Tips for Sharing the Road During Bike Awareness Month

Hello, Spring! There’s nothing like the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer to inspire even the most sedentary of us to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors. May is Bike Awareness Month, and you know what that means – an influx of two-wheeled vehicles on the road and cyclists out and about. Whether you’re a biker yourself or just happen to share a lane with one, here are our best tips for being courteous and sharing the road this season.

Tips-for-Sharing-the-Road-During-Bike-Awareness-Month

Tips for Sharing the Road During Bike Awareness Month

  • Be careful when opening your car doors. If you’re parked on the side of the street or getting out of the back of an Uber, always be sure to look behind you before opening your door. In cycling lingo, hitting a biker with your car door is called “dooring” someone; to a cyclist, it is one of the worst things someone can do. Imagine you’re a cyclist moving fast down the bike lane of a busy city street and then suddenly a car door opens in front of you – how do you react? Do you swerve into traffic and risk getting hit? Do you brake hard and pray that you don’t catapult over your handlebars? Or do you collide with the open door and risk badly injuring yourself and the person getting out of the vehicle? Any way you slice the scenario, it doesn’t end well for the cyclist. Always be courteous and respectful and be sure to look behind you for oncoming bikers before opening your car door
  • Always check for bikers before making a right-hand turn. If you’ve ever driven in the city, you know that the bike lane is almost always the farthest right lane on the road. It’s even farther over than the right turning lane for vehicles, which can be dangerous if the cyclist is going straight through the intersection and the vehicle is turning right – that’s an accident waiting to happen. Before a right-hand turn, look over your right shoulder to spot any bikers approaching the intersection from behind you. Be sure to yield to them if they are going straight through the intersection and prevent a tragedy from happening.
  • Give at least a 3-foot clearance when passing. Remember in driver’s ed, they taught you to give a cyclist at least a 3-foot clearance when passing them? No, just me? Okay, cool. So since I was the only person paying attention in driver’s ed, I’m here to tell you: this rule is true. It is also a law in some states. Giving less than a 3-foot clearance may cause you to accidentally sideswipe a cyclist, especially if they need to maneuver away from some roadside debris.
  • Never drive in the bike lane. This rule is just common courtesy! Bike lanes were added to many city streets to accommodate and encourage cyclists to ride safely with traffic. When you drive in the bike lane, you’re inhibiting bikers from traveling safely on busy city streets, potentially putting them in harm’s way.
  • Don’t assume. As with drivers, even the most skilled cyclists make mistakes sometimes. Always approach a cyclist with caution when driving, and don’t assume their actions will be predictable. If you’ve ever ridden a bike, you know how easy it is to suddenly lose balance on a tricky shoulder or have your foot slip from the pedal. Give all cyclists, regardless of skill level, enough space and clearance and always pass carefully. Be patient. As always, you should only pass a cyclist when it’s safe to do so, even if it means driving slowly behind them for a while.

Whether you’re a driver or a cyclist, be courteous to others and share the roads this Spring. We’re all in this together! If you’re biking to work this Spring and Summer and curious about how much you could save on your car insurance by switching to Metromile, click here to get a free quote!

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

Automation, AI, and Car Insurance

In some instances, artificial intelligence can sound a little scary (like, for example, when your digital assistant laughs at you). But in other cases, it can be awesome. Case in point: Metromile’s AVA, an automated claims system that uses your car’s sensor data to verify insurance claims. Pretty cool right?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (otherwise known as AI) refers to machines that carry out tasks in a smart, efficient way with human-like reasoning. But don’t panic: Just because these intelligent creations can do some heavy lifting, they lack the emotions, desires, and creativity that make humans, well, human. Rather, they’re ingenious and skilled experts programmed to carry out extremely manual tasks that humans were not meant to perform.

People will sometimes use the phrases “Generalized AI” to refer to devices and systems that can carry out all sorts of tasks, and “Applied AI” to reference systems and devices built to handle specific to-dos.

How Does AI Factor Into the Auto Industry?

You probably already interact with AI on a daily basis — from your phone, to your TV, to your thermostat, AI programs are helping you navigate the world around you. So it makes perfect sense to bring this higher level of efficiency and intelligence into a place you’re probably spending a fair amount of time: Your car.

Driverless vehicles have already garnered a lot of attention for their ability to simplify and optimize the behind-the-wheel experience, but that’s not the only way AI can be applied to the auto industry. One major area that’s benefitting from the brilliance of AI technology is the insurance landscape. Think about it: if an insurance company can cut out the long, arduous, painstaking process of claim investigations, repairs, and adjustments, they can save a ton of money on operations. And by handing that work over to an AI system, those cost savings will trickle down to customers.

That’s where AVA comes in.

So Who’s AVA?

Consider AVA Metromile’s super smart claims system. She’s impressively multi-talented, but her main skill is verifying claims in seconds to provide quick resolutions. AVA helps take the burden off of you any time you file a claim: She collects the relevant details to help you file, guides you through the process of collecting damage photos, and helps ensure your payment is issued ASAP. Using Metromile Pulse sensor data, AVA is able to reconstruct the scene of an accident to verify claim details. And if the claim is verified, AVA is able to automatically approve payments within seconds.
It’s pretty amazing how AVA does all this: Metromile uses a device called the Metromile Pulse to monitor time on the road. Our insurance is actually connected to this data, which makes it easy for us to calculate costs based directly on mileage. AVA uses similar data from Pulse to reconstruct the scene of an accident to figure out what occurred. If the data she has access to backs up the driver’s account of the accident, Metromile is able to automatically approve payment within seconds. Incredible, right?

But AVA does more than automate claims and take the headache out of filing (although she’s really pretty great at it). She also helps make sure you’re covered on repairs and rentals so you’re not left hanging car-less after an accident. AVA directs eligible policyholders who have submitted a claim and indicated they’re planning to repair their vehicle to the Metromile Dashboard. There, they’ll be able to see repair shops participating in the direct repair program and are located near the zip code of the vehicle’s last location. And if the policyholder also has rental coverage, AVA will give them the option to reserve a vehicle through a local Enterprise-Rent-A-Car location on the Metromile online dashboard. Policyholders can even gain access to and schedule an Enterprise shuttle for pick-up from the repair shop or another specified address.

AVA’s also a stickler for follow-ups: Once a vehicle is in the shop and a rental car has been picked up, she keeps customers posted on repair status, schedule changes, and can even help change the rental reservation if necessary. As soon as the car has been repaired and ready to roll, back in the customer’s possession, she automatically initiates payment.

Whether you make AVA a part of your life or not, you absolutely always have the option to call Metromile’s in-house team of claims professionals. Not yet a Metromile customer but intrigued by AVA and our automated claims? Visit metromile.com/insurance to learn more about our pay-per-mile insurance and get a quick quote.


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.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Did you hear? April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Texting is such a commonplace activity that hardly anyone would think twice about checking an incoming message while behind the wheel. In the United States alone, at least 9 people are killed every day due to a distracted driver. How easily we forget that driving is a privilege that should not be taken lightly.

The-Dangers-of-Texting-and-Driving

With the alarming statistics for injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving increasing year after year, law enforcement is cracking down hard on drivers who text/talk and drive. In addition to paying a hefty fine, you may have to make a court appearance in some states. Is that “lol” text really worth it?

Today, in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we are distilling down the dangers of texting and driving. Here are the reasons not to text and drive:

Dangers of Texting and Driving

  • Insurance rates may increase. You think getting a texting and driving citation is bad? Wait until your insurance company finds out about it! Watch as your rates skyrocket or your insurance company drops you from your policy completely because you pose too much of a risk.
  • For the safety of your passengers. Transporting another human being is a great responsibility that should not be taken lightly. When you take your eyes off the road to check the text that just popped up, you are not only endangering yourself but the passengers you are transporting!
  • For the safety of other drivers. You are not the only person on the road, and your actions not only affect you but all the other drivers and passengers in the vehicles around you. Be cognizant and courteous of the other drivers on the road and refrain from peeking at your phone, even just for a second.
  • For pedestrians. Pedestrians are tricky to spot sometimes, because they are much smaller than a car and can pop up out of nowhere. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can lead to a tragic accident involving a pedestrian.
  • For your own safety. We can talk about fines and court appearances, insurance rates and passengers all day long, but when it really comes down to it – the greatest risk you are taking when texting and driving is your own life. By checking the buzz of an incoming text, you are risking your own life, and for what?

How You Can Do Your Part

  • Lead by example. No one should text and drive – that much is clear. Be an example for others in the car pull over to a safe place if you need to talk or text. Also, be sure to set rules for yourself and your household regarding distracted driving so that everyone is held to the same standard.
  • Become informed and be an active part of the conversation. Don’t be shy! Tell your family, friends, and organizations to which you belong about the importance of driving without distractions. If you have children, take information to their schools and ask that it be shared with students and parents.

By taking a stand against texting and driving, you are becoming an important part of this movement. Be an advocate for the cause this month and share this with your friends and family! Be sure to get a free quote from Metromile to see how much money you could be saving and remember to keep both eyes on the road!

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 Handle a Hit & Run

Look, If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you’ve likely experienced any number of emotions ranging from fear to anger and everything in between. But if that accident was a hit and run, you may have also been left feeling confused and hopeless. After all, how do you claim your rightful compensation for damages and injuries if the person at fault has fled the scene? Luckily, there are some specific procedures and policies in place to protect hit and run victims — here’s what you need to know:

How-to-Handle-a-Hit-Run

What Qualifies as a Hit and Run?

An accident qualifies as a hit and run if a driver intentionally flees the scene without providing the other party with their contact information. An example of this would be if another vehicle hits yours on the road and then speeds off or if a driver hits your parked car when it’s unattended and fails to leave behind their info.

How to Handle a Hit and Run

It’s understandable that a hit and run might leave you feeling frustrated and upset. The best thing you can do is try to remain calm and start collecting as much information as possible. The more facts you have about what happened, the more it will help your insurance company make a decision about your claim, and the more likely it is that the police will catch the driver responsible for the damage.

As soon as you’re safe and feel prepared to take action, follow these important steps:

    1. Try to gather as much information about the car that hit you as you can. If you were in your vehicle, do your best to recall details like the color, make and model of the car and the license plate number.
    2. Survey the scene to locate any potential witnesses who may be able to help fill in the details. Be sure to get contact information for these people.
    3. Before you leave the accident scene, take photos of the area, and be sure to immediately snap photos of your car, especially if there are traces of paint left behind from the other car.
    4. Write down the time and location of the accident; if you were away from your parked car when the accident occurred, write down as much information as you can gather.
    5. Call the police as soon as possible and file an accident report — even if the police can’t locate the responsible driver, the report serves as an official document that may help speed up the insurance claims process. Police reports must be submitted within 48-72 hours of an accident, so don’t wait to take this important step.
    6. File an auto insurance claim. If you’re a Metromile customer, follow the Accident Checklist and assess the damage to your vehicle.

Whatever you do, do not chase after a driver who hits you and leaves the scene. This may lead to another accident. Remain as calm as you can and follow the steps above instead. If you’re involved in a hit and run, or any accident, and you’re a Metromile customer, quickly and easily file a claim online or by calling 1.888.595.5485. Our team will help you get back on the road safely as soon as possible.


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

How the Metromile Claims Process Works

Filing a car insurance claim doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, with Metromile’s step-by-step process, we will walk you through the steps to filing a claim and offer a simple solution to an often overly-complicated procedure. Whether you’ve experienced a hit-and-run, a minor fender bender sitch, or are in need of a quick glass repair, knowing what you should have prepared to file a claim can make for a seamless experience and get you back on the road faster.

Using the Metromile app to request roadside assistance

First, we need to know what type of claim you will be filing – roadside assistance, a glass and windshield claim, a hit-and-run claim, or a general claim. Knowing which type of claim will help us direct your claim to the right department.

So, which types of claims fall into which categories? Pull up a chair and let’s chat.

Roadside Assistance

As we all know, cars can be somewhat unpredictable. If your car decides to break down at the worst possible time, Metromile has got your back! If your car breaks down on the road and you have elected Metromile Roadside Assistance coverage, you can submit an Online Roadside Assistance Request, file through the Metromile app, or call Metromile Roadside Assistance at 800-983-3400 to request service. Our Metromile Roadside Assistance team will make arrangements to assist you and also can provide an estimated time of arrival.

Glass and Windshield Claims

Has an errant, high-velocity pebble taken a hit to your windshield? File a claim through Metromile’s Glass and Windshield claims center. If you need to file a claim for a broken window or windshield, and you have purchased comprehensive coverage, you can file a glass only claim online, file through the Metromile app, or call Metromile Glass Assistance at 888-256-8375 to report a claim.

Hit-and-run Claims

As a vehicle owner, one of the most frustrating situations you might be involved in is a hit-and-run. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, you should definitely file an accident report with the police. The more information you can provide in the instance of a hit-and-run, the better. Information to provide (if it’s available):

  • Information about the car that hit you:
    • Make
    • Model
    • License Plate
  • Any possible witness information
  • Time and location of the accident
  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • Pictures of your car

We understand that in certain situations, it may not be possible to provide all of the above information. At the bare minimum, be sure to have the following information handy when filing your claim:

  • Time of incident
  • Location of hit-and-run
  • The damage
  • The Accident Report Number (obtained from the police)

Metromile policyholders can always file a hit-and-run claim online or through the Metromile app 24/7 – or you can report a claim by calling (888) 595-5485.

General Claims

For everything else: file a general claim. Metromile policyholders can file a claim online or through the Metromile app 24/7, or you can report a claim with a claims representative by calling (888) 595-5485 M-F 6am-6pm. You will need the following information readily available when filing your claim:

  • Your Metromile insurance policy number
  • Date of the accident
  • Location of the accident
  • Description of the accident
  • Party names
  • Vehicles involved

We also recommend that you:

  • Take pictures of (or write down) driver and occupant names, contact numbers and driver’s license information
  • Obtain insurance carrier information (including policy number) from the other person(s) involved
  • Write down vehicle information for any vehicles involved in the accident including: make, model, license plate number and damages
  • Write down any witness information
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, skid marks, and debris (if it is safe to do so)

So, what now? After you’ve filed your claim through Metromile, here are some next action steps to take.

Repairing Your Vehicle

The first thing you’ll need to get is a damage estimate. Your Metromile Claims Representative will be able to guide you through the repair process. In most situations, we’re able to complete an estimate from photos of the damage to your vehicle.

HOWEVER. If you are not ready to repair your car, that’s okay too. Metromile does not require you to repair your car in order to submit a claim. When filing, just let your claims representative know that you aren’t ready to repair your car.

In the case of a total loss, Metromile defers to the state rules regarding how to determine the value of your vehicle. If your vehicle is deemed a total loss (as outlined by your state rules), your policy remains in effect. You will need insurance for your rental car or temporary transportation while you shop for a replacement – however, we won’t charge you mileage while you’re shopping for a replacement vehicle. Once obtained, contact Metromile to add your replacement vehicle to your policy.

With Metromile, you never have to wonder if your insurance company has your back, because we always will! Get a free quote today and join the Metromile fam – we’re always one call, tap, or click away. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

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

How do Metromilers Drive Less?

You may be surprised to learn a car insurance company cares so much about preserving the Earth. But here at Metromile, we’re all about sustainability and lowering mileage. In fact, we pride ourselves on incentivizing our customers to drive less, since they pay based on the miles they drive.

With Earth Day just around the corner, we wanted to understand our customers’ driving patterns, and how we could – all together – inspire other drivers to lower their carbon footprint. So, we asked, and you answered. We’re proud of our customers for doing their part all year long, to take care of Mother Earth.

How do Metromilers Drive Less?

If you find that you, too, ditch your car to preserve the Earth, per-mile insurance could be a great fit for you. To learn more or to see how much you could save, get a free quote now.

Coverage 101: Explaining Your Coverage Options

So you’ve decided to make the switch to Metromile — congrats! Not only will you save major cash with pay-per-mile insurance, but you’ll have access to four different levels of liability protection, plus choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles. But if insurance lingo has you confused, don’t sweat it: Understanding your options is easier than you think.

Coverage-101

Here’s a breakdown of the various types of car insurance coverage available so you can choose what’s right for you:

  • Bodily Injury (BI): Most states require BI coverage to cover costs related to injuries or deaths to other people in the event of an accident that’s your fault. This type of coverage pays for things like medical treatment, rehabilitation, and funeral costs, as well as costs related to mental or emotional distress that results from bodily injury. It may also pay for lawyer’s fees if you’re sued for an accident. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to have a predetermined minimum amount of BI coverage.
  • Property Damage Liability (PD): If you’re in an accident that damages someone else’s property, PD liability will cover the costs. This type of coverage will pay for any type of tangible property, whether it’s another driver’s vehicle, or something like a building, utility pole, fence, garage door, etc. Some states will require you to have a predetermined minimum amount of this coverage too.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI): If you’re in an accident in which the other driver is at-fault and uninsured, UMBI coverage will pay for any necessary medical, rehabilitation, lost wages, pain-and-suffering, and funeral costs for you and/or your passengers. Remember that UMBI will only pay up to the coverage limit, and your state may or may not require you to have a set minimum amount.
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIMBI): This one is very similar to UMBI, but it pays up to the limit for expenses in the event that the other driver is at-fault for the accident but can’t cover your costs because of their own plan’s insufficient liability limits.
  • Medical Payments: If you’re in an accident, Medical Payments could pay the medical deductibles and copayments that aren’t covered by your health insurer, or the insurer of any of your passengers. This type of coverage is optional and, depending on your state, may be possible to combine with a health insurance policy.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): In general, PIP covers your medical costs regardless of who’s at fault for the accident. The benefits vary by state, with some states offering coverage for things like lost wages, child care, and/or funeral costs.
  • Comprehensive: This type of optional coverage comes in handy if your car is stolen or damaged in ways that don’t involve a collision (think hail damage, glass breakage, fire, vandalism, damage from an animal, flood, earthquakes, falling objects, and theft). It’s up to you to choose a deductible amount — that’s the out-of-pocket cost you agree to pay before coverage is afforded.
  • Collision: This is another type of optional coverage that covers you if your car collides with another object (like a car, a brick wall, a tree, etc). This coverage protects your car only and not the other party’s damage. Again, the deductible amount you choose is the out-of-pocket expense you have to pay before coverage kicks in.
  • Collision Deductible Waiver: This type of coverage isn’t available in every state, but if you have it, your collision deductible will be waived in case you’re in accident with an at-fault driver who’s uninsured. You’ll need the license plate number or name of the person that caused the damage and you’ll have to report the claim quickly.
  • Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD): If you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, this type of coverage will pay for the damage to your vehicle. UMPD coverage isn’t available in every state, and some states require you to choose between UMPD and Collision coverage.

Ready to choose the type of coverage that fits your needs? Need some more info? Just visit Metromile today to get a free personalized quote.


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.

7 Steps You Can Take to Become a Safer Driver

No one likes to admit they could use some improvement behind the wheel. But the fact is, accidents happen and they happen a lot (over 7 million times in the United States alone in 2016). While you can’t control many of the risks on the road, you can set yourself up to be as safe as possible.
7-Steps-You-Can-Take-to-Become-a-Safer-Driver

7 Steps You Can Take to Become a Safer Driver

    1. Forget about your phone. This is one of the most important (and simplest) things you can do to improve the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving — even when it’s a hands-free phone — is the equivalent of driving drunk. Scary, right? That means if you really want to reduce your risk, it’s best to refrain from talking.

    And texting is definitely a dealbreaker. Sending a text may seem simple, but on average, it causes you to lose your focus on the road for 4.6 seconds. And if that doesn’t sound so bad, consider the fact that you can drive the length of a full football field in that amount of time. Even if you’re fully stopped, just keep your phone out of reach and pay attention to everything going on around you.

    2. Keep your car in good shape. No, repairs aren’t cheap, but investing in the appropriate maintenance will ensure your vehicle is up to snuff and safe. Make sure you get routine check-ups for your tires, brakes, fluid levels, lights, wipers, and anything else indicated in your owner’s manual.

    3. Buckling up is always a must. Your best defense in a crash is your seatbelt — no buts about it. No matter how far you’re driving or whether your passengers are riding in the front or back, every single person in the car should be wearing a seatbelt at all times.

    4. Properly position your hands. Remember when your driver’s ed teacher insisted you keep your hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions? Believe it or not, that 10 and 2 theory has been debunked. Guidelines have recently changed to instruct drivers to keep hands lower on the wheel, either at 9 and 3 or 8 and 4. The modified grip gives you more stability and control and it’s the most ergonomic option.

    5. Only drive when you’re well rested. Getting behind the wheel when you’re seriously exhausted is seriously dangerous. Sleep deprivation can have the same effect on your body as drinking alcohol, and as you can imagine, make it incredibly difficult to pay attention and make fast decisions. And according to a 2010 study, one out of every six fatal crashes involves a drowsy driver. If you’re tired, find an alternative plan — it’s not worth the risk.

    6. Keep a safe distance. It’s never a good idea to get too close to the other cars around you on the road. Maintain a safety cushion around your vehicle so you can see everything going on around you and you have room to act quickly if necessary.

    7. Minimize all distractions. Now you know that looking at or talking on your phone shouldn’t be an option while driving. But ideally, eating, drinking, and searching for that perfect playlist shouldn’t be on your list of behind the wheel activities either. Whenever you’re in the driver’s seat, focus all your attention on the task at the hand.

Of course, accidents can happen despite your best efforts to stay safe. That’s why it’s so important to stick with an insurance company that has your back. Make the smart choice and visit Metromile today for a personalized quote.

The 8 Best Spring Road Trip Destinations

The weather’s warming up, the kids have a break from school, and the open road is calling loud and clear. All those pleasant post-winter happenings can only mean one thing: Spring has officially sprung.
The-8-Best-Spring-Road-Trip-Destinations
Road trips are one great way to soak up some sunshine and scenery, whether you’re bonding with your family or exploring on your own. But if you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of picking a perfect destination, take a deep breath: With so many amazing sights from California to Maine and everywhere in between, you really can’t go wrong on the road.

Here are some of the very best road trip destinations to consider this spring:

1. California’s Pacific Coast Highway


California’s-Pacific-Coast-Highway
Highway 1 is by far the most scenic way to maneuver between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the 550-mile PCH has much more to offer beyond that commute. Drive from north to south to stay on the ocean-side of the road for the whole journey and you might just catch the sunset somewhere between Big Sur and Santa Monica.

2. Hawaii’s Hana Highway


Hana
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in this island paradise, up the ante with a super scenic 52-mile drive along the Road to Hana. You’ll see tropical flowers, bamboo fields, rainforests, and waterfalls from start to finish, but be prepared: there are over 600 hairpin turns and over 50 one-lane bridges to navigate for those stellar views.

3. Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway


Oregon’s-Historic-Columbia-River-Highway
The 70-mile journey from Portland’s Columbia River to the 11,000-foot volcanic Mount Hood (the state’s highest peak) is a Pacific Northwest must. Wildflowers dot the landscape, and you’ll get to see Multnomah Falls, one of America’s tallest yearlong waterfalls.

4. New England Coast


New-England-Coast
Boston is a great destination in and of itself, but if you follow the southern coast from Gloucester, Massachusetts to New Haven, Connecticut, you’ll find 250 miles of marine wildlife to look at and world-famous seafood to sample.

5. Michigan’s Gold Coast


Michigans-Gold-Coast
A beach getaway may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this northern state, but Americans have been flocking to Lake Michigan’s shores since the late 1800s. There are plenty of charming B&Bs and wineries to visit along the 300-mile western shoreline, and you can even take a surf break in New Buffalo!

6. Texas Hill Country


Texas-Hill-Country
Bask in gardens of bluebonnets as you drive the 87 miles that starts just north of Austin and continues through San Antonio and beyond. If you take U.S. 290 west to Johnson City’s Wildflower Loop and then move along U.S. 281 N, you’ll have a chance to see the state’s official bluebonnet capital, Burnet.

7. South Carolina’s Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway


south-carolina
If you plan your trip just right, you might just catch the peach trees in full bloom along SC’s Highway 11, dubbed “Great Blue Hills of God” by the Cherokees. Starting in early June, you’ll be able to pick up loads of local fruit from roadside stands, and the 120-mile route features numerous waterfalls and covered bridges to dazzle the eye.

8. Maine’s Acadia All American Road


Maine’s-Acadia-All-American-Road
Add birdwatching to your agenda if you’re planning to drive the coastal 40-mile road just outside of Acadia National Park: Bald eagles and nesting peregrine are known to frequent the area. The drive starts in Trenton and follows the 27-mile Park Loop Road before heading down to Sand Beach, Otter Cliff, and and Jordan Pond. You’ll get your fill of homemade treats at all the small town haunts along the way (and have the opportunity to work up a sweat hiking Acadia’s 1,532-foot Cadillac Mountain, which overlooks the Atlantic).

Need a car insurance plan that fits your road trip needs? If you’re a Metromile customer, your daily mileage charges are capped at 250 miles per day for each vehicle (150 miles per day in New Jersey). You’ll never be charged for the miles above those amounts in any calendar day.

Make the switch: Visit metromile.com/insurance to learn more and get a quick quote.


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 Insurance Rates Are Rising — Here’s Why

If you’ve had the sneaking suspicion that your car insurance rates have recently skyrocketed, you’re unfortunately not imagining things. Regardless of your location, chances are you’ve noticed a distinct increase on your bill, and that cost spike can be super frustrating. The silver lining is that a better understanding of the state of the auto insurance industry can empower you to make the most informed, educated choices possible when it comes to your plan. More knowledge and awareness means more opportunities to save money and drive smarter — and who doesn’t love that?

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How Much Is Car Insurance Costing Americans These Days?

According to experts, the average American pays more than $1,400 a year for car insurance coverage. And if that sounds like a whole lot, you’re right: auto insurance rates have increased at more than twice the rate of inflation. Current rates are 20% higher than they were in 2011, and every state in the country has increased its rates by anywhere from 1% to 60%. And the past 6 months have been especially rough as rates have gone up by 6% in that time period alone.

What Determines Your Premium Rate?

While $1,427 may be the national average, a lot of factors can impact your personal cost:

  • Local and state laws
  • Population changes and urbanization
  • Your claims history and driving record
  • The addition of any new drivers to your policy or changes of the primary drivers of vehicles on the policy (particularly teenagers: Parents adding a male teenager to their policy may pay as much as $6,186, and in some cases, 227% more than the cost to insure an adult driver alone)
  • Deleting a vehicle from the policy
  • Change of employment
  • Medical conditions that can increase your risk
  • A history of convictions or driving violations
  • Changes to your insurance plan’s structure or payment plan fees
  • Your credit score

But Why The Recent Surge?

While all the factors mentioned above can certainly have an impact on your premium, they don’t account for the recent surge in premium pricing. Experts believe a few different factors could be at play:

  • Extreme weather. In recent months, various parts of the United States have experienced hurricanes, wildfires, and other major natural disasters. Devastating events like these can result in more claims, which drive up the cost of insurance rates.
  • Distracted drivers. Texting and driving don’t mix under any circumstances. As drivers allow themselves to be distracted by their smartphones, they cause more accidents; many of which could be deadly. According to reports, 40,200 people died in 2016 in traffic accidents, an increase of 14% over 2014. Because more road accidents equate to higher costs for insurance companies, those insurers are forced to raise their rates, passing the increased costs along to customers. That’s why in some states if you’re caught texting or using your phone while driving, you’ll see your insurance premium go up by anywhere from 16% to 40%.
  • Better (pricier) technology. While cars are becoming safer thanks to ever-improving technology and design, those very same features are making cars way more expensive to fix in the event of an accident. As insurance companies have to pay more to repair more expensive cars, so do customers.
  • Fraudulent claims. According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, up to $7.7 billion in car insurance injury claims filed in 2012 were fraudulent or included fudged numbers (that’s 33% more than the reported $5.8 billion in 2002). The more claims an insurance company has to pay out, the more the cost of premiums increases. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, “not only does fraud cause higher insurance premiums for all of us, but it also raises our taxes and inflates prices for consumer goods.”

Tips For Keeping Your Premiums As Low As Possible

Luckily, there are some easy ways you can keep your car insurance rates as reasonable as possible:

  • The simplest way: Stop paying for miles you’re not driving and switch to pay-per-mile insurance — you’ll pay a low monthly base rate plus a few cents per mile when you sign up with Metromile. Because you are paying-per-mile, you’ll always have visibility into what your monthly bill is, giving you greater control over your premium amount.
  • Maintain a clean driving record. Staying accident-free on the road may help you score a lower rate.
  • Keep your credit score up. All insurance companies factor your credit score into your quote, so stay on top of those bills. In fact, bumping your score one tier, like from Good to Excellent, can save you up to 17%.

Ready to start saving? 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.