What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

There are the minor inconveniences that make a morning tough — insufficient caffeine consumption, overflowing inbox, etc. — and then there are the major, stomach-churning situations that derail more than just your day. A prime example? Walking out to your car, only to find an empty spot.

Vehicle theft sucks, and unfortunately, it’s on the rise: As Metromile reported in June, 5.9 billion dollars were lost to motor vehicle theft in 2016, according to the FBI. That equates to 765,484 total vehicle thefts in the U.S., 60,000 of which happened in the L.A. area alone. And while recovering a stolen vehicle is possible, it only happens 42% of the time.

The silver lining here (seriously, there is one) is that while having your car stolen is a violating, unpleasant experience, knowing what to do when it happens and how to avoid it in the first place can significantly cut down on the emotional turmoil and post-theft logistical headaches.

Avoiding Car Theft In The First Place

The best strategy for sidestepping any theft-related unpleasantness is, of course, to avoid the theft altogether. And while you can’t guarantee a theft-proof future for your vehicle, you can take important steps to minimize the risk.

  • If you’re on the market for a car, it’s worth knowing which makes and models are most likely to be stolen. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2017 Hot Wheels Report, the 1998 Honda Civic, 1997 Honda Accord, and 2006 Ford Pickup are the three most likely to be taken. Check out the top 10 list to see which vehicles you might want to avoid if you can help it.
  • This may seem obvious, but don’t — seriously, don’t — leave your car running while you hop out for a quick errand. It takes a split second for a thief to take advantage of an easy situation, so always turn your car off and always take the keys with you (and lock up!).
  • Never leave personal belongings on the seat or in plain sight.
  • Try your best to always park in well-lit, populated areas.
  • Consider investing in an anti-theft device — in some states, Metromile offers a discount for having an anti-theft or recovery device installed.
  • If that’s not enough of a reason for you to switch to Metromile, consider this: the Smart Driving app and the Pulse device helps customers track down their vehicles in the unfortunate event that their car is stolen.

What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

The most important thing you can do if your car is stolen is to act quickly — the longer you wait to take action, the less likely it is that your car will ever find its way back to you. Here’s your to-do list:

  1. Contact the police right away. You won’t be able to file an insurance claim until you file a police report, so talk to law enforcement ASAP. Be prepared to share some key info, including the make, model, year, and color of your car, the license plate number, any distinctive features, and the vehicle identification number (VIN).
  2. Contact your insurance company. You’ll also want to do this quickly — preferably within 24 hours of the theft. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may be able to receive payment for your stolen vehicle. But even if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you’ll need to notify your carrier so that you’re protected in case the thieves hurt someone or damage something with your vehicle.
  3. Contact the DMV — since the agency keeps a database of stolen vehicles, they may be helpful in the search.

The Metromile Customer Advantage: Metromile Car Recovery

While it’s tough to consider anyone who’s experienced car theft “lucky,” Metromile customers who are victims of the crime do have a unique advantage. The Metromile Pulse device can actually help track a car’s location so that it’s visible on the Metromile app.

This isn’t just a theoretical tool — the Pulse has been used to recover stolen cars before! If you’re a Metromile customer and your car is stolen, it’s still imperative that you follow the proper protocol and report the theft to the appropriate parties, but know that you may have helpful information on your side.

If The Car Is Gone For Good, Are You Covered?

No one wants to face the fact that their property may just be lost for good, but if enough time has passed and it looks like your car is long gone, never to return, it’s time to take stock of your losses.

The only form of insurance that totally reimburses the cost of a stolen car is comprehensive coverage — this is the type of plan that will also cover your vehicle in the case of a natural disaster, or a fluke accident, like a fallen tree.

So what happens if you don’t have comprehensive coverage? If you’re dealing with a stolen car, then you have a “total loss,” meaning the lost value, or repair cost of your vehicle exceeds its insured value. Metromile customers who experience a total loss will still need to have insurance to cover a rental car, but won’t be charged for any mileage while shopping for a replacement vehicle.

As for the items that were taken along with your stolen car, there’s good news and bad news. First, the bad: car insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost of stolen personal items. However, if you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, you may be able to get some help covering the costs.

What To Do If/When You Get Your Car Back

So you got your car back — congrats! Now what? Do a happy dance and then take a look around to see if any personal items were stolen. It’s also a good idea to assess any damage to the interior or exterior and check with your insurance provider to see what is/isn’t covered under your plan.

Still Have Questions?

No worries, we have the answers. Check out our FAQ page in the Metromile Help Center to see if there’s already an answer to your inquiry. And if your question isn’t answered there, you can get direct, customized guidance from one of Metromile’s licensed agents by calling 1.888.242.5204 to talk it out.

Whether you’re freaked out by the prospect of a stolen car or trying to recover from a theft, you’ll want to work with an insurance company that has your back in every situation. If you’re thinking about making the switch, call 1.888.242.5204 or visit https://www.metromile.com today for a free quote.

Everything You Need to Know About the Metromile App

Here at Metromile, we’re more than just car insurance; we have made it our mission to make owning a car easier than ever before. Did you know that in addition to all of our awesome coverage such as Comprehensive, PIP/MedPay, Property Damage, and Uninsured/Underinsured, you also get unlimited access to our smart driving app? The Metromile app is packed full of useful features – you can file a claim, view your proof of insurance card, make changes to your policy, call for roadside assistance, and more!

If you were today years old when you found out we have an app or already use it on the reg, there are always new and useful things to discover. Let’s explore the different features and maybe you’ll learn something new!

Everything You Need to Know About the Metromile App

Insurance Features

First up, let’s explore the insurance features of the app and how you can access each of them.

  1. Proof of Insurance
    Your Proof of Insurance card is what you need to display when you get into an accident, get pulled over by a police officer, and when you go into the DMV to register your vehicle. It is required by law to carry proof of insurance in the vehicle you are driving.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. Your Proof of Insurance document is in the menu underneath the ‘Start a New Claim’ menu. Tap on ‘Proof of Insurance’ to access your up-to-date Proof of Insurance documents.

  2. File a Claim
    You can easily handle filing a claim directly from the Metromile smart driving app – praise be! Report an accident, file for glass repair, and call for roadside assistance, all without opening a browser.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. On the top navigation menu, tap what kind of claim it is – roadside assistance, glass repair, or an accident. Follow the prompts on the screen, which will walk you through the appropriate questions.

  3. Make Changes to Your Policy
    Did you know that you can make changes to your policy from the smart driving app? Such a handy feature! Edit your coverage and add or remove drivers directly through the app – no phone call required. Note: you can make multiple updates, but you’ll only be able to submit changes once per day.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. Once you’re on the ‘Insurance’ page, tap on ‘Edit Policy’ in the center menu (fourth option down). For security reasons, the app will have you log into your account again. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be able to see your Metromile dashboard. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and navigate to ‘Policy.’ Scroll down the page and see the changes you’re able to make, such as adding or editing drivers, adding or editing vehicles, adding or editing lienholders, and editing the garaging and mailing addresses.

  4. Roadside Assistance
    Calling for roadside assistance is now as easy as firing up the Metromile smart driving app! You can request a tow, call for assistance changing a flat tire, or request a battery jump and our Metromile roadside service team will be there to assist you every step of the way.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. On the top navigation menu, tap ‘Roadside Assistance.’ Follow the prompts on the screen, which will walk you through the appropriate questions to figure out exactly what your needs are. Then sit tight and our Metromile team will dispatch a service technician to help you out.

Billing Features

Another great feature of the Metromile app is the ability to view your monthly charges and keep up-to-date on what your current bill is shaping up to be. This allows you to be strategic in planning your trips and puts you in control of your monthly bill. The app can even tell you how much certain trips cost in fuel! Pretty neat, huh?

  • How to Access in the App
    Handle all your billing needs directly from the Metromile smart driving app by navigating to the ‘Billing’ icon in the bottom menu. By tapping on the icon, the app will open your billing history and include your current monthly charges. To see the cost in fuel, navigate to the ‘Trips’ icon in the bottom menu. Then tap a particular trip and scroll to the bottom of the page. The miles driven, time driving, fuel cost, and estimated MPG will all be displayed. To update your billing information, tap the cog icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and navigate to ‘Payment Method.’
Car Features

As a (free!) bonus to all of our Metromile customers who use the smart driving app, we provide car features, such as a vehicle locator (very handy if your car is towed or stolen), street sweeping alerts, a check engine light decoder, and trip tracking and details.

  1. Vehicle Locator
    The vehicle locator feature is on the overview page when you first open the Metromile smart driving app. On the overview page, there is a map with a pin placed where your car is parked. The pin also displays the fuel level in the tank, so you know when it’s time for a fill-up!
  2. Street Sweeping Alerts
    If your car is parked in a street sweeping location, the Metromile app will let you know. Be sure to go into the Settings on your phone and turn on notifications from Metromile – we won’t spam you, we promise! We’ll only notify you if your car is in danger of getting a ticket or towed for being parked in a street sweeping zone. Note that the street sweeping alerts are currently available in the following select cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
  3. Check Engine Light Decoder
    Save yourself an arm and a leg at the car repair shop by getting a free check engine light reading with the Metromile smart driving app! If your check engine light pops on, the Metromile app will decode it and let you know what the problem is. To view in the app, navigate to the ‘Overview’ tab and scroll to the bottom. Once you know what the issue is, you’ll be able to do your own research on the problem and find a solution, rather than relying on the mercy of the repair shop.
  4. Trip Tracking and Details
    If you’re someone who keeps a close watch on the miles you drive, the trip tracking feature in the Metromile smart driving app will be your new best friend. To see all past trips, navigate to the ‘Trips’ icon in the bottom menu. Tap on a trip to view your route taken, miles driven, time driving, fuel cost, and estimated MPG. We totally geek out on this stuff, and we bet as a Metromile customer, you do too!

Still Have Questions?

No worries, we have the answers. Check out our FAQ page in the Metromile Help Center to see if there’s already an answer to your inquiry. Some of our top FAQs answered below:

Metromile App FAQs
    1. Where can I download the app?
    To download the Metromile app, visit the App Store (iOS users) or Google Play (Android users).
    2. Do I need the app to have Metromile insurance?
    No way, Jose! The Metromile smart driving app is simply a perk that we provide to all our customers at no extra charge. No hard feelings if you don’t want to use it or it’s cluttering up your phone – we’ll always be here in case you change your mind.
    3. Do I need Metromile insurance in order to have the app?
    Yes, the Metromile smart driving app is for Metromile customers only. You (or someone in your family) must be a Metromile customer to use the app.Read to make the switch? Get a quote here.

Now that you’ve seen how great the Metromile app is, become a Metromile customer today by grabbing a free quote! If you’re already a Metromile customer and haven’t downloaded the app yet, what are you waiting for? It’s free! As always, 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

Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection Explained

If you’ve been visiting the Metromile blog for a while, there’s a decent chance you’re well on your way to becoming a coverage connoisseur, able to effortlessly rattle off the differences between collision, comprehensive, liability, and uninsured coverage. But even if you’re just kicking off your insurance education, you’re probably already hip to the fact that not all coverage is created equal. That’s why today, we’re breaking down even more must-know terms: medical payments coverage and Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

Medical-Payments-and-Personal-Injury-Protection-Explained

The Basics: What Are Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection Coverage?

Medical Payments Coverage

Unsurprisingly, medical payments coverage (sometimes called medical expense or MedPay) is intended to cover the costs of, well, medical payments that are the result of an accident. This type of coverage protects you no matter who is at fault for the accident. While your health insurance plan may go a long way in paying for medical costs, MedPay typically fills in the gaps and is a good go-to in the case of low limits or high deductibles. Aside from covering any necessary hospital expenses, medications, etc., medical payment insurance may help pay for any injuries sustained by your passengers, injuries you sustain as a pedestrian or bicyclist if a driver hits you, any necessary dental care resulting from the accident, and, in the worst case scenario, funeral expenses.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

Personal Injury Protection is similar but distinct; while medical payments coverage is strictly intended to cover medical bills, PIP takes things a step further, covering health costs and resulting lost wages for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of fault. Unlike bodily injury liability insurance, which covers damages to other people If you cause an accident, PIP pays for your expenses. And while MedPay and PIP overlap in some areas, PIP usually covers more expenses and is written specifically for car-related injuries, which are sometimes excluded from certain health insurance policies.

But all that info is general — the specifics of medical payments coverage and PIP vary from state to state. For example:
  • In California, Arizona, Illinois, and Virginia, medical payments coverage can pay medical bills for injuries you or your passengers sustained in a covered accident, up to the limit you choose (regardless of who caused the accident).
  • Pennsylvania requires something called first-party benefits for medical expenses; that just means MedPay covers medical costs, funeral costs, lost income, and any potential death benefit for the policyholder and anyone occupying the covered vehicle, at the time of the accident, no matter who’s at fault, up to a limit you choose.
  • In Washington, insurance providers are required to offer PIP to cover lost wages and benefits resulting from injury or death (residents can choose to reject this coverage).
  • MedPay isn’t offered in Oregon, but PIP is required to cover medical expenses (which may include lost wages and/or other benefits) resulting from injury or death, regardless of who’s at fault in an accident.
  • Similar to Oregon, New Jersey is considered a “no-fault” state because, regardless of who caused the accident, PIP is required to cover an array of medical, rehabilitative, and living expense options as well as lost wages.

These are just a few examples of how MedPay and PIP may vary — to find out the requirements where you live and to make sure you’re abiding by all the local laws, visit the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV)’s state by state guide.

So Do You Really Need Medical Payments Coverage and/or PIP?

We get it, all these different types of coverage can be confusing and overwhelming, and it can be hard to know which ones fit your needs, lifestyle, and budget. But there are at least a few guidelines that can help you make the right decision.

The Legal Stuff

As mentioned above, some states require certain forms of insurance, so if you’re a driver, your decision is already made for you (at least it takes the guesswork out of the equation, right?).

Most states offer MedPay, but a handful don’t: Oregon, Minnesota, New York, and North Dakota.

    Medical Payments Coverage Is Required In:
    1. Pennsylvania
    2. Maine
    3. New Hampshire

Things are a little trickier when it comes to PIP. In addition to Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, 15 states use the no-fault system and require drivers to buy PIP:

    Personal Injury Protection Coverage Is Required In:
    1. Delaware
    2. Florida
    3. Hawaii
    4. Kansas
    5. Kentucky
    6. Massachusetts
    7. Michigan
    8. Minnesota
    9. New Jersey
    10. New York
    11. North Dakota
    12. Oregon
    13. Pennsylvania
    14. Texas
    15. Utah

If your state requires PIP coverage, then you can count on your insurance policy to cover your expenses in an accident — even if another driver was at fault — unless certain monetary or verbal “tort thresholds” are met. That means either the resulting expenses would exceed a specific amount or you’d have to suffer a specific type of injury before being able to file a lawsuit. All these rules and regulations vary from state to state, so it’s important to know the laws where you live (check the Department of Motor Vehicles website for more info on the requirements in your neck of the woods).

The Coverage Stuff

When it comes to how much coverage you really need, well, as with a lot of other insurance scenarios, it depends. The cost of your policy will depend on your coverage limit and deductible, as well as your location, age, and other factors. Determining how much you need and can afford takes some personalized planning, so it’s always best to work with a skilled insurance agent who can walk you through the process (you can reach ours at 1.888.242.5204).

One of the biggest things to consider when looking into MedPay is your health insurance. If your health insurance will provide adequate coverage for injuries you suffer after a car accident, and MedPay isn’t required in your state, then you may not need it. If you health insurance does not cover injuries results from car accidents, it’s a good idea to buy medical payments coverage.

On the other end of the spectrum, often times PIP can work in conjunction with your health insurance coverage. To do so, you have to set your health insurance as your primary form of injury coverage after an accident. Which means: your health insurance benefits will pay your medical costs in the event of a car accident that causes you injury. Your Personal Injury Protection coverage would then help with expenses that exceed your health insurance limits. Be sure to consult with your health insurance and car insurance providers before making any decisions.

Remember both MedPay and PIP cover medical bills after an auto accident, but MedPay does not include coverage for lost wages, rehab or other essential services like PIP does. So, if you’re required to have PIP, MedPay may be overkill. However if your state’s limit on PIP is low, MedPay coverage could be a beneficial supplement.

Still Have Questions?

If you find all this info confusing, you’re far from alone. Insurance can be a tough topic to navigate, which is why Metromile offers a comprehensive Help Center to address all the most common frequently asked questions on coverage types, claims, billing, and much, much more. And if your question isn’t answered there, you can get direct, customized guidance from one of Metromile’s licensed agents. Whether you’re just signing up for a new policy, switching providers, or thinking of tacking on a new type of coverage, Metromile’s there to take the guesswork out of the equation. Get a free quote today or call 1.888.242.5204 to talk it out.

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 Metromile Roadside Assistance Works

If you’ve been a longtime reader of the Metromile blog (hey, thanks!), you’ll remember our previous posts on comprehensive and collision coverage, how to choose the property damage and bodily injury coverage for you, and what to do if you get into an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver. Today we’re covering a new topic – how the Metromile roadside assistance program works.

From a dead battery to getting locked out of your car, there’s never an instance when Metromile roadside assistance doesn’t come in handy. Why pay a different company to handle roadside assistance when you can add it to your Metromile policy in a snap? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how roadside assistance works, what’s included, and more. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and let’s chat.

Do You Need Metromile Roadside Assistance?

First things first – you need to understand how roadside assistance works to determine if it’s the right fit for you! Let’s get into the cost, use cases for roadside assistance, how to call for roadside assistance, and more.

Cost

The cost to add roadside assistance to your policy is about $5 – $7 a month. In addition to towing, our roadside assistance coverage offers flat tire changes, battery jump starts, locksmith services, and emergency gasoline deliveries. All of that protection for the price of a matinee movie ticket!

Use cases

We offer roadside assistance as an optional add-on to comprehensive and collision policies. The coverage includes:

  • Flat tire fixes
  • Locksmith services
  • Emergency gasoline delivery
  • Towing (up to the distance outlined in your contract)

Please note that this coverage only applies to vehicles listed on your policy. If you need to edit the vehicles covered on your policy, you can easily do so through your Metromile online dashboard.

How Metromile Roadside Assistance Works

Once you have Metromile Roadside Assistance, we hope you’ll never have to use it. But if you are ever in a bind like outlined above, we’ll be happy to help.

How to call for roadside assistance

A time may come when you need to call for roadside assistance, and you’ll most likely be stressed, frustrated, and a little on edge. That’s why we make it so easy to do.

  1. Metromile Roadside Assistance on the Metromile App
  2. Your first option for calling roadside assistance is through the Metromile smart driving app. Simply log into the app and tap the ‘Insurance’ icon on the bottom right. Then, tap the ‘Roadside’ icon in the top left and follow the prompts on the screen. The app will take you through questions such as, “Were you in an accident?” and “Will you be waiting at your vehicle for the tow truck to arrive?” to determine what type of assistance you need. Once you complete the prompts, a driver will be dispatched and sent to you as soon as possible.

  3. Metromile Roadside Assistance on your online dashboard
  4. The second option for contacting roadside assistance is through the Metromile online dashboard. From the dashboard, navigate to the ‘Claims’ tab on the top navigation bar. Then, click ‘Request Roadside Assistance’ in the right-hand menu. Follow the prompts so we can determine what type of assistance you need and a driver will be dispatched to help you!

  5. Calling Metromile Roadside Assistance
  6. The third option for calling roadside assistance is, yep, you guessed it – by actually calling! Call us at 1-800-983-3400 and we’ll get a driver out to help you right away.

What happens next?

Sit tight – a dispatch driver is on their way to you. Whether you need a battery jump, a flat tire fixed, or a full-on tow, we’re here to help. Remember that this is all included in your roadside assistance coverage, at no out-of-pocket cost to you! Just another perk of being a Metromile customer.

Still Have Questions?

It’s cool. Here are some of our most-asked questions about roadside assistance.

FAQs

  • Do you need it?
  • Roadside assistance is something that you never think you’ll need, but when the time comes, you won’t take it for granted. If your car is older or unreliable, you’ll especially thank yourself when the unexpected happens.

  • Is it worth it?
  • The price of roadside assistance is equivalent to about two lattes a month. If you love road trips, this might be a smart coverage option for you. For Metromile customers, adding roadside assistance is typically much cheaper than using an external company like AAA. Also, can you really put a price on your peace of mind?

Visit our Help Center

If you still have any lingering questions, be sure to visit the Metromile Help Center. We have answers about roadside assistance, the Metromile Pulse device, how billing works, coverage options, and more.

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 for Metromile roadside assistance coverage, you can submit an online roadside assistance request, file through the Metromile app, or call Metromile roadside assistance at 1-800-983-3400 to request service. Our Metromile roadside assistance team will make arrangements to assist you and also can provide an estimated time of arrival.

TL;DR

Metromile roadside assistance is not just for towing services, although an on­-call tow truck is a convenience that shouldn’t be overlooked – especially if you are a fan of impromptu road trips or have a long daily commute. In addition to towing, our roadside assistance coverage offers flat tire changes, battery jump starts, locksmith services, and emergency gasoline deliveries. The really nice part? All this protection comes for less than the cost of a matinée movie ticket or two lattes – only $5­ – $7 extra dollars a month. One additional thing to note: we may require that you carry comprehensive and collision coverage in order to add roadside assistance to your policy.

If you’re not yet a Metromile customer, be sure to grab a free quote today. If you are a Metromile customer and don’t yet have roadside assistance coverage, what are you waiting for? Add it to your policy now! Be safe out there and see you on the roads.

What To Do If You Get into An Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver

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. 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 To Do If You Get into An Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver

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):
  2. 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.

  3. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD):
  4. 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.

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. 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 though, 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.

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.

All Your Pulse Device Questions, Answered

As a disruptor of the traditional insurance industry, it may come as no surprise that we get a lot of questions. We get it – insurance is confusing, technology can be confusing, and people want to know how it all works. Here at Metromile, we’re all about giving the people what they want. The key to pay-per-mile car insurance is the Pulse device; it’s what securely counts your miles so we can bill you appropriately.

All Your Pulse Device Questions, Answered:

Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the Pulse – what it is, what it does, and how we use it to save you hundreds on your car insurance.

A Brief Background on Telematics

Telematics is the technology of sending, receiving, and storing information relating to remote objects, like your car, through telecommunication devices, such as a cell phone, a GPS system, or our Pulse device. Telematics technology can track how many miles you drive and can also measure driving behavior. Telematics is what enables Metromile’s insurance – and without it, pay-per-mile simply would not be possible.

The combination of a GPS system with onboard diagnostic technology can show you a car’s location and the trips the car has taken. Basically, it is the technology used behind the wheel to give the driver information about their car or where they are going utilizing both internet and satellite connectivity. The first form of telematics started with navigation systems, eliminating the need for printed directions and old-fashioned maps. Instead, drivers were able to use the easy navigation system set up in their car. Telematics has since expanded to alerting drivers about their fuel levels (fuel monitoring) and traffic alerts. Telematics technology can even help drivers with roadside assistance and enable satellite radio.

How the Pulse Actually Works

Metromile uses a telematics device called the Pulse: a small electronic gadget that plugs into your car’s diagnostics port and collects data about your driving. This isn’t a new concept: many insurance companies use telematics to track their customers’ habits behind the wheel, such as average speed and instances of hard braking. But Metromile only charges you based on your mileage, not driving behavior. We believe the biggest risk factor for getting into an accident is mileage – if you aren’t on the road, you won’t get into any accidents. As such, our primary rating factor is mileage, not driving behavior.

Metromile gives you insight into your car’s health, location, and driving data – like fuel economy and trip data – through the Metromile Pulse. The Pulse uses telematics technology, which connects to a cellular network, to transfer the data collected from the car into our smart driving app. The app will notify a customer if the Pulse detects an error code from the vehicle. This code could be related to an engine, exhaust, or some other type of sub-system within the vehicle. The customer can tap on the engine code within the app to reveal an overview car that provides a detailed description of the issue along with the severity of the case. The customer can also check the health of their car at any time within the app by tapping on the car avatar on the overview screen to see a list of any codes and previously found codes.

Frequently Asked Questions – Answered

  • What is the Metromile Pulse?
    The Metromile Pulse is a small, wireless device that plugs into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port (OBD-II). Once you become a Metromile customer, we will ship a Pulse device to you for you to install in your vehicle. Don’t worry – installation is easy. See the tutorial below on how to install the Pulse in your vehicle.

    Once in place, the Pulse securely counts your miles to determine your total monthly bill. The Pulse works directly with Metromile’s smart driving app, supplying added features like trip tracking, monitoring your vehicle’s health, and a GPS vehicle locator.

  • What does the Pulse do? How does the Pulse work?
    The Pulse is the key to pay-per-mile insurance. The Pulse is able to use your GPS location to count your daily mileage, decode Check Engine Light readings, and act as a GPS device. The Pulse is powered by telematics technology, which sends, receives, and stores your car’s data. You can also make use of this data through Metromile’s smart driving app.
  • Can I get a Pulse device if I’m not a pay-per-mile insurance customer?
    Sadly, no. Currently, we only offer Pulse devices to Metromile pay-per-mile insurance policyholders. You can learn more about pay-per-mile car insurance here.
  • Is it mandatory to plug in the Pulse?
    The Pulse must be plugged into your car at all times so that mileage can be accurately measured and billed. There are exceptions, however. For example, when you get your car serviced, it’s okay to remove the Pulse so that the mechanic can access the OBD-II port. If your Pulse stops transmitting a signal to Metromile at any time, you will receive a notification via email alerting you to plug the Pulse back in.
  • Do I need to plug in the Pulse before my insurance can be effective?
    You are covered as of the effective date of your policy, whether or not your Pulse device is plugged in. As you near your policy effective date, we will ship your Pulse device to you, be sure to plug it in as soon as you receive it. You will receive email reminders once you receive your Pulse device to plug it in to avoid penalty charges.
  • Will the Pulse drain my car’s battery power?
    Not to worry – the Pulse device should have little to no effect on a healthy car battery. Even if your car isn’t being driven, the pulse will not drain a healthy battery.
  • Does the Pulse sync with my smartphone?
    The Pulse operates independently by transmitting data securely through a cellular modem and does not sync with your smartphone. In order to set up the Pulse, plug the device into your OBD-II port and check to see if there is a pulsing red/orange light. That’s it. Once you see the light, the Pulse has been connected and is securely sharing your car’s mileage data with Metromile.

    Even though the Pulse does not sync with your smartphone, Metromile does offer a smart driving app that works in conjunction with the Pulse. The app keeps you up-to-date on your car’s health, tracks your car’s location with GPS features, and sends street sweeping alerts in select cities. It’s just another bonus we love to provide to our loyal customers.

  • Can I turn off location tracking on my Pulse?
    Absolutely. To disable the GPS function on your Pulse, navigate to your online dashboard. Click the small arrow pointing down in the upper right-hand corner next to your account avatar. Go to ‘Account Settings’ and switch ‘Location Services’ from ‘Yes’ to ‘No.’ Please note: this will also disable Metromile’s smart driving app features such as trip tracking and street sweeping notifications.
  • What happens if I unplug the Pulse?
    If you unplug the Pulse for any reason, you will receive alerts to your email associated with your Metromile account asking you to plug the device back in. For all pay-per-mile insurance customers, the Pulse must be plugged into your car at all times so mileage can be accurately measured and billed. We understand that there are times when you may need to unplug the Pulse, like when you get your car serviced. Don’t sweat it — it’s okay to remove the Pulse so that the mechanic can access the port. Be sure to plug the Pulse back in once your service has been completed.
  • If I cancel my insurance policy with Metromile, can I still keep the Pulse?
    If your insurance policy is canceled for any reason, you will need to return the Pulse to Metromile using a provided pre-paid envelope. If we do not receive your Pulse within 30 business days, your pre-authorized debit or credit card on file will be charged a $100 fee.
  • Are there any security vulnerabilities in the Pulse device?
    We take the security of our products and services very seriously and actively work to ensure that our products are safe and provide benefits to our customers.
  • My Pulse was stolen or not delivered. What do I do?
    If your Pulse device was never delivered or stolen please give us call at (888) 244-1702, 6am – 6pm Pacific Time, Monday – Friday to update your shipping information and get a new device mailed out.
  • What do I do with the Pulse device if I sell my car and/or get a new car?
    Please be sure to remove the device before you sell your vehicle. If you are replacing your old vehicle with a new one, you can use the same device from your previous vehicle in your new car. Please either contact us or navigate to your DASHBOARD to add the new vehicle to your policy.
  • What if I rent a vehicle? Do I need to install the device?
    When renting a vehicle you are not required to plug the Metromile Pulse device in, so please leave that device plugged into the vehicle listed on your policy.

Still Have Questions?

Got any lingering questions we didn’t cover? Give us a call at 1.888.311.2909, send us a DM, or Tweet at us. If you haven’t yet downloaded the Metromile smart driving app, you’re missing out on some majorly cool features, such as trip tracking, vehicle diagnostics, parking location, and more! Click here to download for your iPhone, or here to download for your android. If you’re a low-mileage driver who hasn’t made the switch to Metromile yet – what are you waiting for? Grab a quote from us anytime, because it’s always free. 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 to Choose the Right 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.

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

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 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.

The Legal Stuff

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).

The Money Stuff

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 low-mileage 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.

Building a Better Claims Experience, From the Ground Up

From a driver’s perspective, filing an auto insurance claim with most traditional insurance companies isn’t usually as straightforward as it logically should be. The scenario that got you there in the first place was probably anything but pleasant, resulting in a crash, an injury, or worse—both. And of course, the process that follows those unfortunate events can be pretty painful, involving a lot of back and forth, endless piles of paperwork, and most likely a major headache (or even three).

Building a Better Claims Experience, From the Ground Up

So Metromile decided to build the best possible claims system imaginable—from the ground up. They saw the opportunity to use technology to optimize the entire claims process by eliminating any friction claimants experience. That’s why Metromile made the bold move in August 2016 to go off the beaten path and create an entirely new claims system.

How Auto Claims Work (In The Old School Insurance World)

Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock of an accident and you submit a claim to your insurance company, the claim has to go through an investigation process that leads to settlement. The process itself can vary depending on factors like the company’s policies, the nature, and severity of the accident, and whether the accident involved injuries, property damage, or both. But overall, the traditional process has always been pretty consistent:

  1. First, a claims adjuster is assigned to your case. They’ll review your policy and may contact you for some details about the accident. They may request a copy of the police report, contact the other driver involved, and talk to any listed witnesses. They may also inspect your car for damages, take photos, and even visit the scene of the accident. If there was medical care involved, they may need you to sign a medical release form so they can review your records, and they may contact your medical providers for information about your injuries.
  2. Once your adjuster reviews all records and other information, they’ll determine fault. What you may not know: according to the laws of some states, fault isn’t an all-or-nothing issue. Your adjuster may find you to be partially at fault and therefore hold you partially responsible for the accident. For example, if they decide you’re 80% responsible, and the other driver is 20% responsible, your company may pay 80% of the settlement while the other driver’s insurance company covers the remaining 20%.
  3. Your insurance company will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to figure out who is ultimately responsible for the damages. If it’s determined that the other driver was at fault, your insurance company may seek payment from that person’s insurance company.

Add to the equation the issue of communication. It’s pretty near impossible to cover all the necessary details in one single phone call or email, so adjusters and claimants will often have to go back and forth (and back and forth and back again) to cover all the ground necessary. This would only be a minor headache if everyone were on the same schedule, but as you can imagine, there’s a whole lot of phone tag taking place in these interactions, which limits the amount of productivity and progress. Talk about a frustrating experience.

How Metromile Uses Data, Science, and Technology to Build the World’s Best Claims Experience

At this point, you’re probably tearing your hair out wondering how anything ever gets done in the traditional claims system. The Metromile team wasn’t too pleased with the process either. That’s why the company decided to go in new direction. Meet AVA.

AVA is Metromile’s AI claims system. She’s able to accurately verify claims and works with our adjusters to quickly resolve them. How does she do it? AVA automates anything that doesn’t require a human touch, so she collects details to help you file, guides you through collecting damage photos, and helps you get paid as soon as possible.

To make this all possible Metromile uses a device called the Metromile Pulse to monitor time on the road (this is how your mileage costs are calculated). AVA uses similar data from Pulse (with your permission) to reconstruct the scene of an accident to help figure out what exactly happened. She can also help connect policyholders with repair shops participating in the AVA open shop program and are located near the zip code of the vehicle’s last location. And if the policyholder has rental coverage, AVA can offer the option of reserving 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.

But if all this sounds a little too sci-fi, don’t freak out: just because Metromile has the amazing AVA doesn’t mean the company is all 0s and 1s behind the scenes. Metromile has a dedicated claims team made up of industry experts who work tirelessly to ensure customers get back on the road as quickly as possible. In fact, a lot of the work AVA does directly helps the claims adjusters so they better understand what happened in any situation.

Building an innovative claims process isn’t easy. And Metromile knows that. But we aren’t really interested in going the simple route—instead we are dedicated to providing low-mileage drivers coverage that’s fair, affordable, and high-quality. If you’re already a customer, explore metromile.com and get to know all the unique features that make Metromile the right provider for you. And if you haven’t made the switch yet, head to the website for a free quote and find out how you can take the pain out of the claims process (and so much more).

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.

 Cars at Intersection

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

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 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 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.

How to Master Your Monthly Metromile 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.

How to Master Your Monthly Metromile Bill

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.

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.

mileage budget

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.
Brian D.

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.

varied bill
Consider the following options to minimize the number 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!