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Introducing our Values: Be Intellectually Persistent

We spent the spring and early summer months at Metromile refreshing our values to make sure they were aligned with who we are, the work we’re doing, and the future we’re building. The end result? Five updated value statements that express how we operate and treat each other:

  • Create fiercely loyal customers.
  • Invent the future
  • Be intellectually persistent
  • Be outcome oriented
  • Nurture diversity, inclusion, and belonging

When we put our values in writing and commit to them, we’re saying something about what’s important to us as an organization, but also what’s important to our stakeholders, customers, and employees.

The best way to introduce our values is to let Metromilers speak for themselves. After all, values don’t mean much without the people who believe in them.

Metromile Values: Be Intellectually Persistent

Be Intellectually Persistent

“We obsessively ask why,” said Senior Principal User Researcher Brandi Smith. “I really want to understand at a user level, what are the problems that they’re having? Why is that a problem? Why do they ask for a particular solution?”

The desire to understand runs deep at Metromile. Intellectual persistence means not taking things at face value.

“As adults, we don’t always hold onto the curiosity and persistence we had as kids. We assume that it’s ‘just always been like that’ so it must be right,” said Megan Kurin, a Senior Process Manager at Metromile. “We need to ask why and be persistent enough to know the answer inside and out. We need to try better ways and accept that just because something was always done one way doesn’t mean it can’t be done better another way.”

That curiosity helps not just keep products up-to-date and customers happy, it drives Metromile’s internal culture too.

“It’s good to work with such smart engineers, product owners, people across the company they’re very competitive in a way that encourages you,” said Senior Software Engineer Prachi Shah. “They know what’s going on in the industry, there are so many different perspectives. All of that is very creative, it stimulates your mind.”

“Being intellectually persistent means you’re not just checking tasks off of your to-do list, “ said Senior Customer Experience Analyst Paige Gilmore. “You’re thinking about what you’re trying to accomplish longer term, you’re ok with not succeeding 100% every time, and you’re adjusting how you work based on results. Keeping this in mind makes us more likely to accomplish our best work.”

No one at Metromile – or any company for that matter – sits down in front of their computer and thinks: Today, I’m going to be intellectually persistent. But at Metromile, that’s part of our values because it’s part of our culture. It comes from the great minds who work here, their commitment to improvement, innovation, and understanding.

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Metromilers. Look out for more on the other four values.

Welcome Kevin Rickard, Metromile’s First CISO

We’re excited to welcome Kevin Rickard to the team as our very first Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO. Kevin joins us with a deep security expertise, having built programs from the ground up for other consumer brands. Beyond his successes in the industry, Kevin spent six years in the Army Reserves, including a deployment to Afghanistan.

He’ll now turn his focus to Metromile, safeguarding our consumer data and ensuring the trust of our many stakeholders, from employers to customers and many others. 

Insurtech Careers: Metromile Welcomes a CISO

The security landscape is complex and changes fast, and a CISO operates as both a technician—ensuring we’re compliant with a number of complex sets of regulations—and a leader—educating every Metromiler on security practices and making clear the responsibility of each individual. “Our industry is highly regulated with fifty  Departments of Insurance and States Attorneys General all with data protection rules, in addition to a number of state data privacy laws.. And as a public company we have additional requirements to adhere to,” he said.

“Just as important, our customers and employees trust us with an enormous amount of personal data. As custodians of that data, we must ensure we have effective controls in place to protect this valuable commodity.”

Kevin’s excited to bring his leadership to a place that’s shaking up the status quo, too.

“I never thought insurance could be exciting. I guess that’s what makes an industry ripe for disruption. Metromile’s ability to create a fair product that prices based more on actual, individual risk than perceived, group risk is appealing. I was especially drawn to the idea of minimizing, and eventually eliminating, credit scores from pricing, which often adversely impacts the most economically vulnerable.”

“I’m a low-mileage driver since COVID, and my daughter will get her license soon, too, so I’m looking forward to becoming a Metromile customer.” Add in a remote-friendly workplace, and a culture that’s flexible and embraces change, and it was a good fit.

What’s Kevin’s number one security tip? Set up that password manager you’ve been dragging your feet on, and turn on multi-factor authentication! “We tend to reuse the same passwords or a set of rotating passwords. MFA adds another layer of security in the event our passwords are compromised,” he shared.

Looking ahead, Kevin’s goals are to build a crack security team that ensures a smooth and secure future. “My foundational principle is that security should enable the business. With the right team and controls in place, the company can achieve its objectives securely. There’s no reason good security has to be a drag—security can move at the speed of our business.”

Welcome, Kevin. We’re thrilled to have you leading the way.

* * *

By the way, Kevin is hiring! Take a look at our careers page for open roles on the security team and others.

Metromile Embraces No Meeting Days

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to work from home, meetings could overwhelm a typical workday and prevent individual time to think and focus. Now, remote work has only exacerbated the problem for employees and led to “Zoom fatigue” and burnout across the country. 

To help address this problem, Metromile’s People team instituted a few No Meeting Days (NMDs) during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Metromile employees reacted with overwhelming support of NMDs. Accounting Manager, Romain Bauer, says that the NMDs offered him “a break from Zoom and time to focus on work without too many distractions.” 

No Meeting Days | Metromile

Positive employee feedback spurred the People team to formally establish NMDs on the first and third Friday of every month. On these Fridays, “employees are given the autonomy and flexibility to choose what they want to do with their time, instead of structuring their days around company or team meetings,” Lindsay Orr, Director of People, explains. 

Lindsay outlined how having a company-wide initiative lets employees prioritize what is important to them during their workday. That might be going on a walk in the middle of the day, spending extra time preparing lunch, taking a deep dive into a project without interruption, or having a social catch-up with colleagues. 

Having pre-set NMDs allows people to plan ahead and encourages employees to take that day off if they prefer, without feeling like they will miss out on anything – whether key team events or company-wide meetings. These days also give employees time to focus on their mental health and offer a day to reset before the next work week. 

Brandon Loyd, Director of Product Management, uses NMDs to catch up on product requirement documents and look ahead at upcoming roadmap items. For Brandon, these days are also a reminder that Zoom meetings are not always the best way to communicate or collaborate with others. “I often find myself resolving open questions and making decisions much faster through internal wiki pages or Slack,” Brandon explains. 

While NMDs are designed to encourage more reflection, focus, and reset time, our customer experience and sales teams are still available as usual on these days to support our customers and prospects. As part of our effort to ensure that all employees – including our customer-facing teams – have time to reset, all Metromilers now have two additional floating holidays to use at their discretion. 

Shannon Shafer, Director of Customer Experience, said one of the things she loves about Metromile is how much the company supports inclusivity, regardless of role or title. 

“As a long-time CX leader, I’m passionate about ensuring the productivity and wellbeing of everyone on my team. My leaders have let me know they love the NMDs, and the floating holidays have really been a boost to our customer-facing team members.”

Metromilers are regularly reminded of NMDs but, of course, can still schedule time that day if they want to catch up with their teams, socialize, or reflect on their week with others. As Lindsay highlights, “the goal is to give employees the freedom and space to choose how they want to spend their workday – whatever that is.”

Introducing our Values: Be Outcome Oriented

We spent the spring and early summer months at Metromile refreshing our values to make sure they were aligned with who we are, the work we’re doing, and the future we’re building. The end result? Five updated value statements that express how we operate and treat each other:

  • Create fiercely loyal customers.
  • Invent the future
  • Be intellectually persistent
  • Be outcome oriented
  • Nurture diversity, inclusion, and belonging

When we put our values in writing and commit to them, we’re saying something about what’s important to us as an organization, but also what’s important to our stakeholders, customers, and employees.

The best way to introduce our values is to let Metromilers speak for themselves. After all, values don’t mean much without the people who believe in them.

Metromile Values: Be Outcome Oriented

Be Outcome Oriented 

Brandie Smith, Senior Principal User Researcher, has been around long enough to see former versions of Metromile’s values. “Be outcome oriented” in particular, she said, represents a “mind shift” for Metromile.

“I think it’s going to set us up on a really helpful path. It offers much more flexibility to make adjustments if we need to rather than just stay the course to get it done,” Brandie said. “It’s not so much about what we’re building; it’s more about how we’re solving the problem to get the outcome we desire.”

Customer Experience (CX) Manager Ti-Jael Stafford advanced her career with the customer service team during her time with Metromile, and it’s given her historical context for how Metromile’s values have evolved over the years. When Ti-Jael started as a CX Representative more than three years ago, Metromile had a firm “penalty miles” policy that didn’t allow as much flexibility for customers. The process was updated to be more tailored and fair, and eventually, the Pulse device was updated to better prevent penalty miles from being applied to a customer’s account at all.

“The old policy was enforced mostly through an automated process, and updating it involved changing how we connected with the customer, and eventually the device itself. It would have been easier to only update the policy without changing the device itself,” she said. “But being outcome oriented means that we value and prioritize follow-through, not empty promises or half-finished projects. It’s not enough to have a great idea and create a plan, that plan must be executed and completed. And in this case, it was a big win for our customers.”

Senior People Operations Manager, April Slater says it speaks to confidence in each other and the process. “This value shows a lot of trust in the people and managers we hire. It focuses on the outcome, not the tasks that get us there—so we know it’s ok to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and ultimately get to the outcome we’re looking for.”

Senior Process Manager Megan Kurin sees being outcome oriented as propelling Metromile’s other values forward.

“We have to have those end goals in mind every day when we’re making decisions,” Megan said. “It’s just all woven together.” 

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Metromilers. Want to read more? Check out what Metromilers share about our Nurture Diversity, Inclusivity, and Belonging value, and look out for more on the other values soon.

Welcome Adam Harrington, VP, Marketing

We’re excited to welcome Adam Harrington on board as our new VP, Marketing on the Growth team, where he’ll be leading the teams that catapult our community of happy drivers into its next phase of growth. 

Adam joins us from the east coast—he’s a born and raised Bostonian—and is an insurance veteran, joining us from a large insurance carrier where he built key marketing functions from the ground up.

Welcome Adam Harrington, VP, Marketing

Why Metromile? “The insurance industry has gone practically unchanged for decades and Metromile is challenging the status quo with their pay-per-mile model. I had written out my vision for the next phase of my career and I wanted to work for a company that’s building a customer-first, digitally native product. It feels good to market a product that gives customers peace of mind and a fair, flexible price.”

The chance to work on a car insurance product that’s priced for the changing world excites Adam. There’s no reason for insurance to stay the same. 

We asked Adam what convinced him to make the switch. “I believe in Metromile’s product philosophy. And when you believe in a product, you believe you can help it grow. We know our style of insurance can be sold profitably—it’s just a matter of getting it in the hands of more drivers.”

“There’s an opportunity to make auto insurance less commoditized, more personalized. And by doing that we create fairer pricing for everybody that’s based on their true behavior.”

The chance to work on a product that’s fair and flexible means a lot to Adam, especially when that flexibility can transform what often feels like a legally obligated bummer into something better, or actually delightful. In a changing world, it’s actually possible to really like your insurance and your insurer.

His impression so far? “The team is incredibly talented and I’m excited to dig in. Everyone believes that Metromile is making the world better, and is working towards a shared vision.  They truly care about the customer.”

We asked Adam about his vision for marketing at Metromile. “Create a brand that our employees and customers are proud of, and that meets drivers where they want to do business with us.”

Here’s to bringing that vision to life, Adam. Welcome on board!

Introducing our Values: Nurture Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging

We spent the spring and early summer months at Metromile refreshing our values to make sure they were aligned with who we are, the work we’re doing, and the future we’re building. The end result? Five updated value statements that express how we operate and treat each other:

  • Create fiercely loyal customers.
  • Invent the future
  • Be intellectually persistent
  • Be outcome oriented
  • Nurture diversity, inclusion, and belonging

When we put our values in writing and commit to them, we’re saying something about what’s important to us as an organization, but also what’s important to our stakeholders, customers, and employees.

The best way to introduce our values is to let Metromilers speak for themselves. After all, values don’t mean much without the people who believe in them.

Metromile Values: Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Nurture Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

“I’ve never worked at a company that is so involved in making sure that there is equality across the board…that there are women represented in leadership, that there are other backgrounds represented in leadership.”

Megan Kurin is a Senior Process Manager at Metromile. She works with Enterprise customers  – often other insurers – who are interested in licensing Metromile’s technology. Megan works across a wide variety of departments and outside organizations, and is a self-described ‘insurance geek.’

“Metromilers really do look at people from the work product that they do versus who they are,” Megan said. “I think that’s really important, especially as a woman in the insurance industry, I feel like I can always belong. I feel like I could always speak up and have a voice.”  

For Brandie Smith, a Senior Principal User Researcher at Metromile, the belonging part of diversity, inclusion, and belonging stands out.

“The company found it so important to create environments where everyone feels like they belong. That to me is really important to commit to as a company value because if it’s not happening, we can point to that value and say, ‘it needs to happen.’”

Brandie also appreciates that everyone is held accountable for living our diversity, inclusion, and belonging value.“ Rather than leaving it up to one person to fight against it, we have this stake in the ground. It shows it’s important to us and we expect everybody to contribute.”

Having that stake in the ground is key, Megan said, not just as a company goal, but as a part of daily work.

“There are always groups that are driving more conversations about it. It’s easier because it’s just present every day. I don’t always have to be thinking, ‘okay, how do we get more women in leadership’? Or ‘how do we get more backgrounds in leadership’? We have a team that consistently works to make sure it stays that way and that we continue to get better and learn more.”

For Kailee Rackham-Wojtasek, a Customer Experience Trainer at Metromile, it’s clear that diversity, inclusion, and belonging are central to Metromile’s culture.

“We are a united front. I’ve worked at a lot of places which profess to have strong culture and values, but there is no company-wide alignment on those values. I never have any doubt that I can reach out to a Metromiler with my questions or curiosities.”

Metromile Recruiter Brigitte Garay agrees, saying “Because we understand the value that everyone brings regardless of age, race, sexual orientation etc., nurturing, diversity, inclusion, and belonging is who we are daily.”

“It’s literally in the fabric of being a Metromiler”

* * *

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Metromilers. Look out for more on the other four values.

Meet Our Summer Insurance Interns

This past summer Metromile’s Insurance Team launched a paid internship program, recruiting two rising college juniors to assist the team in actuarial work and immediately bringing them on to real-time projects compiling and analyzing data to calculate Metromile’s insurance risks and premiums.

Interns Breanna (L) and Ian (R) spent eight weeks working with Metromile’s Insurance Team.

After members of Metromile’s Insurance and Actuarial Team advertised the internship program to actuarial clubs across college campuses, rising juniors Breanna and Ian were motivated to apply and were chosen from a large pool of talented applicants.

The eight-week program consisted of weekly training sessions around insurance basics, one-on-one check-ins with managers, two main projects centered around actuarial data and product management, and even virtual games on Fridays. 

“We got to wear a lot more hats at Metromile than we would at a bigger company and had the chance to see both the data and product management sides of Metromile,” Breanna said, while Ian joked that “the weekly insurance training taught us a lot, probably more than school.”

Breanna, a financial actuarial math major, helped her team create a dashboard to compare Metromile’s rates against industry averages to ensure savings for Metromile customers and strive for the fairest rates in the insurance space. In tandem with her data project, Breanna joined a product management team in forming a rating manual for a new state Metromile is planning to expand into. 

Over the summer, Ian helped the Metromile team develop new premium structures and established a new rating system for a state Metromile plans to expand into later this year. And inspired by customer feedback, Ian helped a product management team create a new in-app dashboard to enable customers to monitor policy changes.

For Breanna, it was the people that made her experience so rewarding; her managers and team members were easily accessible for any question – big or small. “My learning curve was huge because I came into this not knowing that much about the specifics of auto insurance, so just being able to see what people were doing every day was super helpful,” Breanna said.

As for Ian, he said that “the past eight weeks have been the most I’ve ever enjoyed learning about something.” At Metromile, Ian felt support and encouragement from his teammates and was able to have a real impact on the insurance team.

We’re so glad we got to work with such great, young talent and introduce them to the world of auto insurance. Thank you, Breanna and Ian, for all your hard work this summer, and good luck with your fall semester!

Welcome Gina Minick, VP, Telematics

Metromile is proud to welcome Gina Minick on board as our new VP, Telematics on the Product team. Gina is an auto insurance veteran, starting her career at Progressive, building multiple iterations of telematics products at Allstate from the ground up, and most recently leading the telematics product team at Arity.

“Telematics is the future of auto insurance,” says Gina. “The data is so powerful. We know it’s the most predictive data that we can use to assess risk. Having telematics at the forefront of our insurance product at Metromile is so exciting.”

Why join Metromile? Simply put: the opportunity to have a direct impact on the customer. “In the past, I was helping insurance companies design their telematics programs for their customers. Here, I get to create products that live into Metromile’s unique pay-per-mile offering.”

Metromile’s telematics data delivers business value—helping us price risk more accurately, shortening the claims cycle, and extending the customer lifecycle. At the same time, it delivers customer value—more fair prices, of course, but also personalized safe-driving insights, vehicle diagnostic codes, even the recovery of stolen vehicles.

This alignment was a big draw for Gina, and so was the opportunity to do some good for consumers.

“There’s definitely a fairness and equitability conversation going on in insurance right now. With our technology and insights, we’re already able to move away from traditional risk proxies, some of which can be unfair to consumers. What’s more fair than looking at how and how much you drive?”

An interest in telematics is not just professional for Gina, but personal, too. “I’ve been testing telematics data collection in my cars or phones since about 2005. My family knows when we get in the car the #1 priority is to stay safe. My oldest daughter not only corrects my driving but also never hesitates to yell out her window if she sees someone texting and driving. Safe driving has just become a part of our every day, so leading our telematics team is somewhat of a natural fit.”

And for Gina, as for so many drivers right now, working from home makes a per-mile policy an easy choice. “I don’t even drive that much—I can’t imagine having insurance that doesn’t reward me for that,” she says.

We asked Gina what the future holds for telematics in the insurance space. She says, “It’s awesome to see that Metromile has emerged with innovation in a space that’s been around for over a hundred years by creating a compelling and affordable pay-per-mile product that resonates with more and more drivers. I can’t wait to continue to push more innovation with telematics.”

Welcome, Gina. We’re thrilled to have your telematics expertise in-house, and excited for you to translate that to further savings for our customers.

Behind the Scenes with Shazan Ashroff, Metromile’s New Vice President, Product Growth

Shazan Ashroff joins Metromile as VP of product growth

Many people love their cars, but few love their auto insurance.

It’s our mission to change this. We’re reimagining insurance to make it fairer and delightful. It’s why we’re obsessed with providing savings, great service, and smart driving features you’ll actually want to use.

Shazan Ashroff recently joined Metromile as our new vice president, product growth. He previously led product management and user experience efforts at leading consumer brands, including Tinder and TrueCar. 

At Metromile, Shazan’s focus is bringing pay-per-mile insurance to even more people and bringing our experience forward to make auto insurance something you’ll love.
We spoke with Shazan about why he decided to join Metromile and what might be ahead for Metromile and the automotive industry.

Shazan, what should people know about you?

I am a student of martial arts and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt. I consider myself blessed to have trained with some incredible professors over the past two decades. I bring the practical philosophy they have bestowed on me to how I lead growth and user-experience product management teams.

It takes more than 10 years to achieve a blackbelt in jiu-jitsu, and when one finally achieves it, they realize they are simply beginning their journey. I view product management in the same way. 

There are always new problems to solve, industries to disrupt for the better, and challenges around the corner. It’s why I love product management, as it closely resembles the obstacles I face on the mat as I train jiu-jitsu.

We learn to escape submissions in jiu-jitsu, and as product managers, we learn to find solutions to problems that present themselves.

You joined Metromile from one of the world’s most popular dating apps. What can insurers do to create a more engaging or exciting experience?

Insurance has long been a set-and-forget commodity. It’s time to change that.

I believe it all starts with creating a feedback loop and building engaging experiences. Drivers should want to interact with Metromile and use our features. 

With pay-per-mile auto insurance, we can make insurance equitable with a usage-based model. Then, when drivers see the savings compared to the outdated flat-fee models, we can engage them with features that make it easier and less stressful to own or drive their cars.

I think that’s what we’re doing at Metromile: People come for the savings, but they stay for the experience.

What interested you the most about Metromile?

The people I work with have been phenomenal. We are all passionate and driven to make Metromile available to more drivers so that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from more personalized auto insurance. Our fight for equity is inspiring.

What are you most excited to work on at Metromile?

Metromile has a lot of opportunities to grow. If I had to pick, I’m most excited about helping more drivers understand why they’re a fit for Metromile and pay-per-mile auto insurance and creating an experience that makes it super easy to connect with us. 

I see how Metromile can connect with people in my driving habits. I now work from home at Metromile, and there are millions of people like me who will continue to work from home at least part of the time. I’m confident we are the insurer for them. 

I’m also excited about the opportunity to define our mobile app. I’m looking forward to contributing my perspective from outside of the insurance industry throughout the user experience.

Earlier in your career, you spent a lot of time in the automotive industry. Did you learn anything interesting about cars or the relationship people have with their cars?

I spent more than six years in automotive tech, and I loved every minute of it. I am a car enthusiast myself, and I find car enthusiasts are some of the most passionate people I’ve met.

Many people see their car as an extension of their identity. Cars can become the ultimate form of self-expression because you can customize them in any way or form you’d like. Now, I’ve come full circle, working at a company making insurance just as customizable.

Most importantly, how do you spend your time?

I spend most of my time with my family. Pool time is a must with my kids as they are learning to swim. I spend the rest of my free time with my wife and jiu-jitsu training.

Speed round:

Are you a better driver or passenger?

100%: I’m a better driver than a passenger.

What are you listening to in the car these days?

It depends on who I’m driving with. When I’m with my daughter, we have the Black Eyed Peas’ “Translation” album. She loves the song “Feel the Beat.”

With my wife, it’s usually the latest Latin and reggaeton hits. When I’m driving alone, I’m listening to 90s West Coast hip hop.

Do you have a favorite road trip you like to take?

I love the drive up to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles along the ocean. Honestly, anything by the sea works for me.

Interested in building the future of insurance? Shazan and the rest of Metromile are hiring in Boston, San Francisco, Tempe, Arizona, and the rest of the country.

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.