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How to Choose the Right Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

When was the last time you used “subrogation” in a sentence? How about “telematics”? “Indemnity”? Odds are unless you’re studying your handy insurance jargon glossary on a daily basis, you’re probably not dropping these terms into casual conversation.

The world of insurance terms can be confusing, intimidating, and downright frustrating, especially to someone just learning the ropes. Whether you’re switching insurance companies, changing plans, or just trying to educate yourself on your options, you might quickly find yourself bemoaning the often-confusing, sometimes-convoluted, always-complicated terminology.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Explained | Metromile

How to Choose the Right Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

At Metromile, we’re here to make insurance lingo make sense — even to the most inexperienced newbie. Finding an auto insurance policy that fits your budget and lifestyle and keeps you at ease is so important — not just for your peace of mind, but also for your physical and financial security. Here’s what you need to know so you can choose the policy that’s perfect for you.

What Do “Comprehensive” and “Collision” Coverage Cover Anyways?

Throw the word “comprehensive” on anything and it sounds pretty impressive and all-encompassing, right? What else could you possibly need if you’ve got something “comprehensive” on your side? Well, for starters, collision coverage.

If you’re struggling to make sense of how something “comprehensive” could omit an issue as major as collisions (especially when cars are involved), you’re not alone. Before you judge a book by its cover and go with the first seemingly all-inclusive plan you see, get to know the ins and outs of what “comprehensive” and “collision” coverage are all about:

Comprehensive and Collision

Comprehensive and collision are two types of auto insurance coverage that are often grouped together because they both cover damage to your vehicle (as opposed to liability insurance, which covers the other person and their property in the case of a collision).

Let’s dig into each separate type:

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage helps you repair damages or replace your vehicle after a covered accident — whether you crashed into another car or object, rolled your car, or the other driver is at fault but doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your repairs.

It doesn’t cover damage to your windows or windshield, weather-related damage (e.g. a branch denting your roof), damage to someone else’s vehicle or property, medical costs, or anything stolen from your vehicle.

Hit-and-run coverage is, well, hit or miss — your car could be covered with this type of insurance, but it’s not guaranteed in all states.

While you might think collision coverage should be required, it’s not — most states only require you to have coverage for injuries or damage you cause to someone else in an accident. There aren’t many states that require drivers to have insurance that covers their own damages. However, lenders will usually require you to have collision coverage for as long as you lease the vehicle — after all, they want to protect their investment.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage gets its name because it covers practically any damages to your vehicle that aren’t caused by an accident, whether the culprit is an animal, hailstorm, vandal, or something else. Plus, it protects you from the loss of your vehicle if it’s ever stolen (though in the unfortunate case that that happens, Metromile may be able to help you recover your vehicle).

However, it doesn’t cover damage caused by a collision with another vehicle, damage to someone else’s vehicle or property, stolen items, or medical expenses.

Like collision coverage, comprehensive isn’t required by state law — though your lender will likely require it if you lease your vehicle. However, it can be a good idea if you want peace of mind knowing you’re covered in the event of non-accident-related damages.

While both collision and comprehensive coverage cover a lot of ground, neither one truly protects you in all situations across the board. There are certain things neither one covers — take vehicle wear and tear, for example. If you need new brake pads or a headlight bulb replaced, you won’t be able to rely on collision or comprehensive coverage to foot the bill. And while comprehensive coverage will be a huge help if your car is stolen, it won’t help you replace any items that were in that stolen vehicle.

Do You Really Need Comprehensive and/or Collision Coverage?

In a literal sense, no — you’re not required by law to get comprehensive and/or collision coverage. Most states only require a certain amount of liability coverage, which covers other people and their property when you cause an accident.

However, just because you’re not required to have additional coverage doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t consider it.

  • Would you be able to afford repair costs out of pocket? How’s your emergency fund looking? If you don’t opt for collision or comprehensive coverage, could you repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a crash or other incident?
  • Do you lease your car? If you lease or finance your car, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage. If the car is all yours, it’s up to you.
  • How likely are you to file a claim? It’s impossible to predict the future, and as the saying goes, “accidents happen.” But if you live in areas where car thefts or natural disasters happen regularly or you’ve gotten into your fair share of fender benders over the years, then that fact is worth taking into consideration.
  • What’s your monthly budget? The more money you pay for your policy, and the lower you set your deductible, the less money you’ll have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident or other event. You don’t want to barely scrape by every month in order to afford your coverage, but you do want to settle on an amount that’s affordable and puts your mind at ease.
If you’ve mulled those questions over and come to the realization that collision and/or comprehensive coverage is right for you, then it’s time to figure out how much you need.

Here’s where your deductible comes into play — that’s the out-of-pocket expense that you agree to pay for losses up to a set amount, like $250 or $1,000.

The lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay for insurance (since your out-of-pocket expense will be lower, and your insurer will have to cover the rest). You can also choose to pay a higher deductible and pay less for insurance, but that means if you do want to take advantage of your collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to shell out more out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the rest.

So while there’s, unfortunately, no perfect mathematical formula (or magic spell) to reveal your ideal level of coverage, understanding all the factors involved and thoughtfully considering the options that fit your budget and lifestyle will help you land on a plan that leaves you feeling content and comfortable.

Still Have Questions?

Totally understandable — this stuff is tricky. One great way to get more answers to common questions is to visit the Metromile Help Center. There, you’ll be able to comb through content on a variety of topics like billing, pricing, coverage, and more. If you’ve got a question, chances are someone else has it, has had it, or will have it in the future.

If you’d rather talk one-on-one with a qualified specialist, Metromile has plenty of those, too. Call 1.888.242.5204 any time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m .PT, Monday through Friday, and a licensed agent will be able to address any of your concerns, give you a personalized quote, or start your new policy.

Already a customer? Awesome. Call 1.888.311.2909 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and a qualified specialist will help you out.

Pay-Per-Mile Comprehensive and Collision Coverage with Metromile

If money is the only thing holding you back from purchasing collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, it might be time to consider other options, like pay-per-mile car insurance with Metromile. 

With Metromile, your rate is based on your actual driving habits, which means the less you drive, the less you pay. As a result, our customers save an average of 47%* compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer.

Your driving situation is unique — be sure to choose a company that gets that and will work with you to find a customized plan that makes sense and meets your needs. Get a free quote from Metromile today.

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

Promoting Belonging & Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in supporting diversity and DE&I efforts in their own communities. In part three of our series, Metromilers offer advice for those looking to break into a new industry and how to overcome imposter syndrome.

Promoting Belonging & Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

What’s your advice for those looking to break into a new industry where they feel they might not belong at first?

Prachi S, Senior Software Engineer: Whether you’re first starting out in your career or looking to switch industries mid-career, it can be incredibly daunting and confusing where to start. One of the best ways to begin is by building up your professional network and finding allies who are willing to mentor or sponsor you on your journey. 

It’s also important to remember and normalize that you won’t know everything right away. When jumping into a new industry, it takes time and patience to build the appropriate skills and knowledge – so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take a chance. Being flexible, open to feedback, and constantly practicing your skills will help you feel more confident and successful in the technology industry. 

Germaine R., Technical Recruiter: Focus on building meaningful professional relationships – this is key if you are interested in breaking into a new industry where you don’t have a lot of knowledge or previous experience. Resources like LinkedIn are great tools to find fellow alumni or past colleagues to reconnect with that can help you transition into a new field. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask if they’re open to a coffee chat. I’ve found that most people – recruiters or employees– are happy to talk even if they aren’t currently hiring. 

If you’re early in your career or new to an industry, it’s helpful to start with an internship or short-term contract to get your feet wet and start building your professional network. Take some time to research the key people or companies in your desired industry and increase your professional knowledge by following professional journals or joining appropriate LinkedIn groups. And don’t forget to always be nice to recruiters! 

What’s your advice for someone who’s experiencing imposter syndrome?

Mary S., Product Manager: It can be really hard to build yourself up, but it’s easy to let others do it for you. If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, share your feeling in an environment where you feel safe – maybe that’s a Slack channel, a professional group, or even your friends. 

When you share your concerns and feelings with those around you, they can tear all those doubts to shreds and help you overcome imposter syndrome. 

Asher Hartwin, People Operations Coordinator: I suffer from imposter syndrome myself, I think a lot of people do for various reasons and it can be difficult to overcome. I believe it comes from a lack of representation as it’s common to think “I don’t belong here” when you don’t see others like you. 

It’s really important to remember that imposter syndrome is entirely social and has no bearing on a person’s real achievements, work ethic, skillsets, or motivation.

Do You Need Insurance to Register a Car?

If you want to drive a vehicle on public roads, you’ll need to register your car with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Motor Vehicle Comission (MVC) first.

The registration process can vary per state, but in general, you’ll probably need the following:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance (usually an insurance card or printout detailing your coverage is sufficient)
  • Car title or signed lease agreement
  • Completed vehicle registration application form
  • Payment to register

In some states, you may also need proof that your vehicle passed a safety inspection and/or smog test and an odometer disclosure.
Before you register your car, most states require you to purchase car insurance or be able to demonstrate financial responsibility in another way. However, there are some exceptions and the exact requirements can vary. Below, we’ll break down each state’s stance on registering cars without insurance.

Do You Need Insurance to Register a Car - State guide

Does your state require insurance to register your car?

Here are the states and territories where you need proof of insurance so you can finally answer the question: “Do you need insurance to register a car?”

State or TerritoryDo you need insurance to register a car? 
Alabama Yes
Alaska Yes 
Arizona No, you can register without but must get insurance within 30 days of registering 
ArkansasYes
California Yes
Colorado Yes
Connecticut Yes
Delaware Yes
Florida Yes 
Georgia Yes
Hawaii Yes
Idaho Yes
Illinois Yes
Indiana Yes
Iowa No, you can register without insurance but must have minimum liability coverage to operate the vehicle
KansasYes
Kentucky Yes
Louisiana Yes
Maine Yes
Maryland Yes
Massachusetts Yes
Michigan Yes
Minnesota Yes
Mississippi No, you can register without insurance but must have minimum liability coverage to operate the vehicle 
Missouri Yes
Montana Yes
Nebraska Yes
Nevada Yes
New Hampshire No, insurance isn’t required to register and isn’t mandatory for most drivers, but it is strongly encouraged
New Jersey Yes
New Mexico Yes
New York Yes
North Carolina Yes
North Dakota No, you can register without insurance but must have minimum liability coverage to operate the vehicle
Ohio Yes
Oklahoma Yes
Oregon Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
Rhode Island Yes
South Carolina Yes 
South Dakota Yes
Tennessee No, you can register without insurance but must have minimum liability coverage to operate the vehicle
Texas Yes
Utah Yes
Vermont Yes
Virginia Yes 
WashingtonYes
Washington, D.C. Yes
West Virginia Yes
Wisconsin No, you can register without insurance but must have minimum liability coverage to operate the vehicle
Wyoming Yes

Not all states require insurance and registration at the same time

As you can see, you must have auto insurance before registering your car in most states and territories in the U.S.

However, some states, such as Arizona, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin don’t require you to have auto insurance before registering a car — though most require you to purchase insurance if you plan on driving the vehicle. In some cases, you may be required to follow up with documentation (such as an insurance card or printout detailing your coverage) that proves you’re insured within a certain time period, such as 30 days, or your registration could be suspended.

Almost every state requires at least liability coverage, which covers damages to the other party’s vehicle and/or bodily injuries if you cause an accident. The minimum amount of coverage you need to purchase can vary per state, though, so it’s important to check with your state’s DMV before buying auto insurance and registering your vehicle.
While New Hampshire doesn’t require auto insurance, drivers from the Granite State who want to avoid purchasing a car insurance policy need to show “proof of financial responsibility” — or prove they’d be able to cover the cost of an accident if they cause one.

The bottom line

If you want to register and drive your car, you’ll usually need to purchase auto insurance first. But even if your state or region doesn’t require you to have auto insurance to register a car, having a car insurance policy with adequate coverage is a good idea to protect others — along with your finances, vehicles, and wellbeing.

Plus, it’s usually required if you eventually want to drive the vehicle — if you drive without insurance, you may be fined or sentenced to community service, your license may be suspended, your vehicle could be impounded, and you could even go to jail.

One good option is pay-per-mile auto insurance from Metromile. Drivers can save up to 47% a year on average, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved, without sacrificing their coverage or experience. See how much you can save with a free quote today.

Still not convinced? You can see if Metromile is right for you with the Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app from your favorite app store and drive as you usually do for about two weeks. (Make sure to keep your current insurance policy to keep your coverage during the trial.) After your Ride Along, you’ll see how much you could save based on your actual driving, and in some states, earn an additional discount of up to 15% off your initial quote for demonstrating safe driving during your trial.

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.

Does Insurance Cover Someone Else Borrowing Your Car or Not?

Whether you’re at home for the holidays or visiting a friend, you may opt to use a family member or friend’s car to run an errand or take over driving duties. No big deal, you think. Until you run to grab a quick coffee and back out and get into a fender bender. As the coffee spills, you worry about the mess and wonder “Do I need car insurance to borrow a car?” If you’re the owner of the vehicle letting someone else drive, you want to know if your insurance covers someone else to help you navigate this situation. Read on to learn about what happens when someone borrows a car and insurance protocols to be aware of. 

Does Insurance Cover Someone Borrowing Your Car, Answered | Metromile

Does insurance cover someone borrowing your car?

“Does insurance cover someone borrowing your car?” is a common question that people have. Whether you’re allowing a friend to borrow your car or the borrower of a friend’s car, the general rule of thumb is that a car insurance policy is associated with the car, not the driver. 

Therefore, if a friend borrows your car, they’re likely covered by your insurance policy. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to see what and who is covered

If you’re not at fault, liability coverage may not be as helpful in an accident as collision coverage. If you’re curious whether insurance covers someone borrowing your car or if you need car insurance to borrow a car, it’s best to go directly to the source as policies vary by insurer and state.  

Does my car insurance cover me while driving someone else’s vehicle?

If you borrow someone’s car, you would typically be covered under their car insurance policy up to the policy limits they chose. This is what’s known as “permissive use.” 

So if you borrow a friend’s car and wonder about insurance, your friend’s policy would be primarily responsible if you get into an accident while driving their car as car insurance generally follows the car and not the driver.

It’s important to note that this counts for irregular and infrequent borrowing. For example, if you’re home for the holidays, you’d typically be covered when you drive your mom’s car. But if you moved back home for an extended period during the pandemic, then your parents might need to add you to their insurance policy.

If someone who is not a Metromile customer drives my car, are they covered? 

Metromile insurance follows your car. So if you’re worried if insurance covers someone borrowing your car, with Metromile it does. 

So if you’re a Metromile customer and you let your friend borrow your car, they would be covered if they get into an accident, subject to the policy terms and conditions.
Unfortunately, this also means that even if you have a spotless driving record, your friend’s accident could increase your insurance costs going forward. Keep in mind: Metromile is pay-per-mile auto insurance. You’ll need to pay for any miles they drive in your car.

What happens if I’m renting a car?

Your Metromile insurance policy typically extends to rental cars. So if you’re renting a car for a trip and you get into an accident, we might be able to help. But you should check your policy before driving the car off the lot to make sure you understand your coverage and have the policy limits that make sense for your budget.

What about my mom, dad, sibling, or roommate’s car?

Usually, driving-age family members who live together should all be on the same insurance policy, making it just fine to swap cars. If not, they should be formally excluded from each other’s policies; importantly, a driver is generally not covered by a policy they’re excluded from, meaning you should never loan your car to someone you’ve excluded.

Roommates who aren’t direct family members can fall in a gray area; it’s a good idea to check with your insurance carrier about what’s allowed, but usually, you’ll want your roommate to either be listed on your policy if they have regular access to your vehicle and drive it occasionally.

What is primary vs. secondary auto insurance coverage?

When claims get complicated, insurance companies spend time working out who is primarily responsible — that is, taking point on paying out damages — and secondarily responsible, or kicking in only when the primary coverage is exhausted.

If you give someone permission to drive your vehicle, your car insurance usually takes primary coverage status. If damage exceeds your coverage limits, the driver’s policy may take over as secondary.

Am I covered if I’m using a borrowed car for business?

Here’s where things get sticky. Commercial policies cover some vehicles for business use, but it gets complicated when a car is borrowed or swapped around for a use that’s out of the ordinary, or if a personal vehicle is used for a delivery or transportation service, such as a local laundry delivery or an app-based service like Amazon, Doordash, Lyft, or Uber.

There are lots of ins and outs and exclusions when it comes to commercial use, so it’s worth doing your homework before borrowing a car in a situation like this.

Metromile provides personal auto insurance coverage for low-mileage drivers and does not cover vehicles used for work, including food delivery, package delivery, or ride-sharing.

The bottom line

If you’re thinking “Do I need car insurance to borrow a car?” now you know that when you borrow a car, insurance coverage is based on the policyholder of the vehicle. So if you borrow a car, you may be covered by the owner’s policy. If you allow a friend to borrow your car, they’d likely be covered by your policy. Get in touch with your provider if you have specific questions about what’s covered. Plus, you could pay less for auto insurance if you don’t drive your car often.

You can see if Metromile is right for you with Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app to get started. After you get a free auto insurance quote, you’ll keep your current coverage and drive as you do ordinarily for about two weeks. Then, Metromile will show you how much you could save with an accurate rate based on your actual driving. Why pay more, when you can pay less for driving less? Get your free quote.

What Are the Most Walkable Cities in the U.S.?

One of the best ways to explore a city is on foot. Whether traveling in your city or elsewhere, walking can give you a different perspective of a city than driving. Walking is also one of the best ways to travel, as it can be good for the environment, help you save on transportation costs and is an excellent way to get in some exercise.

2021 Top 10 Most Walkable Cities in the U.S. | Metromile

We rounded up the 10 most walkable cities in the U.S., so if you’re thinking of moving or traveling somewhere, here’s where to go to enjoy different types of transportation like walking.

Our methodology 

To determine the most walkable cities in the U.S., we first looked at the top 20 most densely populated metropolitan areas from Statista. After compiling the 20 most densely populated cities, we then took a look at pedestrian fatalities in a city’s county from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Finally, we reviewed walk scores from WalkScore.com, which seek to measure a city or neighborhood’s walkability. 

After compiling the top 20 most densely populated cities, we reviewed all of the data from NHTSA and WalkScore to come up with the top 10 most walkable cities. 

The WalkScore was given a weight of 85% and the pedestrian safety score a weight of 15%. To determine our own Metromile walkable ranking, we subtracted the safety average from the walking average. 

Metromile walkability score =  walking score (85%) – safety score (15%)

We determined cities with the highest total scores were the most walkable and pedestrian-safe.

10. Chicago, IL 

Chicago, Illinois, is the third-most populous metropolitan area in the U.S. Cook County in Illinois, where Chicago is located, had 103 pedestrian fatalities as of 2019. Chicago is well-known for its robust public transportation options and boasts a walk score of 77, earning its place in the top 10 most walkable cities in the U.S.

Population rank: #3

WalkScore: 77

Pedestrian fatalities: 103

Metromile walkability score: 50

9. Miami, FL

Miami, Florida, is the seventh-most populous metropolitan area in the U.S. Like Atlanta, Miami is booming and becoming increasingly popular as a place to live and work.According to the NHTSA data from 2019, Miami had 90 pedestrian fatalities. While that can be of concern, Miami also has a walk score of 78, and the city closes portions of the road to give pedestrians and cyclists increased access each month. 

Population rank: #7

WalkScore: 78

Pedestrian fatalities: 90

Metromile walkability score: 52.8

8. St. Louis, MO

St. Louis is well-known for the Gateway Arch and also happens to be a very walkable city. While it’s considered the 20th most populous metro area, it has a walk score of 65 and has few pedestrian deaths, coming in at 15 total as of 2019. 

Population rank: #20

WalkScore: 65

Pedestrian fatalities: 15

Metromile walkability score: 53

7. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis is a city with a ton of greenery and nature to enjoy. On top of that, the city has murals and great public transportation options as well. Minneapolis ranks as the 16th most populous metro area and has a walk score of 70 and reported only 10 pedestrian fatalities as of 2019. 

Population rank: #16

WalkScore: 70

Pedestrian fatalities: 10

Metromile walkability score: 58

6. Seattle, WA

The Emerald City is home to the Space Needle, beautiful mountains and lakes, and strong coffee. It’s also one of the most walkable cities in the U.S. Seattle is the 15th most populous metro area and has a walk score of 74 and reported 30 pedestrian fatalities as of 2019.

Population rank: #15

WalkScore: 74

Pedestrian fatalities: 30

Metromile walkability score: 58.4

5. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the eighth-most populous metropolitan area in the country. The City of Brotherly Love boasts a high walk score of 79, making it our fifth most walkable city in the U.S. Though the population is large, the city had only 29 pedestrian deaths as of 2019. 

Population rank: #8

WalkScore: 79

Pedestrian fatalities: 29 

Metromile walkability score: 62.8

4. Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital is ranked sixth as the most populous metro area in the U.S. 

The District of Columbia only had 9 pedestrian fatalities as of 2019 which makes it more pedestrian-friendly than other cities. On top of that, Washington, D.C. has a walk score of 76, making it one of the most walkable cities in the U.S. 

Population rank: #6

WalkScore: 76

Pedestrian fatalities: 9

Metromile walkability score: 63.25

3. Boston, MA

The city of Boston, MA is part of our nation’s history and is home to many higher education institutions. Boston is ranked 11th when it comes to the top most populous metro areas. The city has a very high walk score of 82 as well and reported only 10 pedestrian deaths as of 2019. 

Population rank: #11

WalkScore: 82

Pedestrian fatalities: 10 

Metromile walkability score: 68.2

2. New York City, NY

New York City is the most populated metropolitan area in the U.S. New York state also has low rates of pedestrian fatalities, according to the NHTSA with 24 deaths reported in a city of over 8 million people. The Big Apple also boasts a high walk score of 88, making it our second most walkable city in the U.S.

Population rank: #1

WalkScore: 88

Pedestrian fatalities: 24

Metromile walkability score: 71.2

1. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is known as a tech hub and home to the Golden Gate bridge, amazing views, great sourdough bread, cable cars, and more. It’s ranked as the top most walkable city in the U.S. It is ranked 12th on the list when it comes to the most populous metro areas. The city has a walk score of 87 and reported only 18 pedestrian fatalities as of 2019. 

Population rank: #12

WalkScore: 87

Pedestrian fatalities: 18

Metromile walkability score: 71.25

The bottom line 

Walking can be a safe and affordable way to travel in cities. You don’t need to drive to get around some of the largest cities in the U.S.

Many drivers in these cities are low-mileage drivers who don’t often drive at all. Low-mileage drivers can save with pay-per-mile auto insurance because they pay a low monthly base rate and a few cents for each mile driven. Drivers can save 47%* a year on average when they switch to Metromile and pay-per-mile auto insurance, according to a 2018 survey of new Metromile customers who saved.

You can see if pay-per-mile auto insurance is right for you by taking a free Ride Along™ trial.

Download the Metromile app from your favorite app store, get a free auto insurance quote, and then drive as you ordinarily would for about two weeks. At the end of your trial (you should keep your current insurance policy to maintain coverage), you can see how much you would save if you switched to Metromile. You can also earn up to an additional 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.

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

Washington State Proposes a Ban on Credit Scores, But a Lawsuit Is Preventing Progress

In some states, your credit score is a factor when setting insurance rates. But having a credit-based insurance score can potentially hurt good drivers who happen to have not-so-great credit. Given the financial turmoil that many people have experienced during the public health emergency of COVID-19, Washington insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler advocated for change. He proposed to put a temporary halt on using credit scores for renter’s insurance, homeowners’ insurance, and auto insurance as of March 4, 2022. The credit score ban would likely affect most policyholders’ rates in some way. However, the rule didn’t go into effect and is in legal limbo due to a lawsuit, according to The Seattle Times. Currently, a hearing is requested for May. 

Washington credit based insurance score

A brief history of the credit score ban in Washington 

Mike Kreidler, who is the Insurance Commissioner in Washington, has proposed a credit score ban in Washington for several years. 

Last year on June 20, 2021, insurance companies were slated to no longer use credit scores to set rates for auto insurance and homeowners or renters insurance in Washington state.

The Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner issued an emergency rule in March 2021 to temporarily ban insurers from considering credit history to determine premiums and eligibility for personal property insurance. The new rule would be in effect for three years after the coronavirus pandemic is declared over.

Because of this change, many drivers (and homeowners or renters) would see new insurance premiums. 

Drivers who may have previously received a lower rate because they have a strong credit history could now see their auto insurance premiums increase because of the credit score ban. The opposite is true, too: Drivers may be due for lower auto insurance premiums if they have a lower credit score.

However, later in the year, the credit score ban was overturned by a judge. In February 2022, Kreidler adopted the rule again putting a halt to credit-based insurance scores and proposing a rule where insurers would be transparent and provide an explanation if there was a change in premium costs. But the rule didn’t go into effect as planned as it is being held up by a lawsuit.  

Insurers are concerned that this would raise insurance rates for millions of policyholders in Washington. Currently, there is not anything on the schedule to move forward but there is a requested hearing for May. 

Who would be impacted by Washington state’s credit scoring ban?

If the Washington state’s credit scoring ban goes into effect it would impact nearly all of the state’s residents with personal auto, homeowners, or renters insurance. 

The Washington state insurance regulator reports about 1.3 million people could expect a change in the premiums they pay for auto, homeowners, or renters coverage over time. 

Depending on someone’s credit history, this might mean someone would have to pay more or less for their insurance coverage when they renew their policies for another term. At this time, the move to eliminate credit-based insurance scores is on hold. 

How do insurance companies use credit scores?

Some insurance companies might use a credit-based insurance score as one factor to determine the rates they charge, often in addition to other factors.

If auto insurers consider credit, they might use it alongside factors such as a driver’s experience or history, accident or claims history, the type of car driven, or how far someone typically drives.

Additionally, insurance companies sometimes use similar credit-based insurance scores for homeowners’ and renters’ insurance.

Which states have credit scoring bans for insurance?

Washington state is not the first state to attempt to restrict insurance companies from using credit-based insurance scores.

California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Utah forbid insurance companies from using credit-based scores or someone’s credit history to set rates or make some underwriting decisions, such as canceling a policy, refusing coverage, or renewing a policy, for auto or homeowners insurance. Other states have temporary bans or are considering similar restrictions.

Why do insurance companies use credit-based scores to determine premium costs?

Insurance companies use different types of data to help make sure the premiums they charge are fair for consumers. 

They might use someone’s credit history as an additional data point to ensure their premiums are competitive and predictive of someone’s insurance risk. 

Credit-based insurance scores are designed to help insurers predict the risk of accidents or other claims.

What can I do to make sure I have a fair insurance rate?

Some consumer groups believe Washington state’s proposal to ban credit scores is a step in the right decision to ensure insurance is fairer for more people. 

You can also take steps on your own to get an equitable insurance rate. Pay-per-mile auto insurance considers how someone actually uses their car, notably how far someone drives or whether they drive often. 

As a result, drivers can earn and pay fairer auto insurance rates. Most car insurance companies charge drivers a flat rate for coverage each month or policy term. This approach to pricing can be problematic as it might not consider lifestyle changes as they occur, like if someone starts to work from home more often or replaces their driving with car-sharing, ride-sharing, or public transportation.

With pay-per-mile auto coverage, sometimes called pay-as-you-go or pay-as-you-drive insurance, drivers pay a low monthly fee to help keep their car covered and then a low per-mile rate, usually a few cents for each mile driven. Sometimes, there are caps on the miles charged. For example, Metromile doesn’t charge its customers for miles driven over 250 miles (or 150 miles in New Jersey) in a single day.

Is pay-as-you-drive auto insurance a good alternative?

Metromile, a leader in pay-as-you-drive auto insurance, uses technology to accurately and securely bill someone for the miles they drive. The company also uses this technology, sometimes called telematics technology, to understand someone’s driving behavior, such as how many miles are driven, the speed, or how drivers brake or make their turns.

If you’re not sure if Metromile or pay-per-mile is right for you, you can take a Ride Along™ trial for free. You’ll keep your current insurance provider but download the Metromile app and let Metromile ride along to learn how you typically drive.

The Metromile app will let you know how many miles you drive and how much you might save if you switched to Metromile at the end of your 17-day trial. If you demonstrate you’re a safe driver during the trial, you could also save up to an additional 15% off* your initial quote in select states.

Metromile also uses information from its telematics technology to determine if someone might qualify for additional discounts for safe driving or help drivers find their car if it’s ever lost or stolen and check on their car’s health.

The bottom line

Washington state recently proposed that insurance companies should stop using credit scores to determine how much someone should pay for auto, homeowners, or renters insurance. The state hopes the new rule will make insurance rates fairer for more people but the rule is currently in limbo. Regardless of what happens, you can take steps to get fairer insurance, even if you don’t live in Washington state or another state that bans the use of credit.

Drivers can choose a pay-per-mile car insurance policy, like Metromile, to help save money. According to a 2018 survey of new Metromile customers who saved, drivers who switched to Metromile saved an average of 47% a year. Most people are low-mileage drivers who don’t often drive or, more importantly, don’t drive long distances and could save with pay-as-you-drive coverage. If you drive less, then you should pay less. Find your free quote today. 

*Eligible drivers can save up to 15% on their initial quote with their safe driving in Oregon.

Fostering Diversity & Belonging at Metromile

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in supporting diversity and their advice for others who are interested in being better allies and supporting DE&I efforts in their own communities. This is the second blog of a three-part series where members of our Recruiting and People teams share what they do to encourage diversity and foster belonging at Metromile. 

Fostering Diversity & Belonging at Metromile

As a recruiter, what are some measures you/your team take to support diversity and underrepresented talent in the hiring process? 

Germaine R., Technical Recruiter: As part of the Recruiting Team, bringing in diverse talent really starts with us. It’s extremely important to Metromile’s leadership and myself that we recruit and hire a diverse set of employees and that candidates feel supported and welcomed throughout the entire hiring process. 

To ensure this, we use a variety of tools in our recruiting process to help us target women and underrepresented groups on LinkedIn or other job platforms to make sure everyone has access to Metromile’s job postings. We also have specific programs and hiring events in place like our Women in Technology Night and partnering with various Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to target specific demographics. 

As a recruiter myself, I always post open Metromile positions on my personal LinkedIn so People of Color might feel a kinship and think “if she’s there, it’s a safe environment.” Also, when I first meet with candidates, I make sure to emphasize that our commitment to diversity isn’t just for show but that it’s something the entire company embraces, acts on, and is constantly keeping top of mind. I’m incredibly happy to work for a company that understands the importance of hiring a diverse set of employees and to have the full support of Metromile’s leadership team.

As part of the People Team, can you share how you/your team advocate for diversity and inclusion and seek to better understand the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?

Asher H., People Operations Coordinator: I’d say a lot of support is subtle and just in everyday interactions with people. As part of the People Team, one thing I recently did was include a name pronunciation field in our onboarding flow. I knew this would be redundant for people with common names, but it has proven to help make newcomers feel welcome. 

On a broader note, I think the most helpful thing is to listen when other people are talking about their experiences. I also believe it’s equally important to do my own research and educate myself if I don’t understand something. Regardless of their identity, a person doesn’t owe their testimony for the sake of diversity. Advocacy and representation are often difficult and painful undertakings for groups that need them the most. In the workplace and beyond, it’s good to listen, but not to press for more information than a person is willing to give.

How To Do a New Jersey Title Transfer

Live in New Jersey or thinking of moving there? If you’re considering buying a car, selling a car, or moving to the state, you’ll need to do a New Jersey title transfer. Doing so can make sure your documents are up-to-date and officially change ownership of the vehicle. Whatever your situation may be, we go over how to transfer a car title in New Jersey. 

How to Transfer a Car Title in New Jersey | Metromile

What do you need for a New Jersey title transfer?

When a vehicle changes hands or if you move to a new state, you need an updated title. To do a New Jersey title transfer, you’ll need:

  • The original title, signed by the buyer and seller
  • A bill of sale (that includes mileage, date of sale, and price)
  • If buying a vehicle, you must submit a Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49) and go to your local New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) office. 

Does New Jersey require a vehicle inspection for emissions?

In general, the state of New Jersey requires that vehicles get an inspection for emissions every two years. New vehicles get a bit more time and need an inspection after five years. Some notable exceptions are electric vehicles, motorcycles, gas-powered cars from 1995 and before that are 8,500 pounds or less, and more. Find a list of exceptions here. You can find out where to get an inspection and more info at NJInspections.com. New Jersey is a CARB state that has adopted stricter emission requirements. 

How to transfer a car title in New Jersey 

If a vehicle goes from one owner to another, there is a change in ownership, and the vehicle title needs to be transferred. Depending on where you’re in that equation, the process can be different. Here’s how to transfer a car title in New Jersey in various situations. 

Purchasing a vehicle from a dealer

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer, the good news is they’ll likely take care of the title and registration for you. 

Purchasing a vehicle from a private seller

If you purchased a used vehicle from a private seller, you’ll need:

When you have all the documents ready, go to a local NJ MVC office to complete the New Jersey MVC transfer title process. You must do this within 10 days of the car purchase to avoid a $25 late fee. 

Selling a vehicle 

If you sell a vehicle in New Jersey, you need to complete and sign the car title and give it to the buyer. Include a bill of sale that has the date the vehicle was sold, sale price, mileage reading, plus the buyer’s information including full name and address. 

Remove your license plates before giving the vehicle to the buyer. The plates must be surrendered to the NJ MVC or transferred to another vehicle. The buyer then needs to complete the New Jersey title transfer on their own to make it official. 

If you’re missing a New Jersey title 

If you are selling your vehicle and realize you can’t find your vehicle title, you’ll need to apply for a replacement title. To do so, you need to make an appointment at your local NJ MVC office and fill out the Universal Title Application (form OS/SS-UTA). You’ll need to provide proof of insurance and registration and pay a $60 fee. 

Transferring a car title if you’re from out-of-state 

Moving to New Jersey from out-of-state? Then you need to update your vehicle title and registration. You typically have 60 days to do so from the time of your move and up to 120 days in a public health emergency like COVID. To do a New Jersey title transfer as a new resident from out-of-state, you’ll need:

Make an appointment at your local NJ MVC office to transfer your title and get your documents up to date as a new resident. 

New Jersey title transfer cost 

Completing the New Jersey MVC transfer title process requires gathering and submitting documents. The cost to transfer a vehicle title in New Jersey is $60 for a standard vehicle. If the vehicle has a lien, the cost is $85. If there are two liens on the vehicle, the cost to transfer the title is $110. 

Gifting a vehicle to family 

If you no longer need a car or are upgrading to a new vehicle, you may gift your old car to a family member. In this case, the process is similar to selling a vehicle. You and the family member must complete the title and bill of sale and fill out all relevant information. 

Instead of putting a price, you can put “zero” or “gift” so that it’s clear the transfer is a gift. The family member receiving the gift will need to complete the New Jersey MVC transfer title process and pay any applicable fees and taxes. 

Transferring vehicle title after the owner passes away 

If the vehicle owner passes away and you’re an heir to the vehicle, you’ll need the original title, death certificate, and Affidavit (Form BA-62) that is notarized. You can use the vehicle for up to 30 days after the owner’s death, but after that, the title transfer must occur. 

Going through an estate 

If the vehicle is part of an estate, you must apply for an Entity Identification Number, and bring that number as well as your driver’s license, original title, and ​​the Surrogate’s Short Certificate, plus proof of New Jersey insurance and pay the $60 title transfer fee to update the title. 

When there’s no will 

If there’s no will, the process on how to handle the vehicle may vary. If you’re a surviving spouse or partner and the estate is $50,000 or less, you’ll need the original title, Affidavit of Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner/Civil Union Partner, death certificate, and MVC Affidavit (Form BA-62). 

If there are no surviving partners but there is an heir and the estate is worth $20,000 or less, you can bring the title and Affidavit of Next of Kin to transfer the title in your name. Fees and taxes may apply. 

The bottom line 

If you’re in one of the above situations now you know how to transfer a car title in New Jersey. Taking the appropriate steps and acting quickly can help you get your documents up-to-date and avoid any late fees. If you’re in need of car insurance and don’t drive a ton, check out pay-per-mile car insurance. You may save money by driving less and paying less. Get your free quote now.


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 To Transfer a Car Title in Pennsylvania

Now might be a good time to sell your vehicle, given the rise in gas prices and the hot used car market. Whether you’re selling your car, buying a new one, or getting one as a gift, a title transfer must occur whenever there’s a change in ownership. In this guide, we cover how to transfer a car title in Pennsylvania. 

What is needed to do a Pennsylvania title transfer? 

To do a Pennsylvania title transfer, buyers and sellers will need to meet and exchange documents. In general, you’ll need:

  • A vehicle title (or other “proof of ownership” documents such as Manufacturer Certificate of Origin, out-of-state title, or court order) 
  • Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1)
  • Mileage 
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance 

What you need can vary based on whether you’re the party that is buying or selling, which we’ll go over below.

What is the Pennsylvania title transfer fee? 

According to PennDot, it costs $58 to do a Pennsylvania title transfer. The fee is the same whether getting an original title, duplicate title, or at a registered dealer. If there’s a lien on the vehicle, the cost will be $86. 

Does Pennsylvania have emission inspection requirements? 

The state of Pennsylvania requires an emission inspection plus a safety inspection once a year for most vehicles. The type of test may vary by county and the type of vehicle you have. 

For example, according to the DriveClean Pennsylvania FAQ sheet, the requirements in Philadelphia are as follows: 

  • Vehicles from 1996 and newer will need an OBD I/M check as well as a gas cap test each year
  • Vehicles from 1975 to 1995 will have emissions testing each year and will include: 
    • Tailpipe Tests
    • Tailpipe Tests Utilizing a Dynamometer
    • Gas Cap Tests and 
    • Visual AntiTampering Checks.

You can find emission information based on your region below, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):

Pennsylvania has adopted California’s stricter emission requirements and is a CARB state

How to transfer a car title in Pennsylvania 

The process for transferring a car title in Pennsylvania can depend on the situation. Below are common instances where a title transfer will need to happen and what you need to do. 

Buying a car from a dealer 

Got a new set of wheels in PA from a dealer? The good news is that in this instance, the dealer will take care of the title paperwork for you. They’re responsible for sending the title application to PennDot. 

Buying a car from a private seller 

You might buy a used car from a private seller. In that case, you’ll need:

  • The Pennsylvania Certificate of Title (a paper one is required) 
  • Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST)
  • PA driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance 

These documents must be processed by a PennDOT agent or an authorized Bureau of Motor Vehicle staff member to complete this process.  If the emission inspection isn’t up-to-date, as the buyer, you must get an inspection within 10 days of purchasing the vehicle. 

Selling a car 

When selling a car in Pennsylvania, you’ll need a paper title. That means if your title is held electronically, you need to get a paper copy before completing the title transfer process. 

You must sign the title and also handprint your full name and have it notarized. Write down the mileage on the vehicle. Then, take your documents and visit an authorized PennDOT agent who will verify your identity and require proof of ID. 

When the Pennsylvania title transfer is complete, remove the license plates and either transfer them to a new vehicle or send them to:

PennDOT at Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Return Tag Unit

 P.O. Box 68597

Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597

If the vehicle title is missing 

In order to sell a vehicle, you need a Pennsylvania car title. If you lost it, you need to apply for a duplicate title using Form MV-38O and pay $58. Check “Lost/Destroyed” and submit the document plus check or money order to:

PA Department of Transportation 

Bureau of Motor Vehicles 

P.O. Box 68593 Harrisburg, PA 17106-8593 

Transferring an out-of-state title 

Are you new to Pennsylvania and have an out-of-state title? Once you establish residency in the state, you’ll have 20 days to get a Pennsylvania car title and registration. To do this, you must have:

  • A Pennsylvania driver’s license (so get that first!) 
  • Your out-of-state title 
  • Application for Certificate of Title
  • Pennsylvania car insurance
  • VIN
  • Applicable fees 

As with other situations, to get a Pennsylvania car title you need to see an authorized PennDOT agent. Find a location near you here. 

A gifted vehicle 

There are times you might decide to give your old car to your son or daughter or a sibling in need. In that case, the process is similar to selling your vehicle. 

Each party will need to complete the vehicle title and the seller’s signature needs to be notarized. Since it’s a gift, you can list the price as zero or put “gift.” The recipient must submit a title application and pay any applicable fees. Both parties must fill out an Affidavit of Gift (Form MV-13ST)

Vehicle owner passes away 

What happens to a car when the vehicle owner passes away? It depends on if there is a will or not and whether it needs to go to probate, which means through court, to divide up the estate. 

If there’s a will and no probate 

If you have a will and are the heir to the vehicle, you may be able to avoid probate and get the vehicle by providing:

  • The will 
  • The title 
  • Form MV-39
  • Form MV-4ST, which aren’t available online and need to be filled out by an authorized agent  
  • Death certificate 
  • Any applicable fees 

If there’s a joint owner such as a spouse, an executor to the estate, or no will, find out further directions on how to proceed here. 

The bottom line 

When you move to Pennsylvania or buy or sell a car there, you need to get an updated Pennsylvania car title. In many of these cases, it’s not a simple task of doing it online but must be done with the assistance of PennDOT agents to assist you. 

So make sure you leave extra time to prepare. Figuring out how to transfer a car title in Pennsylvania and getting the documents ready is stressful enough. If you recently moved or are considering a change, now is a good time to switch car insurance carriers. For drivers who don’t get behind the wheel that often, pay-per-mile car insurance may help you with additional savings. Pay for insurance based on the miles you drive, so you get a fair rate that makes sense. Get a free quote

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.

Diversity and Inclusion at Metromile & Beyond

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in encouraging diversity and their advice for those looking to be better allies and support DE&I efforts in their own communities. This is the first of a three-part series where Metromilers share various insights on how people can foster and celebrate diversity in the workplace and within their own networks.

Diversity and Inclusion at Metromile & Beyond

How do you support diversity and underrepresented talent at Metromile?

Junna Ro, General Counsel: When trying to fill open positions, I always look to include a diverse pool of candidates and that everyone is given a fair assessment during the hiring process. When interviewing candidates, I push to have a diverse interviewing panel as well so the potential candidates feel welcome and can envision themselves joining Metromile. 

In addition, I think it’s important to foster an environment where all voices can be heard and consciously create a safe space to speak up. Part of this means being willing to listen to the grievances and concerns people may have and being open to feedback. 

How do you support diversity and underrepresented talent outside of the workplace? 

Prachi S, Senior Backend Engineer: At Metromile, I’ve been a Senior Backend Engineer for close to three years now and during my decade-long career in software engineering,  I have really enjoyed helping people get involved in the engineering community. About two years ago, I joined Women Who Code – an organization dedicated to helping women build a career in technology and engineering – and now serve as the Director of the San Francisco chapter.

When I joined Women Who Code, I created a dedicated space for people to learn more about software engineering technical concepts and job careers. I launched a program where I teach backend engineering concepts and coding to people of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, as well as experienced technology professionals. Additionally, I regularly mentor people in the technology industry on how to excel in their careers, build relevant skills, and how to navigate and transition into the technology world – it’s incredibly rewarding.