8 Things You Should Never Leave in Your Car

Hide your phone chargers and take your wallet – if you live in an urban area, you already know to not leave anything in your car that could potentially attract thieves. Not leaving chocolate bars, lollipops, or anything that could potentially melt and cause a mess is also a no-brainer. But did you know that you shouldn’t leave a pair of glasses in the car? How about sunscreen? If these surprised you, keep reading to find out the eight things you should never leave in your car.


    1. Glasses:
    First up: glasses and sunglasses. If you’re thinking, “I have a pair of sunglasses in my car right now”, don’t panic. This rule is really only applicable if it’s a particularly sunny or warm day. Leaving glasses on your dashboard can cause the plastic to melt, warping your precious specs. Metal frames could become too hot to touch (let alone too hot to wear) due to the way that the windshield attracts and traps sunlight.

    2. Medications:
    Most medications, whether prescription or otherwise, are sensitive to temperature changes. On a hot day, a car can act like an oven, trapping in the heat; on a cold day, a car can act like a refrigerator, trapping in the cold. In order to ensure your medications retain the greatest potency, it’s important to keep them in a cool, dry place – and this place is not your car. If you have certain medications you take on-the-go with you every day, we suggest that you keep them in your purse or bag instead.

    3. Wine:
    Glass bottles are also very sensitive to temperature changes. If left in a hot car, the wine inside the glass bottle will expand and the bottle might burst or the wine might seep around the cork. If you don’t want to clean up a giant mess or have your car smelling like wine for weeks, it’s best to take your after-work purchase inside right away (and drink it, obvs).

    4. Electronics:
    Okay, if you leave electronics in your car in plain sight I won’t feel bad when someone breaks your window and steals them (harsh but true). However, not only are they thief-candy, but electronics and heat/cold do not mix. A car is not like a building – it doesn’t regulate heat in the same way. Once a car is not running, the temperature inside can fluctuate drastically and may cause irreversible damage to phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, etc.

    5. Plastic water bottles:
    Most modern translucent plastic is made from polyethylene terephthalate and contains BPA (the chemical that gives the plastic strength). When cold/room temperature, BPA is inert; however, when heated up, BPA can seep out of plastic and into the liquid it surrounds. Drinking water from a plastic bottle that’s been left in a hot car is quite dangerous for your health, as BPA has been linked to certain kinds of cancers. If you must leave water in your car, it’s much safer to do so in a glass, ceramic, or metal bottle.

    6. Cosmetics:
    Boys, this one doesn’t apply to you so keep scrolling. Ladies, we shell out a lot of cash for those expensive cosmetics – don’t let them get ruined by leaving them in your car! On a warm day, your NARS lipstick will turn into a waxy, red puddle. On a cold day, your Benefit mascara will freeze in the tube and become dry and unusable. Protect your cosmetics and don’t leave them in your car, as tempting as it is for a quick on-the-go touch-up.

    7. Sunscreen:
    If I surprised you by mentioning that sunscreen should never be left in the car, let me explain. The active ingredients in sunscreen break down when exposed to heat; the shelf life becomes shorter and the efficacy reduced. Additionally, you could be left with a big, greasy mess to clean up if the heat in your car causes the cap to blow off.

    8. Flammable liquids:
    All flammable liquids have a warning printed on the side of the canister. This includes hairspray, spray paint, aerosol cans (of any kind), lighters, etc. This is because, above these temperature recommendations, the contents of the pressurized canisters can expand and potentially explode. When dealing with combustibles, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Off to go clean out your car? Don’t worry – We won’t tell! Of course, you should never leave pets or children in a car, even if it’s just for a moment. As always: be sure to get a quote with Metromile today – it only takes a few minutes and could be the best switch you make all year!

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

Is Car Insurance Tax Deductible?

By now, you’re probably well (if not painfully) aware that it’s tax season. And while you’re busy crunching numbers and tracking down receipts, you’re likely looking for every deduction possible to help maximize your refund. So can you count car insurance as one of your tax-deductible expenses? The answer of course is: it depends.


When You Can (and Should) Deduct Car Costs From Your Taxes

Let’s start with the positive side of things: scenarios in which car insurance payments can totally count as tax-deductible costs:

  • If you’re self-employed and use your car for business-related purposes. Great news! If you’re self-employed and use your car for business purposes, you might just be able to deduct a portion of your insurance premium. For example, if you’re a contractor and you use your truck to carry supplies to and from job sites, you can likely write off your full insurance premium, plus the cost of other expenses like gas. The catch here is that your vehicle has to primarily be used for explicit business tasks; using it to commute to and from the office isn’t enough to justify a business expense.
  • If you’re an employee and your employer doesn’t plan to reimburse you for the money you’ve spent on business uses of your vehicle. You could be eligible to write off your car costs as an employee if your job requires you to conduct business while driving or if you use your car to travel for work-related events or meetings.

In either case, here’s how to know if your car use qualifies for deductions: The costs related to your vehicle have to total more than 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). So, for example, if your adjusted gross income for the year is $50,000, any costs you plan to claim that are related to that vehicle (like insurance, gas, etc.) have to exceed $1,000 (i.e. 2% of $50,000).

When You Can’t (and Shouldn’t) Deduct Car Costs From Your Taxes

  • Your car is for personal use only (or your business-related driving costs are less than 2% of your AGI). So if your adjusted gross income for the year is $50,000, you won’t be able to claim costs if they’re $1,000 or under.

When It’s a Maybe

  • You use your vehicle for both business and personal reasons. If you’re using your car for both business and pleasure (think: Lyft or Uber drivers, for examples), you can only write off the cost of your insurance up to the proportion of time it’s used for business. So, for example, if you’re using it to work as a rideshare driver 25% of the time, and driving around town for personal reasons the other 75% of the time, you can only list 25% of the insurance premium cost on your taxes.
  • Your car was stolen or deemed a “total loss” (i.e. it was damaged to the point of being permanently un-drivable). Whether your car is for personal or business use, if it’s stolen or irreparably damaged, you might be able to claim loss deductions. The stipulations:
      1. You have to file a car insurance claim.
      2. The accident couldn’t have been due to your negligence.
      3. Your insurance company can’t reimburse the full cost of your loss (but if the damage exceeds the policy limits, you may be able to deduct the difference as well as your insurance deductible cost.
      4. The costs are more than $100 and over 10% of your AGI.

Regardless of whether your car costs are deductible, it’s always a smart idea to pay only for what you need — that’s why Metromile makes so much sense for every type of driver out there. Pay-per-mile insurance costs less because it’s based on how many miles you drive. If you spend less time behind the wheel, you spend less money on insurance, period. Get your personalized quote right now and see how much you could be saving.

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.

Car Buying Tips From a Car Salesman

When it comes to buying cars, most people would rather go in for a root canal than step foot on a salesroom floor. Car dealerships are filled with pushy salesmen, on the prowl for their next victim to prey upon and doing anything to make a sale. Right? Well, no – not necessarily. In fact, many car salesmen really do want to help you find the right car for you, even if it means not making the sale right away.


We spoke to an anonymous car salesman, who spilled the beans on the best insider tips and tricks to getting the best deal on your next car purchase. So whether you’re thinking of buying a new car in the next week or the next 5 years, keep reading to get the inside scoop direct from the horse’s – ahem, car salesman’s – mouth.

New vs. Used Cars:

According to our anonymous source, there’s about a 50/50 ratio between customers looking to buy new vs. used vehicles. This comes down to two very different types of customers – price shoppers and product shoppers.

  • Price shoppers: these are the customers looking only at the cost of the vehicle, i.e. monthly payments plus total costs. These customers usually have a dollar amount in mind when entering a negotiation with a car salesman.
  • Product shoppers: these are customers looking at model options and packages available for their vehicle of choice. They usually have a very specific or custom car they are looking to buy and price not the major factor in their decision.

Price shoppers will typically be looking at used cars, and product shoppers almost exclusively look at new cars. Of course there is some overlap, but for the most part, customers fall into these two categories.

Buying vs. Leasing Cars:

Our anonymous source has been in the car sales business for over 5 years, and he believes that leasing a car and then buying out the lease when the term is up is usually a better option for most people due to the residual value of a car. When considering buying out a lease, factor in these considerations:

  • How much do you love the car? If you’re considering the lease-then-buyout route, make sure you pick a car that you truly love. That way, when your lease term is coming to an end, it will make your decision to buy out easier.
  • How much has really changed with the newer models? If not much has changed in the newer models of your car, then why take on a bigger payment when the vehicle is essentially the same? Our source recommends sticking with your current car instead of upping your payments if not much has changed.
  • If a leased car is in an accident, the residual value stays the same. Yep, it’s true. If you get into an accident with your lease, all you’d need to do is pay to get it repaired and turn the lease in. Then, you don’t have to worry about saddling yourself with a car that has a bad Carfax history. Cars with a bad Carfax history garner 5-10% less in trade-in value than a car with a clean Carfax history.


According to our source, there are two drastically different ways to go about pricing:

  • Used cars: When customers come in to buy a used car, they typically know exactly what vehicle they’re looking for and what they want to pay. With used cars, it’s harder to know exactly what the price is (the pricing usually varies from dealership to dealership). Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the value of the vehicle according to Kelly Blue Book might be skewed lower, due to dealership loyalties, incentives, etc.
  • New cars: It’s much easier to figure out the pricing on a new car – most dealerships use the baseline MSRP. However, when negotiating, go off of the invoice price always (only about 20% of our source’s customers know this fact when going into a negotiation with him!). Something else to keep in mind: dealerships in larger cities (LA, SF, NY) usually price their vehicles based on invoice prices, because they know their customers are more savvy and most are looking for the best deal.

A Car Salesman’s Top 6 Tips to Getting the Best Deal on a Car:

    1. Talk to 4 or 5 different dealerships. After talking to all of them, pit each dealership against each other to determine who is going to give you the best value and customer service.

    2. Do research before you set foot on a sales floor. Doing research beforehand will help you make a more informed decision, and empower you to feel confident in the throes of price negotiations.

    3. Pay attention to additional dealer-installed add-ons and additional fees. This is where they get ya. Many times, you don’t need the add ons – and always ask if there’s a fee that you don’t understand.

    4. Check out the marketing initiatives. Each month, car manufacturers will do marketing incentives on new cars. This means that sometimes their new models might be discounted to encourage purchase! Be sure to check out the marketing initiatives before making a purchase.

    5. Timing is key. The best time of year to purchase a car are in the Spring and in the Fall. These are the times of year that car manufacturers are coming out with new models, and dealerships are looking to move aged inventory. A price-conscious shopper would be at an advantage in negotiations during these times of the year.

    6. Shop small. Customers should avoid larger, one-price, “no-haggle” dealerships (such as Penske or Carmax), as there is zero negotiation. When shopping, you should try going to a smaller, niche, or family-owned dealership to get a better deal on a car – simply because they are more likely to negotiate with you.

So there you have it, straight from the mouth of a car salesman himself! At the end of the day, finding a car salesman that you can trust to guide you through the process is just as important as the vehicle itself. As always, if you’re buying or leasing a new car, or are just shopping around for a car insurance policy that will save you money, consider making the switch to Metromile! Happy haggling!

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

Everything You Need to Know About Self-Driving Cars

We may not quite be onto flying cars quite yet, but 2018 is certainly poised to be the year of self-driving cars. If you are in the Bay Area, you’ve certainly seen them tooling around neighborhoods in San Francisco – and if you’re not in the Bay Area, just know that they will most likely be coming to your area within the next few years. We here at Metromile are interested in this topic because we are all about smart tech making your life easier. We also think our usage-based model is best suited to meet the insurance needs of autonomous vehicles, which you can learn more about here.


If the extent of your knowledge on the topic of self-driving cars consists of setting cruise control on the highway, then keep reading for a major knowledge download.

First, let’s talk about the technology:

There are two key players in the self-driving car space: Tesla and Alphabet/Waymo (the parent company of Google). Tesla is pushing for a vision-based system, with cameras positioned strategically around the vehicle taking in the 360º view of surroundings as the car moves. The system then processes all the camera inputs in real time and attempts to synthesize all inputs in the surroundings. Tesla also utilizes fleet data, wherein all Tesla cars on the road are mapping their surroundings and are contributing to one central database so that all other Teslas can benefit from this data simultaneously. This model is entirely based on machine learning and artificial intelligence and combines multiple data sources to operate a vehicle.

Alphabet/Waymo has a LIDAR system (Light Detection and Ranging) on their vehicles, which is a spinning apparatus on the top of the car that sends out lasers and measures how long it takes for them to bounce back – similar to how bats use echolocation! This system is able to definitively calculate the distance of objects, and is much more accurate and reliable than a vision-based system. However, LIDAR does not work very well in fog, rain, or dust, due to its use of light wavelengths, and doesn’t distinguish color and contrast. There is speculation in the community that Alphabet may be the first company in the world to crack Level 5 autonomy (more on the levels of autonomy below). Additionally, after a bad (and highly publicized) breakup with Uber, Alphabet has struck up a partnership with Lyft – which suggests a tighter pairing between Alphabet’s self-driving car technology and Lyft’s transportation network.

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

Fully-Autonomous vs. Semi-Autonomous: What’s the Difference?

Let’s talk levels, shall we? Levels are how the self-driving technology community defines the level of autonomy in a vehicle. Levels 0 & 1 are the regular cars we drive today with no degree of autonomy; Level 5 is a fully autonomous vehicle that needs no human intervention. Level 5 is the Holy Grail status that all the players in the space are striving for and no company has yet to create. Speculation in the community states that we are still about 5 years out from developing a Level 5 vehicle, although many of the aforementioned companies are on their way to developing Level 4 technology. Level 4 means that the car can pretty much drive itself but there still needs to be a human driver paying attention, for safety. The differences in technology between Level 4 and Level 5 are not vast, and simply have more to do with the level of confidence in the tech than anything else.

Currently, Tesla has developed an autopilot system at Level 3 autonomy that is available in Tesla models on the roads today. This technology scans where the lane markings are and steers to make sure to stay in the lane. It also scans for any obstacles in the road and steers or brakes to avoid them. Given these two factors, the car will speed up if there are no obstacles and will brake or swerve if there are. It performs these actions best on highways and acts, essentially, as a fancy cruise control.

The Current Regulatory Landscape:

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

What we are seeing here is that self-driving technology is very new and still evolving. Many of the kinks have yet to be worked out, but we are excited to see what comes next. As always, be sure to get a quick free quote from Metromile and see how much you could be saving on your car insurance! See ya on the roads.

What are your thoughts on the future of self-driving cars? Sound off 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

The Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Car Insurance

Here at Metromile, we are focused on educating consumers about the benefits of usage-based insurance. What sounds like a confusing topic can easily be broken down into easy-to-digest pieces. As pioneers of the pay-per-mile car insurance model, we are always happy to clarify any confusion about how pay-per-mile car insurance works. So, for your reading pleasure, we are pleased to announce: the Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Insurance. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and dig in!


What is usage-based insurance?

Usage-based insurance simply means that you pay what you drive. It is measured by how many miles you drive your vehicle, like with Metromile’s pay-mile-mile model. Usage-based insurance tracks your mileage using a device which plugs into your OBD-II port and measures the number of trips you take per day and how many miles you drive on those trips. This device may collect other data that can be utilized by the policyholder (such as sudden stops, hard braking, etc.), but at Metromile, only the miles you drive are used to price the premium.

Usage-based insurance models are founded on the idea that the less time a driver spends on the road, the less likely an accident will occur. Usage-based car insurance is great for low-mileage drivers and can help them save on their yearly total insurance premium. Usage-based insurance premiums are paid monthly (instead of upfront once a year) because the total amount paid is calculated based on how many miles you drive, which will likely vary month to month.

How usage is tracked

Usage is tracked using a device plugged into the OBD-II port. The technical name for this type of data collection is telematics. Using telematics, insurance companies can charge a premium based on usage-based or behavior based insurance models. Here at Metromile, we are usage-based and price our customers’ premiums based on how many miles they drive, which is collected through the Pulse device.

We believe that high mileage is one of the biggest risk indicators, based simply on the fact that you’re inherently spending more time on the road. Overall, the less time spent on the road, the less likely you’ll get into an accident. This is why Metromile is proud to offer the same great insurance coverage at affordable rates to low-mileage drivers!

Behavior-based vs. Usage-based Insurance Models

With behavior-based insurance models, the overall cost of your premiums are dependent upon your driving behavior. Insurance companies that offer this kind of coverage will use devices to monitor how you drive, as many of them have deemed driving behavior to be one of the most important indicators of risk; i.e. a driver who frequently slams the brakes has a higher probability of involving themselves in an accident. This is the reason why some insurance companies reward good driving behavior with discounts on your premiums. The trade off, however, is that your driving behavior will be monitored – and the occasional mistake could affect the cost of your premium. The way insurers measure safety varies, but some of the most common factors include the time of day, average speed, sudden acceleration and hard braking.

With usage-based insurance models, like Metromile’s pay-per-mile model, your costs are dependent upon how much you drive. Bottom line – the less you drive, the less you pay. With Metromile, customers pay a monthly base rate, plus an additional pennies-per-mile rate. Your monthly bill will fluctuate based on how much you drove that month (not based on your driving behavior). Because the monthly bill is based on exact mileage, Metromile typically saves low-mileage (under 200 miles per week) drivers a significant amount of money compared to the discounts offered by other usage-based programs. On average, Metromile customers are saving $500 a year – woohoo!

The benefits of usage-based insurance don’t stop at financial savings either. By paying-per-mile, our customers are taking control of how much they drive and reducing unnecessary trips, which benefits the environment as well. Additionally, usage-based insurance models utilize measurement devices which can provide additional perks; with the Metromile Pulse and smart driving app, you can monitor your car’s health, get street sweeping alerts, track and manage trip data, and even locate your vehicle with the GPS tracker.

How reliable is usage-based insurance?

Funny you should ask! Metromile raised over $190 million in funding last year which we used to acquire an insurance carrier. Our policy is to set aside the majority of the premium payments we receive to cover claims, which allows us to always have more than the required amount of funds to oversee claims made by our customers. Additionally, our Metromile claims team is comprised of industry experts with many years of experience at major insurance companies, with both extensive knowledge of best practices as well as plans to continuously improve the experience. From our always-available claims teams to our industry-leading customer service, we are working non-stop to make sure you have a best-in-class experience every time you interact with Metromile. We’ve also been reinsured by some of the most trusted names in the Finance and Insurance industries, HSCM Bermuda, MAPRFRE RE, and Hudson.

FAQ: The Low-Down

Over the years, we’ve gotten many questions about per-mile insurance. It’s a good thing that we have answers!

  • How much money will I save with per-mile insurance?
  • On average, our customers are saving up to $500 per year (and that’s just an average – some are saving even more!). Visit our homepage, answer a few questions about yourself and your car, and you will immediately be able to see a preliminary quote. Use the savings calculator to see how much money you could save in a year by switching to Metromile!

  • Can I choose my coverage?
  • Yes! Just like with the car insurance policy you have now, you have the ability to choose your deductible amount and liability protection. If you don’t need comprehensive or collision insurance (read more about those here), set the deductible to “no coverage.” You’ll be able to edit coverages in the quote, choose between different liability protection packages, and see the monthly base rate – as well as per-mile costs.

  • What does per-mile insurance cover?
  • Metromile covers you just like any other car insurance. We offer full coverage, including collision coverage (the damage that occurs to your car in the event of a collision) and comprehensive coverage (damage that occurs to your car, including damage not in the event of a collision). To cover property damage and injury to others, you can choose bodily injury liability limits of up to $250,000/$500,000. Read more here about the different kinds of coverage policies that Metromile provides its customers.

  • How is my monthly bill calculated?
  • The monthly base rate varies based on the number of days in the month and how much you drive. For example, if your base rate is $50 a month and you drove 200 miles this month at $0.20/mile, your bill would be $90. Additionally, you aren’t charged for the miles you drive over 250 a day (150 in New Jersey). Each month your bill will consist of your monthly base rate for the month ahead plus the cost of the miles that you drove during that billing cycle.

  • Do I need to install the app before I get the insurance?
  • Nope! You do not need our app in order to have our insurance. The Metromile app is only one of two places to see your account info, which we visualize for you in aesthetically appealing graphs and charts. The other way to access your account is via the online dashboard (just log in at metromile.com).

  • Does my monthly base rate ever change?
  • Your quoted policy lasts for six months, unless you make mid-policy changes. After six months is up, your monthly rate will be re-evaluated. Several factors can affect or increase your rate, such as citations and violations.

  • How do I pay my Metromile insurance?
  • The amount due is automatically billed each month to the debit / credit card that you provide during sign-up. We make it easy for you to update your billing information anytime – simply edit on the online dashboard or in the app.

  • What other benefits are included with Metromile insurance?
  • 24/7 roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement are optional coverages that can be included when having comprehensive and collision coverage. We also provide street sweeping alerts in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, diagnose your car’s health, and provide MPG to all of our customers!

  • What if I decide I to sell my car or realize that I need to drive it much more often than I originally planned?
  • The adventure of life includes change – maybe you’ll decide to not have a car anymore, or you may have a new commute that requires putting more miles on the road. We understand! We realize that pay-per-mile car insurance may not work financially for you all the time. However, we hope it becomes a considered option if it fits well within your current lifestyle.

If you think per-mile insurance could help you save each month, get your free quote today and see how much extra savings you could pocket! Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us at 1.888.311.2909 or http://metromile.com/help!

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

So You Got in an Accident… Now What?

I once heard getting into a car accident compared to standing in the shower and suddenly realizing that you’re on one of those waterslides where the floor drops out from underneath you. While I cannot validate the validity of that comparison (I’ve never been in a car accident OR on one of those waterslides), I do know that the situation can be jarring, confusing, and disorienting – regardless of how the accident occurred.

It’s important to feel prepared and in control, so here are our tips to handle an accident if it ever happens to you.


How to Handle an Accident

  • Keep cool and quickly take stock of the situation. Are you injured? Is everyone else in the car okay? If so, move to a safe location to prevent further damage. If it’s not possible to move your car, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your position.
  • Make sure your car is fully stopped (in park or with the emergency brake on, if you drive a manual transmission) before getting out of the vehicle. For your safety, check the mirrors to be sure that it’s safe to get out; if you carry items such as road flares or beacons, take them out and set them up as an extra precautionary measure.
  • Check for injuries on both yourself and others involved. Were there passengers? Pedestrians or cyclists? Other drivers? If there is a chance that someone is seriously injured, call an ambulance right away. Also, when in doubt, alert the police of the incident – even if the accident was a minor fender bender. The police can be an invaluable resource in determining fault (if any). Let them be the objective judge to determine who is at fault for the collision. As an added tip, be polite, but do not tell anyone that you think the accident was your fault (even if you’re pretty sure that it was). Even saying “I’m sorry” can be construed as an admission of guilt in some circumstances.
  • Gather the below information from all parties involved in the accident:
      1. Driver and passenger names (it might also be a good idea to get an email address and a photo of the driver, if you can)
      2. Insurance information from all parties involved in the collision
      3. License plate numbers
      4. Makes and models of all vehicles involved
      5. Contact information for any eyewitnesses
      6. Location of the accident
      7. The name and badge number of any responding police officers

    Be very careful about the information you give out to the other parties. Never give out your social security number, and never sign a document unless it’s for the police or your insurance company.

  • Take photos and videos to document the scene. I remember back in the day before smartphones, it was recommended that you carry a disposable camera in the glovebox. Now we can just take all the pictures and videos with our phone! If your phone was damaged or lost in the crash, ask a bystander to take some photos and videos and email them to you. Note any skid marks, signs, lights, lane markings, road construction, line of sight – the more the better when it comes time to file that claim with your insurance company.
  • Try to get a police report. Getting this information will make it much easier to file a claim with your insurance company. The officer’s opinion of the accident will be useful if you and the other driver(s) happen to have a dispute about who was to blame for the accident. The police report will also have the officer’s information on it in case the officer is needed to testify in court. Also, don’t ever leave the scene before an officer arrives. Leaving the scene before exchanging information and reporting it to law enforcement is considered a misdemeanor offense in some jurisdictions.
  • Go to the doctor right away. Even if you feel fine, injuries from car accidents can rear their ugly heads well after the fact. In the moment, adrenaline can mask symptoms of an injury, so it’s best to get checked out by your doctor right away or as soon as you can after the accident. One of the most common injuries is whiplash, which can take up to 24 hours to appear. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the biggest warning signs:
      1. Neck pain and stiffness
      2. Worsening of pain with neck movement
      3. Loss of range of motion in the neck
      4. Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
      5. Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
      6. Tingling or numbness in the arms
      7. Fatigue
      8. Dizziness

    Get yourself checked out by a doctor as soon as your start to experience any combination of these symptoms after your accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially with injuries that involve the spinal cord and neck.

  • File a claim with your insurance company. With Metromile, it’s easy to file a claim and submit photos right through your phone! Be sure to include any and all information you received, including photos and a police report if you’re able to obtain it.

Accident Checklist:

    1. Keep cool and make sure your car is fully stopped before getting out.
    2. Check if anyone in either car needs medical attention. If there are injuries, call 911 immediately. Move your car out of the flow of traffic if you can.
    3. Report the accident to local authorities/police.
    4. While awaiting police, do not admit guilt or say anything that could be construed as admission of guilt, such as “I’m so sorry.”
    5. Take photos and videos of both cars, the driver, skid marks, signs, lights, lane markings, road construction, line of sight, etc.
    6. Get a police report.
    7. Go to the doctor right away.
    8. File a claim with your insurance company.

With the right preparation, accident day (and the horrible stressful feeling that comes with it) should only last for a second, and Metromile is here to help you through the process. If you are a pay-per-mile insurance customer and are in an accident, you can reach the Metromile claims team 24/7 at 888-215-9176. Whether you need help locating repair facilities or need an update on work being done, we can get you the information you need. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible! If you’re not already a Metromile customer, be sure to get a quick quote now!

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

How To Make the Most out of Daylight Saving Time This Spring

There’s something a little bit magical about this time of year. The dark veil of winter is finally lifting – we’re all able to crawl out of our caves where we’ve been loafing to get a few more hours back in our day! To be honest, our bodies have been in hibernation mode a little too long and the fact that it’s Girl Scout Cookie season does not help matters. So while we may lose an hour of sleep in the mornings (shhh…), what we gain in Vitamin D is enough to make anyone forget about that little tidbit – after all, we’ve got a lot of life to catch up on and a lot of cookies to burn off!


In preparation for setting our clocks forward this Sunday, March 11, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ways to make the most of Daylight Saving Time this spring.

  • Take the long way home.Who wants to be stuck in traffic for an hour when the spring weather is begging to be enjoyed? Ditch the highway for the back roads and catch a scenic drive that would have otherwise been missed in the dark. We’re holding onto the days of cruising with the windows down, the tunes up, and our cell phone relegated to our back pocket. Oh, and Metromile has you covered with their 24/7 roadside assistance, should anything happen while you’re out on the roads!
  • Go for an extra-long stroll in the park. Going for a long walk in your local park is the perfect way to leave behind all the struggles of your day and see some nature while you’re at it. If you have a pup, be sure to bring her along – your furry companion will most certainly appreciate the extra opportunity to stretch and play outside!
  • Meet friends for happy hour outside. Now that it’s staying lighter later, it’s the perfect excuse to rally your friends to try that new bar with the outdoor patio. Plan to meet after work for a drink at happy hour and relish the extra time you get to spend with your closest pals enjoying the extra hour of daylight.
  • Get in an extra workout. If working out in the mornings makes you want to die (same), the lighter days may leave you more energized to exercise after work. Ditch the gym or SoulCycle for an outdoor yoga class, boot camp, or light jog. Since it will be light later into the evening, you can safely incorporate this extra workout without feeling uneasy about nighttime prowlers.
  • Ride your bike home. Riding your bike when it’s dark outside is a risky game of will-they-or-won’t-they see me and should probably be avoided, if possible. However, once Daylight Saving Time goes into effect, it opens up all kinds of new possibilities. Try riding your bike home from work a few days a week and see just how refreshing it is to be outside in the fresh air again!
  • Clean up outside. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor area and it’s looking a little worse for the wear after winter, it’s time to get out there and get sprucing! Use the extra hour after work to clean up outside and get your outdoor area ready for enjoying and entertaining. Then once it’s tidy, you can host happy hour at your place after work!

There are so many things to do with the extra hour of daylight – from scenic drives to meeting friends for happy hour al fresco, we’ll be using that extra daylight to the fullest here at Metromile. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour this Sunday and see ya outside!

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 Complete Guide to Researching and Buying Car Insurance

You may not associate shopping for car insurance with a high-stakes game of blackjack, but the truth is, both are a gamble. Picking the right policy is a game of risk: insurance carriers are constantly managing and mitigating unpredictable circumstances while policyholders are the ones actually living through the daily uncertainties of treacherous traffic jams, storms, and other hazardous road conditions.


Life is risky enough; there’s no need to up the ante and play games when it comes to insurance coverage. That’s why we’ve created this guide to walk you through researching and buying the best car insurance policy for you.

Things To Think About Before You Research Plans

Before you even start the research process, taking the time to think through these factors can save you time, money, and headaches down the road:

  • Factors that will affect your insurance cost and your overall insurability. How many tickets have you received lately? What’s your credit score? Is your car banged up? Have a teen driver in the family? All of these factors can and do affect your cost and insurability, so take stock of the important stuff and be prepared for it to shape your research.
  • What’s your budget? Be realistic about what you can spend per month by creating a spending spreadsheet that clearly indicates where your money’s going, what’s a non-negotiable expense, and what could potentially get cut so you can get the best coverage possible.
  • How do you use your car and how often do you use it? Do you commute hundreds of miles each week, or does your car sit parked on the street most days? The amount you’re actually using your vehicle-and what you’re using it for-should factor into your decision around how much to spend.
  • What type of coverages are most important to you? There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for every person; depending on where you live, what kinds of other insurance you have, the kind of car you drive, and more, the type of plan you choose will vary.

How to Choose the Best Carrier for You

Now that you’ve got your personal factors sorted out, it’s time to start comparing carriers. Here’s how to find the right one for you:

  • Look for a reliable insurer. It’s important to go with a company that’s credible. Check your state’s insurance department website and read consumer reviews to get a sense of who’s legit. Friends and family are also great sources of information and experience.
  • Offers the coverages you need. Not every insurer offers every type of plan. That’s why getting clear on your non-negotiables upfront is a critical time-saving step; if a company doesn’t offer the plan you need, move on.
  • Compare policies and insurers. Take the time to visit different insurers’ websites and call for more information. Take solid notes and consider creating a spreadsheet that lists each insurer’s quotes. Comparing will help you find the best deal, so be sure to run the numbers on at least four or five different carriers and policies to have a bigger pool of contenders.

Buying Your Car Insurance Policy: Things to Look Out For

One more major step in the buying process: be sure you’re covering all the legal bases and best practices.

  • State Minimums. Each state has its own list of minimum insurance requirements, so be sure to check yours before signing up for a plan.
  • Coverage recommendations. There are some general rules of thumb to follow when it comes to purchasing a policy, according to insurance experts. Do a bit of digging and talk to the pros at each company you’re considering signing up with.

Remember: do your research, check your current coverages, and compare all your options before making a decision on a new car insurance policy. If you have any questions we are always happy to help at Metromile. Feel free to give us a call or 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.

When You Should File a Claim… and When You Shouldn’t

It’s an inevitable risk of driving that no one likes to think about but many have to face: a car accident. Whether you’re behind the wheel or riding as a passenger, accidents can stressful, scary, and confusing. No matter who’s at fault, collisions can bring up a lot of questions, and it can be baffling to figure out if, when, and how to involve your insurance carrier. Luckily, there are simple guidelines that can help guide you through the decision-making process.


When You Should File a Claim

Trying to handle an accident on your own can be risky. Even if the other party involved seems nice enough and offers to pay for damages out of pocket, there’s no way to verify their personal information or accountability without the intervention of an insurance carrier.

In many scenarios, filing a claim will go a long way in protecting you and your wallet. Before you make any decisions, be sure to read and have a solid understanding of your policy-many policies state that you must notify the insurance company of any issues that may lead to a potential claim.

That said, you should always file a claim in these situations:

  • You injure someone. Even if the person says they feel fine or that they’ll settle the situation privately, it’s important to notify your insurance carrier. The injuries may be far more serious than you realize, and can result in big medical bills down the road.
  • You damage someone else’s car. Damage can sometimes be much more extensive than it seems at first glance-without involving your insurer, you could be on the hook for sky-high costs.
  • It’s not immediately clear who’s at fault. If there’s any question at all about who’s to blame for the accident, then a claim is necessary. That way your insurance company can deal with the other party’s insurance company and save you the headache of divvying up costs.
  • You accidentally do major damage to your own car.Any kind of accident, vandalization, or weather-related damage that results in hefty repair or medical bills requires a claim – even if no one else was involved (or you don’t know who the culprit was).
  • You’ve been hit and run. Even if you don’t know the driver responsible, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company in the event of a hit and run. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may qualify for some help with repair and medical costs, even if the other driver isn’t found.

When You Shouldn’t File a Claim

  • When there’s little to no damage to the other person’s car. If you just barely tap another car while attempting to parallel park, it’s probably not necessary to file a claim, but if you leave any mark whatsoever, you’ll likely need to trade personal information with the other party.
  • When you can afford to fix it yourself. If you back into a pole or hit your own garage door, it’s unfortunate, but not necessarily claim-worthy. If you’re totally sure the minor ding won’t result in any lasting issues, you’re probably better off paying the money out of pocket to avoid an increase in your coverage rate.

The bottom line is that It’s risky to handle an accident on your own. Your insurance company is there to have your back in situations just like these. Ready to switch to a more affordable carrier? Metromile may be the perfect fit- get a free quote today and see how much you could be saving.

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.

Vehicle Breakdown Checklist: What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

It’s a situation no one wants to deal with: a car breakdown. It can be inconvenient at best, scary at worst, and no matter what kind of malfunction you experience, you can bet the necessary fix will likely be pricey.


No matter where you are when your car breaks down, here are 5 steps to follow to stay safe and get yourself back on the road safely.

5 Steps to Take When your Car Breaks Down:

    1.Be prepared before a breakdown. The best way to keep a bad situation from becoming worse is to be prepared. Always keep these essentials in your car in case of emergencies:

    • A cell phone charger
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • Jumper cables
    • Flares or reflectors
    • An ice scraper, snow shovel, and sand if you live in snowy conditions
    • An umbrella
    • A toolkit
    • A first aid kit
    • Coolant

    2.Know how to get off the road safely. Cars typically don’t just stop entirely when there’s a breakdown, so you’ll likely have some time as your car slows down to get over to the side of the road. Avoid braking suddenly and take your foot off the gas smoothly and gently as you steer your vehicle over to the side of the road.

    3.Call for help. This is when roadside assistance is your best friend. If you’re a Metromile customer, you have the option to add on this feature to your policy so you can get a jump, tow, or locksmith 24/7. If you’re in serious trouble, call 9-1-1.

    4.Signal to other drivers. Here’s where the flares in your trunk come in handy. As long as it’s safe to get out of your car and walk to the back, place both flares behind your vehicle about 50 feet away or more if possible. Turn on your hazard lights and pop your hood so motorists know to steer clear.

    5.Use your best judgment. Strangers may stop to offer help while you wait for roadside assistance. It’s best to follow your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, stay in your car (as long as it’s safe), and only roll down the windows enough to talk and let them know help is on the way.

Breakdowns are never fun but if you follow these steps it will be just a car breakdown rather than a total mental breakdown. Interested in Metromile pay-per-mile insurance and Roadside assistance? Get a free 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.