driven per yearPer monthPer daySavings*
10,000833 miles192 miles$541
6,000500 miles115 miles$741
2,500208 miles48 miles$947
* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

You can find out whether pay-per-mile auto insurance is right for you for free.

Metromile’s Ride Along™ helps drivers get a more accurate rate and understand whether they could save with pay-per-mile car insurance before they buy.

Washington state drivers can download the Metromile app and drive with us. Metromile observes your actual driving for about two weeks, including how many miles you drive, to show you your rate.

Washington state drivers can earn additional auto insurance discounts.

Senior drivers can save on auto insurance with Metromile in recognition of their mature driving practices. Metromile customers who insure multiple cars on the same policy or install safety equipment or features in their cars could also earn discounts.

How are auto insurance rates determined in Washington state?

Insurers in Washington state consider different factors when setting auto insurance rates. Some of the most common factors include coverage limits and deductibles, claims history, driving history, vehicle type, vehicle theft rates, and many others.

Don’t forget to shop around for auto insurance regularly because rates can change over time.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance can be fairer because it helps drivers control their costs. Metromile customers’ bills update in almost real time because they pay per mile.

Metromile charges a base rate and a per-mile rate, usually just a few cents for each mile driven, each month. The low monthly base rate keeps your car covered, even when you might not be driving, almost like how a cell phone provider might charge you a small fee to keep your telephone number and line operating.

What auto insurance coverage do I need in Washington state?

Making sure you have the right amount of car insurance is important. This is why Metromile provides flexible coverage options, which can be customized for every driver’s needs or lifestyle.

Washington state minimum requirements for car insurance are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. 

Many drivers in Washington state pick higher limits or add comprehensive and collision coverage for extra peace of mind.

The bottom line

There are many ways to save on car insurance, and many Washington state drivers choose Metromile.

Many drivers are low-mileage drivers, and we’re proud to support our community of drivers with familiar coverage and provide some value as a leading pay-per-mile auto insurance company in the U.S.

If you don’t drive often or find yourself driving less than you did before, you could save with Metromile. Find out how much you could save with a free quote or take a Ride Along™ to learn more.