Ah, twenty-something city-dwellers: You’re out on your own, overpaying for a small but great apartment in a chill neighborhood. You’re moving up in life. Done are the days of working a meaningless gig — you’ve got a “real” job now. Heck, maybe you’ve finally parted ways with your rickety old dresser from college. But more importantly: you’ve got bills. You’re doing it. You’re #adulting.
The truth is, your first car insurance policy was likely possible thanks to your parents adding you on to their coverage, maybe even bundling with their homeowner’s insurance. At 16 and freshly licensed, you shoved your insurance card in the glove box and hit the road.
Just like filing your taxes, crafting an eye-catching resume, or making sense of a lease agreement, shopping around for car insurance and figuring out the right coverage is just another necessary life skill no one teaches you.
4 things you should know about car insurance
1. Car insurance is required in most cases.
Car insurance is an important purchase if you want to drive. You know being insured is basically mandatory after first hearing about it during your driver’s ed course, but the instructor never goes into much detail about what it all means. What you should know is that it can help protect your car, your bank account, and your well-being if you’re in a car accident or your car is damaged or stolen.
2. There are many types of coverage.
Like many aspects of adult life, car insurance comes with its own bag of terms. What you should know is that in most cases, you can personalize your policy. There can be a lot of car insurance jargon, so understand you might want more coverage and higher limits for extra peace of mind.
It can pay off to do some research before you buy and to make sure your current coverage still works for you.
3. It doesn’t always pay off to bundle your car insurance.
To bundle or not to bundle? Chances are, you’re probably still on your family’s cell phone plan. Data plans are typically more economical when split between family members, but this isn’t necessarily the case with car insurance.
You may be living in a different city than your parents, so it doesn’t make much sense to still be included in their policy.
Other than renter’s insurance, you also may not have additional insurance needs that would even warrant a bundle, which may actually be less economical. Insurance companies might mask higher rates in their all-in-one-bill convenience when really, having separate policies can be more budget-friendly overall.
The moral of the story? It can pay to shop for car insurance and to shop regularly.
4. Most people could save with pay-per-mile car insurance.
You pay for the miles you drive with pay-per-mile auto insurance. You can think of it as a pay-as-you-go plan for your car.
Metromile charges a base rate as low as $29 per month to keep your car covered and a few cents for each mile you drive. If you don’t drive very often or very far, you could save on car insurance.
6 reasons why pay-per-mile auto insurance makes sense for young city-dwellers
With all of the different coverage options out there, pay-per-mile auto insurance might make sense for you if you are in your 20s and live in a city.
1. You recently moved (or are thinking about it).
Chances are, the pandemic may have you considering moving. Or, if you’ve already jumped on a new place with a pandemic discount — congrats!
When you move, you need to let your car insurance company know. Where you park your car each night usually impacts the price you pay, and your rate could go up, stay the same, or go down.
One way to help lock in any savings is to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. Whatever your circumstances might be, you could save money with pay-per-mile insurance if you only drive occasionally.
2. You recently got a car.
Whether it’s brand new or new to you, this might be the first time you’ve had a set of wheels in a while.
If your tried and true hand-me-down Camry is still kicking, you’re in luck: it’s less expensive to insure an older car. Used cars are typically a more affordable option to buy. They tend to be easier to repair because parts are more readily available or cheaper for you or your mechanic to purchase and install.
A pay-per-mile auto insurance policy can also help you cut down on expenses further.
3. You can personalize your coverage to only pay for what you need.
In terms of coverage, you might not need comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverage options help you replace or pay for repairs to your vehicle and may come with a deductible that’s higher than the car is worth. This is because cars generally lose their value over time. By opting out of coverage you might not need, you could lower your insurance bill overall.
You can personalize your coverage with Metromile, giving you the confidence that your policy is right for your needs and lifestyle.
Metromile’s pay-per-mile auto insurance offers four different levels of liability protection and choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles so that you have greater control over how much you want to pay.
4.. You’re now working from home.
#OOTD: Business on top, pajamas on the bottom.
You might be thrilled to have done away with your morning commute. If you’ve traded mind-numbing bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic getting home for Zoom fatigue, you’re probably not driving as much these days.
Your WFH routine could result in lower auto insurance bills if you switch to pay-per-mile insurance. Other drivers have cut down on their bills by switching.
5. You take trips on the weekends.
Burnout is very real, and your home office view is getting a little stale. All the more reason to get away on the weekends, right?
If you’re a weekend warrior, taking longer trips out of town now and then for a much-needed change of scenery, Metromile could still be the right coverage option for you since all miles over 250 (or 150 for New Jersey drivers) in one day are free!
6. You’re going back to school.
Perhaps you’re making most of this crazy year and, with more time on your hands now than ever before, have decided to go back to school. Students, like work-from-homers, tend to be infrequent drivers. When you’re spending the majority of your time at home, you probably don’t put too many miles on your car. In this case, it just doesn’t make sense to pay for expensive insurance coverage that you don’t use. With pay-per-mile insurance, you could save money if your car insurance bill considered the miles you drive.
With so many life changes this year — from moving to working from home — it’s more important than ever to find the car insurance coverage that best fits your lifestyle. With most insurance companies, you pay a flat rate no matter how much you drive. We don’t think this is fair. It’s like going out to dinner and then being forced to split the bill four ways when you only ordered an appetizer while Becca over there ordered two palomas and the flatbread for herself.
With Metromile, you can control how much you pay for car insurance because your rate is based on your driving. We know one size doesn’t fit all.
Demi Greco is a communications specialist, plant mom, and under-baked cookie connoisseur from Oakland, California.