Car Insurance Rates Are Rising — Here’s Why

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

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How Much Is Car Insurance Costing Americans These Days?

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

What Determines Your Premium Rate?

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

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

But Why The Recent Surge?

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

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

Tips For Keeping Your Premiums As Low As Possible

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

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

Ready to start saving? Get your personalized quote right now and see how much you could be saving.


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

Full Tort v. Limited Tort – What’s the Difference?

Full tort? Limited tort? …. what’s a tort? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you live in Pennsylvania, you may know what tort is. For the rest of the country (attorneys excluded), tort is not only a cute nickname for a tortoise but is also a legal term meaning “civil wrongdoing – in civil law, a wrongful act for which damages can be sought by the injured party.” In other words: tort means that someone can seek legal action against someone else for causing damage to them during an accident.

Full-Tort-v.-Limited-Tort-Whats-the-Difference

Still confused where Pennsylvania comes into the equation? Let me explain. Full tort and limited tort car insurance options were instituted by the state of Pennsylvania in an attempt to decrease the number of pain and suffering lawsuits in Pennsylvania courts. Individuals who now purchase insurance in Pennsylvania are classified as either “limited tort” or “full tort.”

So, what’s the difference between full tort and limited tort? So glad you asked – you’ve been paying attention. Let’s discuss.

Full Tort

Regardless of the extent of the injury or damages, someone with full tort coverage is able to assert a claim for pain and suffering – so long as the accident was not their fault. Someone with full tort coverage is not obligated to first demonstrate that they received a serious injury from the accident before they can recover damages for pain and suffering. Because there is no threshold which must first be met, someone with full tort coverage can automatically assert a claim with their insurance provider for all of the losses they experienced from the accident, such as damages to the vehicle, medical bills, etc. – not just the out-of-pocket costs.

Limited Tort

The other side of this coin is limited tort coverage. Limited tort permits someone injured in a car accident to only recover for their out-of-pocket medical bills, wage loss, automobile repair costs, and other actual monetary loss. When someone elects to have limited tort insurance coverage, they are foregoing the right to pursue damages in a personal injury claim for pain and suffering and other similar damages, even in situations where they are not at fault.

The Exception to the Rule

BUT (and there is a but) – there is a limited exception to this general rule that permits someone with limited tort coverage to pursue a claim for pain and suffering where the injuries they sustained in the car accident were considered “serious.” Yes, serious in quotes, because “serious” injuries are not always clearly defined or proven. Of course, in cases where someone requires life-saving treatment following a car accident, those injuries sustained would be considered serious and allow full recovery for pain and suffering. The problem here is that in the majority of cases, the line that differentiates a serious injury from that of a non-serious injury is less clear.

So Which Tort is for You?

Limited tort is the more appealing option for many people because it’s less coverage and therefore less expensive. However, this choice could end up costing them greatly if they are ever involved in a car accident later on. Metromile offers both full tort and limited tort options for our customers in Pennsylvania.

Click here to get a free quote today and find out which coverage option is right for you! Be safe out there and see ya 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 Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim?

Earlier this month on the blog, we talked about what to do if you get into an accident. With the initial shock of the crash now behind you, it’s important to deal with the aftermath of the incident – including filing a claim with your insurance company (#adulting). What may initially seem as a priority might slowly start to slip on your to-do list when life happens. So, how long after an accident can you file a claim? When is too late?

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From serious to a minor fender bender, a car accident can have a major effect on more than just your car insurance premium. Did you know that each state has different laws and statutes of limitations on claims and lawsuits filed? Let’s unpack some of the statute of limitations on claims and lawsuits in each state.

Technically, if you’ve gotten into an accident, you have until the end of the statute of limitations window to file a claim in your state. Even if you’ve switched insurance companies, or cancelled your policy, you can still file a claim as long as you were insured during the time of the accident.

Also, it’s important to note that the terms “claims” and “lawsuits” are essentially interchangeable in this situation. If state law notes that you have two years to file a lawsuit, this also means that you have two years to file a claim. After this period of time, however, you will no longer have legal resource to recover any damages that incurred as a result of the crash.

Below is a list of time frames, outlined by state. All fifty states have these claims broken out into two categories – property/collision/comprehensive damage and injury. Some states have regulated that they are the same period of time, while others are different. Take a peek below to see what the statute of limitations are in your state.

StateProperty/Collision/Comprehensive DamageInjury
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years2 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas3 years3 years
California2 years2 years
Colorado3 years3 years
Connecticut2 years2 years
Delaware2 years2 years
Florida4 years4 years
Georgia4 years2 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years2 years
Illinois5 years2 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa5 years2 years
Kansas2 years1 year
Kentucky2 years1 year
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine6 years6 years
Maryland3 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan3 years3 years
Minnesota6 years6 years
Mississippi3 years3 years
Missouri5 years5 years
Montana2 years3 years
Nebraska4 years4 years
Nevada1 year1 year
New Hampshire3 years3 years
New Jersey2/4 years2/4 years
New Mexico4 years3 years
New York3 years3 years
North Carolina3 years3 years
North Dakota2 years2 years
Ohio2 years2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon6 years2 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode IslandN/A3 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota3 years3 years
Tennessee3 years1 year
Texas2 years2 years
Utah3 years4 years
Vermont3 years3 years
Virginia5 years2 years
Washington3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming4 years4 years

So, why wait? Filing a claim with your insurance company right away does have its benefits. If you file immediately after getting into an accident, you’re giving yourself time to file a lawsuit if negotiations are dragged out. Additionally, if you file a claim right away, you have a greater likelihood of getting paid out by your insurance provider immediately. This is because the insurance company will have a better understanding of what the damage from the accident looks like (as opposed to further damage caused by you or others later down the road – pun definitely intended).

TL;DR – here’s what we have learned:

  • Each state has a different statute of limitations for both property/collision/comprehensive damage claims and injury claims
  • The terms “claims” and “lawsuits” are essentially interchangeable
  • Even if you have switched or canceled your insurance policy, you can still file a claim if you were insured during the time of the accident
  • Just because there is a long time frame for the statute of limitations in your state does not mean that you should wait the full period of time, prior to filing a claim with your insurance company
  • There are benefits to filing a claim right away, such as:
    • Giving yourself more time to file a lawsuit, in case negotiations are dragged out
    • Getting paid out right away by your insurance company because they will have a better understanding of the damage that occurred as a result of the crash

As always, best practices after a car accident include: making a police report and writing down the report number; getting the other driver’s insurance and contact information and writing down the vehicle’s license plate number; assessing the damage to your vehicle and taking photos of both the scene and all vehicles involved; and visiting the doctor (make sure to document everything and keep track of paperwork – you’ll need this information for a personal injury claim).

With Metromile’s 24/7 claims service, there’s an even better reason to file your insurance claim right away. Click here to get a free quote today and stay safe out there 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

A Senior’s Guide to Car Insurance

With every season of life, there are bound to be changes. From your sweet sixteen to going off to college, getting married, having kids, and finally settling into retirement, your car insurance needs are going to change. Today, we’re talking to you, seasoned retiree – because your lifestyle needs haven’t stayed the same, which means your car insurance shouldn’t stay the same, either.

A-Seniors-Guide-to-Car-Insurance

Often times, retirement can lead to a lot less driving because your life is changing drastically. Instead of the usual grueling commute to work each day, you may be riding your bike or walking – or you just drive less by taking the daily drive to work out of the equation altogether. Metromile might be the perfect car insurance solution for you – with Metromile, you pay a low monthly base rate plus pennies per mile. In this handy guide, we’ve compiled a guide to help seniors (like you!) research and get the best deal on car insurance.

Discounts and Rate Decreases

Generally speaking, people over the age of 65 can find great discounts on their car insurance. Why, you might ask? It’s because their mileage tends to drop, on average, from 10 – 15k miles per year to only 5 – 8k miles per year. That’s about a 50% decrease in the amount of driving that seniors are doing per year! So, because you’re on the road less, some insurance companies will see you as less of a risk and therefore might give you a low-mileage discount. That’s where Metromile comes in – we give all our customers, regardless of their age, a low-mileage discount 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

However, there is something else to keep in mind: on average, rates do tend to go up slightly once you reach the age of 75. According to the 2009 census, this is due to a higher percentage of fatal crashes that are caused by an elderly driver. So, even if you personally have never been in an accident or caused a crash, your rate could still go up based on this data. In fact, according to The Zebra, in some cases premium costs starts to increase rapidly after a driver turns 64. For a person who has stopped commuting, it makes no sense to pay more, especially if you’re driving less.

Finding the Right Amount of Coverage

When assessing your current policy, there may be a few ways to adjust your coverage and save some money:

  • Your deductible: if you find yourself driving fewer miles than before, you may want to look into raising your deductible. This tactic will save you money in the long-term.
  • The primary driver: if you’re no longer the primary driver of your vehicle (i.e. your child or caretaker drives you), you can look into saving money by changing the primary driver on your policy.
  • Your coverage: if you’re driving significantly less than you used to, it might make sense to adjust your coverage level. For example, if you drop comprehensive or collision insurance from your policy, you will save money on your premium.
  • A second vehicle: when you’re retired, you may find that you no longer have the need that you once did for a second vehicle. Dropping down to one vehicle on your policy is a great way to save some money and streamline your finances.
  • Other insured drivers: with your kids out of the house, you’ll no longer need to cover them on your insurance policy. Reducing the number of people insured on your policy is another great way to reduce your expenses as a senior.

When to Stop Driving

The day that you have to stop driving, either by your own volition or otherwise, will be a difficult pill to swallow. Just like getting your license at 16 meant getting the keys to your freedom, giving up your vehicle symbolizes letting go of your freedom. These are some things to keep in mind as you start to age:

  • Consistently driving faster or slower than the flow of traffic
  • Having a medical condition and/or being on a medication that impairs your ability to:
      1. Concentrate
      2. See clearly
      3. React quickly
  • Experiencing deteriorating vision, hearing, or mobility
  • Getting lost in familiar areas
  • Experiencing frequent small accidents, scares, or moving violations

As a senior, there are many changes happening in your life – so why should your car insurance stay the same? Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance may be a great option for you as you glide gracefully into your golden years! Get a free quote today – it only takes a few minutes and you could be on your way to a stress-free retirement.

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

Is Car Insurance Tax Deductible?

By now, you’re probably well (if not painfully) aware that it’s tax season. And while you’re busy crunching numbers and tracking down receipts, you’re likely looking for every deduction possible to help maximize your refund. So can you count car insurance as one of your tax-deductible expenses? The answer of course is: it depends.

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When You Can (and Should) Deduct Car Costs From Your Taxes

Let’s start with the positive side of things: scenarios in which car insurance payments can totally count as tax-deductible costs:

  • If you’re self-employed and use your car for business-related purposes. Great news! If you’re self-employed and use your car for business purposes, you might just be able to deduct a portion of your insurance premium. For example, if you’re a contractor and you use your truck to carry supplies to and from job sites, you can likely write off your full insurance premium, plus the cost of other expenses like gas. The catch here is that your vehicle has to primarily be used for explicit business tasks; using it to commute to and from the office isn’t enough to justify a business expense.
  • If you’re an employee and your employer doesn’t plan to reimburse you for the money you’ve spent on business uses of your vehicle. You could be eligible to write off your car costs as an employee if your job requires you to conduct business while driving or if you use your car to travel for work-related events or meetings.

In either case, here’s how to know if your car use qualifies for deductions: The costs related to your vehicle have to total more than 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). So, for example, if your adjusted gross income for the year is $50,000, any costs you plan to claim that are related to that vehicle (like insurance, gas, etc.) have to exceed $1,000 (i.e. 2% of $50,000).

When You Can’t (and Shouldn’t) Deduct Car Costs From Your Taxes

  • Your car is for personal use only (or your business-related driving costs are less than 2% of your AGI). So if your adjusted gross income for the year is $50,000, you won’t be able to claim costs if they’re $1,000 or under.

When It’s a Maybe

  • You use your vehicle for both business and personal reasons. If you’re using your car for both business and pleasure (think: Lyft or Uber drivers, for examples), you can only write off the cost of your insurance up to the proportion of time it’s used for business. So, for example, if you’re using it to work as a rideshare driver 25% of the time, and driving around town for personal reasons the other 75% of the time, you can only list 25% of the insurance premium cost on your taxes.
  • Your car was stolen or deemed a “total loss” (i.e. it was damaged to the point of being permanently un-drivable). Whether your car is for personal or business use, if it’s stolen or irreparably damaged, you might be able to claim loss deductions. The stipulations:
      1. You have to file a car insurance claim.
      2. The accident couldn’t have been due to your negligence.
      3. Your insurance company can’t reimburse the full cost of your loss (but if the damage exceeds the policy limits, you may be able to deduct the difference as well as your insurance deductible cost.
      4. The costs are more than $100 and over 10% of your AGI.

Regardless of whether your car costs are deductible, it’s always a smart idea to pay only for what you need — that’s why Metromile makes so much sense for every type of driver out there. Pay-per-mile insurance costs less because it’s based on how many miles you drive. If you spend less time behind the wheel, you spend less money on insurance, period. Get your personalized quote right now and see how much you could be saving.

The Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Car Insurance

Here at Metromile, we are focused on educating consumers about the benefits of usage-based insurance. What sounds like a confusing topic can easily be broken down into easy-to-digest pieces. As pioneers of the pay-per-mile car insurance model, we are always happy to clarify any confusion about how pay-per-mile car insurance works. So, for your reading pleasure, we are pleased to announce: the Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Insurance. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and dig in!

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Usage-Based-Car-Insurance

What is usage-based insurance?


Usage-based insurance simply means that you pay what you drive. It is measured by how many miles you drive your vehicle, like with Metromile’s pay-mile-mile model. Usage-based insurance tracks your mileage using a device which plugs into your OBD-II port and measures the number of trips you take per day and how many miles you drive on those trips. This device may collect other data that can be utilized by the policyholder (such as sudden stops, hard braking, etc.), but at Metromile, only the miles you drive are used to price the premium.

Usage-based insurance models are founded on the idea that the less time a driver spends on the road, the less likely an accident will occur. Usage-based car insurance is great for low-mileage drivers and can help them save on their yearly total insurance premium. Usage-based insurance premiums are paid monthly (instead of upfront once a year) because the total amount paid is calculated based on how many miles you drive, which will likely vary month to month.

How usage is tracked


Usage is tracked using a device plugged into the OBD-II port. The technical name for this type of data collection is telematics. Using telematics, insurance companies can charge a premium based on usage-based or behavior based insurance models. Here at Metromile, we are usage-based and price our customers’ premiums based on how many miles they drive, which is collected through the Pulse device.

We believe that high mileage is one of the biggest risk indicators, based simply on the fact that you’re inherently spending more time on the road. Overall, the less time spent on the road, the less likely you’ll get into an accident. This is why Metromile is proud to offer the same great insurance coverage at affordable rates to low-mileage drivers!

Behavior-based vs. Usage-based Insurance Models


With behavior-based insurance models, the overall cost of your premiums are dependent upon your driving behavior. Insurance companies that offer this kind of coverage will use devices to monitor how you drive, as many of them have deemed driving behavior to be one of the most important indicators of risk; i.e. a driver who frequently slams the brakes has a higher probability of involving themselves in an accident. This is the reason why some insurance companies reward good driving behavior with discounts on your premiums. The trade off, however, is that your driving behavior will be monitored – and the occasional mistake could affect the cost of your premium. The way insurers measure safety varies, but some of the most common factors include the time of day, average speed, sudden acceleration and hard braking.

With usage-based insurance models, like Metromile’s pay-per-mile model, your costs are dependent upon how much you drive. Bottom line – the less you drive, the less you pay. With Metromile, customers pay a monthly base rate, plus an additional pennies-per-mile rate. Your monthly bill will fluctuate based on how much you drove that month (not based on your driving behavior). Because the monthly bill is based on exact mileage, Metromile typically saves low-mileage (under 200 miles per week) drivers a significant amount of money compared to the discounts offered by other usage-based programs. On average, Metromile customers are saving $500 a year – woohoo!

The benefits of usage-based insurance don’t stop at financial savings either. By paying-per-mile, our customers are taking control of how much they drive and reducing unnecessary trips, which benefits the environment as well. Additionally, usage-based insurance models utilize measurement devices which can provide additional perks; with the Metromile Pulse and smart driving app, you can monitor your car’s health, get street sweeping alerts, track and manage trip data, and even locate your vehicle with the GPS tracker.

How reliable is usage-based insurance?

Funny you should ask! Metromile raised over $190 million in funding last year which we used to acquire an insurance carrier. Our policy is to set aside the majority of the premium payments we receive to cover claims, which allows us to always have more than the required amount of funds to oversee claims made by our customers. Additionally, our Metromile claims team is comprised of industry experts with many years of experience at major insurance companies, with both extensive knowledge of best practices as well as plans to continuously improve the experience. From our always-available claims teams to our industry-leading customer service, we are working non-stop to make sure you have a best-in-class experience every time you interact with Metromile. We’ve also been reinsured by some of the most trusted names in the Finance and Insurance industries, HSCM Bermuda, MAPRFRE RE, and Hudson.

FAQ: The Low-Down

Over the years, we’ve gotten many questions about per-mile insurance. It’s a good thing that we have answers!

  • How much money will I save with per-mile insurance?
  • On average, our customers are saving up to $500 per year (and that’s just an average – some are saving even more!). Visit our homepage, answer a few questions about yourself and your car, and you will immediately be able to see a preliminary quote. Use the savings calculator to see how much money you could save in a year by switching to Metromile!

  • Can I choose my coverage?
  • Yes! Just like with the car insurance policy you have now, you have the ability to choose your deductible amount and liability protection. If you don’t need comprehensive or collision insurance (read more about those here), set the deductible to “no coverage.” You’ll be able to edit coverages in the quote, choose between different liability protection packages, and see the monthly base rate – as well as per-mile costs.

  • What does per-mile insurance cover?
  • Metromile covers you just like any other car insurance. We offer full coverage, including collision coverage (the damage that occurs to your car in the event of a collision) and comprehensive coverage (damage that occurs to your car, including damage not in the event of a collision). To cover property damage and injury to others, you can choose bodily injury liability limits of up to $250,000/$500,000. Read more here about the different kinds of coverage policies that Metromile provides its customers.

  • How is my monthly bill calculated?
  • The monthly base rate varies based on the number of days in the month and how much you drive. For example, if your base rate is $50 a month and you drove 200 miles this month at $0.20/mile, your bill would be $90. Additionally, you aren’t charged for the miles you drive over 250 a day (150 in New Jersey). Each month your bill will consist of your monthly base rate for the month ahead plus the cost of the miles that you drove during that billing cycle.

  • Do I need to install the app before I get the insurance?
  • Nope! You do not need our app in order to have our insurance. The Metromile app is only one of two places to see your account info, which we visualize for you in aesthetically appealing graphs and charts. The other way to access your account is via the online dashboard (just log in at metromile.com).

  • Does my monthly base rate ever change?
  • Your quoted policy lasts for six months, unless you make mid-policy changes. After six months is up, your monthly rate will be re-evaluated. Several factors can affect or increase your rate, such as citations and violations.

  • How do I pay my Metromile insurance?
  • The amount due is automatically billed each month to the debit / credit card that you provide during sign-up. We make it easy for you to update your billing information anytime – simply edit on the online dashboard or in the app.

  • What other benefits are included with Metromile insurance?
  • 24/7 roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement are optional coverages that can be included when having comprehensive and collision coverage. We also provide street sweeping alerts in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, diagnose your car’s health, and provide MPG to all of our customers!

  • What if I decide I to sell my car or realize that I need to drive it much more often than I originally planned?
  • The adventure of life includes change – maybe you’ll decide to not have a car anymore, or you may have a new commute that requires putting more miles on the road. We understand! We realize that pay-per-mile car insurance may not work financially for you all the time. However, we hope it becomes a considered option if it fits well within your current lifestyle.

If you think per-mile insurance could help you save each month, get your free quote today and see how much extra savings you could pocket! Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us at 1.888.311.2909 or http://metromile.com/help!

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

The Complete Guide to Researching and Buying Car Insurance

You may not associate shopping for car insurance with a high-stakes game of blackjack, but the truth is, both are a gamble. Picking the right policy is a game of risk: insurance carriers are constantly managing and mitigating unpredictable circumstances while policyholders are the ones actually living through the daily uncertainties of treacherous traffic jams, storms, and other hazardous road conditions.

The-Complete-Guide-to-Researching-and-Buying-Car-Insurance

Life is risky enough; there’s no need to up the ante and play games when it comes to insurance coverage. That’s why we’ve created this guide to walk you through researching and buying the best car insurance policy for you.

Things To Think About Before You Research Plans

Before you even start the research process, taking the time to think through these factors can save you time, money, and headaches down the road:

  • Factors that will affect your insurance cost and your overall insurability. How many tickets have you received lately? What’s your credit score? Is your car banged up? Have a teen driver in the family? All of these factors can and do affect your cost and insurability, so take stock of the important stuff and be prepared for it to shape your research.
  • What’s your budget? Be realistic about what you can spend per month by creating a spending spreadsheet that clearly indicates where your money’s going, what’s a non-negotiable expense, and what could potentially get cut so you can get the best coverage possible.
  • How do you use your car and how often do you use it? Do you commute hundreds of miles each week, or does your car sit parked on the street most days? The amount you’re actually using your vehicle-and what you’re using it for-should factor into your decision around how much to spend.
  • What type of coverages are most important to you? There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for every person; depending on where you live, what kinds of other insurance you have, the kind of car you drive, and more, the type of plan you choose will vary.

How to Choose the Best Carrier for You

Now that you’ve got your personal factors sorted out, it’s time to start comparing carriers. Here’s how to find the right one for you:

  • Look for a reliable insurer. It’s important to go with a company that’s credible. Check your state’s insurance department website and read consumer reviews to get a sense of who’s legit. Friends and family are also great sources of information and experience.
  • Offers the coverages you need. Not every insurer offers every type of plan. That’s why getting clear on your non-negotiables upfront is a critical time-saving step; if a company doesn’t offer the plan you need, move on.
  • Compare policies and insurers. Take the time to visit different insurers’ websites and call for more information. Take solid notes and consider creating a spreadsheet that lists each insurer’s quotes. Comparing will help you find the best deal, so be sure to run the numbers on at least four or five different carriers and policies to have a bigger pool of contenders.

Buying Your Car Insurance Policy: Things to Look Out For

One more major step in the buying process: be sure you’re covering all the legal bases and best practices.

  • State Minimums. Each state has its own list of minimum insurance requirements, so be sure to check yours before signing up for a plan.
  • Coverage recommendations. There are some general rules of thumb to follow when it comes to purchasing a policy, according to insurance experts. Do a bit of digging and talk to the pros at each company you’re considering signing up with.

Remember: do your research, check your current coverages, and compare all your options before making a decision on a new car insurance policy. If you have any questions we are always happy to help at Metromile. Feel free to give us a call or get a quick quote now.


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.

When You Should File a Claim… and When You Shouldn’t

It’s an inevitable risk of driving that no one likes to think about but many have to face: a car accident. Whether you’re behind the wheel or riding as a passenger, accidents can stressful, scary, and confusing. No matter who’s at fault, collisions can bring up a lot of questions, and it can be baffling to figure out if, when, and how to involve your insurance carrier. Luckily, there are simple guidelines that can help guide you through the decision-making process.

When-to-File-a-Claim-and-When-Not-to

When You Should File a Claim

Trying to handle an accident on your own can be risky. Even if the other party involved seems nice enough and offers to pay for damages out of pocket, there’s no way to verify their personal information or accountability without the intervention of an insurance carrier.

In many scenarios, filing a claim will go a long way in protecting you and your wallet. Before you make any decisions, be sure to read and have a solid understanding of your policy-many policies state that you must notify the insurance company of any issues that may lead to a potential claim.

That said, you should always file a claim in these situations:

  • You injure someone. Even if the person says they feel fine or that they’ll settle the situation privately, it’s important to notify your insurance carrier. The injuries may be far more serious than you realize, and can result in big medical bills down the road.
  • You damage someone else’s car. Damage can sometimes be much more extensive than it seems at first glance-without involving your insurer, you could be on the hook for sky-high costs.
  • It’s not immediately clear who’s at fault. If there’s any question at all about who’s to blame for the accident, then a claim is necessary. That way your insurance company can deal with the other party’s insurance company and save you the headache of divvying up costs.
  • You accidentally do major damage to your own car.Any kind of accident, vandalization, or weather-related damage that results in hefty repair or medical bills requires a claim – even if no one else was involved (or you don’t know who the culprit was).
  • You’ve been hit and run. Even if you don’t know the driver responsible, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company in the event of a hit and run. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may qualify for some help with repair and medical costs, even if the other driver isn’t found.

When You Shouldn’t File a Claim

  • When there’s little to no damage to the other person’s car. If you just barely tap another car while attempting to parallel park, it’s probably not necessary to file a claim, but if you leave any mark whatsoever, you’ll likely need to trade personal information with the other party.
  • When you can afford to fix it yourself. If you back into a pole or hit your own garage door, it’s unfortunate, but not necessarily claim-worthy. If you’re totally sure the minor ding won’t result in any lasting issues, you’re probably better off paying the money out of pocket to avoid an increase in your coverage rate.

The bottom line is that It’s risky to handle an accident on your own. Your insurance company is there to have your back in situations just like these. Ready to switch to a more affordable carrier? Metromile may be the perfect fit- get a free quote today and see how much you could be saving.


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

What is Full Coverage?

When it comes to insurance it seems like everyone is searching for the holy grail of “Full Coverage.” But what does that even mean…and does it even exist?

Spoiler alert: There’s actually no such thing as “Full Coverage” in the sense that no plan you choose will cover every possible scenario under the sun. The phrase “Full Coverage” typically refers to a combination of coverages meant to protect you and your vehicle. But the magical plan many people refer to as “Full Coverage” is really just a myth.

What-is-Full-Coverage

Let’s break down the facts so you can truly understand what your auto insurance policy covers-and what it doesn’t.

What is “Full Coverage” anyway?

There’s no single plan you can request that will provide “Full Coverage.” If you talk to your insurer about getting full coverage, you’re likely discussing a combination that includes the following:

  • Liability or no-fault insurance that’s required by your state. This covers any bodily injury and property damages to others if you cause an accident.
  • Collision coverage that pays for damages that affect your vehicle in an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage for things like vandalism, theft, and other damages that aren’t the result of an accident.

Even with those three standard components, however, the details and amount of protection you actually get from a “Full Coverage” combo will vary depending on your insurance carrier, so it’s always important to read the fine print of your policy.

What “Full Coverage” Doesn’t Cover

But before you feel secure thinking “Full Coverage” has you covered from every angle, consider the many important things this combination of coverage doesn’t cover:

  1. Medical payments: You’ll need an additional type of coverage in order to pay for any post-accident medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault for the incident. This type of coverage may also help pay for any expenses that exceed your health insurance limits.
  2. Uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM): If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, UM/UIM coverage is the only way to receive payments that they’re responsible for but can’t deliver because of their coverage status.
  3. Emergency road services: Otherwise known as roadside assistance or towing and labor, emergency road service coverage helps pay for unpredictable emergencies like flat tire changes or a battery jump-start.
  4. Customized parts and equipment: If you’re hoping to deck your car out with the latest technology or special add-ons, you’ll want customized parts and equipment coverage to help cover the costs.
  5. Rental cars: If you need to rely on a replacement vehicle in the event of an accident, rental car insurance is the only way to get that cost covered.

Determining Which Coverage is Right for You

If all this info is overwhelming, consider this: there’s no one-size-fits-all comprehensive combination of plans. Your specific needs as a driver are unique and the type of coverage you choose will depend on a lot of personal factors. When deciding on the right coverage, think about these key pieces of info and then can make an informed decision from there:

  • What type of car you have and how new it is
  • The quality and limits of your health insurance
  • Where your car is garaged
  • Your budget
  • Your driving behavior

Remember, there’s no such thing as “Full Coverage” and the best way to understand and know what your insurance policy will cover is to carefully read the fine print. Have specific questions about your Metromile policy? Our team of licensed insurance specialists is standing by, happy to help. Just give us a call at (888) 244-1702. If you aren’t a Metromile customer and want to see your savings, get a quick quote now.


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.

8 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a New Car Insurance Policy

Whether you’re buying your first car or fifth, car insurance is non-negotiable. Besides protecting you, your car insurance will also protect anyone else who is involved in a collision with you. But the world or car insurance can be murky, and it can be difficult to understand the nuances of different providers and coverage plans.

8-Questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-new-car-insurance-policy

To save you some time, we’ve compiled a list of 8 questions to ask yourself before you buy car insurance (or switch car insurance!). Once you’ve answered these 8 questions, you’ll be well on your way to making a smarter and more well-informed decision about the car insurance policy that’s right for you!

    1. What kind of coverage do I need? To start, you will need the minimum coverage required by law in your state. Since this varies by state, check out a list here to see what kind of coverage is required in your state of residence. Most states only require liability insurance, which covers the costs of anyone who gets injured or killed in a car accident caused by you, plus damage to their vehicle, property damage, and legal fees. However, some states require additional coverage beyond liability insurance. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require it by law, here are some other coverage plans typically offered by car insurance companies:

    • Collision: This kind of plan covers damages to your car in the event of an accident, regardless of who caused the damage. You will still need to front the money for the deductible, however, most people who have newer cars tend to go for this option because the amount you will receive back is based on the value of the car, and the payout will be much higher on a newer vehicle.
    • Comprehensive: This type of plan covers all damages to your car, including non-collision related damage. With a comprehensive insurance policy, your vehicle is covered if there are damages due to fire, vandalism, acts of nature, and theft. With this type of policy, however, comes a price tag. As with the collision coverage, most people with newer vehicles and/or leased vehicles tend to purchase this type of policy because the deductible vs. payout ratio is greater! Be sure to check the value of your car every year to reevaluate if comprehensive or collision coverage is the right decision for you.
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection: This coverage option is less expensive than collision or comprehensive and covers the cost of your car repairs if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you. With this option, there’s no deductible, but there’s also a limit on how much you’ll be able to collect (usually about $3,500).
    • Personal injury protection: This plan is pretty self-explanatory – it’s right there in the name! This type of plan covers medical bills and loss of wages to you or your passengers if someone hits you. If you’re injured while riding as a passenger in someone else’s car, it will cover the expenses related to that as well.

    2. How much do I drive? The answer to this question is very important, because you could very well be overpaying where you don’t need to. If you’re a city-dweller who mostly takes public transportation, or even if you just have a second car that you don’t drive very often, signing up for a policy with Metromile could save you big bucks. Metromile’s policy is pay-per-mile, so the less you drive, the less you pay. Simple as that!

    3. What’s my risk assessment? This is not meant to be a scary question, we promise. A “risk assessment” is simply how the annual rate that you will pay is determined by the insurance company – as in, how likely it will be that you’ll file a claim based on many data points gathered. Have you gotten a lot of speeding tickets, been in a few fender benders, or live in an area where car theft is prevalent? Your risk assessment will be higher and you’ll pay more. Be sure to do your research and shop around to see which company will give you the best rate based on your risk assessment.

    4. Who will be covered with the policy? Every insurance company and state handles this a bit differently, so be sure to understand what your coverage will look like before making any decisions. Try to think through every possible scenario, i.e. a friend borrows your car and hits someone, your 16 year old (who is still learning to drive) gets in an accident, etc. Who will be covered? Will your insurance company pay for the damages? Knowing the answer to this question ahead of time will save you the headache of looking for the answer after the fact.

    5. What will my deductible be? This might be the most important question of all, and one that you have the most control over. With most policies, you can choose your deductible amount: the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly payment will be. Common deductible amounts are $0, $100, $500, $750, $1,000, and $1,500. If you are involved in an accident and file a claim with your insurance company, your deductible is the amount you will need to pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay the rest of the bill. Choosing a plan with a high deductible may be a wise decision, because your yearly bill (also known as your premium) will be lower and you many never get in a car accident. However, be sure that you don’t set your deductible so high that you won’t be able to pay it if you do get in an accident and need to file a claim.

    6. Do they have 24-hour claims service? Getting into an accident is stressful enough, and knowing that you can only contact your insurance company during business hours only adds to the stress of the situation. Be sure to look for insurance carriers that provide a 24 hour claims service to their customers, like Metromile! Even if it’s just a fender bender, knowing your insurance company has your back 24/7 can provide a great amount of peace of mind.

    7. Will I be using my car for work? Nowadays, many more people are using their cars for work. With the prevalence of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, anyone with a car and a driver’s license can make money. If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that commercial auto insurance is a necessity. A personal auto insurance policy will not cover you if you transport paying passengers through ride sharing apps, if you’re delivering pizzas, performing a courier service, etc.

    8. Is my car financed or leased? It’s important to note that if you still owe money on your car, or you are expected to keep your lease in like-new condition, you’ll likely be required to insure the car for its full value – and possibly for any gap between what you owe and the car’s market value. Collision and comprehensive will cover any damages that may occur to your car, and gap insurance will cover the rest.

Finding the right car insurance policy can be tough, but Metromile wants to help. As always, we’ll be here if you have any questions along the way – we have your back! We hope these questions will help guide you in the right direction. Be sure to get a quote with Metromile while you’re on your search – we may end up being the perfect car insurance provider for you!

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.