Great, You Got a Speeding Ticket. Wondering if it'll Affect Your Insurance Rates?

 
I remember my one and only speeding ticket experience like it was yesterday. Sadly, it wasn’t, which means my college days are farther behind me than I like to admit. I was driving back to school after a weekend at my parents’ house, convinced I was commuting with the flow of traffic. But the Highway Patrol Officer who pulled me over begged to differ. He said I was going 15 miles over the speed limit. The only rational response I could offer in the moment was a full-on hysterical sob. I was such a chicken behind the wheel! How could I have committed a crime?! And how would this affect me financially?

Speeding tickets aren’t cheap. The average cost in California is $710 for a $35 base-fine infraction, and that’s not even close to some of the costs in other parts of the country (Virginia reportedly has the highest penalties, with citations that can cost upwards of $1,000!). But that initial sting of the ticket itself is just part of the overall financial repercussions. Speeding tickets do affect your insurance rates, and they may have a bigger impact than you think.
A major factor in determining your insurance rate is your driving record. That helps insurers get a sense of how much of a risk you might be on the road. And guess what determines your driving record in addition to accidents and minor fender benders. That’s right: traffic violations. The more tickets you have, the more likely it is that your insurance rates will rise. The (kind of) good news is that according to an analysis from The Zebra, speeding tickets are the least costly kind of traffic violations when it comes to insurance rates. But the potential price hike can still be significant: an average of $354 per year.  
The thing about speeding is that it’s not a black and white issue; a driver may be caught speeding a few miles over the limit or far past the limit. Different insurance companies may adjust that driver’s rates differently depending on the severity of the speed infraction. While some companies only increase rates if a driver receives a ticket for going more than 15 mph over the posted limit, other companies may not increase the rate at all if it’s a first-time offense. Multiple violations will have a greater impact, and in some states, accumulating multiple “points” on your driving record (the system varies by state) can lead to more than sky-high insurance premium — it can even lead to license revocation or suspension.
Luckily, for unintentional speed demons like me, traffic violations don’t permanently affect your insurance rates. Most companies examine your list of traffic violations over the last three to five years when determining your rate, and once a ticket is removed from your driving record (this varies by state, but most states take away the points after three years), insurance companies can no longer hold the infraction against you.
One surefire way to assure you’re getting the best rate possible is to investigate all your options. If you’re a low-mileage driver looking for a better fit, Metromile may just be your perfect solution. Visit metromile.com today to receive a free quote.

Great, You Got a Speeding Ticket. Wondering if it’ll Affect Your Insurance Rates?

 
I remember my one and only speeding ticket experience like it was yesterday. Sadly, it wasn’t, which means my college days are farther behind me than I like to admit. I was driving back to school after a weekend at my parents’ house, convinced I was commuting with the flow of traffic. But the Highway Patrol Officer who pulled me over begged to differ. He said I was going 15 miles over the speed limit. The only rational response I could offer in the moment was a full-on hysterical sob. I was such a chicken behind the wheel! How could I have committed a crime?! And how would this affect me financially?

Speeding tickets aren’t cheap. The average cost in California is $710 for a $35 base-fine infraction, and that’s not even close to some of the costs in other parts of the country (Virginia reportedly has the highest penalties, with citations that can cost upwards of $1,000!). But that initial sting of the ticket itself is just part of the overall financial repercussions. Speeding tickets do affect your insurance rates, and they may have a bigger impact than you think.
A major factor in determining your insurance rate is your driving record. That helps insurers get a sense of how much of a risk you might be on the road. And guess what determines your driving record in addition to accidents and minor fender benders. That’s right: traffic violations. The more tickets you have, the more likely it is that your insurance rates will rise. The (kind of) good news is that according to an analysis from The Zebra, speeding tickets are the least costly kind of traffic violations when it comes to insurance rates. But the potential price hike can still be significant: an average of $354 per year.  
The thing about speeding is that it’s not a black and white issue; a driver may be caught speeding a few miles over the limit or far past the limit. Different insurance companies may adjust that driver’s rates differently depending on the severity of the speed infraction. While some companies only increase rates if a driver receives a ticket for going more than 15 mph over the posted limit, other companies may not increase the rate at all if it’s a first-time offense. Multiple violations will have a greater impact, and in some states, accumulating multiple “points” on your driving record (the system varies by state) can lead to more than sky-high insurance premium — it can even lead to license revocation or suspension.
Luckily, for unintentional speed demons like me, traffic violations don’t permanently affect your insurance rates. Most companies examine your list of traffic violations over the last three to five years when determining your rate, and once a ticket is removed from your driving record (this varies by state, but most states take away the points after three years), insurance companies can no longer hold the infraction against you.
One surefire way to assure you’re getting the best rate possible is to investigate all your options. If you’re a low-mileage driver looking for a better fit, Metromile may just be your perfect solution. Visit metromile.com today to receive a free quote.

Help! I Need Roadside Assistance

 
One of the many reasons drivers seek out a solid car insurance plan is to feel totally secure in the event that something unexpected occurs. And one major way Metromile takes care of its customers is by offering 24/7 roadside assistance. That means if you need a jump, tow, or locksmith any time of day, Metromile will get you back up and running in no time. But unlike traditional insurers who require customers to call in and navigate a lengthy telephone process before actually receiving help, Metromile makes things super simple so you can request assistance in a way that’s quick and convenient for you.

Three Easy Ways to Get Roadside Assistance ASAP
 
If you opt to add roadside assistance to your Metromile plan (just $5-$7 extra a month), the vehicles on your policy will be covered for flat tire changes, battery jump starts, locksmith services, and emergency gasoline deliveries. To utilize any of those perks, you can do one of three things:
 

  1. Use your Metromile app. You already know the Metromile app is awesome for a multitude of reasons (it can keep you on track with important trip data, keep your car in tip top shape thanks to diagnostic info, and much more). But the Metromile app is also one key way to access roadside assistance. Here’s how:
    1. Log into your app and tap the ‘Insurance’ icon on the bottom right.
    2. Tap the ‘Roadside’ icon in the top left and follow the prompts on the screen.
    3. Answer the series of questions regarding your incident to help Metromile determine what type of assistance you need.
    4. That’s it! As soon as you complete the prompts, someone is dispatched and help is on the way.

 
 

  • Use your online dashboard. The Metromile online dashboard really is the one-stop shop for all things policy-related. And it’s also another easy way to request roadside assistance by following these simple steps:

 

    1. Navigate to the dashboard either online or via the Metromile app.
    2. Click the ‘Claims’ tab on the top navigation bar.
    3. From there, click ‘Request Roadside Assistance’ in the right-hand menu.
    4. Follow the prompts to determine the kind of help you need, and sit back until someone arrives.

 

  1. Call Metromile roadside assistance. Not into navigating menus or typing out your answers? No problem. It’s ridiculously easy to request roadside assistance with a quick call — just dial 1-800-983-3400 and someone will be out to help you in a snap.

 
Still have questions about the value of roadside assistance or any of the other features Metromile customers love? Visit the Help Center for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, and if you’re not a Metromile customer yet, get your free quote today.

Does Your Car Insurance Change When You Get Married?

 

Does Getting Married Impact Your Car Insurance Costs? 

For better or worse, your car insurance rates may change when you get married.

bouquet assorted-color flowers

 

Research shows married couples are generally deemed “less risky” by auto insurers and can be eligible for discounts on auto insurance premiums. Even if you previously shared a car insurance policy, you could still be eligible for additional discounts. However (and this is a big however), if your partner has a history of bad driving, this could negatively impact your combined insurance rate moving forward.

 

Um… file this under “things I didn’t know before getting married.” As a newlywed, I was confident we had everything under control. We filed the paperwork with our city clerk’s office, I went through the steps to change my last name to his, we filed our taxes jointly, and we moved our health insurance over to my new husband’s plan. Things were going swimmingly.

 

Now, eight months into my new marriage and I find out that we could’ve been saving money on our car insurance this entire time? Cool. The one time being married may actually cost us less and I had no idea.

 

Now onto you – are you newly married or getting married soon? Did you know that your car insurance premiums could rise or fall once you get married? No? Join the club.

 

Here’s a little background on why this is the case. If you and your spouse have stellar driving records and no recent gaps in your insurance coverage, you are considered low-risk drivers and therefore will pay less in auto insurance premiums. Sit down together and review your policies. Then, check to see if you can get a better quote. Being a safer driver could actually improve both your relationship and the cost of your insurance.

 

Did you know that insurers often view married drivers as more responsible than single drivers? In fact, one study suggested that single drivers were twice as likely to be involved in a drinking and driving accident than married drivers. I’ve also read that rates can drop for people under the age of 25 when they tie the knot. I can’t speak to this from personal experience, as both my husband and myself were 28 when we got married – but the data is there.

 

There are times, though, when merging car insurance policies after marriage isn’t prudent. If one of you doesn’t have a squeaky-clean driving record (hey, no judgment!), it might be better to keep your policies separate. Merging policies may actually increase your rate overall. Why? Because there is risk-by-association. So even if your spouse drives their own car, there may be rare instances when they need to drive your car, and therefore become a higher risk.

As a Metromile customer, I checked with its Customer Experience team hoping I’d score a marriage discount. The rep let me know it didn’t apply to us because we were already getting Metromile’s best rate. Though I was disappointed, it was nice to know that our car insurance rate was the most competitive offered by Metromile. Our premium and per-mile rate are determined by our car model, location, and the fact that both my husband and myself are responsible, low-mileage drivers.

 

The bottom line: remember that your car insurance rates may change once you’re hitched, and do your homework to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

 

Not part of the Metromile fam yet? Click here to grab a free quote and see how much money you could be saving! Already a Metromile customer? Refer your friends and family to Metromile and make some extra cash. Be safe out there and see you on the roads.

Does Your Car Insurance Spark Joy?

Spring is finally here! It’s time to pack away the thick sweaters, open up the windows, and clean the corners of our houses that haven’t seen the light of day all winter.

Are you familiar with the KonMari Method of tidying up? For those who aren’t familiar, the KonMari Method states that any item that doesn’t “spark joy” should be thanked and discarded. Founded by Marie Kondo, the KonMari Method has helped thousands of people across the world find deeper happiness and sense of calm by eliminating those items that no longer “spark joy.”

 

Personally, I’ve had great success with the KonMari Method. By eliminating items that no longer sparked joy I found that my home stayed tidy, felt less cluttered, and gave me a sense of peace. It also helped tremendously with my own mental clarity, which got me thinking: are there other areas of my life that could be KonMari’d?

 

The idea excited me, and I dove into other ways I could KonMari my life. My digital life needed cleaning up, so I purged my laptop of all the old and useless files and organized only the ones still important to me. Apps on my phone got organized into folders based on their function, and ones that no longer served me were deleted. I cleaned up my online presence as well, by removing old website login info (bye Myspace!) and embarrassing Instagram pics from 2013.

 

The last piece of the puzzle was figuring out what to do with my financial life. While combing through my bank statements and credit card transactions, it occurred to me: I’m paying for things that don’t spark joy but are a necessity (like electricity, my cell phone bill, etc.). How am I supposed to KonMari those things? This made me step back and think – how can I bring more joy into my life with these necessities?

 

The first step in this process was to sit down and figure out what I was paying for out of necessity. Was I getting what I paid for? Do these companies and services have my best interests at heart, or do I only hear from them when my bill is late? What are my other options? Many of these services didn’t pass the KonMari Method test (looking at you, Internet provider), so I started to sniff out what other companies offered the same services.

 

Spoiler alert: most of the necessities that I was paying for didn’t pass the KonMari test. In fact, only one did: my Metromile car insurance. To most people, their car insurance provider doesn’t exactly light a fire within them, but mine does.

 

If I’ve forgotten where I parked my car, the Metromile app tells me exactly where it is (this happens a lot). The Metromile app also tells me how much gas I have left in my tank and helps decode warning lights that pop up on my dashboard from time to time. As a low-mileage driver, I never feel like I’m paying for something I don’t use because, quite simply, I’m not.

 

My favorite feature, however, is the trip tracking feature. As a freelance writer, I’m frequently driving to various client meetings. The mileage that I put on my car for those business meetings is a deductible expense which I can claim on my taxes at the end of the year. With Metromile, I can see every single trip I’ve ever taken and the exact mileage incurred, which makes bookkeeping for my small business an absolute breeze.

 

While I still might be struggling to find other options for the services that don’t spark joy, I know one thing for damn sure: my car insurance sparks joy. Does yours?

 

Does your car insurance spark joy? If not, it might be time to switch to Metromile. Click here to grab a free quote and Spring clean your car insurance provider! Already part of the Metromile fam? Share the love and make some cash! Click here to take advantage of our friends and family referral program. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

Busting The 3 Biggest Car Insurance Myths

 

Between finding a plan that fits your needs and learning to decode industry jargon (what the heck is subrogation, anyway?), you might be under the impression that car insurance is seriously complicated. And while there can be a lot to learn, coverage doesn’t have to make you tear your hair out.

In fact, we at Metromile have made it our business to make car insurance as simple and straightforward as possible — customers get the best coverage for their individual situation,  at a fair price. But the benefits of being a Metromile customer go far beyond your bank account — from a simple sign-up process and easy automatic payments to seamless customer support and features like a monthly trip summary. Your peace of mind is a priority for us, and we value your time.  

 

But in case you’re still skeptical, it’s time to bust the biggest myths and set your mind at ease:

 

Myth #1: My insurer won’t believe it was a hit and run.

 

If your insurer is Metromile, there won’t be frustration. Meet AVA, Metromile’s AI claims system, who can verify where and when an accident occurred and even how hard the impact was. AVA collects details in seconds to help you file your claim quickly, and in some cases, can even ensure instant payment and help schedule repairs. Hit and runs are bad enough without having to prove your role as the victim.

 

 

Myth #2: With car accidents and insurance claims, it’s always a “my word over theirs” situation

 

Although AVA’s not a real person, she packs a lot of power and pretty effectively squashes any question about the facts.  AVA’s got a team of data scientists behind the scenes who utilize machine learning to continually improve the customer experience. Acting as a virtual witness, she can even help reconstruct an accident scene, thanks to sensor data from the Metromile Pulse, our device that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port.

 

 

Myth #3: Claims are complicated and take forever.

 

You’re probably already using your phone to network, order food, and maybe find the love of your life. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could also file a claim, locate a repair shop, book a rental car, and get paid all with a few swipes? You absolutely can, with the Metromile app. Unlike other insurance companies that only allow you to start the claim process online, Metromile allows customers to file the whole claim on their mobile phones, and certain claim types can even be resolved in as little as a few hours — without ever leaving your couch. And if you’re not an app person, we have a best in class Customer Experience team based in Tempe, Arizona.

 

 

Still have questions about how Metromile is busting myths and breaking through car insurance stereotypes? Visit our Help Center to learn more, or check out some pretty cool videos on our Youtube channel.

3 Signs It’s Time to Break-Up With Traditional Auto Insurance

Admit it… Have you been with your insurer longer than you’d like? Do you find yourself thinking that the relationship might not be working? Have you considered… breaking up? We’ve all been there. No matter the circumstance, breaking up is hard to do.

Before I switched to Metromile, I was in the same boat. My first experience with car insurance was with a company that my parents used, and since I didn’t know any better, I signed up with them, too. My rate was expensive (even though I had a clean driving record) and since I usually took public transportation during my weekly commute, it felt like I was paying for something I hardly used. That all changed when I spotted a cleverly-worded Metromile ad on the train and grabbed a free quote.

To find the right insurer, you might feel like you’re kissing a lot of frogs. For me, it actually felt a lot like finding that particular person worthy of a love letter, the one who makes your heart skip a beat. I switched my insurance to Metromile nearly four years ago, and I’ve never looked back.

If you’ve experienced any of the following signs, chances are it’s time to move on. Bonus: you don’t have to wait for the end of your insurance renewal to switch. With Metromile, you can switch and sign up anytime. Beyond likely saving money, you’ll get to know a different kind of car insurer.

3 Signs It’s Time to Break-Up With Traditional Auto Insurance

The relationship feels one-sided

With traditional auto insurance, paying a flat rate regardless of how much you drive just doesn’t seem fair. With Metromile, you are always charged fairly based on how much you drive. Did you know that low-mileage drivers can potentially cut their bill in half with Metromile? Every human on this earth hates paying for things they don’t use. If you drive less than 10k miles a year like me, I bet you’re spending too much with your current insurer.

You don’t want to worry about someone stealing your car (‘s heart)

Cars are pricey, and many times they can carry the same sentimental weight as a family member. Having the peace-of-mind of knowing where your vehicle is at all times is priceless. With the Metromile Pulse, a device you plug into your car’s OBD-II port, and the accompanying app, you’ll always know where your car is located. Can your current car insurance company say that? Also, did you know that the Pulse helps recover stolen vehicles? In fact, the company has recovered 94% of stolen vehicle claims – the national average is less than 60%.

Communication has broken down

Dealing with a car insurance claim can be stressful and time consuming; the customer service helplines alone can make you feel like you’re taking a number at the DMV. I’ve found that Metromile does things differently. Not only do they have s US-based claims team, but they also have AVA, a virtual claims assistant. AVA can help with car rentals, auto body recommendations, and even provide payouts in some situations.

Be safe and see you on the road!

Still Have Questions?

Visit Metromile’s Help Center! Still have a question we haven’t answered? Call 1-888-311-2909, or send an email and the Customer Experience team will get back to you right away.
Switching to Metromile is easy and only takes a few minutes. Grab a free quote today and find out how much you could be saving!

A Love Letter to my Car Insurance Company

Hey, Metromilers! It’s Julianne! Some of you may know me from my blog, The Wink, or from my side hustle, writing here for the Metromile blog. What you may not know is that I’ve been a loyal customer of Metromile for four years! What started as a trial run has turned into what I hope will be a lifelong commitment.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s a little love letter I penned to my one-and-only, my love, and the best car insurance I’ve ever had – Metromile.

Dear Metromile,

 

I was thinking today about how very much I love you, and how I really don’t tell you that enough. So I wanted to sit down and let you know how you’ve truly changed my life in the best ways possible.

Nearly four years ago, I saw your ad on the train:

 

Roses are red
Pay-per-mile car insurance
Could cut your bill in half
Ta-da

 

Were you talking to me? It felt like kismet. I was in an unhappy relationship with my current car insurance company and needed to get out; you were writing romantic poems and plastering them all over train cars. Was it meant to be? Were you looking for me, too?

I needed to meet you, so I got a free quote online. The rest, as they say, is history.

Although it’s been a few years since we met, every day with you feels like a new adventure. It’s a feeling of safety; a feeling of knowing that someone always has my back. Your unwavering support has carried me through some challenging moments in my life.

 

Remember the time my windshield cracked? I didn’t know what to do, but you held my hand and told me that it would be okay. You even came and fixed it the very same day. I’ve never known commitment like this before, but what I do know is that I’m all in.

 

Before you, I only felt frustration. I thought car insurance was a lost cause – something you’re required to have and pay out the nose for. I had a few car insurance companies before we met, but none ever really felt like “the one.” When you meet “the one,” you forget everything that came before and you never look back. That’s how I feel about you, Metromile. You’re my bae – before anything else. We’ve been going strong for almost half a decade and I’ve never once questioned my decision to switch. When you know, you know.

 

You never forget to remind me when I’m parked in a street sweeping zone. You always help me find my car when I forget where I parked. You help me keep my car healthy and decode problems right away. Your loyalty and dedication are what it means to be a good friend.

You truly complete me. These last few years have been the happiest of my life. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to always have my best friend by my side (and in my pocket).

 

I can’t wait to grow old with you, because I know you’ll be there supporting me throughout my golden years. Long after the hustle and bustle of life have subsided, we’ll still be going strong together.

 

I can’t wait to see what our future holds. Happy Valentine’s Day, Metromile.

 

 

All my love,

Julianne

How Much Should Your Car Insurance Cost?

It’s hard to think of anything more loathsome than overpaying for something you need. Imagine accidentally discovering your neighbor shells out half of what you do for internet that’s twice as fast. Pretty irksome, right?

red car passing in front of brown and white concrete building

How Much Should Your Car Insurance Cost?

If casually discussing your monthly bills with friends and acquaintances isn’t your style, then the best way to ensure you’re paying the appropriate amount for necessary goods and services is to do some research and stick to companies you trust. Case in point: Metromile, a company that believes customers should pay a fair and affordable rate for what they use (what a concept, right?). When you switch to Metromile for car insurance, you can rest assured you’re getting exactly what you pay for and never being taken for a ride.

The Average Cost of Car Insurance in 2018

While it’s totally possible to get a general sense of what car insurance costs around the country, it’s important to keep in mind that rates can vary quite a bit based on numerous factors like location, age, gender, vehicle type, etc. But all that said, you can still look at the big picture and figure out where you stand.

Our friends over at The Zebra did some analysis across the country and found that in 2018, the typical rate for Americans paying car insurance was $1,426/year or $118.63/month. Shocked? Surprised? Pleasantly at peace with what you’re paying? It’s worth understanding the methodology behind The Zebra’s findings before you freak out or celebrate. The researchers came to those numbers after examining nearly 53 million rates between September and December 2017 across all United States zip codes, including Washington, DC.

The team devised a consistent base profile for the insured driver to come to their conclusions: Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver. This fictional driver:

  • Was a 30-year-old single male
  • Drove a 2013 Honda Accord EX
  • Had a good driving history
  • Had coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • Had a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision

Taking all that and more into consideration, The Zebra team settled on the average rate of $1,426/year or $118.63/month. But to fully grasp all that went into those numbers, it’s helpful to break down the factors one by one.

What Factors Impact Your Rate

If you’ve been reading the Metromile blog for a while, then you probably know a bit about how car insurance is calculated. But here’s a refresher on the most common factors that make up car insurance rates across carriers:

  1. Age:

    According to research, age reliably correlates with risky driving behavior, and those at the lower and higher ends of the spectrum are generally considered to be greater risks on the road. Typically teens, people under the age of 30, and adults older than 70 have higher rates.

  2. Location:

    Where you live in the country may have the biggest influence over how much you pay since car insurance is regulated at the state level and priced by zip code. That means wherever your car is usually parked could heavily influence whether your monthly bill is high or low.

  3. Vehicle type:

    Just like you, your car is unique, and it has a specific identifier that no other car has: its vehicle identification number (VIN). The 17-character code is used for tracking recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and, yes, insurance coverage. When you provide your VIN to an insurance carrier, that company is able to take a peek into your vehicle’s mileage, accident history, model, etc. All those attributes are factored into your premium cost.

  4. Driving History:

    It really does pay to be safe. The more tickets, accidents, and violations you rack up, the higher your rates will be.

  5. Coverage:

    Your coverage limits and deductible amount affect your overall rate. In short: higher limits equal high rates and lower deductibles result in higher rates. The higher your deductible, the more likely you’ll have a lower rate (but, of course, it’s crucial to select a deductible amount you can actually afford).

The Car Insurance Carrier You Choose Matters

When you’re analyzing average rates between carriers, it’s important to know you’re not exactly comparing apples to apples. Each car insurance company relies on slightly different calculations to formulate rates, and, as mentioned above, each state operates differently on top of that. So while The Zebra’s national averages might be a helpful starting point when taking stock of your own rate, understanding the personal factors that are contributing to your costs will better equip you to make necessary changes.

So, what’s the bottom line, you ask? How much should car insurance actually cost? As you probably guessed by now, there’s no single clear-cut answer, and how that question is answered depends heavily on who’s asking it. But while there are no black or white answers in the world of car insurance costs, there are a few general, overarching rules of thumb worth following.

Know that you can expect small decreases in your bill as you age (until you turn 70, usually). And if you really want to guarantee you’re on track to score the best deal and truly getting what you’re paying for, then it’s time to make the switch to Metromile. Not only is Metromile the kind of company that will only ever charge you for the miles you drive, but it’s a comprehensive carrier that will help you save money on everything from street sweeping tickets to mechanic shop visits — seriously.

Ready to make the switch? Call 1.888.242.5204 or visit metromile.com to get your free quote. And if you’re already a member, consider a chat with one of Metromile’s qualified agents to find out how you could be saving even more money. Still have questions? Reach out to us on Twitter, FB, or Instagram or visit the help center.

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.