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Why Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance May Be a Good Choice for Military Members

Military Pay Per Mile car Insurance | Metromile

If you’re a military service member, you have a unique set of considerations. You could be deployed, need to relocate frequently, or store your car when you’re away. We hear you and understand this can make managing your bills and insurance coverage tricky.

The good news is there are military car insurance options that may be a good fit for you. Here’s what military service members should know about auto insurance.

Who is considered a military service member?

Many auto insurance companies offer military discounts on car insurance or specialized military car insurance policies. 

Military service members may be able to take advantage of these savings. In some cases, insurance companies might extend any benefits, discounts, or eligibility to family members or former military service members, including veterans. 

To qualify for most military car insurance, you typically must have an affiliation with one of the following branches of the Armed Forces:

  • Air Force
  • Army
  • Coast Guard
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy

If you work in or are affiliated with one of these branches, you likely qualify for military car insurance. Drivers who are affiliated with the National Guard, Space Force, reserves, or other areas of the U.S. Department of Defense may also be eligible.

Can you get a military discount car insurance option?

If you’re looking for military car insurance, you might have encountered higher-than-expected costs. 

Because military service members may not use their cars as much as other drivers, especially when deployed, military car insurance rates may sometimes be higher than other types of car insurance.

When looking for car insurance coverage, military service members should consider many options and see what insurance companies can offer a military discount for car insurance.

Consider pay-per-mile auto insurance as an alternative

Because you likely won’t be driving much, you may want to consider pay-per-mile auto insurance

Pay-per-mile auto insurance is a usage-based car insurance, which means your rate is primarily based on how you use your car. If you don’t drive long distances or often, you could save hundreds of dollars compared to traditional car insurance policies.

How much could Metromile save me on car insurance?

Metromile offers affordable auto insurance coverage.

Drivers pay a low monthly base rate each month to keep their car covered, even when they aren’t driving. Then, they pay a few cents for each mile they drive.

Drivers can save 47% a year on average when they switch to Metromile, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved with Metromile.Depending on how much you drive, you could stand to save even more. Savings of about $1,000 or more a year are not uncommon with Metromile’s pay-how-you-drive auto insurance:

Pay per mile savings explanation
* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

5 reasons why pay-per-mile car insurance makes sense for military personnel

Searching for military car insurance can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be.

It’s possible to find a low auto insurance rate without sacrificing your coverage or experience. Here are five reasons why pay-per-mile auto insurance could make sense for military service members:

1. You pay for the miles you drive.

Military service members and their families are often on the go and might not use their cars for long periods of time. If your vehicle spends more time in your garage or storage than on the road, you don’t need to pay more than you have to for auto insurance.

Pay-per-mile car insurance helps keep your bill reasonable, as you’ll pay for what you actually use.

2. All miles over 250 per day are completely free.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance can help you avoid bill surprises.

At Metromile, all miles over 250 in a single day (150 miles per day in New Jersey) are free. This bonus can help you keep costs manageable, even if you decide to drive more than you ordinarily would.

3. You can personalize your coverage from a variety of limits and deductible options.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance offers the same types of coverage as traditional insurance, including liability protection, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, medical payments coverage, personal injury protection, roadside assistance, and more.

You can also adjust the limits and deductibles to help protect your vehicle, finances, and wellbeing.

Metromile gives you the opportunity to choose the type of auto insurance that’s right for your lifestyle, which can come in handy for the military lifestyle.

4. The claims process is simple.

Filing an insurance claim can be stressful, which isn’t helpful after a car accident. The claims process can be easy, even if you have a pay-per-mile auto insurance policy.

Metromile, a leading pay-per-mile insurer in the U.S., makes it easy for you to file a claim. You can file a claim 24/7 on the phone or online on the Metromile website or app.

Drivers have access to our AI claims assistant AVA, which can help guide you through the claims process from submitting photos of any damage, collecting other information, and submitting a claim. Some claims can also be automated end-to-end, which means your claim could get resolved more quickly.

5. You can access important data.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance policyholders typically have access to their past driving and trip data for as long as they are customers.

Drivers who have pay-per-mile auto insurance coverage with Metromile can access smart driving features for free through the Metromile app.

Metromile customers can set up alerts to avoid parking or street-sweeping tickets in select U.S. cities, check on their car’s health, locate their car if it’s ever lost or stolen, and review their fuel use and past trips with the gas and trip planners.

The bottom line

Military service members deserve flexibility for their lifestyles, and pay-per-mile auto insurance can help provide the right coverage.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance can also provide a lower rate than military discounts on car insurance because drivers pay for how far they drive.

You can try Metromile to see if pay-per-mile auto insurance is right for you. Download the Metromile app from your favorite app store and take a free Ride Along™

You’ll drive for about two weeks as you typically would (you should keep your current insurance policy to keep coverage during the trial), and then Metromile will tell you how much you could save if you switch insurance companies. You can even earn an extra discount of up to 40% off your initial Metromile quote if you show you’re a safe driver during your Ride Along™ in select states.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Everything You Need to Know About Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

Here's your guide to everything you might want to know about pay-per-mile auto insurance: how it works, savings, whether you should switch, and more.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut down one of our most expensive bills by paying only for what we use? Some car insurance companies say they want to do exactly that with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Low-mileage drivers could save with pay-per-mile car insurance, but it can be hard to understand what that means. You might ask: If I drive every day, am I a low-mileage driver? Alternatively, how low is low?

We have the answers. Consider this guide if you’ve ever wondered about pay-per-mile car insurance or how you can keep car insurance costs low.

Quick Index

What is pay-per-mile auto insurance?

Pay-per-mile car insurance is a type of usage-based insurance that is determined by how far you drive. Instead of paying a flat rate that doesn’t change like with other insurance companies, your actual driving determines your car insurance premiums.

While different companies might offer pay-per-mile car insurance, sometimes called “pay as you go” car insurance or “pay as you drive” car insurance, Metromile is a leading pay-per-mile car insurance company in the U.S. The company started to create a new type of insurance personalized to each driver and their unique lifestyle.

Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance is currently available in Arizona, California, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington state.

How does pay-per-mile auto insurance work?

If you opt for pay-per-mile car insurance, your driving determines how much you pay for car insurance each month. This can give you more control over your car insurance costs and can ensure you don’t overpay if you don’t end up driving that much. 

Because Metromile uses telematics technology, we can offer accurate and affordable coverage that considers your driving behavior

The way it works is that Metromile provides drivers with the Metromile Pulse, a small wireless device that connects you to your car. The device accurately and securely counts the miles you drive to help bill you every month. 

Installation is easy and can take minutes because the device plugs into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port, generally next to the driver’s side door, beneath the steering wheel, or around the center console. The onboard diagnostic port is the same connection your car mechanic might use to check your car’s health in the garage.

The Pulse device needs to stay connected to your vehicle at all times. The device isn’t just for calculating your pay-as-you-go car insurance but also helps power some smart-driving features

For example, you can find your car’s location, know when street sweeping is happening in select cities, check your miles, review your trips, and more. All of this data can empower you with information to be a smarter and safer driver
Some connected vehicle owners may not need a Pulse device or other additional equipment. Soon, owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity can opt-in and connect their vehicle so that Metromile can count any miles driven directly from the vehicle’s odometer.

Is pay-per-mile car insurance worth it?

You might be intrigued with pay-as-you-go car insurance, but the question remains: “Is pay-per-mile car insurance worth it?” 

If you’re a low-mileage driver and don’t drive that much, the savings can be powerful. 

In fact, drivers saved an average of $741 a year when they made the switch to Metromile, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved. Imagine what you could do with that extra savings. You could have more fun money, budget for travel, save more, or pay down debt. 

On top of the average savings, drivers can save even more.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

If you’re a low-mileage driver who racks up about 48 miles per week, you can stand to save nearly $1,000 a year. Even if you drive more some weeks, you could still save on auto insurance.

Metromile also offers additional discounts to drivers who insure multiple cars on the same policy or install an anti-car theft device or other equipment to make their vehicles safer in some states. 

Of course, if you keep a good driving record and stay safe, you could benefit from lower rates for safe driving as well.

How much does pay-per-mile car insurance cost?

After you get started with pay-per-mile car insurance, you’ll notice your bill includes two parts: a low monthly base rate and a per-mile rate.

The monthly base rate helps keep your car covered, even when you’re not driving. You can think of the monthly base rate like the fee your cell phone provider might charge you to keep your telephone number and line open.

The per-mile rate counts how far you drive. The rate doesn’t consider how long you are in your car, so you won’t ever get penalized if you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

How much does Metromile charge per mile?

Let’s say your base rate is $29 per month, and your per-mile rate is 6 cents per mile. Your Metromile bill would be just $56 if you drove 450 miles that month.

As an added value, pay-per-mile car insurance often comes with a daily cap. With Metromile, your miles are free after driving 250 miles (150 in New Jersey) in a single day. 

The bonus lets you avoid any surprises on your bill and can help prevent stress. You don’t have to worry about “going over” with pay-per-mile car insurance and getting a huge surprise bill.

How are pay-per-mile car insurance rates determined?

Unlike traditional insurance, pay-per-mile car insurance rates focus on someone’s actual driving.

Driving behavior, including how many miles someone drives, and the car insurance coverage selected, are the main factors Metromile considers. Other factors include the vehicle and type of insurance policy. Depending on the state, Metromile also considers how long someone’s had insurance before, claims history, and other information.

In contrast, traditional insurance rates may weigh more heavily on a driver’s age, gender, marital status, credit score, ZIP Code, or driving records, depending on the company, policy, and state. 

Often, insurance companies rely on these factors to determine the risk of large groups of drivers and might not personalize rates on a more individualized basis. Instead, Metromile uses technology and observed driving to help price rates down to the mile for each driver.

Who should get pay-per-mile car insurance?

Most Americans could find value by switching to pay-per-mile auto insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans drive about 13,500 miles a year on average. Now, with more and more people working from home and taking fewer personal trips, chances are you are using your car even less.

If you drive 37 miles or fewer per day, you could save money on your premiums with pay-per-mile car insurance.

Drivers who could benefit from pay-per-mile car insurance include:

Even if you commute regularly or spend a lot of time in your car, you could save. Pay-per-mile car insurance doesn’t charge you for how long you drive because it focuses on miles driven.

What type of coverage does pay-per-mile car insurance provide?

Metromile lets you personalize your auto insurance policy to your lifestyle and needs. That way, you won’t pay more than what you need and might actually use. 

Metromile offers four different levels of liability protection and choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles, including:

On top of these robust pay-as-you-go offerings, you can rest assured that your car will be covered, even when you’re not paying your per-mile rate. For example, when your car is parked, Metromile will cover your vehicle with comprehensive coverage when relevant.

How do claims work with pay-per-mile auto insurance?

Pay-per-mile car insurance provides the same types of coverage as other insurance companies. Licensed insurance specialists are available, and you can file a claim 24/7, online through the mobile app or Metromile website or by calling.

Drivers can also add roadside assistance to cover lockouts, flat tires, and towing, and an allowance for rental car reimbursements, to their policy.

Metromile also has a direct repair program, which can help expedite claims by making repairs more seamless. For example, Metromile customers can get notified of updates for their repair, changes to pricing, or service delays when they work with a participating repair shop. Metromile customers can use the Metromile app or log into their online account to find a nearby participating repair shop or see if their favorite garage is on the list.

What is the difference between pay-per-mile and pay-as-you-go car insurance?

While pay-per-mile and pay-as-you-go auto insurance are both usage-based types of car insurance, how the policies calculate how you drive may differ. 

Pay-per-mile auto insurance rates are typically calculated on the number of miles you drive. 

Pay-as-you-go auto insurance, sometimes referred to as pay-how-you-drive insurance, might also consider how you drive overall and look at your driving habits in addition to how much you drive.

The bottom line

Don’t be fooled: For many drivers, pay-per-mile car insurance can provide the same coverage as other insurance companies at a lower cost.

You don’t need to sacrifice your driving experience with pay-per-mile auto insurance, especially if you don’t drive much or are driving less than you have previously.

You can give pay-per-mile auto insurance a try for free with Metromile. Download the Metromile app and take a Ride Along™ trial. You’ll drive as you usually would for about two weeks (you should keep your current insurance policy to maintain coverage), and then we’ll show you how much you could save if you switch to Metromile.
Drivers can earn an extra discount of up to 40% off your initial car insurance quote for demonstrated safe driving during your trial in select states.

Digging Into the Potential Impact of Washington State’s Credit Ban on Your Insurance Rates

Washington credit ban affecting insurance rate

At Metromile, we’re constantly striving to make insurance fairer and more personalized. We believe insurance should be based on your own actual driving and not everyone else’s.

If you live in Washington state, you might be wondering why your rate went up when nothing’s seemingly changed on your end — no parking tickets, no accidents, and no policy or coverage changes.

Why did my auto insurance rate increase?

Many factors might have impacted the price you pay for auto insurance, including new state regulations. 

Earlier this year, the Washington Insurance Commissioner issued an executive order to ban the use of credit-based insurance scores as a factor in determining insurance rates.

Drivers may have received a lower rate or discounted auto insurance because they have a good or excellent credit history. Now, their rates may increase because of the credit score ban. Similarly, car insurance customers with lower credit scores may now see lower rates.

What is Metromile doing about the credit score ban?

As a values-driven company, we applaud efforts to increase equitability for everyone, and we believe Washington state’s credit score ban is an important step forward. The use of credit-based insurance scores is already banned in seven other states, and we hope other states will take steps to make insurance fairer.

Nevertheless, we know it’s frustrating to get a rate increase. We hear you. We’re drivers too, and we don’t like to see our insurance rates go up either.

As a leading auto insurer grounded in data science, we believe our technology and the billions of real miles driven we’ve analyzed enables us to be at the forefront of creating a level playing field in insurance. 

We envision creating even fairer, more individualized pricing based on how people drive. Pay-per-mile auto insurance, and the savings that can come with it, are just the start. 

Our telematics technology, combined with continued vehicle safety advancements and the growing trend of cars becoming safer and more autonomous, can be a powerful combination.

Over the coming months, you’ll be hearing more from us on the progress we’re making. In the meantime, if you’ve recently received a rate increase, feel free to contact us
We can review your policy and share options that might help lower your insurance rate.

Dispelling the Myths of Pay-As-You-Go Auto Insurance

Believe it or not: There is auto insurance based on how you drive. If you don’t drive often or long distances, you could save money with this coverage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned a lot of us into low-mileage drivers.

Between stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, you might be stuck at home quarantining or with nowhere to go. Meanwhile, if you’re now working from home, you’ve probably cut back on a lot of the miles you used to drive.

So if you’re driving less often these days, for whatever reason, you might be wondering what pay-as-you-go auto insurance is all about and if it could save you money.

We believe paying for car insurance based on the miles you drive is a fairer concept. About two-thirds of drivers in the U.S. are overpaying for their auto insurance. According to a 2018 survey of customers who saved, new Metromile customers save 47% a year on average compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurance company.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about pay-as-you-go car insurance.

Myth: My rates will go up if I speed or slam on the brakes.

No judging here: if you hit the gas pedal or slam on the brakes once or twice, your auto insurance rates will not be immediately affected. 

The most important factor determining the price you pay with Metromile is how many miles you drive each month.

Myth: My driving data is sold to third-party companies, so they can have information about where I am driving.

Metromile takes steps to keep your driving data and personal information secure and private.

Metromile does not sell, share, or rent any data to unaffiliated third-parties. Rest assured the information the Metromile Pulse device accesses is used to accurately count the miles you drive each month and provide you with a fair rate. (The device helps to get your claims resolved faster, too.)

As a Metromile customer, you also have the option to disable location services, and it won’t affect your bill. But keep in mind, you won’t be able to access free smart driving features, which can help you find your parked vehicle, find out about street-sweeping tickets, and look back at your past trip details.

Myth: My pay-as-you-go insurance rates will increase if I’m driving more than usual.

There is no need to worry if you are driving more than you originally estimated. 

There is no penalty for driving more than you usually do or going over the estimate you supplied when you first signed up.

Your per-mile rate is fixed for your policy term and won’t be affected by increased driving. Plus, if you drive more than 250 miles (150 in New Jersey) in a single calendar day, your extra miles will be free as a bonus. So feel free to take that road trip.

Myth: The rates are so low, there must be coverage exclusions.

With pay-as-you-go insurance, you can have the same great insurance coverage that you are used to. Some drivers may even have higher limits at the same or lower price they paid another insurance company. 

Metromile policies are personalizable: You can choose to add comprehensive and collision coverage, roadside assistance, select different deductible amounts, and more. 

Drivers can save money with pay-as-you-go auto insurance because the premiums are dynamic. There is no need to call to let us know that you have been driving less like you might have done with your past insurer.

Myth: If I get into an accident, the claims process is going to be tedious.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, our claims team is available to help 24/7. 

You can even start filing your claim right from the Metromile app or the website. Our artificial intelligence claims assistant AVA works with the Pulse device to verify details and quickly process them. In some cases, we even pay out claims the same day.

Need a jump, tow, or locksmith? We’ve got you covered 24/7 if you add roadside assistance to your policy. 

We also have a team of licensed claims adjusters who will keep you updated on your claim’s status and can answer any questions you may have along the way.

Myth: Since this insurance model is based on mileage, I won’t be covered when I am parked.

While our pricing model is different than other insurance companies, the coverage still applies the same way as traditional insurance companies. 

Accidents can happen at any time, even when your car isn’t moving. When you choose to add comprehensive and collision coverage, you can be covered even while you are parked.

The bottom line

Pay-as-you-go auto insurance, sometimes called pay-per-mile car insurance, is insurance based on how far you drive. Your actual driving determines how much you pay instead of a flat rate like with other insurance companies.

Some drivers save by switching to pay-as-you-go auto insurance. You can see if you could save with Metromile by trying Ride Along™ for free.

Ride Along is a feature in the Metromile app that helps you get a more accurate rate. Download the app and get a free auto insurance quote to start your trial. (Remember: You’ll still need to keep your current insurance coverage unless you decide to switch to Metromile right away.) Then, drive as you typically would for about two weeks. We’ll consider how you drove, including how many miles you drove, to show you your rate. 

We think this will help you understand if you can save money before you switch to Metromile and begin your pay-as-you-go auto insurance coverage.

Making Modern Car Insurance Work for More People

Metromile's data-driven pricing can evaluate driving risks better than traditional car insurance — and save you money. We think good drivers shouldn’t have to pay a lot for car insurance.

At Metromile, we’re out to make insurance fairer and more personalized to you.

I joined Metromile because it’s a different kind of insurance company. By harnessing new technology, so customers only pay for the miles they drive, we could change car insurance from a blunt instrument into one that’s finely tuned. We could also help to level the playing field for everyone.

The key premise that powers our insurance — the majority of people who don’t drive a lot should pay less because they’re less likely to get into accidents — was just the first step. Now in select states, we’re taking the next step by factoring in the quality of miles driven. That means that our pay-per-mile insurance will consider the behavior behind each mile, in addition to the number of miles.

As with pay per mile, factoring in the quality of miles driven can result in car insurance that much more closely reflects actual risk, which means a fairer rate for all of our customers.

It might be helpful to think of Metromile’s approach to pricing insurance in terms of three layers. 

1. Getting to know you

We begin by learning about you, your vehicles, and your driving record, and look for ways to reward you with a low price to start. Most insurers stop here; I should know, as until recently, I spent more than 14 years working at a large insurance company.

2. Custom billing

The second layer unique to Metromile is the monthly bill. Instead of a typical flat-rate insurance bill like you’d find elsewhere, we break ours into a low base rate and a per-mile rate, giving you more control over how much you pay for car insurance

Idling in the driveway isn’t as risky as cruising down the highway, and we believe there’s no need to charge drivers as if it is. Pay per mile also enables us to adapt our insurance to your driving habits and lifestyle as it changes.

3. Rewarding good driving

Finally, in select states, we also look for good driving. Our analysis shows that many of our customers can receive meaningful discounts if we consider how they drive in addition to how far they drive. For example, if your average speed is safer than most, we think you should have a better price. Rest assured, we consider trends over time and not individual instances or trips.

The bottom line

Metromile considers how people drive to create more opportunities to save on car insurance in select states. It doesn’t sit right with us that safe drivers have to pay too much for car insurance. 

As our pay-per-mile insurance improves, we want to give you more control over how much you want to pay. Our goal is to customize insurance so that it is more affordable and customer-centric.

Jesse McKendry is the vice president of insurance at Metromile. He oversees the company’s insurance product management. Before Metromile, Jesse spent 14 years in insurance product management and marketing at a major insurance company and has also spent nearly a decade in auto supply chain and logistics, including Daimler and General Motors.

How I Drive: I Am a Turo Host to Help Pay for My Teslas

Julie S. shares a Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X on Turo. She covers both cars with Metromile and claims to save 80% on her car insurance bill.
Julie & her Tesla Model S – fresh off the production line!

Julie Santiano is a Los Angeles native armed with a duo of Tesla vehicles and a penchant for helping to create a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly future. She shares her Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X on Turo to help people live out special moments. Julie chose Metromile car insurance to benefit from the transparent pay-per-mile pricing.

You own two Teslas! What’s the appeal for you?

I moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area a couple of years ago to work at an electric vehicle company. I’m a huge fan of a sustainable future, and a big part of that is improving cars on the road. I normally wouldn’t be able to afford a Tesla, but hosting through Turo had made it a lot more affordable and accessible. 

Are the people who book your cars on Turo techies like you?

Definitely — A lot of the reservations I get are out-of-towners, who have never driven a Tesla, and Bay Area locals who want to do a test drive before committing to owning and garaging one.  

Your Turo profile shows you’ve completed training on enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices. Is this something you did because of COVID-19?

I’m a neat freak anyway, so I’m always cleaning and detailing my cars! It’s my way to check in with the car between rentals. I want my guests to enjoy their experience, knowing they’re safe. 

How have Turo bookings changed because of COVID-19?

In the past, there were more bookings for weddings — brides and grooms wanting to roll up in style to their rehearsal dinner — just to add another special experience to their whole wedding weekend. Since COVID-19, I’ve seen more folks booking luxury weekend getaways — lots of trips down to Monterey and Santa Cruz. Some people will even rent one of my Teslas for a week to head down to Los Angeles or Yosemite.

How did you hear about Metromile?

I had been anxiously waiting for your partnership with Turo to launch since you announced it last year! I got really excited about Metromile and being able to remove the renters’ miles from my personal expenses.  Anything that simplifies my processes — I’m all about it!

What was your old car insurance like compared to Metromile?

I had been with my last insurance company for 10 years. I hated that I was double paying for insurance, with my policy and Turo’s coverage. I always meant to shop around for car insurance but never did. There was always so much ambiguity. 

I like Metromile because it’s super transparent. I don’t feel like you’re trying to give me a run for my money, and that alone makes it worth it. Teslas are really expensive, but with Metromile, I’m able to have the coverage I need; and I’m seeing about an 80% savings! Now I have peace of mind that I’m not leaving money on the table. Knowing I’m not getting ripped off is great.

What is your favorite Metromile feature?

I like that my bill is paid automatically. I don’t have to think about my coverage, and I’m still being taken care of. Your process for filing a claim is so seamless compared to my previous insurer. Setting up and plugging in the Pulse device was super easy. I love it!

How I Drive: I Insure My Car Collection with Metromile

Leon with his pair of black Maseratis

To say Southern California resident Leon is a “car guy” is an understatement. Even with his collection of cars — now in the double digits, ranging from a Nissan Versa sedan to a high-end Maserati Ghibli — he manages to save on his insurance with Metromile’s fractional car insurance.

How did you start hosting on Turo?

I’ve always been a big car fan, even since I was a little kid. I’ve met a lot of great people from hosting, and it’s been a way to make a bit of extra income. 

How many cars do you share on Turo?

At most, I had 22 vehicles on Turo. I started with just a few and then was able to find good deals and add more over time. The only thing is insurance is the number one issue when you have this many cars. I try to be organized, but I was juggling six to seven different insurance policies at once across different companies. I wouldn’t have had the success on Turo if it hadn’t been for Metromile — it’s so much easier now!

How do you keep track of all of your cars?

I use the Notes app on my iPhone to make different lists, like which are due for maintenance. All of the numbers and cost breakdowns are in Excel; and my wife helps me out, too. It’s much easier to manage the insurance costs now that all of them are on Metromile!

With so many cars on Turo, have you seen a pattern in your bookings? 

Absolutely. I’ve been doing this for so long now that I can almost pinpoint which car a customer is going to book. Younger customers tend to go for the Maserati over one of the economy cars.

When did you find out about Metromile?

Turo’s CEO chats with “power hosts” to get feedback and hear about our experiences at the end of the year. I had asked about the progress of your partnership with Turo and was eager to know when it was getting started. Once it launched, I hopped right on it!

Have you seen changes in Turo reservations because of COVID-19?

During the initial stay-at-home order, I took all my cars off Turo. I have many listed now and am only getting about half of the reservations I typically do since people aren’t really traveling or taking leisure trips. Lately, my economy vehicles have been getting reserved by guests who need to work since public transit is less common in Los Angeles.

What’s been the best part of your Metromile experience?

When I became a customer, I was excited to try out the Metromile app. I love it, even from my first experience interacting with it. The opening messages and visuals are very inviting and very easy to figure out. It was also so easy to install the Pulse device.

How I Drive: A Finance Expert Saves Half by Switching to Pay Per Mile Car Insurance

Eric Rosenberg enjoying the views in Ventura, California

Eric is an entrepreneur, freelance writer, and self-described personal finance expert from Ventura, California. He knows a thing or two about finding the best deals to maximize a budget. He switched to Metromile four years ago because it fits his family’s low-mileage lifestyle and now saves half of what he used to pay by paying per mile.

How did you find Metromile?

When we moved to Portland, Oregon, my old insurance company raised our rates, and the customer service was pretty bad. On a really heavy driving day, I’m only putting 10 miles on the car at most. It got me thinking: why would I pay so much when I’m driving so little? 

I like to shop around every few years to see if there is a better price out there. I came upon Metromile and got a quote. The math made sense when I saw the rates. We switched and are now saving 50% of what we used to pay! Over the years, our family has grown. Even when we moved to Southern California, we stayed with Metromile and have continued taking advantage of the great savings!

How has Metromile affected your family’s budget?

Having Metromile makes it manageable and affordable for us to have two cars. My wife’s minivan gets the most use with errands and toting the kids around. Since I’m not traveling to conferences or going into the office these days, my car just sits in the garage. You would think that it wouldn’t be worth having a secondary car that barely gets driven, but because of what we’re saving, it not only makes sense for us to keep it — it’s affordable! 

Metromile is the perfect service for having that extra car. On the occasional road trip, we appreciate the cap on the miles. We don’t feel like we’re getting gouged when we take our kids to visit their grandparents out of state.

What do you think about usage-based insurance pricing? 

Metromile’s fair, pay-per-mile pricing has changed how I think about how I buy and use other products and services. 

Soon after switching to Metromile, I did the same for my cell phone. I’ve moved away from a standard provider that charges a flat rate for data usage to one where I can pay per gigabyte of data. I’m saving $10 a month there, which doesn’t feel like a lot, but when you add that up over a year and compound potential interest earnings, it can make a huge difference in your budget and is worth checking out.

How can you save money by unbundling services?

There’s a lure with having everything bundled under one policy, in one place, on one bill. But it should be about the per unit cost and being a savvy consumer. I’m a big fan of unbundling insurance and other services. People tend to be more comfortable paying a bill that’s a consistent amount, even if it’s technically more expensive. But if I’m able to pay less overall, who cares if it’s a different balance every month?

Think of it like shopping at the grocery store: sometimes, the price per ounce is different based on the size of the container. With Metromile, I have that same insight and transparency into the pricing of my family’s car insurance. I know my per unit cost based on what I drive. If you have traditional insurance, that’s a lot harder to figure out. Metromile has revolutionized the way I think about my recurring expenses and spurred me to seek alternatives that bill more fairly based on how I’m using those services. 

I’m a travel “hacker” too. I always thought roundtrip tickets were the best value, but now with dynamic pricing, it’s sometimes less expensive to buy each flight separately. Take advantage of those rate aggregators. For a multi-city European vacation I took a few years ago, I was able to add another destination for free just by breaking up how I booked my flights! 

What do you like most about Metromile?

I consider myself a “good millennial” who wants to “self-serve” everything on the Metromile app. I appreciate that I can handle most of everything I need there, but I also know I can call someone when I need help with my policy. 

One of my favorite features is the check-engine-light tool. If anything lights up on my car’s dashboard, I check to see a warning code on the app. There was one instance where I got an alert and, since I knew what the code was, I knew it was minor enough that my car could make the drive to the shop without complicating the issue. I showed up and, since I could already tell them what was wrong with the car, they were able to give me a better repair estimate!

How I Drive: Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance Is for Sports Cars, Too!

Michael Johnson is a self-made businessman from San Leandro, California. His entrepreneurial spirit, love of sports cars, and dedication to providing top-notch service recently helped him become one of Turo’s top new hosts in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an industry insider, he recognizes the value of an excellent customer experience and holds the companies he works with to a high standard. In his view, Metromile fits the bill. He’s saved $500 a year by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance.

How did you get started as a Turo host?

I’ve always been into cars. When I was in college, I had an internship at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I was previously working for Coca-Cola full-time and renting my car out as a side hustle when I wasn’t driving on the weekends. Then I added a second sports car, and it just snowballed from there. Now I host on Turo full-time. It never feels like work because I’m doing what I enjoy. 

Did your internship influence how you run your business on Turo?

For sure — I had gone through an intense training program as a part of my internship. Enterprise likes to recruit college students and athletes: people with a type-A personality and a competitive spirit. I tried to soak everything in so I could learn how to be the best salesman. Now I’m able to take all of this insider industry knowledge to make my business that much better. I’ve even co-authored an e-book on how to build a business sharing cars on Turo.  

What attracted you to Metromile?

I heard about your partnership early last year on calls with Turo’s upper management. Prior to Metromile, insurance was the main pain point for other Turo hosts and me because we were essentially paying for double insurance that covered when I drove and when a guest drove. I was eagerly waiting for Metromile to go live. I kept calling them, asking if it was a “go” yet! 

There are a lot of insurance options out there, but they only offer really high deductibles. I don’t use my cars for personal use very much, so being able to have affordable coverage that only charges me for the miles I drive and not the miles driven by guests — that’s huge. 

How have Turo reservations changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Before COVID-19 hit, I worked to scale my business, where I could still be cash flow positive. About half of my Turo business is from people traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area. To adjust, I’ve been running ads targeted at locals for staycations, folks who aren’t comfortable taking BART or other public transportation, or essential workers who don’t want to have to pay for a rideshare every day. Fortunately, I’ve seen my reservations pick back up to a pretty normal pace lately since I was able to pivot my business so quickly.

How do you get your business on Turo?

I get a lot of customers through word of mouth because my business is so local. I share my Turo profile on Instagram. With Turo, you can be more specific to what you want compared to traditional rental cars where your choices are pretty much limited to the class of car: economy or mid-size. 

I’ve built up my sports car fleet based on my interests. People on Turo are more niche; they want that sports car experience, driving up to Napa or down the California coast. They’re willing to pay more for the experience, and I want to make sure they have the best experience possible.

What have you enjoyed most about Metromile?

I’m extremely satisfied with the product I’m getting from Metromile. The Metromile app is straightforward. Navigating the app is really easy; I’m able to see everything on the dashboard, like how many miles I’ve driven at any particular time. 

Customer service is the biggest thing; it’s very personal for me. Every time I’ve called Metromile customer service, I’m able to get through to someone really quickly. I was on hold for 45 minutes with my old insurer, just to cancel my insurance policy

I usually drive whatever car isn’t rented. My personal car is a 2016 Camaro XS, and with Metromile, I’m now saving more than $500 a year or about 70% compared to what I used to pay! 

How I Drive: A British Expat Prefers Driving on This Side of the Pond

We’re seeing double! Metromile customer Marc Cowan & Drop Stop inventor Marc Newburger

Metromile customer Marc is a British expat who currently resides in Los Angeles. He works with a favorite product of ours, Drop Stop, a “Shark Tank”-backed company manufacturing vehicle gap fillers that block off the area between the side of your driver’s seat and middle console. Driven by a similar passion, Marc’s hunt for the best deal led him to Metromile.

We have to ask: has it been hard to learn to drive in the U.S.?

Surprisingly, no! It actually works out better for me since I’m right-handed and drive a stick shift, so I’m not forced to be ambidextrous. 

Thanks for being a Metromile customer! What spurred you to switch insurance companies? 

I was on the hunt for better insurance and pricing. During my extensive research, I read a lot of your reviews. The Metromile representative I spoke with was so good; they answered so many questions for me so quickly. My OBD-II port is used for a heads-up display, and the representative assured me I could still receive the same benefits and functionality of the Pulse device by opting for your cigarette lighter adapter. Seeing what I’d save with pay per mile insurance and having a great interaction with your service team was huge for me.

I’ve had zero issues, am paying a price that I’m happy with every month. I really believe in your company.  

Was your previous coverage different compared to Metromile?

I was paying more with my previous insurer — around $200 per month. I think they are really ripping people off. With Metromile, I’m saving $50 every month, even with a newer, better car!

Have your driving habits changed in recent months, during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Oddly enough, I’ve been driving more these days. Prior to COVID-19, my trips were more direct, to-and-from errands. Now, I’m making more of an effort to get out of the house to get some fresh air and take in the nature and scenery around Los Angeles.

Which Metromile feature do you enjoy the most?

I use the online dashboard the most. It’s cool to have quick access to all of my information in one place.

I’m also very active with my referral link. If I find a really good product or company, I want to spread the word about it!

In the fast lane: Speed-round questions!

Are you a better driver or passenger?

As I love driving and exploring, I’d have to say I’m a better driver, so I can be behind the wheel and start the adventure! 

If you could take a road trip with anyone, who would it be?

I’d love to show a family member who is no longer here around the beautiful city of Los Angeles and all of the favorite spots I think they’d love!

Do you like to listen to any music when you drive?

I love listening to Spotify and my various playlists. Each playlist is a little different!