How I Drive: A Former Insurance Agency Owner Dispels Myths About Auto Insurance

Metromile customer Dennis Loney today (left) & in the Sunset District of San Francisco circa 1952 (right)

It can be tough to find the best car insurance for mature drivers or retirees. Car insurance tends to get more expensive as drivers get older, and seniors drive more miles than they have before.

This is not the case for Washington state resident Dennis L. Dennis and his wife who switched from their traditional insurer of 27 years to Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance more than two years ago. Now, the 70 year old retiree is helping to clear up some common misconceptions about new types of car insurance. 

As a seasoned driver, what prompted you to shop around for car insurance? 

A few years ago, my wife and I moved from Seattle to a small town where everything is within walking distance. After a few months, we realized we really weren’t driving as much anymore, so I got in touch with my insurance agent. I wanted to see if they could re-rate our cars, given our lower usage. But when I received the new rate breakdown, they explained they simply couldn’t rate us both to reflect the low-mileage and one car had to be priced as “standard” high-mileage usage. 

I used to own an insurance agency years ago, so I understand how insurance rating works. I just thought there has to be a way that car insurance can be done honestly. So I started investigating alternate auto insurance options, and I came across Metromile. 

Did you know how pay-per-mile auto insurance would fit your lifestyle? 

Though most months, our mileage is pretty minimal, we do like to take one road trip a year. I had some hesitation that we would get penalized for long trips, but I was pleased to see that there is a cap for miles driven in a day. With that, I thought it would be worth trying out. With Metromile, we’ve saved about $70 a month for coverage on our two cars, and I know that we’re paying a fair price. 

How has pay-per-mile car insurance affected your budget?

Not only am I saving on my insurance bill, but since I drive my car so infrequently, I only buy gas once a month

Another side benefit of paying by the mile is that I find myself planning my driving. If I know I’m going to be out, I can tie a few errands together instead of making separate trips during the week. Good for my bill and good for the environment!

Why should people switch to pay-per-mile car insurance?

Especially with this year and seeing how things have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, other insurers aren’t able to keep up with adjusting ratings based on changes in usage. Metromile can. 

I think the biggest selling point is that you can “get it and forget it.” I know I’m covered and can rest assured knowing that my bill will self-adjust to changes in my driving habits. Metromile keeps me rated accurately, automatically. I don’t have to get in touch with an agent since you already know how I drive. And it’s more than just the price. The responsiveness of the customer service agents, especially when I’ve needed roadside assistance and filed claims, has been great. 

I can’t even tell you the number of people we’ve recommended Metromile to because they’re in a similar situation to us. I’ve shared a couple of my own testimonials on Facebook and Twitter and have some family members who are interested in switching car insurance. The only complaint is that they live in states where you don’t offer coverage yet!

The Top 5 Misconceptions About Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance, According to Dennis

1. It is not difficult to adjust to a different insurance company.

Dennis says it hasn’t been an issue at all to switch to a different kind of insurance company: The fact that it was a newer company and a newer take on car insurance was really attractive to me.

Metromile is an honest way to approach insurance because you are only paying for what you’re using. You don’t have to play the game with the agents to lower your rates; you just pay as you go

2. You can depend on the customer service.

The service is very prompt and very friendly. Every time I’ve needed to file a claim or get in contact with customer service, it’s always been a positive experience. And that’s the thing that has really impressed me: everyone I’ve talked to is genuinely very friendly.

Metromile’s licensed agents are available through a variety of means: phone, email, online chat, SMS, and Facebook Messenger.

3. Filing a claim isn’t a hassle.

I did have a little fender bender. I was in a carwash, and I came off the track. Right away, I opened up the app to start the claim, and, as usual, I received very friendly customer service. I didn’t have to worry about anything.

4. Roadside assistance is available when you need it.

I like how the Pulse device not only helps me track my miles but monitors engine health, too. One day I got a text message alerting me of an issue with the oxygen sensor on my Subaru. So I ran it down to my mechanic and told him what was going on, and he confirmed that the part had to be replaced. I would have never known had it not been for the alert.

My wife also has a habit of leaving her phone at home when she takes her car on the ferry over to Seattle. With the car location feature, I can see if she’s on the returning ferry and know how much longer until she’ll be home.

5. An insurance company that’s tech-based is not too complicated.

I was going to the grocery store one day and got a flat tire. I didn’t want to get out of my car to deal with it since it was snowing, so I called Metromile roadside assistance. They gave me a status of where they were, and the tow truck arrived in 15 minutes. They took me to a tire center and rushed me right in. It was really amazing. From the time I left the house, it was only an hour and a half later, and I was home with groceries and new tires! I have no doubt that if I have an issue, it will get resolved quickly, and that’s why I’ve stayed with Metromile for so long.

The bottom line

If you don’t drive frequently or are looking for a new way to save on car insurance, Metromile might be right for you. People who don’t drive very far can save hundreds of dollars when they switch to pay-per-mile auto insurance. For more per-mile mythbusting, check here.

Not sure if Metromile is a fit for you? Take a Ride Along with us to get a free quote based on your actual driving and see how much you could save — no strings attached.