Uninsured and Underinsured – What Do You Do?

It’s not exactly a fun way to pass the time, but do you ever think about what you’d do in the event of an accident? If you were the one responsible (hey, it happens to the best of us), you probably know the steps to take to get the claims process going. And if you’re involved in an accident caused by another party, you’ll want to get up to speed on filing a claim with the other driver’s insurer. But in both those instances, someone’s insurer is there to cover costs and facilitate the process.

Uninsured and Underinsured – What do I do?

So what happens if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have adequate coverage—or worse yet, doesn’t have coverage at all? That’s where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes into the equation.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Just like its name suggests, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (sometimes called UM/UIM) exists to protect you in case another driver hits you and doesn’t have the coverage to pay up for costs and damages. This type of coverage also comes in handy in case of a hit-and-run crash — if another driver hits you and takes off, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will ensure you’re not left on the hook for all of your expenses. Whether you have medical bills, car repair payments, or both, this type of coverage will prevent you from having to pay for everything out-of-pocket.

Even if the at-fault driver in an accident has coverage, it may not be enough to cover your costs. Their liability limits may be too low to pay for your bills, or their limits may be less than or equal to your UM/UIM coverage limit. In both those scenarios, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be a lifesaver.

While this type of coverage may sound like a no-brainer-must-have addition to your policy, not all states make it mandatory. In fact, only 21 states and the District of Columbia require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage by law. And if your state doesn’t mandate it, and you’ve never had a reason to know about it, you might wind up with an unpleasant surprise in the unfortunate event of an accident — after all, according to the Insurance Information Institute, one in eight drivers is uninsured.

The Different Types of UM Coverage

Now that you understand the logic behind UM/UIM coverage, it’s time to get familiar with the two distinct types of UM that exist:

  1. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) can help cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering for people who are protected under your policy (like family members in other cars or passengers in your insured car) if they’re involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
  2. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) can help pay for the damage done to your vehicle if you’re hit by an identifiable uninsured driver (though it’s not always applicable to hit-and-runs). This type of coverage isn’t available in all states, and if it is available in your state, it may not cover hit-and-runs, so be sure to talk to a licensed agent about your specific location and situation.

Some states require drivers to have UMBI and/or UMPD:

  • UMBI coverage is required in: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • UMPD coverage is required in: Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. It’s also required in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, but drivers are allowed to reject it if they submit a written request.

Coverage limits (the total amount an insurance company will pay for a single accident or claim) vary greatly by the insurer and state. There are also different coverage minimums in states where UMBI and/or UMPD are required. For example, in California, the minimum for UMBI coverage is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident, and the minimum for UMPD coverage is $3,500. It’s important to talk to a licensed agent so you know the limits in your specific state (give us a call 1.888.242.5204 to do so).

Do You Really Need UM/UIM Coverage?

Of course, tacking on UM/UIM coverage does come with an added cost. So if you’re on a tight budget, how do you decide if it’s right for you? It might be worth considering the following factors:

  1. The number of uninsured drivers in your specific state (live in Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, Tennessee, or Florida? You’ll want to check out those stats).
  2. The minimum liability coverage your state requires is low, and your vehicle is worth a lot.
  3. If the thought of being involved in a hit-and run (even as a pedestrian, since that’s included) keeps you up at night.

So what is the added cost of UM/UIM coverage? Like pretty much everything in the world of insurance costs, it depends. A lot of pieces of info are factored into the cost of your coverage, like your age and location, claims history, chosen limits, and the type of vehicle you drive. In general, you can expect UM/UIM coverage to make up about 5-10 percent of the total cost of your premium.

Still Have Questions?

This stuff can get confusing, so if you still have questions, it’s totally understandable. And it’s likely other drivers have those questions too — that’s why Metromile has a Help Center that houses some of the most frequently asked questions, including those about UM/UIM coverage. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for there, no problem. The licensed agents at Metromiles are available to answer your questions, provide a free quote, and address any concerns you may have. If you’re an existing customer, call 1.888.311.2909, and if you’re looking to start a new policy, call 1.888.242.5204. No matter whether you’re new to the Metromile family or just looking to better understand your policy, visit www.metromile.com and find out why having the right kind of coverage for your life and budget matters.

How to Choose the Right Property Damage and Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

Every driver knows car insurance is a non-negotiable must. But “car insurance” can mean a slew of different things, depending on the type of coverage you choose. And a lot of factors—like your budget, lifestyle, and vehicle—can affect your choices. Whether you’re a seasoned pro behind the wheel or a first-time driver just learning the ropes, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of some major coverage types so you can select the perfect plan for you.

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Get To Know The Different Types of Liability Coverage

There are many different types of coverage, but three major terms to know are liability, property damage, and bodily injury:

Liability Coverage

Liability Coverage is the basic coverage level required for most drivers in the United States. If you cause an accident, your liability coverage will pay for damages to the other party’s vehicle and/or any bodily injuries they sustained (at the levels chosen). Each state has minimum required liability limits, but it might be worth purchasing a policy with higher limits to make sure you’re better protected. Better protection might mean a higher premium, but it can pay off if you end up needing to use it—if the damage caused in an accident exceeds your coverage limits, you could be held responsible for the remainder. There are two types of liability coverage:

  1. Property Damage (PD) Coverage: is a specific type of liability coverage that covers damages to things (that don’t belong to you). This type of coverage pays for any type of tangible property, including the other driver’s car, or any other pieces of property that may have been involved in an accident you caused, like a building, pole, garage, etc. Some states require drivers to have a predetermined minimum amount of this coverage.
  2. Bodily Injury (BI) Coverage: is required by most states, and it covers damages to people (again—not including you). If you cause an accident, BI coverage will pay for costs related to any injuries or deaths. It covers costs for things like medical treatment, rehabilitation, and funeral costs, as well as costs related to mental or emotional distress that results from bodily injury. If you’re sued for causing an accident, BI coverage may also pay for lawyer’s fees. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to have a predetermined minimum amount of BI coverage.

One of the most important things to know about any type of liability coverage is what it doesn’t cover. If you cause an accident, PD won’t cover any damages to your vehicle, and BI won’t cover any medical expenses you or your passengers might incur. Liability coverage is solely meant to protect other parties in the event that you cause an accident. The good news is, there are plenty of other types of coverage that can come in handy in these unfortunate events.

How To Tell if You Really Need Property Damage and Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Now that you know what these specific coverage types are for, how do you know if they’re right for you? And how much do you really need, anyway? It’s important to consider two big factors when choosing your coverage: your state’s legal requirements and your own financial limitations.

Legal Requirements

First, let’s start with the legal side of things. No matter which state you’re driving in, liability coverage is most likely a must. It’s mandatory in nearly all states, and even in states where it’s not required, there are financial-responsibility laws that can be met by purchasing it. The state-mandated minimums are generally lower than many people would want ($20,000 to $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for all people hurt in the same accident, and up to $25,000 for accident-related property damage).

Your Lifestyle, Your Budget

The next important factor to consider is your budget. The state requirements for liability coverage are pretty modest, so it’s always a good idea to purchase more protection if you can afford it—especially if you own a home and have other assets you want to keep safe in case of a devastating accident and subsequent lawsuit. Do you have a sizable savings account? A valuable vehicle? All those details matter when deciding how much coverage you need.

Different insurance companies have different maximum limits for liability coverage—Metromile offers limits of up to $250,000/$500,000. But don’t worry—opting for more coverage doesn’t mean you’ll be draining your bank account (especially if you’re with Metromile where customers save an average of $611 per year); the more liability coverage you buy, the less expensive it is to add additional coverage. The best way to understand how these costs are broken down into a monthly bill is to connect with a licensed agent and receive a customized quote.

When you’re doing the math to figure out your spending limits, don’t forget one other important factor: your deductible. Your deductible is the out-of-pocket cost you agree to pay before coverage kicks in. You have the ability to choose your deductible amount and liability protection—working with an agent will help you pick the best plan for your unique situation.

Get The Right Amount of Liability Coverage Today

Still have questions? Visit the Metromile Help Center to find answers to some of the most common coverage questions. If you’re in need of a new insurance company that fits your lifestyle and budget, visit metromile.com or call 1.888.242.5204 for a free quote. And if you’re already a customer and ready to learn more about liability coverage, visit the site or call 1.888.311.2909 for more info. Whether you’re new to Metromile or a just expanding your knowledge, there are experts available to guide your way.

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.

A Bill That Fits Your Lifestyle: How Metromile Billing Works

There are a lot of reasons Metromile stands out in a sea of car insurance options, but perhaps the biggest differentiator is its billing model, which is based on a totally sensible premise that others in the insurance game simply haven’t caught on to: the less you drive, the less you pay.

It seems like a no-brainer, but most car insurance companies require customers to pay a flat monthly fee, regardless of whether they’re commuting two hours daily or keeping their weekend vehicle locked in the garage Monday through Friday. With its innovative billing system, Metromile customers actually have control over how much they spend every month, meaning they can tailor their bill to fit their budget and lifestyle. No more wasting cash on a (necessary) service you hardly ever have time to use.

How Metromile Billing Works

Billing isn’t exactly known to be a thrilling topic for most people (unless those people are accountants…in which case, get excited!). But that’s because many companies make billing a confusing, opaque process—the model at Metromile is built on a simple, straightforward premise, so there are no hidden fees or mystery charges. Here’s how it works:

  1. When you first make the switch to Metromile (welcome!), you’ll be charged for your first month’s base rate. That’s it—and in most cases, it’s much lower than you’d expect. Just like other insurance companies, Metromile considers a variety of factors when calculating a base rate—things like the driver age, credit history, type of vehicle, driver history, and more.
  2. At the end of the month, you’ll be charged for the next month’s base rate, plus any miles you drove the previous month, at your per-mile rate. Your pay-per-mile rate is unique to you too, based on those same factors mentioned above.

It’s that simple. Plus, when you first sign up for Metromile, you’ll be enrolled in automatic billing, so you never have to worry about missing payments (New Jersey customers have the option of opting out of this system in favor of manual billing or payment by check). Need to update your billing information? No problem. All you have to do is log on to your online dashboard and follow the easy instructions (this is also where you’ll find your billing statements and a lot of other important info).

Why Your Bill Varies Each Month

You might notice that your rate varies a bit month to month. There are a few good reasons for that. First, it’s important to understand that because your base rate is determined by a daily rate multiplied by the amount of days in each month, shorter months will always cost less (so if there are 31 days in the month versus 30, the base rate will be slightly higher). But your actual daily rate won’t change within a 6-month period unless you make a specific request.

While your base rate will pretty much stay the same (give or take the difference of a few days depending on the length of the month), the other portion of your bill may fluctuate quite a bit—that’s the pay-per-mile portion. Because Metromile doesn’t believe in charging customers for miles they don’t drive (because, well, that’s just not cool), customers are in complete control and have the opportunity to budget their miles accordingly. Your miles are charged retroactively, so you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your actions and, if necessary, make adjustments. Took a few unnecessarily long joyrides last month? If money’s tight this month, you may choose to ride your bike around town instead and save some dough.

The Deal With Prepayment

When you first sign up for Metromile, you’ll also be charged a prepayment that will be applied as a credit toward your next five bills. That means your first five monthly bills will be calculated using this equation:

Base rate + (per-mile rate x miles driven that month) – (prepayment amount/5) = monthly charge for the first five bills

This prepayment is only required for first-time policy holders, but you may be pleasantly surprised each time you receive one of those first five bills and remember you already partially paid them (your future self will thank you!). Your sixth bill won’t receive a credit, and from there on out, your bill will only ever be calculated from your base rate + per-mile rate x miles driven that month.

Your Billing Due Date

Flexibility is great, and Metromile gets that (hence that modifiable billing model). But some things are better set in stone—like your billing date. Your billing cycle begins on your policy effective date. That numerical date on the calendar continues to be your billing date for every remaining month of your Metromile policy (so if your policy starts on the 22nd of May, your billing date will be the 22nd of June, July, August, etc.). Each billing cycle spans a four-week time period and ends on the day before your monthly effective date (so in the above scenario, it would start on the 22nd and end on the 21st of the following month). Your monthly bill will be due two days following your monthly effective date (or four days if you’re in New Jersey).

While you can’t change your billing date, you can absolutely alter your billing method. If you need to change your credit card information, just log into the online dashboard and head to the billing section. If for any reason Metromile doesn’t receive your payment by the due date, you’ll be notified via email, and Metromile will continue to try and charge the card on file. If the card continues to be denied after two failures in a row, Metromile will stop attempting to charge it and instead send you another email with a potential cancellation date for your policy unless payment is received. The good news? No late fees! So just make sure your card info is all up to date, and you won’t run into any problems.

If your main mode of transportation is anything but your car, you might be wondering how billing works during a month of no driving. The answer is simple: it’s the exact same system! You’ll still get a bill for your low monthly base rate and pennies per any miles you did drive. If your car is just parked the whole month, you only pay the base rate. Whether you’re stationary or constantly on the go, you’ll be covered with Metromile. And don’t worry if you take a long road trip—you won’t receive an astronomically high bill. Your daily mileage charges are capped at 250 miles per day for each vehicle (150 miles per day in New Jersey), so you won’t be charged for any miles above those amounts in any calendar day.

Still Have Questions?

So whether you’re always behind the wheel or you avoid the driver’s seat whenever possible Metromile makes sure your bill always fits your lifestyle. If you’re still relying on another traditional form of car insurance, visit metromile.com today to get a free quote. And if you’re a current customer looking for a plan that’s more suitable for your needs, head to the website and see what other options are available—you won’t be disappointed.

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

How to Choose the Right Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

When was the last time you used “subrogation” in a sentence? How about “telematics”? “Indemnity”? Odds are unless you’re studying your handy insurance jargon glossary on a daily basis, you’re probably not dropping these terms into casual conversation. The world of insurance terms can be confusing, intimidating, and downright frustrating, especially to someone just learning the ropes. Whether your switching insurance companies, changing plans, or just trying to educate yourself on your options, you might quickly find yourself bemoaning the often-confusing, sometimes-convoluted, always-complicated terminology.

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Luckily, Metromile has found a way to make insurance lingo actually make sense—even to the most inexperienced newbie. Finding a plan that fits your budget and lifestyle and keeps you feeling at ease knowing you’re covered is so important—not just for your peace of mind, but for your physical and financial security. Here’s what you need to know so you can choose the plan that’s perfect for you.

What Do “Comprehensive” and “Collision Coverage” Cover Anyways?

Throw the word “comprehensive” on anything and it sounds pretty impressive and all-encompassing, right? What else could you possibly need if you’ve got something “comprehensive” on your side? Well, for starters, collision coverage. If you’re struggling to make sense of how something “comprehensive” could omit an issue as major as collisions (especially when cars are involved), you’re not alone. Before you judge a book by its cover and go with the first seemingly all-inclusive plan you see, get to know the ins and outs of what “comprehensive” and “collision” coverage are really all about:

  • Collision insurance coverage: Collision coverage helps pay for repairs to your own vehicle in case you crash into another car, an object, or you experience a roll-over. This type of insurance will also help cover the cost to replace your car if it is totaled in an accident. In the event of a hit-and-run, your car could be covered with this type of insurance, but it’s not guaranteed in all states. While you might think this type of coverage should be required, it’s not—most states only mandate you to have coverage for injuries or damages you cause to someone else in an accident. There aren’t many states that require drivers to have insurance that covers their own damages.
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage: Comprehensive coverage is also optional in most states, but you’ll want it if you think it’s a good idea to be covered in the event of non-accident-related damages. Comprehensive coverage helps pay to repair or replace your car for damages that occurred in just about anything but an accident. Usually, this type of plan covers damages from events including natural disasters, fires, falling objects, vandalism, theft, and hitting (or being hit) by animals like deer, cows, bears, etc.

While both collision and comprehensive plans cover a lot of ground, neither one truly protects you in all situations across the board. There are certain things neither one cover—take vehicle wear and tear, for example. If you need new brake pads or a headlight bulb replaced, you won’t be able to rely on collision or comprehensive coverage to foot the bill. And while comprehensive coverage will be a huge help if your car is stolen, it won’t help you replace any items that were in that stolen vehicle.

Do You Really Need Comprehensive and/or Collision Coverage?

In most states, no one’s going to (figuratively!) twist your arm to sign up for comprehensive and collision coverage. The majority of states only require liability coverage (which covers damages for the people you hit in the event of an accident that’s your fault). But just because you’re not required to have additional coverage doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t consider it.

When you’re trying to figure out the kind of coverage you really need and want, it’s best to look beyond the bare minimum legal requirements of your state and take stock of several factors in your life:

  • What’s your monthly budget? The more money you pay for your policy and the lower you set your deductible, the less money you’ll have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident or other event. You don’t want to barely scrape by every month in order to afford your coverage, but you do want to settle on an amount that’s affordable and puts your mind at ease.
  • Do you have an emergency fund? If you don’t opt for collision or comprehensive coverage, could you repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a crash or other incident?
  • Do you own your car? If you lease or finance your car, your bank may require you to have collision or comprehensive coverage (be sure you’ve closely studied your contract!), but if the car is all yours, then you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you have the funds to fix or replace it after a damaging event.
  • How likely are you to file a claim? It’s impossible to predict the future, and the saying “accidents happen” is a saying for a reason. But if you know you’ve gotten into your fair share of fender benders over the years, then that fact is worth taking into consideration.

If you’ve mulled those questions over and come to the realization that collision and/or comprehensive coverage is right for you, then it’s time to figure out how much you need. Here’s where your deductible comes into play—that’s the out-of-pocket expense that you agree to pay for losses up to a set amount, like $250 or $1,000. The lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay for insurance (since your out-of-pocket expense will be lower and your insurer will have to cover the rest). You can also choose to pay a higher deductible and pay less for insurance, but that means if you do want to take advantage of your collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to shell out more out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the rest.

So while there’s unfortunately no perfect mathematical formula (or magic spell) to reveal your ideal level of coverage, understanding all the factors involved and thoughtfully considering the options that fit your budget and lifestyle will help you land on a plan that leaves you feeling content and comfortable.

Still Have Questions?

Totally understandable—this stuff is tricky. One great way to get more answers to common questions is to visit the Metromile Help Center. There, you’ll be able to comb through content on a variety of topics like billing, pricing, coverage, and more. If you’ve got a question, chances are someone else has it, has had it, or will have it in the future.

If you’d rather talk one-on-one with a qualified specialist, Metromile has plenty of those too. Call 1.888.242.5204 any time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m .PT, Monday through Friday, and a licensed agent will be able to address any of your concerns, give you a personalized quote, or start your new policy. Already a customer? Awesome. Call 1.888.311.2909 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and a qualified specialist will help you out. Your driving situation is unique—be sure to choose a company that gets that and will work with you to find a customized plan that makes sense and meets your needs.

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

How to Master Your Monthly Bill (Tips For Creating a Mileage Budget)

With most car insurance premiums, you cannot control the amount you pay. You get a quote and cross your fingers, hoping that your bill won’t break the bank. Even if it does, you still have no choice but to pay it, because car insurance is non-negotiable… right?

Here at Metromile, we do things a little differently. Instead of paying a flat fee, your monthly car insurance bill varies and is based on two simple things: your monthly base rate + the pennies-per-mile you pay. That’s it – and it’s all within your control.

Want to learn how to become the master of your monthly bill? Right this way – follow us.

Figuring Out Your Mileage Budget

We get it – figuring out a mileage budget can be stressful, time-consuming, and maybe a little unpleasant. After all, it can be easier to hop into the car and drive anywhere your heart desires without thinking about the slowly ticking odometer. Maybe you have a strict monthly budget you need to stick to. Maybe you don’t want to have a bill that fluctuates from month-to-month. If your ultimate goal is to take control of your financial future, the first thing to check off your list is creating your monthly mileage budget.

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First, on a spreadsheet (or even just a plain ol’ piece of paper), create two columns. In the first column, write down your monthly Metromile base rate. This is the rate that you would be responsible for paying even if you drove zero miles. In the second column, write down the estimated mileage for every destination you need to drive to in a month. For example, if you drive to and from your job, estimate your daily mileage and multiply it by 20 (the number of working days in a month). If you drive to and from church on Sunday, estimate that mileage and multiply by 4. Keep doing this until you have a fairly good estimate of the miles that you consistently drive each month.

Once you have your estimated monthly mileage, multiply that number by your per-mile rate. Add the number you just calculated to your monthly base rate in the first column and voilà! You have successfully estimated the cost of your monthly Metromile bill.

How To Stick to Your Mileage Budget

If the number you calculated is looking a little bit higher than you’d like it to be, try to brainstorm ways to cut down on the number of miles that you drive each month, like Brian D. did. In December, Brian drove 730.1 miles, mostly shopping for presents and visiting his family in Southern California for the Holidays. The following months, he didn’t drive much, but in March, his monthly mileage peaked at 682.5 miles, which included a 3-day weekend trip to the wine country with friends. He also regularly checks the Metromile app to know how much he owes at one point in time.




Consider the following options to minimize the quantity of miles driven:

  • Carpool to work or events with a friend or family member
  • Bike to the store, to church, or even to work instead of driving
  • Whenever possible, choose to take public transportation
  • Consolidate the number of errands/trips to the store and try to go only once a week
  • Take the drive with the least amount of miles, even if it’s not as scenic as your usual route
    If your morning routine includes stopping for coffee or breakfast, pick a coffee shop that’s already on your usual route instead of driving out of your way for that French roast you can’t seem to live without
  • Shop online rather than driving all over town
  • Deposit checks with a phone camera and app instead of driving to the bank
  • If you can, call into a meeting or video chat instead of driving to the office
  • Avoid circling around the block for parking – have a game plan of where you’re going to park before getting to your destination

All of these seemingly insignificant things can really add up to a lot of extra miles driven at the end of the month! These options to reduce your monthly mileage may help save you hundreds at the end of the year, and some are probably why you’ve decided to switch to Metromile in the first place. As a bonus, the fewer miles you drive, the less you’ll have to spend on gas each month. That’s a win-win in our book.

You Are Now the Master of Your Monthly Bill

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a mileage budget and (most likely) a lower monthly car insurance bill. Well done! By implementing these tips and strategies, you were able to lower your monthly insurance bill to fit within your budget. As with all things in life, the fine art of budgeting takes a bit of time and skill – but you’re well on your way to a healthy financial future.

This exercise is also helpful for prospective Metromile customers, and something that we already take into account when offering a free quote. As always, whether you’re a current Metromile customer or are thinking about making the switch, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line and let us know how we can help. 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

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance When You Travel?

If you’ve ever rented a car, you know firsthand how bewildering the experience can be. The rental car company give you a daily rate, but there always seems to be hidden fees cloaked in ambiguous terms (what is a ‘vehicle license recovery fee,’ anyway?). Then, there’s the car insurance. Do you actually need it when you’re already paying for insurance on the vehicle that you own?

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance When You Travel?

From your existing car insurance coverage to getting coverage through your credit card company, let’s explore the options available to you – a sure-fire way to prevent the rental car companies from wringing you dry.

Will I be covered by my existing car insurance policy?

First things first: will your existing car insurance policy cover your rental car? It might. Check your policy to find out which coverages extend to your rental car before getting up to the counter. That way, you can confidently add or decline the rental car insurance when you’re put on-the-spot by a pushy rental car agent. Do keep in mind that rental cars may be covered under your car insurance policy for personal use only – that means if you’re using the rental car for business or commercial uses, your insurance may not cover it.

Will my credit card company provide rental car coverage?

If you’re planning on using a credit card to pay for your rental, you may be covered by the credit card company. Check with your credit card company to find out what additional rental car coverage is provided. All four major credit card companies (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) provide some sort of rental car coverage.

To ensure that you’re covered, you must pay for the entire rental car bill on your credit card and decline any supplemental insurance offered by the rental car company. This is key – if you sign up for the supplemental coverage, your credit card company will not cover you. Also, your credit card company will not cover your rental car in some popular destinations, including: Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and Australia. Again, to avoid frustration and confusion, be sure you have all the answers on what is covered and what isn’t before you get up to the rental car counter.

When should I opt-in for rental car insurance, then?

Ah, yes. There are a handful of situations where opting into rental car insurance just makes sense:

  • You’re traveling for business: As previously mentioned, if you’re using the rental car for business or commercial purposes, you likely may not be covered through your existing policy.
  • You don’t have car insurance (or you have the bare minimum): If:
    • a) you don’t have car insurance,
    • b) you have very high deductibles, or
    • c) you don’t have comprehensive and/or collision coverage,

    you’ll probably want to think about at least opting for the rental company’s loss damage waiver. If you have no car insurance at all, you’ll also need to spring for supplemental liability.

  • You’re traveling abroad to a destination that’s not covered: If you’re traveling internationally, chances are that your car insurance provider won’t cover your rental car. Again, popular international destinations, such as Italy, Australia, Ireland, Israel, and Jamaica are not eligible for rental car coverage through your credit card company.
  • You’re worried about an incident affecting your existing car insurance premiums: If you’re worried about getting into an accident in the rental car and concerned your car insurance premiums will go up, get the rental car insurance. This way, you’ll still be covered and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your existing car insurance rate won’t skyrocket.

Remember – rental car companies are counting on you to not do your homework. Show up to the counter prepared and know when to opt-in and when to decline the rental car insurance coverage (those agents can be pushy!). If you’re already a Metromile customer, most Metromile policy coverages do transfer to the rental vehicle. There is no need to plug the Pulse device into the rental vehicle as you won’t be charged for mileage while driving the rental vehicle. Be sure to consult your policy contract or feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your coverage. If you’re not yet a Metromile customer, click here to get a free quote today to find out how much you could be saving! 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 “Aware” of Insurance Are You?

Wedged between Flag Day and the Fourth of July is the summer holiday you probably didn’t know you needed: Insurance Awareness Day. That’s right—June 28 is the day Americans are encouraged to educate themselves on their current policies and make sure they’re getting the coverage they need. We’re not totally sure what constitutes an appropriate way to celebrate this annual event (would streamers and balloons be overkill?), but we do know the day is a great excuse to get familiar with the ins and outs of insurance and feel confident that you’re covered.

pay-per-mile car insurance

While Insurance Awareness Day may not get the same Hallmark treatment as some other national commemorations, the holiday is worth recognizing. After all, according to a survey from car insurance comparison marketplace, The Zebra, 81 percent of consumers say they have the coverage they need, but 99 percent failed to correctly identify 10 basic coverage types and terms. Potentially more shocking? Twenty-two percent of respondents didn’t even realize they’re required by law to have car insurance. Scary, right?

You may know a thing or two about car insurance (or you may be part of that twenty-two percent—that’s okay! No judgment!). No matter how much knowledge you think you’ve got, it’s always a great idea to brush up on the basics and feel safe, secure, and satisfied with your coverage.

Why Insurance Coverage Is a Must

While most people do know they need car insurance, far fewer probably know why. Like any other kind of security, car insurance protects you (and your passengers) in case of an unexpected incident, like an accident, theft, damage, etc. Every state requires drivers to have some kind of insurance plan, but the specific requirements vary based on location. Regardless of where you live though, the local law does require you to prove you can pay damages in the event of an accident.

It seems straightforward, but car insurance can get a lot more complex than that. There are various types that offer different levels of protection; some are required and some are optional. Understanding the factors that go into determining the type of coverage you need can help you find a plan that’s got your back at a premium that won’t break the bank.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Policy

Unless you’re an insurance professional, chances are you’re a little perplexed by all the paperwork that comes with coverage. Getting to know a few key terms can help you get up to speed:

  • Declaration page: This refers to the first page (or several pages) of your policy that states the name of the person insured, their address, the insurance provider, the policy term, coverage limits, and other key facts about the plan and who it’s covering.
  • Coverage: This one seems simple, but there are various types of car insurance coverage available:

    • Bodily Injury (BI) coverage is required by most states to cover costs related to injuries or deaths to other people in the event of an accident that’s your fault.
    • Property Damage Liability (PD) covers the cost of damages to someone else’s property if you’re at fault in an accident.
    • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) covers you in an accident if other driver is at-fault and uninsured.
    • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIMBI) is very similar to UMBI but pays up to the limit for expenses in case 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 could pay the medical deductibles and copayments that aren’t covered by your health insurer, or the insurer of any of your passengers.
    • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers your medical costs regardless of who’s at fault for the accident.
    • Comprehensive coverage can be helpful if your car is stolen or damaged in ways that don’t involve a collision.
    • Collision coverage covers you if your car collides with another object (like a car, a brick wall, a tree, etc).
    • Collision Deductible Waiver 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 uninsured at-fault driver.
    • Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage pays for damages to your car if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Deductible: The out-of-pocket amount you have to pay after a covered event (like an accident, theft, or weather damage) before your insurance kicks in. It’s basically your financial responsibility in case anything happens. For example, if your car requires $5,000 in repairs, and your deductible is $1,000, you’ll have to pay $1,000 before your insurer will pay the remaining $4,000. Your car insurance deductible will be applied for each claim you file (unlike health insurance deductibles which apply across the calendar year). That means if you submit two car insurance claims in a year, you’ll have to pay your deductible both times.
  • Premium: Your premium is the amount of money you pay your insurer to provide coverage for qualifying claims. The amount you pay is based on a variety of factors, including type and amount of coverage you want, the type of car you drive, your location, your driving record, your credit history, your age, your gender, and marital status.
  • Claim: A demand made by the insured person for provide coverage and compensation from the insurance company in the event of a loss, subject to the terms of the insurance policy contract.
  • Risk Assessment: This is how likely the insurer thinks it will be that you’ll file a claim, based on your driving record and other factors—this determines your rate.

How to Pick The Coverage That’s Right For You

To say car insurance is confusing is a major understatement. To know which kind of coverage you need, it’s best to ask yourself a series of questions so you can figure out the right policy for you. Here are some things to consider:

  • How much coverage do you need (and what’s required by your state)?
  • How much do you drive?
  • What’s your risk assessment?
  • Who will the policy cover?
  • What will your deductible be?
  • Is your car leased or financed?
  • Will you be driving for work?

Still confused? We don’t blame you—auto coverage can be a thorny issue. To ring in Insurance Awareness Day this year, why not visit metromile.com? You’ll find lots more information and have the chance to get a free quote. Now that’s the perfect way to celebrate.

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.

Metromile How-To: Modify Your Policy

Metromile is committed to making car insurance more accessible and easier than ever before. We know insurance can be confusing, but our goal is to simplify the whole process. We want to save our customers the time and hassle of having to manage their insurance policy, and instead give them the peace of mind of knowing Metromile has your back, no matter what. But we also understand that your insurance needs may change over time; you may get a new car, move in with a boyfriend, or even sell an older car. Did you know that with Metromile you can make changes to your policy online or right from your mobile app? Save your precious time and add your vehicle or change your address with a few clicks of your fingers.

Trying to get the hang of how to navigate your Metromile online dashboard? Maybe you would place yourself in the not so tech-savvy category? Don’t worry we put together steps on how to complete several different changes (what we call “endorsements”) to your Metromile policy.

Metromile-How-To-Self-Service-Endorsements-

How to Make Changes to Your Metromile Policy: Self-Service Endorsements

The first step is to be logged into your account. All changes can be made by clicking the “Policy” tab at the top of the page.

Adding/removing a vehicle:

    1. Click the ADD OR EDIT VEHICLES button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. If you want to ADD a New Vehicle:

    • click ADD NEW VEHICLE, enter your new vehicle information in.
    • Select NEXT.
    • The following screen will be the VEHICLE COVERAGE screen. Your rates will update on the right hand side.
    • Select SAVE VEHICLE at the bottom.

    5. If you want to REMOVE a vehicle:

    • Click Remove.
    • A pop-up asking you to confirm changes will appear. Click ‘confirm.’

Adding/removing a driver:

    1. Click the ADD OR EDIT DRIVERS button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Click ADD A NEW DRIVER, REMOVE A DRIVER, or EDIT an existing driver.
    5. If you’re adding a new driver:

    • Enter in the driver information.
    • Click ADD DRIVER.
    • Rates will update on the right hand side.

    6. If you’re removing a driver:

    • Click REMOVE DRIVER.
    • A screen will pop up with a disclaimer to read.
    • Once reading it through to proceed push YES, REMOVE.

Changing Policy Coverages:

    1. Click the “Add or Edit Drivers” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Under Vehicles in the Edit Policy page, you will a Policy Coverage section, push EDIT option.
    5. Choose your new limits.
    6. Click SAVE.

Changing Vehicle Coverages:

    1. Click the “Add or Edit Vehicles” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. Click EDIT COVERAGE on the specific vehicle you wish to edit.
    4. Choose your new coverage options.
    5. Click SAVE.

Changing Vehicle Lienholder:

    1. Click the “Add Lienholder” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. Under the specific vehicle, click Add Lienholder.
    4. Enter in your lienholder information.
    5. Click SAVE.

Updating/Changing Your Address:

    1. Depending on whether you are updating your garaging address or mailing address click “EDIT” next to the one you would like to update.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Click EDIT next to the type of address – if you wish to update all of the addresses, you will be given that option.
    5. Enter your new address.
    6. Select whether or not to use the same address for your billing and mailing address.
    7. Click SAVE.

When making updates to your policy you will see a panel on the right hand of your screen that reviews any rates changes and has a CONTINUE button at the bottom. When you are ready and have inputted all the changes you want to make, push the CONTINUE button. Keep in mind that all changes will not be saved unless you SUBMIT and PAY, which should be the very last screen. Some changes may require an electronic signature, but if a signature is required you will see this section appear near the end of updating your policy process.

Now you are a self-service endorsement wizard! New car, new house, new driver, no problem. Any changes you will need in the future for your policy can all be done online when you log into your Metromile account. If you ever have any questions about your policy visit our Help Center, or you can find this page by clicking the “Contact Support” in the drop-down menu next to your name when you are logged into your account. If you haven’t yet made the switch to per-mile insurance, but are interested in making your auto insurance simple and easy, get a free quote today.

Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. She is Metromile’s Senior Social Media Advocate and helps to maintain our online communities. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.

Metromile How-To: Self-Service Endorsements

Metromile is committed to making car insurance more accessible and easier than ever before. We know insurance can be confusing, but our goal is to simplify the whole process. We want to save our customers the time and hassle of having to manage their insurance policy, and instead give them the peace of mind of knowing Metromile has your back, no matter what. But we also understand that your insurance needs may change over time; you may get a new car, move in with a boyfriend, or even sell an older car. Did you know that with Metromile you can make changes to your policy online or right from your mobile app? Save your precious time and add your vehicle or change your address with a few clicks of your fingers.

Trying to get the hang of how to navigate your Metromile online dashboard? Maybe you would place yourself in the not so tech-savvy category? Don’t worry we put together steps on how to complete several different changes (what we call “endorsements”) to your Metromile policy.

Metromile-How-To-Self-Service-Endorsements-

How to Make Changes to Your Metromile Policy: Self-Service Endorsements

The first step is to be logged into your account. All changes can be made by clicking the “Policy” tab at the top of the page.

Adding/removing a vehicle:

    1. Click the ADD OR EDIT VEHICLES button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. If you want to ADD a New Vehicle:

    • click ADD NEW VEHICLE, enter your new vehicle information in.
    • Select NEXT.
    • The following screen will be the VEHICLE COVERAGE screen. Your rates will update on the right hand side.
    • Select SAVE VEHICLE at the bottom.

    5. If you want to REMOVE a vehicle:

    • Click Remove.
    • A pop-up asking you to confirm changes will appear. Click ‘confirm.’

Adding/removing a driver:

    1. Click the ADD OR EDIT DRIVERS button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Click ADD A NEW DRIVER, REMOVE A DRIVER, or EDIT an existing driver.
    5. If you’re adding a new driver:

    • Enter in the driver information.
    • Click ADD DRIVER.
    • Rates will update on the right hand side.

    6. If you’re removing a driver:

    • Click REMOVE DRIVER.
    • A screen will pop up with a disclaimer to read.
    • Once reading it through to proceed push YES, REMOVE.

Changing Policy Coverages:

    1. Click the “Add or Edit Drivers” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Under Vehicles in the Edit Policy page, you will a Policy Coverage section, push EDIT option.
    5. Choose your new limits.
    6. Click SAVE.

Changing Vehicle Coverages:

    1. Click the “Add or Edit Vehicles” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. Click EDIT COVERAGE on the specific vehicle you wish to edit.
    4. Choose your new coverage options.
    5. Click SAVE.

Changing Vehicle Lienholder:

    1. Click the “Add Lienholder” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. Under the specific vehicle, click Add Lienholder.
    4. Enter in your lienholder information.
    5. Click SAVE.

Updating/Changing Your Address:

    1. Depending on whether you are updating your garaging address or mailing address click “EDIT” next to the one you would like to update.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Click EDIT next to the type of address – if you wish to update all of the addresses, you will be given that option.
    5. Enter your new address.
    6. Select whether or not to use the same address for your billing and mailing address.
    7. Click SAVE.

When making updates to your policy you will see a panel on the right hand of your screen that reviews any rates changes and has a CONTINUE button at the bottom. When you are ready and have inputted all the changes you want to make, push the CONTINUE button. Keep in mind that all changes will not be saved unless you SUBMIT and PAY, which should be the very last screen. Some changes may require an electronic signature, but if a signature is required you will see this section appear near the end of updating your policy process.

Now you are a self-service endorsement wizard! New car, new house, new driver, no problem. Any changes you will need in the future for your policy can all be done online when you log into your Metromile account. If you ever have any questions about your policy visit our Help Center, or you can find this page by clicking the “Contact Support” in the drop-down menu next to your name when you are logged into your account. If you haven’t yet made the switch to per-mile insurance, but are interested in making your auto insurance simple and easy, get a free quote today.

Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. She is Metromile’s Senior Social Media Advocate and helps to maintain our online communities. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.

How Points on Your License Affect Your Car Insurance Premium

Past behavior can predict future behavior, according to your car insurance provider. Even if you got a speeding ticket as a reckless twenty-something driver but you’re now a responsible and safe thirty-something driver, you could still be paying higher-than-average rates for your car insurance premiums. That’s a scary thought.

How-Points-on-Your-License-Can-Affect-Your-Car-Insurance-Premiums

Many states use something called the “points system” to keep track of moving violations on a person’s driver’s license. Points are not a good thing (this isn’t a video game), and the more points you have on your driving record, the higher insurance premiums you may face paying. This is because more points = higher risk driver. As a high-risk driver, you are more likely to file an insurance claim. A good rule of thumb: the more serious a driving offense, the more points on your license.

How Points on Your License Affect Your Car Insurance Premiums

What kinds of violations will get points?

Well, speeding is the most common. The faster you were going at the time of the violation, the more points will be added to your driving record. For example: if you were going 10 mph over the posted speed limit, that is equal to 1 point. 11 to 20 mph over is 2 points. 40 mph over or more may be as high as 5 points. Ouch!

There are 18 states that consider texting and driving a moving violation and will add points to your license. Here are the states where that’s possible right now: Alabama, Colorado, DC, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Nevada, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

DUIs are a more serious offense, and in many cases, the points system is skipped entirely and your license is suspended or revoked. When someone obtains a DUI, insurance companies go on high alert, as this indicates that the individual is an extremely high-risk driver. Some insurance companies will drop the individual’s insurance policy altogether, as they deem it simply too risky.

Non-moving violations, such as parking tickets, broken tail lights, etc. will not result in points being added to your license.

How long do the points stay on someone’s record?

In most states, 2 or 3 years. Every state’s rules are different, though, so be sure to check out the rules in your state before hitting the road. In Nevada, for example, points tied to minor moving violations (such as making an illegal U-turn or not coming to a complete stop) are removed after 1 year. In California, points tied to a major event – such as a DUI or hit-and-run – stick around on someone’s license for 10 years.

Click here to see the full breakdown by state.

How does my insurance company find out about points on my license?

When you apply for a new policy or renew a current policy, your insurance company will look into your MVR (motor vehicle record). If you are renewing a current policy and there have been changes since you initially applied for your policy, the amount you pay for your premiums may go up or down (depending on what’s been updated on your MVR). Keep your driving record clean and keep your green!

Do keep in mind that the rules in each state differ. Be sure to check out the DMV website in your state to find out more information on the points system. As always, Metromilers, we’re here to answer any questions you may have about your current policy. If you’re thinking of making the switch to Metromile, it never hurts to get a free quote – so why not get one today? Be safe 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