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Behind the Scenes with Metromile’s New Chief Financial Officer Regi Vengalil

Regi Vengalil joined Metromile as chief financial officer. A 15-year veteran of financial planning and operations, he is excited about the opportunities ahead for Metromile.

We started Metromile because we saw an opportunity for insurance to be fairer. We believe the most powerful advantage in insurance is grounded in technology and experience, and we set out to build a better experience from Day One.

Regi Vengalil might understand this more than anyone else. In addition to his more than 15 years of experience as a financial steward, corporate development strategist, and operations executive, Regi is also a Metromile customer of six years.

It’s just one of the reasons why we’re excited Regi has joined Metromile as our chief financial officer.

Here’s why Regi decided to become a Metromiler and the opportunities he sees ahead.

What should people know about you, Regi?

I recently moved back to Seattle to spend more time with my family, and my weekends and evenings are usually spent with them. My parents live nearby, so one thing we started doing recently is to have my entire family stay one night a week at my parents’ house. Growing up in the U.S., my grandparents lived in India, so I never had the chance to spend much time with them. I’m glad my two kids have the opportunity to connect with their grandparents.

I’ve also been a Metromile customer for six years in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. My family and I are huge Metromile fans.

How did you first hear about Metromile?

I used to take the subway into San Francisco, and I saw Metromile ads underground and in the station. I remember seeing the ad and thinking: This makes financial sense.

I only drove my car maybe 100 or 200 miles a month, mainly on the weekends, and I thought Metromile was perfectly designed for me. My wife has a car that she drives maybe 60 miles a month to pick up groceries and run errands. I have had such a great experience between the street-sweeping alerts, remembering where you parked from the app, and understanding how much gas is in your car. 

My wife makes fun of me, but Metromile is the type of product I’m telling people about at parties and on the weekends. Otherwise, how many times do you talk to your friends about auto insurance?

Is that why you decided to join Metromile?

I think there’s so much opportunity for Metromile. I believe we’re in a unique position to shape the future of car insurance

The core success of the company is built on our existing foundation: There’s a huge market opportunity, and I believe Metromile is fundamentally changing the game. 

I believe in Metromile and the experience the product delivers to drivers. I had a great experience when I had a rock in my windshield and had the claim solved simply. I think it starts first by convincing people with savings on auto insurance. Then, they can try pay-per-mile auto insurance, realize the benefits, and see that it’s a better experience if you ever have a claim.

And I think that’s what makes Metromile so compelling.

What opportunities do you see ahead for Metromile?

I’m naturally a problem-solver, and I can’t imagine a more relevant technical problem than what Metromile is trying to solve. Insurance is probably one of the most exciting data science problems, especially as the future of driving changes. For example, I can choose to drive the car myself or let the car drive. Few companies are positioned to price this dynamic fairly, understand the variable risk of who’s actually driving, and respond to the technical challenges because this dynamic is entirely new. 

I believe in how Metromile plans to approach the problem. We have so much opportunity ahead: We will expand nationwide and start to accelerate meaningfully, and invest for the long-term. We have the resources to scale and build differentiated auto insurance. We can also capture demand as Metromile becomes more relevant as mobility evolves to people’s new work schedules and changing driving habits.

We’re in the early innings, and the people who have the richest data and the best technical experience will win. I joined because I believe we have the team to make that a reality, and I am thrilled to be a part of this incredible company and team.

How else do you spend your time outside of work?

I’m a lifelong Seattle sports fan and follow football closely. I’m a big Seahawks fan. Growing up in Seattle, I became a Washington Huskies fan as well. I also just picked up being an assistant tee-ball coach for my 6-year-old. And we just got back from a weeklong trip to Kauai; it made me remember how much we love to travel as a family. I can’t wait for all of us to get out there again to explore and see friends and family.

Speed round:

Are you a better driver or passenger?

Driver for sure. I like to pick the speed and the route.

What are you listening to in the car these days?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Audible with the kids (though I’m a fan, too) and 90s hip-hop.

Favorite road trip?

I’ve driven many times between Seattle and San Diego, and there is so much to see. It’s so beautiful, and there are so many fun places to explore along the way. I enjoy the mountains and beaches and walking around the cities in between.

Behind the Scenes with Junna Ro, Metromile’s New General Counsel

Junna Ro joined Metromile as general counsel. A former AAA insurer chief ethics and compliance officer, she is excited about making auto insurance accessible for more people.
Junna Ro, Metromile’s new general counsel

We founded Metromile to offer what we believe no one else currently can: Insurance you pay for only when you use it. Our goal is to reinvent insurance for drivers with an exceptional experience, including smart-driving features and the opportunity for lower rates with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Junna Ro, an insurance industry veteran of 15 years, recently joined Metromile as general counsel. She has dedicated her career to advocating for others and working to make insurance more accessible, and we are excited to welcome her to the Metromile community.

We asked Junna why she decided to join the community and what she is most excited about for Metromile.

What should people know about you, Junna?

I’m a native San Franciscan. I went to UCLA and majored in political science before attending Santa Clara University School of Law. I started my legal career in-house at VERITAS Software, a software company focused on backup and storage software. I know something about hyper growth: I was there for seven years, including the merger with Symantec. When I started, we had about 700 employees, and the company grew to about 14,000 employees when I left.

What did you learn from your experience at AAA?

I saw an opportunity to work for a trusted, well-known brand: AAA. I moved to CSAA Insurance Group, an AAA insurance company; but AAA is more than just insurance: it offers a full package of travel services and automotive and roadside assistance services. They’re very values-based and customer service-oriented as a membership organization, and it’s something that made for a really great experience as an employee. The change in culture and mindset was very compelling.

I learned a lot there, especially about the critical role that insurance plays in the economy. You’re protecting people’s assets and personal interests. Insurance is important, as it gives people the opportunity to pursue their goals with peace of mind, knowing that they’re protected. I love that insurance is there to help you during a time of need, to help you get back on your feet after you’ve experienced a setback — that really resonates with me.

How did you decide to join Metromile?

Transitioning to a values-based, customer service-oriented organization was important to me, especially when it aligns with my values. Seeing how it makes such a difference from an employee perspective was striking, and it translates into a better customer experience. You’re creating a community at Metromile, and it translates into how you treat your customers.

The idea that Metromile is an insurance company that started as a technology company is also attractive because there’s an opportunity to truly innovate in an industry that I believe has otherwise gone relatively unchanged for many decades. Frankly, coming from a traditional insurance company that’s been around for a long time, I know the challenges that come with trying to innovate. Being a part of the movement at Metromile to do things differently so that we can be relevant and accessible for the next generation of drivers, and meet and exceed their expectations, is exciting.

What opportunities do you see for Metromile?

I think Metromile is on the cutting edge of doing something very relevant, including making traditional insurance processes easier. We want to create a new insurance customer experience, especially for those driving less or taking alternative forms of transportation for their lifestyle or the environment.

Many traditional insurance companies are challenged with moving into the digital world, which is imperative in today’s market. I want to help drivers understand their coverage and demystify the policy, so people know what they purchased and how it will come to their help during their time of need. 

You’ve dedicated your career to advocating for others. Based on your experience, what can the insurance industry do to promote diversity, belonging and inclusion?

We still have a way to go. I remember walking into an insurance industry conference earlier in my career, and I felt like the odd one out. I didn’t see a lot of people that look like me. While there has been progress made today, I’ll say the industry still lags with the representation of women and people of color, especially in executive leadership ranks across the board. 

I firmly believe that representation matters. It is crucial to understand your customers and to be knowledgeable about their experiences and needs; this is relevant if you want to stay relevant. We have a way to go, and I want to be part of that movement.

I worked together with colleagues to found an organization called the National Association for Diversity in Compliance with compliance leaders at different companies. We thought it was essential to provide a place to support each other’s careers and ensure people feel they have a voice. We saw there were no other organizations focused on diversity in the compliance profession and found like-minded people to provide a great network for professionals, wherever they are in their careers.

What are you passionate about?

Recently, I got more actively involved with civic engagement. I was a political science major, and the recent election brought me back to my college days. I volunteered and took six shifts of an election protection hotline to help voters in various states across the country understand their voting rights. I answered questions like where their polling place was, how to navigate voter eligibility rules, and how to find safe alternatives to voting in person. It was gratifying to me, and it made me realize it’s so easy to take our democracy for granted. Representation is important.

I was also passionate about getting out the vote. It resonated with me. When I was in college, I was 17 on election day during a presidential election year. I was so frustrated that I wasn’t old enough to vote. I remembered that and helped register students who turned 18 after election day to vote in the subsequent U.S. Senate runoff elections in January. Even amid the pandemic, I found ways to get back to my roots and get involved in meaningful ways.

Most importantly, how do you spend your time?

I love to spend time with my family. We’ve been bonding a lot more because of the pandemic, and I treasure my time with them. I have two teenage kids: my son is a first-year at UCLA and was a nationally ranked competitive fencer, and my daughter is a junior in high school who is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter. She’s the creative writer in the family. The pandemic has allowed us to slow down from our otherwise harried pre-pandemic life. We have game nights, and they work hard to win.

Welcoming Ryan Graves to the Metromile Community

Ryan Graves, a member of Uber’s founding team, invested in Metromile and will join the board of directors. He shares why he invested in Metromile and the opportunities he sees ahead.

We started Metromile to create digital insurance for an increasingly digital world. We believe that auto insurance doesn’t work for many people: It overcharges 65% of drivers unfairly and isn’t customer-centric or adaptive to how people actually get around.

Ryan Graves, a member of Uber’s founding team, will be joining Metromile’s board of directors following the closing of their business combination with INSU Acquisition Corp. II for the same reason. 

Ryan, who worked at Uber from its founding through its IPO, most notably as senior vice president of global operations, is the founder and CEO of Saltwater, an investment company focused on long-term growth and partnership. In addition to joining Metromile’s board, he invested in the company, alongside Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital, Mark Cuban, and leading institutional investors.

We asked Ryan why he decided to join the Metromile community and the opportunities he sees ahead.

How did you hear about Metromile?

I’ve known about Metromile since my Uber days. I remember thinking: “Well, that’s a no brainer.” As the world has become increasingly dependent on data, I believe this transition has become even more obvious.

When I started investing, I picked up the 1968 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter, and I read every letter through 2017. I feel like I got this general education in the insurance business and a healthy alternative to the venture investment approach. It just landed. The way the value-oriented investor looks at a company and how Berkshire Hathaway establishes relationships with its operators just felt more like me. It’s quite fulfilling to be a partner and coach in those relationships and support incredible leaders. 

I’m focused on how to use business and the investments that I make to be a platform for more than returns — to have an impact — and that’s why I leaned into Metromile.

Why did you choose to invest in insurance and Metromile specifically?

Insurance is a foundational financial tool in someone’s life. It can prevent bad scenarios and create opportunities.

We learned in 2020 that the world is unpredictable, and auto insurance is necessary to manage the risk that can take away opportunities, but it’s also an overhanging cost for many people. I saw this when we started Uber. In the old taxi model, a driver starts the week or month in the hole, and they’re working a certain number of hours just to break-even. They might only be making money for their work for 30% or 40% of their time driving.

Insurance is similar: Without pay-per-mile auto insurance, a driver might pay hundreds of dollars per month with flat-rate insurance before they even use their car. This is why I see Metromile as a tool to unlock financial freedoms for so many people.

What opportunities do you think are available in the insurance industry?

There’s certainly opportunity in the future of transportation. We all know that businesses grounded in technology and data science will be better positioned than the others. Metromile has that foundation, and I believe, is in a position to support the transition to an autonomous world rather than fight it. 

Metromile understands that no two miles driven are alike. That’s fascinating to me. We can support the broadest range of autonomous driving and vehicles with more safety features. We can partner with car manufacturers who deliver this technology in contrast to incumbent insurance companies who might block progress in their self-interest. Fortunately, I’m very comfortable pushing back against incumbents.

I am also familiar with the telematics world through another investment and have found many great uses for the technology. It’s wild to me that many of us have an asset worth thousands of dollars, and it doesn’t have a kind of “find my phone” feature — that in and of itself is another no brainer. Another selling point for having connected insurance is just the awareness of where your vehicle is.

There’s immediate value in sharing data with Metromile — real value in dollars saved, unlike sharing data with big social media companies, where the value isn’t at all clear and may have detrimental societal impact, that is, if you’re a fan of democracy.

What are you most excited about for Metromile?

In my research and due diligence, I understand this number one thing about the industry: In insurance, growth is easy, but profit is hard. It all comes down to discipline.

When considering an investment, I like to flesh out how a company’s management team is wired. Are they “growth-at-all-cost” or timid and afraid of change? What are their incentives? I believe Metromile’s leadership team has the right balance of a growth mindset and the long-term view necessary for disciplined growth.

Metromile is a very long-term investment for me. Metromile focuses deeply on building substantive technology, customer service you can count on, and reinforcement of risk management discipline. It struck me that there is no way this business won’t be a beast in 10 years if they continue on this path. I don’t think people appreciate the size of the opportunity ahead for Metromile just yet, and that’s when I like to invest.

I came up in Uber, a hyper disruptive tech company, and as an investor, I started with the school of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. What I found in Metromile is the discipline of Berkshire Hathaway and the disruption of Uber, and that’s why I’m pumped to join this team. This combination of disruption through technology and a discipline through operations will certainly deliver a winner over the long haul. 

Ryan Graves is the founder and CEO of Saltwater, his family office, incubation, and investment company. He serves on the boards of directors of charity:water, Pachama, Inc., and Fort Point Beer. Formerly, he served as a board director and the senior vice president of global operations at Uber Technologies Inc. from its founding to IPO. Graves was the first CEO and a member of Uber’s founding team.

Metromile in 2020: The Year in Review

2020 has been a life-changing year for many of us.

Undeniably, when we look back at 2020, we will think about the tremendous change this year has brought with the Covid-19 pandemic and our increasing understanding of the roles each of us has with topics as diverse as climate change and racial justice.

Join us as we review 2020, including some data for a final look into the year:

What’s New for Metromile Auto Insurance in 2020

1. Immediate relief during the Covid-19 pandemic

Metromile customers saved approximately 30% on average on car insurance in April just for staying home, and savings continued throughout the year as people drove less. Because our drivers pay per mile (plus a low monthly rate), they saw auto insurance savings during the pandemic in almost real-time.

We also provided payment relief options to make sure our customers didn’t lose coverage if they couldn’t pay. We made sure our community didn’t pay any late fees or fees for payment extensions, so they could focus on what matters most — health and safety.

2. New insurance for connected vehicles

We also announced an exciting partnership with Ford to create connected car insurance. Soon, owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity can opt-in and access insurance we believe will be more convenient, customizable, and fairer.

We are excited to work with Ford, as we share a common goal to provide more personalized insurance for connected vehicles beyond lower rates.

3. See how much pay-per-mile auto insurance can save you

More than 124 million Americans drive 10,000 miles or fewer each year and could be overpaying for car insurance because they don’t pay per mile. 

This didn’t sit well with us. We launched Ride Along™ to help drivers save on auto insurance and get their best possible rate.

Now, you can download the Metromile app and drive with us for about two weeks. We will use the information, such as how many miles you drive, to give you an accurate rate for car insurance before you buy pay-per-mile auto insurance and start your Metromile coverage.

Drivers can also earn an additional discount on the initial quote (up to 40%) for safe driving during the Ride Along in select states; this is another way to save money with Metromile.

Metromile’s 2020 By the Numbers

1. The most common vehicles in the Metromile community

The most common makes or car brands insured by Metromile in order are Toyota, Honda, and Ford. The Honda Civic is the most popular model we insure, followed by the Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry.

Our community also includes fans of electric vehicles, including Tesla. The number of Tesla vehicles insured has also increased over the last two years.

2. The most popular day of the week to drive

Metromile customers love the occasional weekend trip: Driving picks up on Saturdays.

Fortunately, weekend road trips don’t have to break the bank. All miles driven after 250 miles in a single day (150 miles in New Jersey) are free as a bonus for all of our customers!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Metromile customers drove less than they did in previous years this Thanksgiving. Oregon Metromilers drove 23% fewer miles this Thanksgiving than they did in 2019.

3. The most common claim

We want to have our customers’ backs and weren’t surprised to find out the most common claim handled in 2020 was roadside assistance. Our goal is to support drivers like you through every mile.

Metromile customers can personalize their auto insurance policy to their lifestyle because we understand everyone might need something different. Our roadside assistance can help with emergency gasoline delivery, flat tires, locksmiths, and towing up to a certain distance.

The bottom line

With 2020 coming to a close, we want to thank you for being a part of the Metromile community. As a low-mileage driver, you’ve kept your communities safer and greener; in return, we hope we provided you a meaningful experience at a great value.

Metromile and Ford: The Future of Personalized Car Insurance

Metromile is teaming up with Ford to bring drivers a new kind of car insurance experience.

From Day 1, we set out to provide drivers with a new type of car insurance. Traditional car insurance doesn’t meet drivers’ needs: high rates, mediocre service, and policies that don’t consider how people’s lifestyles and driving behaviors can change. 

Today’s news is the start of a fundamental shift: Metromile is teaming up with Ford to provide owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity with personalized car insurance that will be more affordable and fairer. 

This is an important milestone for Metromile, and it’s even more important for drivers. That’s why I’m so excited about it. It’s a tangible example of how car insurance can adapt more closely to how our lives are changing — where we live and work (for many of us, that’s the same place right now), how we drive, and where we drive. Connecting your car directly to your insurance is a big step toward making insurance much more personalized to your driving habits. We’ll see more convenience, customization, and savings than ever before.

On the surface, Metromile and Ford might seem like an odd couple. Ford, founded in 1903, is among the top 15 largest corporations in the U.S. by revenue, and Metromile is a VC-backed startup launched less than ten years ago. Still, both companies share several things in common. We’re both fiercely passionate about the future of mobility. We’re both committed to delivering meaningful experiences to vehicle owners, and we’re both eager to use connected vehicles to create new ways to save on insurance and reduce the cost of ownership.

For us, Ford will help us rapidly evolve how we price insurance, measure real-time risk, and put drivers in control of an individualized pay per mile rate based on how and how much you drive. Connected vehicles like Ford’s — packed with sensors and safety features — open up myriad opportunities for us to leapfrog ahead in each of these areas.

For Metromile customers: know that we’re relentlessly striving to make car insurance as fair, personalized, and advanced as we possibly can. Ford is just one example of how we’re making that happen (for example, we invented fractional insurance so that vehicle owners can avoid overpaying for too much coverage). 

I, and many Metromilers, are customers ourselves. Our parents, friends, and families are also Metromile customers. We’re proud of what we’re building, but for us, that’s not enough. We want to save you money and make you smile when you open the Metromile app. We want to be the kind of company that you tell your friends and family about. You have enough companies in your life that feel like an obligation, or like you chose the lesser of two evils. That’s not the company we’re building, and it never will be. We’re continually exploring ways to set the bar higher and finding ways to improve your savings and experience. You have my word. 
As we progress — both with our work with Ford and more broadly in our march for fairer insurance — I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts on the Metromile blog and LinkedIn.

Dan Preston, CEO

Metromile’s New Chief People Officer: Mark Gundacker

Meet Mark Gundacker, Metromile’s new Chief People Officer. Mark joins us from Salesforce.org, the non-profit arm of Salesforce, where he led its growth from 350 to 1,100 employees — and prior to that brings decades of Human Resources leadership experience.

As we continue to grow our team (now more than 320!) across multiple offices and geographies, we’re excited to have Mark’s steady hand ensure we’re finding and keeping the best talent and remaining a best place to work.

What attracted you to Metromile?

I liked that Metromile is a disrupter. Creating an innovative model in a traditional industry is exciting. After working for a number of different organizations, including in the non-profit space, I wanted to work somewhere that I felt I could be innovative and make an impact. After meeting with Metromile leadership, I felt strongly that this was the right place.

What People philosophy do you bring coming from a nonprofit environment?

After working with passionate team members in the non-profit space, I had a new appreciation for the importance of having team members aligned to a strong organizational mission. If the team shares a common objective and vision it is much easier to work through any inevitable challenges — and this is as true in insurtech as it is anywhere else.

What’s something you wish people knew about People Ops?

Once people get to know me well they always tell me, “I can’t believe you are in HR”. And I always want to say “Take an HR person out to dinner and see how much fun you have!” Without a doubt, some of the most passionate, creative and amazingly fun people I have ever been with have been my HR colleagues.

Your background includes a pretty diverse set of industries. What perspective does that give you?

The big thing it’s given me is insight into how different types of organizations and people solve problems. I find this varied background helpful in being able to look at issues from a number of different angles.

What are your interests outside of work?

I’m on a number of non-profit boards including the Contra Costa Child Abuse Prevention Council, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and CISV — a program promoting peace education for children. Giving back has always been a big interest.

* * *

Welcome, Mark! We’re excited to have you.

Hey Elon, Welcome to Insurance. As You’re Learning, it’s Complicated

Dan Preston is the CEO of Metromile.
– – –
When Elon Musk announced that he was getting into car insurance, I wasn’t surprised — this is an industry full of opportunities for fresh thinking. I also wasn’t surprised he ran into some glitches on launch day.


I understand why Musk is frustrated: Tesla cars are packed with pioneering safety technology, but they are comparatively expensive to insure. We know firsthand; Metromile insures many Tesla owners (up 200% in the past year alone). Our data shows they are no more accident-prone than drivers of other cars, while their claims run about twice as much as other cars due to the high cost of repairing the on-board technology. 

From the expansion of autonomous navigation to the explosion of ride- and car-sharing platforms, technology is transforming both cars and car ownership. Insurance is ripe for disruption, too, which is why Metromile was founded eight years ago with a pay-per-mile model based on someone’s actual driving.

But drivers also value the service itself — beyond savings — whether that means a feature that monitors the car’s condition or an intuitive, design-first claims system. Consumers may be attracted to low prices, but how long they remain a customer depends on their experience.

The long-term opportunity lies in reducing the conflict and distrust between insurance companies and their customers. Right now, the relationship can be very transactional and full of tension. Insurers worry about risky drivers and fraudulent claims, while customers worry about being short-changed by obscure policy loopholes. It’s an adversarial process, and it can be grueling.

Technology offers massive opportunities for personalized insurance that can lower rates. We save many of our customers hundreds of dollars a year. Likewise, we recently partnered with Turo, a leading car-sharing company, to create fractional insurance to help reduce the costs of car ownership. 
And we’re on the cusp of even larger changes. Sooner or later, self-driving cars will become mainstream. As a result, cars will be safer and experience fewer accidents. While some accidents like a falling tree will happen no matter how advanced a car may be, we understand fundamentally that no two miles driven are the same; a mile driven autonomously could and should be insured differently than one driven by a human.

In the meantime, technology can reduce the tension between insurers and their customers. One way is by enabling personalized insurance customized to individual needs. Another is to make the claims process smoother and easier. Through AVA, our AI-powered claims system, we see the power of using a car’s telematics data to reconstruct an accident and assess the damage quickly — enabling us to pay some claims within minutes.   

That said, irresponsible technology can create traps. Just imagine how fast a fully-automated AI system could alienate customers by spitting out instant decisions they don’t like, or not being able to be guided by an experienced, empathetic claims-professional after a stressful accident. These are very nuanced issues; they require employees with exceptional insurance experience who can bring out the best of the technology while avoiding the roadside ditches.  

Without a doubt, I love Musk’s challenge to the status quo. But as Tesla pauses for an “algorithm update,” I hope they take my advice: insurance is about more than low prices. We need fresh thinking from carmakers and insurers alike.

Metromile and Turo are Teaming Up to Redefine Auto Insurance

 
We’re planning to partner with Turo to offer a brand new fractional insurance policy for shared mobility. Turo hosts will pay an affordable monthly base rate plus a per mile rate only on the miles they drive themselves.

As personal mobility evolves from traditional car ownership to shared mobility, auto insurance must evolve to provide car owners with fractional insurance — and we’re proud to be leading the way. We’re delighted to team up with Turo, one of the world’s leading car sharing marketplaces, to offer a new fractional insurance policy specifically designed for flexible car ownership. With this partnership, Turo hosts with Metromile insurance will pay a base rate plus pennies-per-mile for the personal miles they drive. Turo Insurance Agency ensures coverage for hosts’ cars while they’re booked, and hosts can save money on auto insurance by not doubling up.

Innovating auto insurance

Turo has changed the economics of car ownership by allowing hosts to offset the cost of their vehicles, and, for many hosts, auto insurance is a significant portion of that cost. As the leader in pay-per-mile auto insurance, we’re constantly striving to make coverage fair, flexible, and affordable. We’re very excited to begin integrating our innovative approach to insurance with Turo’s protection plans, resulting in a holistic and adaptable policy that is well suited to the different ways that Turo hosts use their cars.

How it will work

To track miles, Turo hosts will plug the Metromile Pulse device into their car’s diagnostic port. We’ll use data from the Pulse and the Turo host’s calendar to separate personal miles from miles driven on Turo guest trips. Hosts will pay a per-mile rate for the miles they drive themselves plus an affordable base rate. We expect to first launch in Illinois, and then roll out across California, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, New Jersey, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. These eight states collectively represent where more than 40% of Turo hosts are currently located.
 
Turo hosts who become Metromilers will join our growing community of drivers who come for substantive savings and stay for an unmatched experience — with mobile app features like street sweeping alerts, engine code analysis, and fuel tracking — that engage drivers all along their journey.
 
This is just one example of our commitment to addressing mobility’s rapid evolution. We’ll keep you posted as this partnership launches around the country.

The role of data and analytics in becoming an “intelligent insurer”

Metromile VP Sathish Koteshwar recently spoke at Gartner’s Data and Analytics conference in Orlando. With several insurance-focused tracks and more than 4000 attendees, he came back even more pumped about what we’re doing at Metromile and our opportunity ahead. He shared some highlights with us.

What piqued your interest at the conference?

SK: For starters, I’d say Gartner’s own research struck the biggest chord. For example, Gartner predicts that by 2025 AI will become a requirement, not a competitive advantage. It made me realize we have a huge leg up at Metromile.

Gartner described the “Intelligent Insurer” as having four fundamental requirements:

1) A clear and innovative vision for the organization  

2) A strong data and analytics foundation

3) Industry leading leadership/people/culture

4) Cutting-edge technology and platform.

It’s exciting to be so far ahead on these fundamentals when others are just getting started.

Why are other insurers lagging?  

SK: The concept of telematics is new for many insurance providers and they are still figuring out how to incorporate it in their business models. It’s harder for insurers to pivot – given the size of their organizations, their complex hybrid infrastructure and lack of driving data around their policy holders. Their model is so different than ours, since we’ve built the very core of its business model around telematics.

What was the biggest takeaway on the claims front?

SK: I learned that many other insurers are just starting to implement some form of automated claims. They realize there are cost benefits and the fantastic customer experience it creates, in doing so, and want to drive those efficiencies for their organization. Yet, they’re very much in the early innings compared to where we’re at at Metromile with AVA, our AI driven claims system.”

How about in the area of fraud?

SK: Insurers are spending a lot of money on fraud detection — but they’re doing it with an army of humans trying to manually track it down, because they don’t have big, high quality data sets. Hearing that gave me an even greater appreciation for the fact that thanks our Pulse device we have 100% continuous telematics across all of our policy holders. This data — a 100% footprint of driving / behavior data — prevents so much fraud from happening in the first place; and if it does occur, we’re able to quickly root it out. This further enables us to pass these savings to our customers and offer really competitive pricing on auto insurance.

Were there many insurers like us, who are 100% in the cloud?

SK: Many still have a hybrid implementations within their organizations. They have some systems running on premise and some running in the cloud, and slowly moving more to the cloud. I think it would be really tough to do what we do if we weren’t 100% natively in the cloud. It means we can be so nimble and move really fast, and be that much further ahead of the competitive curve.”

What are the data and analytics themes that emerged for 2019?

SK: According to Gartner, the six key themes are:

  1. Focus on intelligent processing
  2. Maximize customer segmentation through life event/style modeling
  3. Enhance the customer experience through personalization and automation
  4. Build quality algorithms through improved data science.
  5. Build strength through more / better  data (eg, IoT).
  6. Augment humans through machines

Given our work at Metromile, I wasn’t surprised by these themes, but they reinforced for me that we’re focused in all of the right areas.

What’s next for you?

SK: Getting back to work! I’m even more excited about our future here at Metromile. Our big head start is a huge competitive advantage, and it’s definitely going to help us win market share.

The Gartner conference helped drive a new level of understanding and purpose in my team’s work, our strategy, and how we will help Metromile revolutionize insurance.

Welcome Paw Andersen, Metromile’s new CTO

This week, Paw Andersen, a true technologist with 20+ years of engineering leadership experience, joined Metromile as CTO. He was most notably a senior leader of engineering in Uber’s Advanced Technology group, where he grew his team from 27 to 700. Beyond ride sharing and autonomous vehicles, he’s been on the front lines of technical challenges in several sectors, including GIS, FinTech and E-commerce, ranging from small startups to large, established companies. Originally from Denmark, he now lives in the Bay Area with his family.

Paw Andersen, Metromile CTO


According to Paw, there’s a thread that runs through his career. “What’s been constant is my passion for enabling teams to effectively build software, while also empowering them to enjoy their biggest personal growth,” he said.

As CTO, Paw is responsible for leading, coaching, motivating, and growing a world-class engineering team in our San Francisco and Boston offices. He’s also a member of executive leadership, working closely with CEO Dan Preston, Chief Product Officer Shaun Clowes, and many others.

“We’re hyper-focused on reimagining insurance for consumers and carriers alike. What struck me about Paw is that he has a huge passion for creating products that directly help customers,” said Dan. “Paw has a bird’s eye view of the future of mobility, and I’m confident he’ll be instrumental in bringing our ‘invent the future’ value to life. He’s equally passionate on building a positive culture internally, and an environment that enables Metromilers to do their best work. Having been Metromile’s CTO in our earliest days, I’m excited for Paw’s leadership and welcome him to the team.”

In talking with Paw, he shared a bit about what attracted him to Metromile. Here’s what he had to say.

“I’m very excited to join the Metromile team. For me, there are three things that matter most:

  1. I’m an engineer at heart. I like to build things that are challenging to build, and have a lot of data-driven problems to solve.
  2. I want to build things that matter to people in real life. Something that makes people want to part with their money, that makes their life better. That matters to me a lot.
  3. I want to work with really smart people who have fun together.

“Metromile checks all three of these boxes and more. That’s because I very much believe in Metromile’s future. Working at Uber, I became immersed in mobility and learned how that landscape is continuing to evolve. When I think about the future of mobility, I see Metromile as a key player in expanding individual freedom.”

Interested in working with Paw and the rest of our engineering team? We’re hiring tech talent in our Boston and San Francisco offices.