This Earth Day, Try Driving Less

Earth Day is pretty important to us at Metromile. It might sound contradictory since we work in the car industry, but we pride ourselves on incentivizing customers to drive less since they pay based on the miles they drive. Earth Day is actually a worldwide celebration — it began in 1970 and continues to be recognized in 193 countries. In the spirit of the holiday, here are tips on how to drive less and cut down on your vehicle’s carbon emissions.

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Bike to work. The majority of Americans live close to their workplace. So instead of grabbing your keys to start your car in the morning, grab your helmet and start biking. Even biking one day a week can make a big impact. Check out our tips on how to enjoy your bike commute.

Walk more. Get a kickstart to your day by walking to work. You’ll get a bunch of steps in before breakfast and heat up the competition in your step challenge group.

Organize a carpool. Find a friend who lives and works close to you, and take turns driving each other to work. If no one comes to mind, here are some ideas on how to find someone to carpool with. An added bonus is that you can drive in the carpool lane all the way to work!

Or let someone arrange a pool for you. Try UberPOOL or Lyft Line, where you share a ride with other passengers on your way to your destination. This also costs significantly less than a normal Uber ride.

Invest in a hybrid car. They give off fewer carbon emissions and get better gas mileage which is definitely a win for our wildlife (and your wallet).

If these tips work for you and you find yourself driving less, pay-per-mile insurance could be a great fit for you! To learn more, or to see how much you could save, just click here.

Tips for an Enjoyable Walk to Work

The sun is shining and it’s finally starting to warm up outside. A great way to soak up the beautiful weather is to start walking to work. Here are our top tips for an enjoyable walk commute.

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Leave the house early. If this is your first time walking to work, it could take you longer than expected, so give yourself plenty of time to get there. Even if you are a “seasoned walker” it’s better to enjoy the route without feeling rushed.

Prepare for bad weather. Grab your umbrella, rain jacket, or heavier coat if need be. And don’t forget to check your weather apps before heading out the door. Even if it appears to be sunny, there could be a rainstorm looming.

Pop on your headphones. Listen to a fun playlist, audiobook or podcast to start your day off, it’ll make your walk enjoyable. Here are some of our favorites.

Wear the right shoes. It’s important to wear comfortable and supportive walking shoes. If you want, you still can bring your nicer work shoes to change into once you get there.

Try a fitness tracker. It’ll keep you motivated to keep on stepping. You could even start a friendly competition with friends or co-workers. At the end of the day, you can feel accomplished that you beat your friends in their total steps.

Grab a backpack. Ditch your purse or briefcase. A backpack allows you to balance and carry weight easier. You’ll thank yourself later.

Stay hydrated. Fill up your water bottle and keep it handy to rehydrate yourself throughout your walk. You could even pack a snack to munch on along the way.

If you find yourself walking to work more than you are driving, pay-per-mile car insurance could be a great choice for you. Metromile helps low mileage drivers save money on insurance because the bill is based on how much you drive. Learn more and see what your potential savings could be.

How to Spring Clean Your Car with Household Items

Grab your old towels and sponges — it’s time to give your car a little spring cleaning! You don’t have to buy new cleaning products to get the job done. Here are also some useful ways to use household items to get your vehicle looking brand new again.

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  • 1 cup of baking soda and some baby shampoo mixed in a bucket of warm water cleans the exterior of your car.
  • Use your hand-held vacuum to suck up all the dirt, pet hair, or weird pieces of trash that have accumulated on your floor and seats. Sprinkle some baking soda on the floor of your car and vacuum for a fresh clean look.
  • To help remove stains, use carpet stain remover used for the carpeting inside your home. If you don’t have a bottle already, mix some cornstarch with a little water together to make a paste. Then scrub it into grease stained areas and let it sit. Once dry, vacuum it up or brush it away and voila — clean carpet! For small stains, mix equal parts vinegar and water together and buff through the areas that are in need of some extra TLC.
  • Clean windows are always a must. Don’t have any Windex? No problem! Simply mix water, vinegar, and alcohol together in a spray bottle to make your own glass cleaner. Use newspapers instead of paper towels to ensure a streak-free clean!
  • Grab some dryer sheets and olive oil to dust and add some shine to your car’s dashboard. You can even keep some additional dryer sheets in between your seats or under your floor mats to keep your car smelling extra fresh.

With these tips, your vehicle will look squeaky clean. If you find yourself spending more time outside and driving less during the spring season, you could save a ton of money by switching to Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance. To see what your potential savings could be, get a quick quote now.

How Much Does a Long Commute Cost You?

The following is an infographic and  guest post from Anastasia Ivanov, a freelance writer and graphic designer for InvestmentZen with a penchant for flipping houses.

Have you ever paused for a moment to consider how much your car commute to work might be costing you? If you haven’t, the figures you are about to encounter will make your head spin.

Not only are long car commutes to work financially costly, they take so many hours that by the end of a 30-year career, you’ll have effectively spent several full months staring at other people’s tail lights.

For instance, if your commute averages 26 minutes, you spend 9 full days of your life on the road annually. That’s a steep price to pay just to get to work.

How about the financial impact? When it’s all said and done, car commutes can easily cost the average person up to a million dollars cumulatively over the course of a 30-year career in lost time and earnings. Considering how easily those lost earnings could accelerate your early retirement, you definitely want to take into account how far away you live from the office.

Moreover, when you consider the health and environmental impact that comes with a long commute such as the increased pollution from emissions along with increased stress levels and the risk of developing high blood pressure, you’ll better understand why Metromile is so passionate about rewarding people who spend less time in their cars.

Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance is not only the most practical policy, it’s also one of the few policies available that reward you for your sound lifestyle choices.

To see more details about how expensive a long commute can be, just take a look at the infographic below by InvestmentZen. (more…)

Why I’m a Loyal Metromile Customer

Robert C. is a fiercely loyal customer and has been a part of the Metromile family since September of 2015. Here is a review of his Metromile experience so far.

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I was attracted to Metromile because the company has a different way of thinking. They truly care about their customers and pay attention to their needs. I appreciate when I call in and I feel the Customer Experience team listens and hears me. They are not in a hurry to get off the phone like my old company!

I like that their smart driving app allows me the check on where my vehicle is currently parked. I was recently at a mall and couldn’t remember where we left the Jeep and the app helped me find it. Overall, the app helps me drive smarter. I can decode my car’s check engine lights, and also see how much fuel costs. I have the ability to look and see if I could do anything better.

With pay-per-mile insurance, I have been saving $1,000 a year. I put my extra savings toward paying off my truck payments and also put a little bit more toward other bills I have. The best part was taking my wife out to an awesome dinner at a fancy restaurant.

Editor’s note: We always love hearing from happy customers like Robert! If this Metromile review has sparked your interest in pay-per-mile insurance, try getting a quick quote to see how much you could save.

6 Ways to Have a Great Road Trip Experience

The following post is from guest writer Gallard Joaquin, a freelance content writer with a background in travel and lifestyle. By traveling the world and writing about his experiences, he enjoys helping others find the most efficient means of travel, wherever their destination.

At almost 3.8 million square miles, the continental United States is a great place to have an epic road trip. With the varied landscapes from the snow-tipped mountains of Colorado to the lush prairies of the Midwest, there are plenty of environments to explore and a variety of things to see. But what’s the best way to have a road trip experience with your family or group of friends? Keep reading to learn about the six best road trip tips.

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1. Aim for Comfort

Despite sitting for a long period of time, road tripping can be exhausting work. It’s important not to wear yourself or your companions out. There are many ways you can accomplish this including never driving for more than eight hours a day, spending the extra dollar for a nicer hotel, taking periodic breaks along the way, and even considering a roomier passenger van rental. You don’t want to look at the road every morning with dread, thinking about your aching back.

2. Take Your Time

Part of the thrill of a good road trip is the journey, not where you ultimately end up. We all have schedules, but vacation isn’t about adhering to them. Several attractions and sights are easily missed if you only focus on the end result of your trip and sometimes these distractions from the road can become the most memorable part of the trip.

3. Have a General Plan

Despite the importance of relaxation, comfort, and exploration, it’s always good to have a plan for your road trip. Where are you going? What do you know you want to do when you get there? What route do you want to take? How much money are you able to spend? These are logistical questions that should always be considered when planning a road trip. A spiral-bound planner can hold all these details for you.

4. Consider Buying a Map

Speaking of planning, a road map can be your best friend on a road trip. We live in an era of amazing technology, like GPS and wi-fi, but these are luxuries you won’t always have as you’re crossing the great expanses of the United States. You don’t want to find yourself lost with no reception and therefore little recourse but to ask for directions.

5. Make Time (and Space) for Eating

You may have heard the term “hangry” before. That’s because it can definitely become a real problem and cause a lot of friction and conflict between your friends and family. You should have little trouble finding places to eat if you plan accordingly, but sometimes that might not be enough. Consider bringing “emergency food” or purchasing some along the way. A cooler filled with fruit, sandwiches and other fresh food can be a solution to this problem before it even comes up.

6. Remember to Plan Your Packing Ahead of Time

What and how you pack for your road trip can depend on a lot of things including where you’re staying, the type of car you’re driving, the length of your trip, and the number of people who are traveling with you. If you don’t plan ahead, you may find yourself with piles of luggage you didn’t realize you were going to have. Make sure you and your family or friends consider these questions before packing your luggage to ensure everything fits and no one has to repack.

Before hitting the open road, plan for a great experience with these great road trip tips. Try them out on your next cross country trip and decide which ones work best for you! Editor’s note: don’t forget that Metromile customers can road trip with ease — we don’t charge for miles driven over 250/day (150 in certain states).

Introducing the Metromile Claims Team

We recently announced that we are bringing claims in-house, and with this exciting update comes a whole new department here at Metromile. So, without further ado, here are some of the hardworking and dedicated members of the new Metromile Claims Team.

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Thomas Turner, Claims Compliance & Ethics Specialist 
Around the office he’s known as the walking rolodex. According to Thomas, “Metromile offered me a great opportunity to build something really neat and useful from the ground up. I walked away from my first meetings here with the impression that my co-workers were bright, driven, interesting folks with whom I’d enjoy spending time–all of which has turned out to be true.” As the “compliance guru” he’s tasked with making sure the company meets our regulatory responsibilities on all levels, in every area, on a state-by-state basis. His goal is to have the “Metromile equivalent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but focused on the claims universe and with a set of ethics guidelines to go along with it.”

Chis Laurent, Claims Business Analyst
Known as the “tech guru” within the claims team, Chris has a background of nearly seven years of working in claims. He analyzes business requirements of systems for our end customers in order to effect and improve efficiency and help make sure there is always smooth claims handling for everyone. He says that when he joined Metromile “I was excited and up for the challenge. I always like trying new things and expanding my experience within in the industry. I love cars and have a background in glass installing, which makes me passionate about insurance.”

Carolyn Wilson, Claims Training and Process Consultant
Carolyn is tasked with keeping the team organized and disciplined. Starting in claims almost 20 years ago as a claims rep, she found herself with a terrific opportunity to take her passion (mentoring new people) to being a state trainer and eventually moved into corporate training. She says: “I wanted to join Metromile because I enjoy being on the ground floor and involved in things I would never have had the opportunity to do. Also, it’s so much fun to work with people far smarter than me to turn ideas into reality.” When there are new hires on the claims team, she works with a few other great people to help onboard and train them. Mostly, she “takes the creative minds of everyone on our team and helps to figure out what the process might be.”

Dara Miller, Subrogation Representative
Dara has worked in the claims environment for 11 years working on everything from personal lines insurance and special lines insurance to being a claims processor, loss assignor and also a claims representative in the past. When a Metromile customer is in an accident and not at fault, she works to collect money back from the at fault insurance company to reimburse the customer’s policy and deductible. She says she “joined Metromile because of the people and the amazing culture. I love the innovation of Metromile and I am so glad I am a part of this company.”

We are so excited to have them a part of our Metromile family. They truly do so much for our company and help create fiercely loyal customers. You can learn more about our claims process here.

Why I’m Leasing my New Car

This blog post was written by Scotty Abramson, lead analyst on the Earnest growth marketing team and happy Metromile customer.

I work and live in San Francisco. After one awesome car-free year, I heard the call of Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, and Napa. It was time to get a car to better explore the region.

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However, I grappled with whether to buy or lease a car. First I had to figure out how many miles I would be driving per year (around 10,000), the type of car that met my current needs (a sporty hatchback), and my car budget (between $200 and $300 per month). I realized a lease was probably the best fit for me. Then I became obsessed with understanding how a car lease actually works.

When you lease a car you are essentially paying the difference between the current purchase price and the price the manufacturer is willing to buy the car back for at the end of the lease. Divide that number by the length of your term, add interest, and you roughly have your payment.

After a week of intense car-lease shopping with multiple dealers, I signed a three-year contract for a VW GTI. So far, it’s been great and I love driving it. I even learned so much in the process I wrote a detailed blog about how I negotiated my lease to get the best deal.

As I this was my first time getting my own new car, I also had to get insurance. Given my expected low mileage per year, and my preference for handling transactions through my smartphone, Metromile made perfect sense for me. So far it’s been great—it was fast to get insured, it’s the right price, I can track my trips through the app.

So if you’re trying to decide between buying and leasing, it pays off to run the numbers and then negotiate every single cent. The same mindset should apply to your insurance. Happy driving!

How to Keep Resolutions All Year Long

With the first month of 2017 coming to a close, it’s time to take stock of how we’re doing with our resolutions. Maybe keeping your resolutions so far has been a breeze, or maybe you’ve stumbled already. Either way, if you’re trying to make lasting changes, this is only the beginning. Recent research suggests that willpower may be more like a muscle, which would not only mean that you can strengthen it over time, but could also mean that willpower could become fatigued if you’re overtaxing yourself in the self-control department. With that in mind, here’s some advice to help you use your willpower wisely and keep your resolutions all year long.

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  • Find what works for you. Make sure your strategy for keeping your resolution fits your personality. If you’re not a morning person, trying to go to the gym every day before work will not be an easy feat. Think about ways that you can work with your natural inclinations, instead of having to use more willpower to go against them. Remember, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you.
  • Get enough sleep. It’s probably not surprising, but research suggests that it’s tougher to make decisions, especially good ones, when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Putting that in the context of resolutions, it’s easy to see how missing out on your zzz’s can make it tougher to stay on track with your new habits. If you’re trying to cook more at home to save money and get healthy, it’ll be more difficult to make all the necessary decisions (e.g. weekly menus, shopping lists, schedules) if you’re in sleep debt. If you’re sleep deprived it’s much more likely that you’ll give in to your impulses.
  • Start from outside in. Changes in environment can often lead to changes in behavior. If you’re tempted to grab a coffee on the way to work, but you are trying to cut back on your spending, it might be time to rethink your route to work. If improving your diet is on your list this year, try putting your healthy options in the most convenient place in the kitchen and tossing out the tempting junk food. We’ve even found that low-mileage drivers who switch to pay-per-mile insurance tend to drive less (and save even more!).
  • Have a backup plan. Inevitably, even the best plans and perfected routines won’t always work. With busy schedules, life gets in the way. One way to make sure you don’t lose momentum is to have an “if…then” backup plan already set. Think of examples like, “If I miss my yoga class on Tuesday, then I will go for a run after work on Wednesday.” Be sure to keep your “then” statements as actionable items, rather than things you won’t do.

If your goals include getting fit, saving money or helping the environment, then Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance could help you reach them if you are a low-mileage driver. To learn more and see if you could save, head over to www.metromile.com/insurance.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The following is a guest post from Scott Huntington, who writes about driving, cars, and more on his blog Off The Throttle and all over the internet. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

You may feel safe on long car trips because you’re a careful driver, but don’t overlook the dangers of drowsy driving. It causes 7% of all crashes in the U.S. and is responsible for more than 20% of fatal vehicle crashes nationwide every year.

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Drivers who only sleep four to five hours can be as impaired as people who are legally drunk. Even drivers who only get slightly less sleep — one to two hours — have double the risk of crashing than someone who has the required eight hours. There are many reasons that people become drowsy drivers. They may be unable to get sufficient sleep, operate under a chronic sleep debt or having demanding jobs that require them to do activities that lead to fragmented or insufficient sleep.

What can you do if you feel drowsy while driving? First, pull over and take a nap. Even 15 to 20 minutes’ worth of sleep can refresh you enough to make your driving safer. Second, drink two cups of coffee. Caffeine does work to some degree! Wait one-half hour and then resume driving.

When you drive distances of 100 miles or more, take a break every two hours. The breaks will refresh you and keep you alert.

If possible, treat drowsy drivers as you would drunk drivers. Don’t let people who’ve had only a few hours of sleep drive. Call a taxi or ride service, or else have a family member or friend drive them. Appoint a designated driver if you’re expecting a lack of sleep due to a party. This goes double if you plan on drinking.

Above all, awareness is key. If poor habits are the cause of your lack of sleep, make every effort to correct them. Drowsy driving is dangerous, so make every effort to get a good night’s sleep to prevent accidents. If you must drive, take a nap. Make the roads safer for all of us.