Blog » Pay Per Mile Car Insurance

8 Things You Can Do If Your Car is Stuck in Snow

When getting behind the wheel, it’s important to consider how the weather may impact your driving or the driving conditions that affect your safety. During the colder months of the year — when the air seems to pierce your face with its crispness — snow can fall and become a driving hazard. While snow may be beautiful to look at while you’re cozy next to the fire, it’s not really something you want to be driving in, especially if conditions are severe. But sometimes things happen, and you may find your car stuck in snow, unable to move. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what to do beforehand and how to get a car out of snow.

How to Get Your Car Out of The Snow | Metromile

How to prepare beforehand for driving in snowy weather 

If you live in a snowy climate (hey there, much of the East Coast and Midwest), it’s important to be prepared and drive with the right kind of tires. There are different types of tires available on the market but you still need something more than your standard tire. You need snow tires, to help you navigate icy and snowy terrain. 

Having a car stuck in snow may be due to having the wrong tires. It’s like trying to use a screwdriver when you need a hammer. You need the right kind of tool to help you deal with snow and drive safely. Another thing that can help is having a snow shovel in your trunk in the event you get stuck in snow. 

1. Remove snow surrounding the tires 

Figuring out how to get your car unstuck from snow requires identifying the problem first. In most cases, the primary issue is that the snow acts as a barrier preventing you from moving forward. 

The first step to getting your car unstuck is to remove the snow from surrounding areas of the tire (and this is why a snow shovel will come in handy!). Remove the snow in front of your vehicle and behind your car to make sure you have a runway to drive forward and back up if you need to. 

2. Be gentle with the gas pedal 

If your car is stuck in the snow, you may have the inclination to hit the gas pedal at full speed to get unstuck. That can leave you spinning your wheels, literally. In other words, it’s not a very effective strategy. While it may seem counterintuitive, be gentle with the gas pedal and slowly allow your car to go forward. 

3. Slowly move forward and back up 

When driving in snow conditions, you want to be mindful of your transmission and be delicate with your maneuvers. Put your car in drive with your foot lightly on the gas, then slowly transition and back up your car. Doing so can help shake off some of the snow stuck on your tires. 

4. Put snow chains on your tires 

If you have a car stuck in the snow, one remedy that can help is putting snow chains on your tires. These tire chains can be used in winter to help your tires improve traction in icy and snowy weather conditions. 

If you don’t have them, consider buying some and keeping them in your trunk along with your snow shovel. To learn how to install snow chains correctly and safely, you can watch this tutorial. 

5. Use various materials to boost traction 

When your car is stuck in snow, it’s difficult for the tire to get traction on the road to get moving. The good news is there are various materials you can use to boost traction. These items include:

  • Cat litter (win for all the cat owners!)
  • Dirt
  • Sand

As you can see from this list, these materials are granular and can increase the traction under your tires. Place one of these materials underneath the tires. Then, slowly press the gas to see if you can move forward. If you need something else you might have in the car, you can try out car mats or cardboard you might have on hand. 

Also, if you’re thinking of using other materials to try and melt ice, think again. For example, some substances such as antifreeze or cleaning materials may be poisonous to animals and humans alike. On top of that, it could be illegal or hazardous to do so. 

6. Get a helping hand 

If you have passengers in the car or there are other people nearby, sometimes a little helping hand can go a long way. A little (wo)man power can help move your car and get it unstuck from the snow. 

You want to do this maneuver safely so make sure you’re in drive and put your foot gently on the gas (reverse would be a HUGE mistake!). Have the other people push your car forward to gain momentum. 

7. Release some air from the tires 

Learning how to get your car unstuck from snow requires some trial and error, and some options may work better than others. One option that may work is to release some air from the tires so they’re slightly deflated, in order to gain more traction. 

An important caveat: this is only a good option if you have a tire pump or can fill up your tires with air close by as it can be dangerous to drive on underinflated tires.

8. Get roadside assistance 

If you’ve tried the steps above and your car is still stuck in snow, you might need to call the professionals. That’s where roadside assistance can come in handy. Metromile customers with roadside assistance coverage  can get much-needed help in a bind. 

The bottom line 

Figuring out how to get your car unstuck from snow can be a daunting process. Though it can be some work, using these eight tips can provide a fix if you find your car stuck in snow. The most important part is to remain calm as possible and slowly and strategically maneuver the car. Lastly, you can see if you can get additional support from your car insurance provider. Metromile offers roadside assistance and coverage that can benefit low-mileage drivers. You pay gas by the gallon, so why not pay for the miles you actually drive? Get your quote today and learn about our various coverage options. 

​​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.

How Much Does Insurance Go Up After a Speeding Ticket

If you’re driving on the road, you want to keep pace with the flow of traffic. But sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, you go faster than the stated speed limit in that particular area. In either case, the consequence can be the same — you may be hit with a speeding ticket. You can beg, cry, plead, or tell the officer you’re rushing to work. The officer may show some grace and let you off with a warning, but if not, you’ll have to deal with a speeding ticket. But then the questions start to arise. Do speeding tickets affect insurance? How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket? In this brief guide, we break down what to know about speeding tickets and car insurance

How a Speeding Ticket Affects Your Car Insurance | Metromile

Do speeding tickets affect insurance? 

It’s no secret that speeding tickets aren’t exactly cheap. The average speeding ticket cost in California could be several hundred dollars after fees and such for an initial $35 base fine. That’s not even close to some of the costs in other parts of the country (Virginia reportedly has the highest penalties, with citations that can cost upwards of $1,000!). 

But that initial sting of the ticket itself is just part of the overall financial repercussions. If you’re wondering, “Do speeding tickets affect insurance?” the answer is most likely “yes”. When you get a speeding ticket, you may get a point on your license, which is added to your driving record. If this is your first speeding ticket, you may be able to go to traffic school and get the point taken off your record without affecting your insurance. But that’s not always the case.  

A major factor in determining your insurance rate is your driving record, and that includes traffic violations like speeding tickets. The more tickets you have, the more likely your insurance rates will rise. 

Here’s how a speeding ticket may affect your car insurance: 

  • Your car insurance premium may increase at the time of renewal.
  • Rates could increase for several years. 
  • Whether your rate increases can depend on the speed, location, and state. 
  • You may lose out on a “good driver” discount or other relevant discounts.
  • If your driving record has a lot on it and it’s pretty serious — and a speeding ticket is just the icing on the cake — it may be difficult to get car insurance from a private company. If that’s the case, you can see if your state provides government auto insurance. 

Why do car insurance rates go up after a speeding ticket? 

Your driving record helps insurers understand how much of a risk you might be on the road. And guess what determines your driving record in addition to accidents and minor fender benders? Yep, speeding tickets. 

Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. So when you engage in this risky driving behavior, it’s natural for your insurance company to take this additional risk factor into account. If you rack up multiple speeding tickets, it can have a more significant impact on your rates. 

The (kind of) good news is that according to an analysis from The Zebra, speeding tickets are the least costly kind of traffic violations when it comes to insurance rates. But the potential price hike can still be significant. If you’re worried about how much does insurance goes up after a speeding ticket, on average, it’s $354 per year according to an analysis by financial site NerdWallet. Not exactly a small amount. 

The thing about speeding is that it’s not a black and white issue — a driver may be caught speeding a few miles over the limit or far past the limit. In other words, there’s a lot of room for nuance and going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is different than going 25 to 50 miles per hour over the speed limit. 

The severity may be reflected in your speeding ticket and your car insurance rate hike. It all depends on how your state treats speeding tickets and the limits, as well as your car insurance provider. 

Each car insurance provider may treat a speeding ticket differently. While some companies only increase rates if a driver receives a ticket for going more than 15 mph over the posted limit, other companies may not increase the rate at all if it’s a first-time offense.

Of course, having multiple traffic violations, including speeding tickets can add points to your driving record. That may mean you could be at risk for sky-high insurance premiums. In the worst case, you may get your license revoked or suspended. 

Here’s where you can take a deep breath though — traffic violations don’t permanently affect your insurance rates. So if you think speeding tickets will be on your driving record forever and lead to crazy expensive rate hikes for eternity, think again. 

Most companies examine your list of traffic violations over the last three to five years when determining your rate, and once a ticket is removed from your driving record (this varies by state, but most states take away the points after three years), insurance companies can no longer hold the infraction against you (phew!). 

What can you do to lower car insurance premiums after a speeding ticket? 

If your primary concern is about cost it’s natural to wonder how much does a speeding ticket raise insurance? Just how much it increases can depend on your driving history and insurer, but there may be some ways to lower car insurance premiums after a speeding ticket. 

The first thing you want to do is see if you qualify for a defensive driving course so you can avoid getting a point added to your record. If so, then that’s a big win and can save you money in the long run. You’ll still have to pay for traffic school though and the ticket plus any associated fees. 

Next, commit to being a safe driver and be more mindful of speed while on the road. One speeding ticket isn’t the end of the world but racking up plenty more won’t do you any favors in the cost-savings department. 

You also want to see if the speeding ticket will affect your car insurance premium or not. If you have a good driving history and this is a one-off thing on a spotless record, your insurance company may not take any action. 

However, if your insurance company does raise your car insurance premium it may be for several years. Depending on the increase and your preference, it may be good to shop around and look at other coverage options. 

The bottom line

After getting hit with a speeding ticket you may worry and wonder how much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket?! It may be several hundred dollars, depending on your record, your insurer and if you can take defensive driving or not. Though it can be costly, a one-time thing is like a warning from the universe to slow down. 

Going forward, be aware of the speed limit in the area you’re driving. In the best case scenario, you won’t have a premium increase. If your car insurance premium does rise, look into getting other car insurance coverage. Low-mileage drivers can take advantage of pay-per-mile coverage with Metromile. You do things like pay for gas by the gallon. So why not pay for miles based on how much you drive? It’s car insurance that makes sense. Grab a complimentary quote with Metromile to see about potential savings.

What You Should Know About Subrogation Insurance Claims

Getting into a car accident and filing a claim can mean dealing with your insurance provider to cover costs as part of the incident. During this process, you may come across a funny word called “subrogation.” In this guide, we’re breaking down what subrogation in insurance means and how it works.

What is Subrogation in Insurance? | Metromile

What is a subrogation insurance claim? 

If you’re dealing with a claim and see “subrogation”, it’s natural to wonder what is subrogation in insurance. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, subrogation is “the assumption by a third party (such as a second creditor or an insurance company) of another’s legal right to collect a debt or damages.” (fun fact: this term was first used in the 15th century, notes Merriam-Webster). 

In other words, subrogation is the legal process that allows your insurance provider to act on your behalf to recoup costs related to an accident from a third party, such as another insurance company. 

When does subrogation happen? 

When you file a claim after an accident, your insurance company will work with you to determine who is at fault and what is or is not covered as part of the accident. If the other driver is at fault, your insurance provider can act on your behalf to recover costs from the other party’s insurance company. 

Let’s say you get into an accident where you’re not found at fault and need to make repairs and cover potential medical bills ASAP, but the process is held up with the other party’s car insurance. In that case, your car insurance provider will typically cover those expenses upfront to make the process smoother and more efficient. 

Subrogation will then occur and your car insurance provider will seek to recoup the expenses related to the accident, including the deductible, car repair costs, and medical expenses, if applicable. 

Through subrogation in insurance, you as the policyholder can file your claim and move on faster, while your insurance company does the heavy lifting to recover costs. 

Does subrogation occur when it’s not clear who’s at fault? 

Subrogation in auto insurance happens when your car insurance provider seeks payment for expenses already paid from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. So what happens if it’s not fully clear who’s at fault in the accident? While some accidents may have a clear-cut cause and party who is “at fault”, not all do. 

In this case, what happens next can vary by your car insurance policy as well as the state you live in. For example, you might pay your deductible, and your car insurance provider may pay out the remaining expenses. 

It’s also possible that your car insurance provider can go the subrogation route to recover some costs if you’re not 100 percent at fault. Through subrogation, it’s possible to get your deductible cost paid back as well on top of the other costs the insurer paid. 

How long does an insurance company have to subrogate?

The subrogation process can vary but largely happens between the two car insurance providers. Your car insurance provider supports you in your claim and through subrogation, they aim to get reimbursed for expenses when the fault is determined. It could take months or even longer to determine who is at fault in some cases, so subrogation benefits the policyholder and helps the insurance provider recover funds related to a claim. 

If you’re curious how long does an insurance company have to subrogate, it depends on the state’s statute of limitations. 

According to Legal Beagle, “When an insurance carrier or other entity pays a claim for an injured client that is not at fault for their injuries, the insurance company may then attempt to recoup payments from the party that is at fault for the incident. The process of recouping paid claims is called subrogation. Each state sets its own statute of limitations, indicating the length of time after an incident an insurance company may file a subrogation claim.”

Legal Beagle notes that most states have one to six years to file subrogation insurance claims. 

What a waiver of subrogation means (and what to be aware of) 

During the subrogation process, your insurance provider acts on your behalf to recover costs based on your claim from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your insurance company does the hard part, and you don’t have to think about it too much. 

But if the at-fault party would like to settle the claim with you directly and without insurance interference, then you’ll need to sign a waiver of subrogation. 

A waiver of subrogation is forfeiting the ability for your insurance company to recover costs. Because the other party wants to settle, a waiver of subrogation signs your rights away so that the insurance company doesn’t have any legal right to get reimbursed. 

Obviously, this is a pretty big deal, so it’s important to discuss with your insurance carrier before making any decisions or moving forward with a waiver of subrogation. 

The bottom line 

Subrogation insurance claims mostly involve your insurance provider, but it’s good to be aware of what this process is and how it works. It’s especially important to be mindful if you’re considering signing a waiver of subrogation. Be sure to stay in touch with your insurance provider if you have questions about your claim or if you’re thinking of settling and signing a waiver. 

If you want to check out different car insurance options, consider pay-per-mile car insurance, ideally suited for low-mileage drivers. Why pay more than you need to, when you can simply pay for the miles you drive? Get car insurance that makes sense and never pay more than you should. Get a quote for pay-per-mile coverage with Metromile today. 

​​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.

Your Insurance Declaration Page, Explained

When you sign up for an auto insurance policy, an insurance declaration page will be included in your paperwork. But what is an insurance declaration page? It’s typically the first page of your policy and highlights important points about your coverage. It’s sometimes referred to as “dec” and can come in handy when you need to refer to your policy. Read on to learn how to read a declaration page and what it includes and what it doesn’t.

What Is An Insurance Declaration Page? | Metromile

How to read your insurance declaration page 

Your insurance declaration page includes important information about your auto insurance policy. To read your declaration page, here is the typically included information. 

1. Drivers covered by the auto insurance policy 

Your declarations page lists the driver(s) covered by the policy. That should include you and anyone else who drives your car. 

2. The car insurance policy period 

When you sign up for a car insurance policy, there are effective dates that outline the term of your coverage. Typically, this is six months to one year. You can see when your auto coverage starts and ends on the declarations page, so you know when you need to renew your policy. 

3. Your car insurance premium 

When you sign up for an auto insurance policy, you typically need to pay a monthly car insurance premium or pay it every six months. In this part of the declarations page, you’ll see what is included in the premium as well as the overall total. 

4. The vehicles covered by your car insurance policy 

Your insurance declarations page also lists out the vehicles covered under your auto insurance policy. In this section, you’ll see the VIN, make, model as well as year for the vehicle that is covered. 

5. The type of auto coverage you have 

You typically need a minimum amount of auto coverage in each state. On the declarations page, the type of auto coverage you have will be outlined. Make sure you have the right car insurance coverage for your particular needs and budget. For example, Metromile offers the following types of auto insurance coverage, as well as any other state-mandated optional coverage(s):

6. Any loss payees 

If you’ve taken on car financing and secured an auto loan for your car, the lender is typically listed as the loss payee on the declarations page. In this section, the loss payee is outlined, such as a bank — and includes relevant information such as address and contact info. 

7. Your car insurance deductible 

Also included on your insurance declaration page is your car insurance deductible. Your deductible refers to how much you pay out of pocket when you file a claim before your insurance kicks in. Your deductible amount can vary based on your coverage. 

8. Your coverage limits 

Your auto insurance coverage limits are also broken down on your declarations page, so you know the maximum amount that is part of your policy. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you might see the maximum amount your insurer will cover in case of bodily injury or car damage. 

9. Any discounts you qualify for 

Your car insurance provider may offer some discounts for things like security and safety features (such as anti-theft devices) or for being a “good driver.” Any discounts you’ll qualify for will also be listed on the declaration page. 

What your insurance declaration page doesn’t cover 

Your insurance declaration page is designed to be easy to read and accessible so you can see the most important parts of your coverage. This page can include what’s part of your policy but may not outline what’s not covered and may not provide further definitions of the terms listed. If you have questions, you can contact your insurance provider directly or look at the rest of your insurance paperwork. 

When to use your insurance declaration page 

Your insurance declaration page can come in handy in a number of cases. For example, if you want to review the details of your policy, you can do so easily on the declaration page. If you’re on the lookout for a new vehicle, you typically need to show proof of insurance. In that case, your insurance provider may send the dealer your declarations page as a way to confirm that you’re insured and actively covered. 

The bottom line 

Your insurance declaration page is a nifty outline of your auto insurance coverage that can come in handy in a variety of situations. It’s also useful to reference if you’re searching for new auto coverage. It outlines all the essential terms and rates, so you can make an informed decision when looking at new quotes. If you’re a low-mileage driver, pay-per-mile car insurance is likely your best bet.

You pay for gas by the gallon, why not pay for auto coverage based on the miles you actually drive? Using Metromile, you get a low base rate and only pay several cents per mile. Get your free quote for comparison shopping today. 

​​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.

Wondering How to Lower Your Car Insurance? Use These 10 Tips

After going through your expenses, you might notice some trends. Your highest expenses are likely rent/mortgage, food, and transportation costs. Among transportation costs is your car insurance premium. If you feel you’re paying too much for car insurance, you might be trying to figure out how to lower your car insurance cost. If you want a lower rate for your car insurance premium, here are 10 tips to get started.

How to Lower Car Insurance | Metromile

1. Understand your current coverage

The first thing you want to do is understand your current car insurance policy. You want to see where you currently stand, so you can evaluate whether the coverage and limits you originally purchased are still the right fit for you. 

You might have purchased your policy when your lifestyle was different. For example, if you are now driving an older car, you might not need as much coverage as when you had a newer model vehicle. Once you understand your current coverage, you can make an apples-to-apples comparison with other available policies to make a more informed financial decision.

2. Switch to pay-per-mile car insurance 

In many cases, if you have traditional car insurance, you pay a flat premium per month (or per term). This can mean that if you don’t drive that much, you may be overpaying for coverage. Car insurance is based on numerous factors that include risk assessment and vehicle use. Obviously, every time you start your car and get on the road, there’s a level of risk. 

So naturally, if you drive less, there’s less risk. So why not reward yourself for that and pay less for insurance at the same time? 

Using pay-per-mile insurance, you can do just that. If you drive less than 10,000 miles each year, you could be a good fit for pay-per-mile insurance and be able to slash your car insurance premium significantly. In fact, Metromile customers were able to save up to $947* after making the switch. 

3. Compare rates among car insurance providers 

Are you satisfied with your car insurance rate? Or do you want a way to figure out how to lower your car insurance rate? If it’s the latter, it’s important to take the time to comparison shop. You may have purchased a policy with your car insurance provider years ago based on a family or friend recommendation, but there may be better coverage out there now. Be sure to check among various car insurance providers to see prospective rates. You can look at traditional car insurance vs. pay-per-mile insurance and assess what is best for your unique situation. 

4. Make a switch and downsize your car 

Here’s something you may not want to hear. The type The type of car you have could be costing you more. Why? If you have a bigger or more luxurious vehicle, it’ll be more expensive to insure. If anything were to happen, the replacement costs would likely be higher. Additionally, costs can be higher with bigger vehicles because of the potential damage done to other cars in the event of an accident. If you downsize to a smaller or more fuel-efficient car, your car insurance costs may be reduced. 

5. Increase the deductible

If you have a good driving record and very rarely get into accidents, you could increase your deductible to save money on your car insurance. You generally pay more for car insurance if you have a lower deductible.

Keep in mind that your deductible is how much you need to pay before your insurance kicks in. For example, if your car needs $1,500 in repairs and your policy has a $500 deductible, you’ll be responsible for paying $500 before your insurance covers the remaining $1,000. If you increase your deductible, you might want to consider saving money to make sure your emergency fund could cover the difference to avoid any unwanted surprises later on.

6. Ask for discounts

A simple way to lower car insurance is to ask for discounts! (yes, really). It often goes unnoticed, but insurance companies have different discounts available depending upon your personal situation. When you signed up, you might have been unaware of the potential discounts that you qualified for. 

Additionally, your situation may have changed since you first purchased your policy, and you may now qualify for a discount. 

A common car insurance discount is a multi-vehicle discount if you insure more than one car on the same policy. There are also rate reductions available in some states based on the type of job you have, whether you’re married, or there may be rewards for being a safe driver. These discounts can add up, so it’s worthwhile to call your insurer to see if there are any available discounts you may qualify for. 

7. Review a car’s safety and anti-theft features

Your car’s unique safety and anti-theft features can help you score a lower car insurance premium. Your car’s airbags, anti-theft devices, brakes, and more all affect the overall safety of your car and can also affect how likely the car is to be stolen. If you reduce some of these risks by adding more safety features or getting a car that already has these features, you may be able to reduce your car insurance rate. 

8. Consider temporarily changing your coverage

Your car insurance policy should work for you. Fortunately, Metromile and some other insurance companies let you personalize your policies, including your coverage limits and totals. You can ask your insurer about any optional coverage unique to your state that you could temporarily reduce to help you save, for example.

Also, if you finance your car, review your financing information, as your lienholder or lease company could have coverage requirements or require you to let them know if you make any changes to your insurance policy.

If you do make any changes, make sure you remember to review your policy again later. You don’t want to get caught without the coverage you might need when you return to your usual driving habits.

9. Enroll in a defensive driving course 

Defensive driving courses aren’t just for new drivers. If you want to learn how to lower your car insurance, enrolling in a defensive driving course may help. 

This may also help you lower your driver’s license points in the case of a traffic ticket. Some insurance companies may reward you for taking a proactive role in promoting driver safety. 

10. Boost your credit  

There are various factors that can affect your auto insurance rate. In some states, insurers use your credit information to assess overall risk. 

If you want to learn how to lower car insurance, it’s best to boost your credit rating, so it doesn’t negatively impact your car insurance premium. Your best moves are to pay your bills on time and keep your overall balances low compared to your credit limits. Be mindful of borrowing too much and opening up too many new credit accounts in a short period of time. 

The bottom line 

If you’re wondering how to lower your car insurance, use these ten tips to help you get the best insurance rate possible. If you’re a low-mileage driver, your best bet might be to switch to pay-per-mile insurance coverage. If you’re still paying for miles you aren’t actually driving, it’s time to re-think your auto coverage. Grab a free quote with Metromile today to see your potential savings. 

What To Do in a Fender Bender

There’s no doubt that getting into a car accident can shake you up in every way. It can do a number on your nervous system and put a damper on your day. But when it comes to types of car accidents, they differ in severity. There are the types of accidents that can result in injury and (gulp) death. 

On the other hand, there are fender benders, which  are typically minor and more of an annoyance to your day than a life-threatening accident. They’re also one of the most common types of accidents as well.

What is a Fender Bender & What to do When it Happens | Metromile

According to a report on Traffic Safety Facts in 2016 by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about half of all accidents aren’t reported to the police and involve only minor property damage and no severe injuries. More recent data in 2019 shows that property-damage-only crashes have the highest numbers, coming in at more than 4 million, which is about double the amount of injury and fatal crashes combined. Read on to learn what to do in a fender bender and what you should know. 

What is a fender bender, exactly? 

You’ve probably heard the term before, but what is a fender bender? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term refers to “a minor automobile accident.”

The fender of your car is the part of the vehicle that curves over the wheels of the car to protect it. When you get into a fender bender, the fender can bend and become indented — hence the name fender bender. In general, these types of accidents cause minor or cosmetic property damage but typically not personal injuries. 

Top reasons fender benders happen

Fender benders are so common because it doesn’t take much to get into a minor accident. Your attention strays for a second when seeing an incoming text and suddenly you rear-end the person in front of you. Here are some common fender bender examples. 

  • A driver doesn’t brake on time and rear-ends the car in front of them (this could be from texting, not paying attention, not slowing down far enough in advance, etc.)
  • A driver is backing up and hits another car or vice versa — the other car hits the driver backing up. This could happen in a parking lot, narrow street, or areas with blind spots. 
  • A driver isn’t paying close attention and hits a parked car (it happens!) 
  • A driver doesn’t stop completely and hits another car

In many cases, fender benders occur at a slow to moderate speed which is why they typically aren’t as serious as an accident that causes injury or death. 

Fender benders can be caused by, among other things:

  • Due to texting
  • Being too close to another vehicle
  • Not paying attention
  • Not being aware of blind spots 

The best way to avoid fender benders is to stay focused, avoid distractions, and practice defensive driving. 

How to report a fender bender and file a claim 

Even if you stay on your A-game while driving, that doesn’t account for other people. Other drivers could be distracted and within mere seconds end up hitting you just enough for some bumper damage. Whether you’re at-fault or the other party is, here’s what to do in a fender bender.

Step 1: Stay calm and assess the situation 

Even though fender benders are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, they’re still a shock to your nervous system. Take a deep breath and assess the situation. Is anyone hurt? Can everyone move, walk, and breathe properly? 

After determining that everyone is okay, then you can move the car to a safe spot and take a look at the damage on the vehicles. If there are injuries, call for medical attention right away. 

Step 2: Get to a safe spot 

Before you take an inventory of the damage, make sure to get to a safe spot. You might be in the middle of the road or blocking traffic, so see if you can go to the side of the road. If not, put on your emergency lights to remain visible to other drivers. 

Step 3: Take photos and exchange your information with the other driver 

In order to file a claim with insurance, you want to have all the information you need. First, start by taking photos of the car at all possible angles that include any damage. Next, you want to exchange your personal and car insurance information with the other driver. Each party in the fender bender should have:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Car insurance policy number
  • Car insurance provider
  • Details about time, date, location, etc. regarding the fender bender 

Getting all of this information ahead of time can make filing a claim easier and may help expedite the process.

Step 4: File a police report 

You also want to file a police report regarding the accident to have a paper trail. That can help your insurance claim. A police officer may come to the site of the fender bender or you may need to go to a station to file a report. In some cases, you may be legally required to file a police report if the property damage is over a certain amount. For example, in California that amount is $1,000. You can check out state reporting requirements here.

Be sure to get a copy for yourself to have it ready for your insurance. In the case of a fender bender, some people think it’s not necessary to call the police but it can help with your claim and make things official. 

Step 5: Contact your car insurance provider and file a claim 

After a fender bender or any accident, you want to contact your car insurance provider ASAP. Give them the information first regarding what went down. Give the insurance agent all of the details of the accident and file a claim. You’ll pay your car insurance deductible and submit a claim to receive funds for repairs. 

What to do after filing a car insurance claim for a fender bender 

After filing a claim for a fender bender, get the claim processed and pay your deductible. Once that happens, you may be eligible to receive funds to cover repair costs. 

Depending on your car insurance provider, you may need to do one of the following to get an estimate for repairs:

  • You may have to submit photos 
  • Go to an auto repair shop 
  • An insurance adjuster may come to review the damage to your vehicle 

Once you’ve paid your deductible, if applicable,and received an estimate, you can go to an auto shop of your choice to fix the vehicle. If you’re unsure of options, you can always ask your car insurance provider for recommendations. 

How to prevent fender benders 

Fender benders are no fun to deal with. On one hand, you’re likely safe and okay, but on the other hand, you now have paperwork and repairs to deal with. Sometimes these things are out of your control but if you want to prevent fender benders, you can take some proactive measures. 

  • Make sure there’s enough space between you and other cars on the road 
  • Turn your phone off or put it on silent while behind the wheel
  • Take extra precautions and drive slowly during severe weather conditions
  • Practice defensive driving
  • Brake on time to make full stops at red lights as well as stop signs 
  • Follow all traffic signs
  • Be aware of blind spots
  • Drive slowly when backing up 

Taking these steps consistently can help you do your part to avoid a fender bender. 

The bottom line 

Figuring out what to do in a fender bender can be stressful, but following these steps can make the process smoother. Fender benders are nobody’s cup of tea, but they’re quite common. You can do your part to stay safe on the road and if you find yourself dealing with a fender bender, contact your insurance right away. 

If you’re looking for an insurance company that offers a simple way to file a claim, check out Metromile. You can use AVA, the AI claims assistant to walk you through the process. On top of that, you can score affordable coverage that you pay by the mile alongside a low base rate, so you never pay for more than you have to. Get a free quote with Metromile to see how much you could save. 

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.

Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive, Explained

You’re reviewing your monthly expenses and combing through the list and aside from food and housing, there’s one number that jumps out at you — your car insurance. If you’ve checked your car insurance bill and wondered “Why is my car insurance so high?!”, there are a variety of reasons. Read on to learn what factors make up your car insurance rate and why your car insurance might be expensive.

Why is My Car Insurance So High? | Metromile

The type of car insurance you have 

If you look at your bill and let out a deep sigh and think “Why is car insurance so expensive?” it might have something to do with the type of insurance you have. 

Traditional car insurance rates take into account a number of factors that we’ll go over later, but you typically pay a standard monthly premium. You pay the same amount regardless of how much you drive. 

In many cases, that doesn’t make the most sense. When you drive more, you’re taking on more risk. But the converse is also true. If you drive less, you take on less risk and there is less wear and tear on the vehicle. Given we’re in pandemic times and many people have made the shift to working from home, you might be driving less than you ever have. Why wouldn’t you want to be rewarded for that?

The good news is you can be if you use pay-per-mile auto insurance. Pay-per-mile auto coverage with Metromile offers you the ability to pay a low base rate each month while paying just several cents for each mile you drive up to 250 miles per day. You pay for gas by the gallon, why not pay for insurance based on the miles you actually drive and not for anything more? 

Using Metromile, on average customers have saved $741 per year*. Imagine putting that money in the stock market, toward your student loans, or for a fun vacay. The type of insurance you have can heavily impact how much you pay for car insurance. 

Your location 

You know the saying “location, location, location” when it comes to real estate evaluations? Your location and where you live affect not only real estate values but also your car insurance. 

Consider how where you live might add additional risk factors that play into your car insurance rate. For example, do you live in a congested, population-dense city where the streets are narrow, parking is hard to come by, and break-ins are fairly commonplace? Or do you live somewhere more rural, where the streets are wide, there are more covered garages, and fewer instances of theft and damage? The weather where you live may also impact the rate as well. 

As you can see, there are many factors that are location-dependent that ultimately affect your car insurance rate. Car insurance providers use data from your zip code to make risk assessments about your area. 

How old you are 

In some cases, you might think age is “just a number” but that’s not the case when it comes to car insurance. If you’re a younger driver, you’re much more likely to have a higher car insurance premium compared to someone with more years of experience under their belt. 

Why? Well, it comes down to experience and risk. As a younger driver, you have less experience on the road and have a higher likelihood of an accident. In fact, according to CDC data, car accidents are the second leading cause of death for teens in the United States. 

The risk of dying in a car accident is about three times higher for teens ages 16 to 19 compared to drivers who are 20 and older. Teen male drivers within the 16 to 19 age group were two times more likely to die in a car accident compared to female drivers. On top of that, the risk of a car accident is higher for teens within the first few months of getting a driver’s license. 

Your driving history 

If you’re scratching your head thinking “Why is car insurance so expensive?” the first thing you want to consider is your driving history. Your driving history, or driving record, may play a big role in your car insurance rate. 

For example, if you have an at-fault accident or a speeding ticket on your record, that can affect how much you pay for car insurance. In fact, the financial site states that drivers can see an average car insurance premium increase of 38% after an at-fault accident. 

If you have a DUI or DWI, that number could be even higher. If you have many back-to-back incidents, your car insurance provider may even drop you, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). 

The type of coverage you have 

When you get car insurance, there are different types of coverage you can get. For example, if you get comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, that will be at a higher price than liability only. Comprehensive, collision and liability in one policy can protect your finances in case of an accident. 

Those policies are higher priced because they cover more and help recoup costs for damages you may incur in case of an accident. Typically, you simply pay the car insurance deductible and your car insurance provider covers the rest. 

According to financial site, liability coverage is on average 64% lower on its own than when combined with collision and comprehensive coverage. Most states require minimum liability coverage. While that may be more affordable, you also get what you pay for. So if you get in an accident, the financial burden may fall mostly on you. 

 Credit-based insurance score 

Your credit score and credit report aren’t just for applying for a loan or credit card. In fact, some states allow use of your credit information as a factor when determining car insurance premiums as part of creating a credit-based insurance score. The reasoning is that those with poor credit or no credit typically have a higher likelihood of filing a claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 

If you think this is an unfair metric to determine credit-based car insurance scores, there are some states that agree and have banned the use of credit scores in some capacity as it relates to car insurance. 

If you’re not in those states, the best way to boost your credit score is to make payments on your loans on time and in full, when possible. Some states may not use your credit score to set the car insurance rate but may have restrictions based on whether your policy can be canceled or non-renewed due to your credit. 

Your car’s make and model 

Do you dream of driving a corvette or mustang? You may end up paying more for car insurance because of it. In fact, your car’s make and model affect your car insurance rate. All of these factors play into the safety of the vehicle as well as how likely they are to get stolen. 

Cars that tend to be fancier and more expensive also have higher rates, as do newer cars and electric cars. So if you’re thinking of buying a car, you might want to consider how the make and model will affect your car insurance rate. 

Your insurance record 

If you want to know why is car insurance so expensive, you also want to consider your insurance record. Having car insurance is important as a driver. If there are gaps in coverage, even for a short period of time, it may impact your car insurance premium in certain states. If you switch car insurance providers, make sure there isn’t a lapse in your car insurance coverage. 

The number of miles you drive 

Do you drive a lot? That could impact your car insurance premium as well. Every time you get on the road, you’re gambling a bit with safety. The more miles you drive, the more risk you have which insurance providers have to take into account. 

When you sign-up for car insurance, you might have to provide the number of miles you drive per year which can affect your rate. If your mileage shifts, it makes sense to contact your car insurance provider. If you don’t drive that often, pay-per-mile insurance can make a lot more sense for your budget.

The bottom line 

If you’ve ever wondered “Why is my car insurance so high?” now you know there are many factors that affect how costly your premium is. There are some things that are out of your control but there are other things you can do to make car insurance more affordable. If you’re a low-mileage driver, check out pay-per-mile auto insurance. Don’t pay a penny more than you need to and only pay for the miles you drive, along with an affordable base rate. Get your free quote today.

​​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.

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

You Could Potentially Save over $7000 by Working from Home

The pandemic brought major shifts to the workplace as droves of employees began working from home for the first time. Working from home or getting a remote work position is more possible than ever. The good news is that working from home can save you a good chunk of change, too. If you’ve wondered how much money you can save working from home, we break down some numbers for you but it could be hundreds or thousands of dollars.

1. Lower car insurance rates

Working from home means driving less. If you drive less, you’re at less risk and therefore your car insurance rates may drop. During the pandemic, many major car insurance providers cut their premiums. 

But there’s a better way to lower car insurance rates when working from home and that is through pay-per-mile insurance. Using pay-per-mile auto insurance, a type of usage-based insurance, you’re only responsible for paying a low base rate and several cents for every mile you drive. 
On average, Metromile customers have saved $741* per year making the switch, based on survey data from new customers in 2018. You can take a look at your options, but working from home and driving less should mean lower car insurance rates as well.

2. Drop in commuting costs

Working from home means paying less in other commuting costs as well. In addition to lower car insurance rates, you can reduce costs for the following. 

  • Public transportation. Instead of paying the fares for the bus or metro to get to and from work, you can now pocket that cash. In fact, close to half of the commuters in the U.S. reported using public transportation less due to the pandemic. An unlimited metro card in New York City costs $127 per month. Forgoing the unlimited metro card for a year would save you $1,524 per year. Cost-per-ride is $2.75. Let’s say you still needed to take three round-trip rides per week for a year. That would be $858, still saving you money. Many cities have fairly comparable rates, so eliminating this cost or only riding part-time you stand to save a lot of money. 
  • Gas. Right now gas prices are on the rise and can add a lot to commuting costs. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index Summary, the gasoline index increased a whopping 41.8% since July 2020. When you work from home, you can save a lot by filling up your tank less often than you normally would when driving to work every day. A Marketwatch article from 2018 estimates saving $444 in gas per year working from home full-time. 
  • Car maintenance. The more you drive, the more wear and tear there is on your vehicle. There’s no way around that. But driving less by working from home can lead to fewer repairs or car maintenance issues. For example, you may need to get less frequent oil changes, fewer repairs, and have less likelihood of an accident. Let’s say you drove a lot before and got an oil change every three months. You may be able to cut back to twice a year, instead of four times a year, effectively saving you around $120 per year.
  • Ridesharing costs. There’s a surge in ridesharing costs right now, so if you previously took Uber or Lyft to work you’re saving money by working from home. Statista has data for average ridesharing costs as of 2018, and New York commuters spent $84 per month. That would be $1,008 saved each year by cutting this cost out.

3. Not shopping as much

When you work in an office, you need to adhere to the dress code. That may mean buying suits, slacks, ties, dresses, jumpsuits, or whatever is appropriate for your workplace. Those clothes may not be cheap and caring for them with dry cleaning can add up. 

Women in particular may spend more money on makeup, nails, and hair to keep up appearances. Working from home can reduce some of those costs. Of course, you still need to wear clothes to work from home, but you may not have to wear the same things you’d wear every day at the office or pay as much for the care and cleaning of these items. A Marketwatch analysis estimates women save $400 per year working from home.

4. Dining out less

When you commute to work, sometimes you create rituals as part of the process or simply out of convenience. For example, you may hit up the local coffee shop on your way to work or dine out for lunch or get snacks on the go. A 2015 survey from Visa found that people spent an average of $2,746 on lunch each year. 

If you come home tired from a long day, you might order take-out. All of these costs can add up fast. When you work from home, you have more time freedom and can have more energy saved from not commuting. That can mean having slower mornings making your own coffee versus rushing out of the door and grabbing one on the way.

5. May be able to write off some things for taxes

If you’re a remote worker and are self-employed, you could be eligible to write off many parts of your home office. For example, the technology required for your office could be considered a business deduction. You could potentially write off a portion of your home office. It’s possible to write off $5 per square foot for up to 300 square feet, for a maximum of $1,500. Deductions reduce the amount you owe in taxes, but unlike credits, aren’t dollar-for-dollar. How much money that saves you depends on your tax bracket and income but let’s say you’re in the 15% tax bracket, you could save $225 per year.

Unfortunately, employees who work full-time from home aren’t eligible for the home office deduction. If you had a side hustle from home part of the time that may make you eligible. Whether you’re self-employed or an employee, any tax questions should be sent to a professional tax specialist who can help you with your particular situation.

6. Turning your home or the outdoors into your gym

Many gyms closed their doors during the pandemic. According to a 2021 survey, 1.3 billion dollars is spent on unused gym memberships. During this time, you may have turned to your home or the great outdoors to be your gym. 

Instead of pricey memberships, contracts, and something that is a hassle-to-cancel, you could save money by ditching the gym and opting to work out from home or outside. For example, you could do bodyweight exercises at home or if you have weights or bands, can use them to get a workout in. You can also go biking, running, or hiking outdoors to break a sweat. According to, the average gym membership is $507 for the first year and $479 for the second. Ditching the gym for your home gym or opting to move outside could save you up to $507 per year.

The bottom line 

If you’ve ever been curious and thought just how much money do you save working from home, now you know it can be a lot. That number can vary depending on your lifestyle and cost of living but given the numbers mentioned above, you could stand to save up to $7,715/year. Being able to work from home can lead to a number of reduced expenses, fewer options and temptations to spend, as well as lead to more time and energy. As part of lowering your costs while working from home, see how much you stand to save by switching to pay-per-mile insurance.


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. 

How Having a Hybrid Work Schedule Can Save You Money on Car Insurance

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work. Over the past year and a half, many jobs are now done remotely, and many companies have adopted flexible “hybrid” work schedules or remote-work policies.

Given all these changes, it might be time to change your auto insurance, too. Lifestyle choices and changes can affect auto insurance prices. For example, if you are driving less than before because you no longer need to commute to an office, you could save on car insurance with low-mileage insurance coverage.

Need Car Insurance? Work From Home Could Save You Money

Here’s how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted working schedules, changed driving habits, and how you might save on car insurance when you work from home.

How the COVID-19 pandemic changed the American workforce

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans drove to work and regularly commuted to offices and work sites. Often, drivers dealt with rush-hour traffic or long drives. In the spring of 2020, circumstances shifted, and the roads were emptier as droves of people started to work from home.

According to The Pew Research Center, 71% of people currently work from home, and 54% would like to continue working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While some may like remote work, it has led to difficulties for some people, notably parents who have childcare responsibilities and workers who might be putting in longer hours and suffering from online video conference fatigue.

Additionally, there’s been a mass resignation of people who no longer want to work at jobs that require employees to go back to the office or another physical worksite and hourly workers seeking better wages and workplace protections. 

Notably, some large employers announced they don’t plan to have employees return to the offices until 2022. Other large companies, including some technology companies, have shifted their employees to work remotely permanently. Your company may have similar plans.

If you’re working from home, look into whether your company has provided guidance about when you might need to go back into the office. You may be in for the long haul if your company has been quiet about a return-to-office date.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed driving habits

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, regular commutes and dealing with traffic were common hassles for many employees.

Metromile analysis of driving data in 2020 found that many drivers have changed how they drive, even if they recently picked up their driving. Weekday morning and evening commute-hour driving has been replaced with afternoon and weekend trips. Other drivers are spending less time on the road, continuing trends that began in the spring of 2020 when shelter-in-place orders and public health guidelines limited driving.

You could save on car insurance

While there have been time savings and some cost savings with gas, it’s also possible to save even more. If you’re looking for car insurance, work from home can lead to more savings when you choose pay-per-mile coverage.

If you currently have a remote or flexible work schedule, you are likely driving less often. In addition to potential time savings and fewer trips to the gas station, there are more ways to save.

Many drivers are currently saving money because they have pay-per-mile car insurance.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance is a type of usage-based insurance, which means rates are based on how you use your car, most notably how far you drive. Your premium can adapt to your lifestyle in almost real-time, as you pay for the miles you actually drive. This can give you more control of your auto insurance costs.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance can make sense for you

In the past year and a half, many drivers believed it wasn’t fair that the price they pay for auto insurance didn’t change, even as their lifestyles changed. Pay-per-mile auto insurance could be fairer because it considers how you drive.

If you spend more time at home or your work schedule has changed, you could save with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Drivers pay a low monthly base rate and a few cents for each mile they drive. If you don’t often drive, you could save money.

Many Americans drive fewer than 40 miles each day and are considered low-mileage drivers. Low-mileage drivers can save 47% a year when they switch to Metromile, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who switched and saved.

You can see if pay-per-mile auto insurance is right for you with a free Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app, and get a free auto insurance quote. Next, you’ll drive as you typically would for about two weeks (make sure to keep your current auto insurance coverage so that you remain covered during the trial), and you’ll see how much you could save if you switch car insurance companies. You could also earn an additional discount of up to 15% off your initial quote in select states for demonstrating safe driving during your Ride Along.

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.

If You Moved, It’s Time to Check Your Car Insurance Rate

Over the past year and a half, many Americans have moved homes, even temporarily, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased flexibility with work. Whether you have moved for a new job, convenience, a change of scenery, or to be closer to family, there’s one thing you want to make sure you do: check your auto insurance rate.

Many Americans are missing out on savings or paying too much now that their lifestyles and driving habits have shifted.

Getting Auto Insurance After You Move | Metromile

Here’s why now may be the best time to check your current car insurance rate and shop around.

Millions of Americans moved during the COVID-19 pandemic

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of our lives. It’s not just our health and social norms that have changed during this time. The pandemic has also created considerable shifts in workplace culture and moving trends. 

Many people went from commuting to an office to working from home. Remote work has opened up new ways of living and working and prompted people to move closer to family or escape cities with high rates of COVID-19 infection or living costs.

Nearly 16 million Americans moved from February to July 2020, according to’s Coronavirus Moving Study, and the trend is likely to continue.

Neighbor’s 2020-2021 American Migration Report projects the number of Americans moving in 2021 will surpass last year’s totals. The report found that 20% more people plan to move in 2021 than 2020, primarily for job flexibility and the desire for a lower cost of living.
Notably, job flexibility wasn’t as easily accessible before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rise in remote work and flexible work schedules, people feel more confident they can work from home and seek new places to live.

Driving habits have also shifted because of the COVID-19 pandemic

With many people now working from home or staying at home because of shelter-in-place orders and other public health guidelines, how Americans drive has changed.

A December 2020 Pew Research study found that 71% of workers were performing their jobs at home full-time or most of the time. As a result, commuting is no longer as commonplace as it used to be, and when Americans travel for work, they may be driving differently.

When COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic in March 2020, the number of miles driven across the country dropped dramatically. Recent analysis of Metromile customers nationwide found that people drove 30% fewer miles between April and December 2020 compared to the same period from the year before. Similarly, cumulative travel in 2020 reduced by 5.4%, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Pay-per-mile auto insurance can help

Your lifestyle can affect the price you pay for auto insurance. For example, if you moved to a new area and now park your car in a new ZIP code, your premium may change. If you drive less than you did before, pay-per-mile auto insurance could help you save money.

Pay-per-mile car insurance is a type of usage-based insurance that considers how much you drive.

People who drive less than the national average of about 37 miles a day (most Americans!) are low-mileage drivers and could save with pay-per-mile auto insurance.
Metromile could save you $741 a year on average if you’re a low-mileage driver, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who switched to Metromile and saved. With Metromile, you’ll pay a low monthly base rate and then a few cents for each mile you actually drive. Pay-per-mile auto insurance helps to give you control over the price you pay for your car insurance coverage.

The bottom line

If you’ve moved over the past year and a half, it’s time to check your car insurance rate. Your rate may change based on where you live and your driving habits, and you could score a lower rate

Get a free auto insurance quote with Metromile, and you can see how much you might save.

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.