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Behind the Scenes with Shazan Ashroff, Metromile’s New Vice President, Product Growth

Shazan Ashroff joins Metromile as VP of product growth

Many people love their cars, but few love their auto insurance.

It’s our mission to change this. We’re reimagining insurance to make it fairer and delightful. It’s why we’re obsessed with providing savings, great service, and smart driving features you’ll actually want to use.

Shazan Ashroff recently joined Metromile as our new vice president, product growth. He previously led product management and user experience efforts at leading consumer brands, including Tinder and TrueCar. 

At Metromile, Shazan’s focus is bringing pay-per-mile insurance to even more people and bringing our experience forward to make auto insurance something you’ll love.
We spoke with Shazan about why he decided to join Metromile and what might be ahead for Metromile and the automotive industry.

Shazan, what should people know about you?

I am a student of martial arts and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt. I consider myself blessed to have trained with some incredible professors over the past two decades. I bring the practical philosophy they have bestowed on me to how I lead growth and user-experience product management teams.

It takes more than 10 years to achieve a blackbelt in jiu-jitsu, and when one finally achieves it, they realize they are simply beginning their journey. I view product management in the same way. 

There are always new problems to solve, industries to disrupt for the better, and challenges around the corner. It’s why I love product management, as it closely resembles the obstacles I face on the mat as I train jiu-jitsu.

We learn to escape submissions in jiu-jitsu, and as product managers, we learn to find solutions to problems that present themselves.

You joined Metromile from one of the world’s most popular dating apps. What can insurers do to create a more engaging or exciting experience?

Insurance has long been a set-and-forget commodity. It’s time to change that.

I believe it all starts with creating a feedback loop and building engaging experiences. Drivers should want to interact with Metromile and use our features. 

With pay-per-mile auto insurance, we can make insurance equitable with a usage-based model. Then, when drivers see the savings compared to the outdated flat-fee models, we can engage them with features that make it easier and less stressful to own or drive their cars.

I think that’s what we’re doing at Metromile: People come for the savings, but they stay for the experience.

What interested you the most about Metromile?

The people I work with have been phenomenal. We are all passionate and driven to make Metromile available to more drivers so that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from more personalized auto insurance. Our fight for equity is inspiring.

What are you most excited to work on at Metromile?

Metromile has a lot of opportunities to grow. If I had to pick, I’m most excited about helping more drivers understand why they’re a fit for Metromile and pay-per-mile auto insurance and creating an experience that makes it super easy to connect with us. 

I see how Metromile can connect with people in my driving habits. I now work from home at Metromile, and there are millions of people like me who will continue to work from home at least part of the time. I’m confident we are the insurer for them. 

I’m also excited about the opportunity to define our mobile app. I’m looking forward to contributing my perspective from outside of the insurance industry throughout the user experience.

Earlier in your career, you spent a lot of time in the automotive industry. Did you learn anything interesting about cars or the relationship people have with their cars?

I spent more than six years in automotive tech, and I loved every minute of it. I am a car enthusiast myself, and I find car enthusiasts are some of the most passionate people I’ve met.

Many people see their car as an extension of their identity. Cars can become the ultimate form of self-expression because you can customize them in any way or form you’d like. Now, I’ve come full circle, working at a company making insurance just as customizable.

Most importantly, how do you spend your time?

I spend most of my time with my family. Pool time is a must with my kids as they are learning to swim. I spend the rest of my free time with my wife and jiu-jitsu training.

Speed round:

Are you a better driver or passenger?

100%: I’m a better driver than a passenger.

What are you listening to in the car these days?

It depends on who I’m driving with. When I’m with my daughter, we have the Black Eyed Peas’ “Translation” album. She loves the song “Feel the Beat.”

With my wife, it’s usually the latest Latin and reggaeton hits. When I’m driving alone, I’m listening to 90s West Coast hip hop.

Do you have a favorite road trip you like to take?

I love the drive up to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles along the ocean. Honestly, anything by the sea works for me.

Interested in building the future of insurance? Shazan and the rest of Metromile are hiring in Boston, San Francisco, Tempe, Arizona, and the rest of the country.

Everything You Need to Know About Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance

Here's your guide to everything you might want to know about pay-per-mile auto insurance: how it works, savings, whether you should switch, and more.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut down one of our most expensive bills by paying only for what we use? Some car insurance companies say they want to do exactly that with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Low-mileage drivers could save with pay-per-mile car insurance, but it can be hard to understand what that means. You might ask: If I drive every day, am I a low-mileage driver? Alternatively, how low is low?

We have the answers. Consider this guide if you’ve ever wondered about pay-per-mile car insurance or how you can keep car insurance costs low.

Quick Index

What is pay-per-mile auto insurance?

Pay-per-mile car insurance is a type of usage-based insurance that is determined by how far you drive. Instead of paying a flat rate that doesn’t change like with other insurance companies, your actual driving determines your car insurance premiums.

While different companies might offer pay-per-mile car insurance, sometimes called “pay as you go” car insurance or “pay as you drive” car insurance, Metromile is a leading pay-per-mile car insurance company in the U.S. The company started to create a new type of insurance personalized to each driver and their unique lifestyle.

Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance is currently available in Arizona, California, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington state.

How does pay-per-mile auto insurance work?

If you opt for pay-per-mile car insurance, your driving determines how much you pay for car insurance each month. This can give you more control over your car insurance costs and can ensure you don’t overpay if you don’t end up driving that much. 

Because Metromile uses telematics technology, we can offer accurate and affordable coverage that considers your driving behavior

The way it works is that Metromile provides drivers with the Metromile Pulse, a small wireless device that connects you to your car. The device accurately and securely counts the miles you drive to help bill you every month. 

Installation is easy and can take minutes because the device plugs into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port, generally next to the driver’s side door, beneath the steering wheel, or around the center console. The onboard diagnostic port is the same connection your car mechanic might use to check your car’s health in the garage.

The Pulse device needs to stay connected to your vehicle at all times. The device isn’t just for calculating your pay-as-you-go car insurance but also helps power some smart-driving features

For example, you can find your car’s location, know when street sweeping is happening in select cities, check your miles, review your trips, and more. All of this data can empower you with information to be a smarter and safer driver
Some connected vehicle owners may not need a Pulse device or other additional equipment. Soon, owners of eligible Ford vehicles with built-in connectivity can opt-in and connect their vehicle so that Metromile can count any miles driven directly from the vehicle’s odometer.

Is pay-per-mile car insurance worth it?

You might be intrigued with pay-as-you-go car insurance, but the question remains: “Is pay-per-mile car insurance worth it?” 

If you’re a low-mileage driver and don’t drive that much, the savings can be powerful. 

In fact, drivers saved an average of $741 a year when they made the switch to Metromile, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved. Imagine what you could do with that extra savings. You could have more fun money, budget for travel, save more, or pay down debt. 

On top of the average savings, drivers can save even more.

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

If you’re a low-mileage driver who racks up about 48 miles per week, you can stand to save nearly $1,000 a year. Even if you drive more some weeks, you could still save on auto insurance.

Metromile also offers additional discounts to drivers who insure multiple cars on the same policy or install an anti-car theft device or other equipment to make their vehicles safer in some states. 

Of course, if you keep a good driving record and stay safe, you could benefit from lower rates for safe driving as well.

How much does pay-per-mile car insurance cost?

After you get started with pay-per-mile car insurance, you’ll notice your bill includes two parts: a low monthly base rate and a per-mile rate.

The monthly base rate helps keep your car covered, even when you’re not driving. You can think of the monthly base rate like the fee your cell phone provider might charge you to keep your telephone number and line open.

The per-mile rate counts how far you drive. The rate doesn’t consider how long you are in your car, so you won’t ever get penalized if you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

How much does Metromile charge per mile?

Let’s say your base rate is $29 per month, and your per-mile rate is 6 cents per mile. Your Metromile bill would be just $56 if you drove 450 miles that month.

As an added value, pay-per-mile car insurance often comes with a daily cap. With Metromile, your miles are free after driving 250 miles (150 in New Jersey) in a single day. 

The bonus lets you avoid any surprises on your bill and can help prevent stress. You don’t have to worry about “going over” with pay-per-mile car insurance and getting a huge surprise bill.

How are pay-per-mile car insurance rates determined?

Unlike traditional insurance, pay-per-mile car insurance rates focus on someone’s actual driving.

Driving behavior, including how many miles someone drives, and the car insurance coverage selected, are the main factors Metromile considers. Other factors include the vehicle and type of insurance policy. Depending on the state, Metromile also considers how long someone’s had insurance before, claims history, and other information.

In contrast, traditional insurance rates may weigh more heavily on a driver’s age, gender, marital status, credit score, ZIP Code, or driving records, depending on the company, policy, and state. 

Often, insurance companies rely on these factors to determine the risk of large groups of drivers and might not personalize rates on a more individualized basis. Instead, Metromile uses technology and observed driving to help price rates down to the mile for each driver.

Who should get pay-per-mile car insurance?

Most Americans could find value by switching to pay-per-mile auto insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans drive about 13,500 miles a year on average. Now, with more and more people working from home and taking fewer personal trips, chances are you are using your car even less.

If you drive 37 miles or fewer per day, you could save money on your premiums with pay-per-mile car insurance.

Drivers who could benefit from pay-per-mile car insurance include:

Even if you commute regularly or spend a lot of time in your car, you could save. Pay-per-mile car insurance doesn’t charge you for how long you drive because it focuses on miles driven.

What type of coverage does pay-per-mile car insurance provide?

Metromile lets you personalize your auto insurance policy to your lifestyle and needs. That way, you won’t pay more than what you need and might actually use. 

Metromile offers four different levels of liability protection and choices for your comprehensive and collision deductibles, including:

On top of these robust pay-as-you-go offerings, you can rest assured that your car will be covered, even when you’re not paying your per-mile rate. For example, when your car is parked, Metromile will cover your vehicle with comprehensive coverage when relevant.

How do claims work with pay-per-mile auto insurance?

Pay-per-mile car insurance provides the same types of coverage as other insurance companies. Licensed insurance specialists are available, and you can file a claim 24/7, online through the mobile app or Metromile website or by calling.

Drivers can also add roadside assistance to cover lockouts, flat tires, and towing, and an allowance for rental car reimbursements, to their policy.

Metromile also has a direct repair program, which can help expedite claims by making repairs more seamless. For example, Metromile customers can get notified of updates for their repair, changes to pricing, or service delays when they work with a participating repair shop. Metromile customers can use the Metromile app or log into their online account to find a nearby participating repair shop or see if their favorite garage is on the list.

What is the difference between pay-per-mile and pay-as-you-go car insurance?

While pay-per-mile and pay-as-you-go auto insurance are both usage-based types of car insurance, how the policies calculate how you drive may differ. 

Pay-per-mile auto insurance rates are typically calculated on the number of miles you drive. 

Pay-as-you-go auto insurance, sometimes referred to as pay-how-you-drive insurance, might also consider how you drive overall and look at your driving habits in addition to how much you drive.

The bottom line

Don’t be fooled: For many drivers, pay-per-mile car insurance can provide the same coverage as other insurance companies at a lower cost.

You don’t need to sacrifice your driving experience with pay-per-mile auto insurance, especially if you don’t drive much or are driving less than you have previously.

You can give pay-per-mile auto insurance a try for free with Metromile. Download the Metromile app and take a Ride Along™ trial. You’ll drive as you usually would for about two weeks (you should keep your current insurance policy to maintain coverage), and then we’ll show you how much you could save if you switch to Metromile.
Drivers can earn an extra discount of up to 40% off your initial car insurance quote for demonstrated safe driving during your trial in select states.

How to Fix a Windshield Crack

How to Repair a Chipped or Cracked Windshield | Metromile

You’re driving along, and suddenly, something hits your windshield. You’re safe, but now you have an unsightly windshield crack. 

Unfortunately, chipped or cracked windshields can be relatively common. Debris from the road can hit your windshield unexpectedly and lead to lasting damage. 
While it’s not fun to deal with, it’s possible to repair your windshield. Here’s how.

What are car windshields made of?

Windshields are composed of three layers to offer safety and protection. Often, two layers of curved glass cover a layer of plastic vinyl. 

The layering helps to keep the windshield intact when objects hit the windshield. The goal is to prevent debris from making it all the way through. The setup makes it more likely that debris and other objects will hit the surface, causing minor damage like chips or cracks in the windshield instead of shattering or hurting you.

When is windshield-crack repair a good idea?

If you have a small cracked windshield that is mostly cosmetic, you may think it’s no big deal. However, it’s generally a good idea to keep your windshield in the best condition you can. In fact, not repairing your windshield may even be illegal. 

In many states, it is illegal to drive with a cracked or broken windshield, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The institute continues: “Not only is such damage covered by your comprehensive policy, many companies offer the option of no-deductible coverage for glass damage specifically.”

If you have a chipped or cracked windshield, it’s a good idea to see if your insurance coverage can cover the repair.

If the crack is beyond repair, you’ll need to replace the windshield glass completely. A full replacement is also a good idea if the crack is more than a few inches long, if the crack or chipping is deep, or if any damage is close to the edge of the windshield.

Common culprits behind windshield cracks

There are many culprits behind a windshield crack. Windshield cracks can be caused by:

  • Debris from the road, such as rocks or stones
  • Litter or debris
  • Nails, bolts, and other sharp objects
  • Birds or other animals, including insects

With enough velocity or force, all of these items can damage your windshield and lead to cracks.

Different types of windshield damage

Just like various things can crack your windshield, there are also different types of windshield cracks and damage. Some common types of windshield damage include:

Chips

If a small item creates a small indentation in your windshield glass, you have a chipped windshield. These chips aren’t particularly harmful and are more cosmetic but can expand into an unsafe crack if not taken care of quickly.

Stars

Stars are chips that have tiny grooves that emerge from the chip. The damage is often shaped like a star and can be relatively easy to fix.

Bullseye

Cracks may have a bullseye pattern with a ring around a central hole similar to a dartboard.

Cracks

Cracks can be caused by environmental stress, such as extreme weather or temperatures. Some cracks may appear near the edge of the windshield.

You’ll want to be careful with any floater cracks or cracks that develop away from the windshield’s edges, as those can be made worse by heat or cold.

Large cracks

Large windshield cracks that take up a lot of space on your windshield need to be replaced as soon as possible. Windshield cracks of two inches or more can be dangerous.

How to repair a cracked windshield

If you’re stuck with windshield damage, you can use filler to fix your cracked windshield or replace your windshield entirely. 

Fillers are generally resin or glue that fill in the damaged part. If your windshield has a large crack that can’t be fixed with a filler, a replacement will be necessary.

If your chipped or cracked windshield is small, you can use filler to make the repair. Here’s how:

1. Clean your windshield area with window cleaner. Avoid the crack. 

2. Remove any loose glass or debris from the area. 

3. Place the filler or resin injector above the chip and fill in the cracks on the glass. 

4. Remove any excess air from the chipped glass. 

5. Wait for the resin to set with the sun or a UV light. 

6. After you fill the crack, put the remaining resin into any divots left. 

7. Place a layer of plastic over the resin, and remove any air bubbles. 

8. Carefully remove the plastic by pressing down on the corners. (Make sure you don’t remove any resin.)

10. Use a razor blade to remove any excess filler, if needed.

The bottom line

If your windshield is damaged, you can use filler or resin to complete the repair yourself. However, if your crack or chip is two inches or more, you may need to replace your entire windshield.

Your car insurance coverage might cover the repair or replacement. If you have comprehensive coverage with Metromile, you won’t have to pay a deductible if the glass is repairable. In some states, you can also add $0 deductible glass coverage for windshield replacements.

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.

Should You Buy Premium or Regular Gas?

Types of Gas for Cars: Premium or Regular | Metromile

If you’re like many drivers, you buy the regular unleaded gasoline and don’t think much about the different types of gas.

For those who are curious about whether to buy premium or regular gas, this short guide will explain the different types of gas for cars and what you should know.

What makes up gasoline?

According to the Energy Information Administration, “gasoline is a fuel made from crude oil and other petroleum liquids. Gasoline is mainly used as an engine fuel in vehicles. Petroleum refineries and blending facilities produce motor gasoline for sale at retail gasoline fueling stations.”

The gasoline you’re used to is actually unfinished gasoline combined with additional liquids such as ethanol. It’s these different blends that determine the different types of gas that are typically listed by grade at the gas pump.

Different types of gas by grade, explained

There are three different types of gas at most U.S. gas stations, typically differentiated by their octane ratings:

  • Regular gas (typically 87 octane) is one of the most common fuel types. Many car manufacturers recommend regular gas, and it’s many drivers’ go-to option. Regular gas is a budget-friendly gas option and is standard for many vehicles. 
  • Mid-grade gas (usually 88 to 90) is a specialty gas. Some vehicles are made to run on gasoline with a higher octane level. For example, some sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) require mid-grade gasoline. The higher octane level can be good for performance.
  • Premium gas (often 91 to 94) is often the highest octane gas sold. A car rarely needs premium gasoline, but some vehicles designed for high performance may require a higher octane level.

You might also see the different gas grades referred to as unleaded, super, or super-premium. 

Using the right fuel for your vehicle can boost its performance and efficiency. If your car doesn’t require a higher octane level, there’s no need to use a more expensive type of gas. It could even potentially damage your vehicle if you fill up with the wrong type of gas.

Understanding premium gas vs. regular gas

When you’re reviewing different types of gas, it’s important to note that the octane level measures the gasoline’s compression. 

The main difference between premium gas and regular gas is the octane rating. This affects the engine’s performance and compression. 

Aside from that major difference, of course, there’s the difference in price points as well. 

Regular unleaded gas is typically the cheapest gas to purchase, as it is the most common.

Premium gas is typically the most expensive gas to buy. Some luxury car manufacturers and manufacturers of sports cars or foreign cars recommend higher-octane, premium gas to achieve the best engine efficiency. 

Double-check whether your car manufacturer requires premium or recommends premium gas. Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you which gas you should use to get the expected vehicle performance.

Should I buy mid-grade gas?

Few car manufacturers suggest mid-grade gas. It has slightly more additives than regular gas, but generally, the results won’t be noticeably better.

If your vehicle doesn’t require mid-grade gas, you’ll be spending extra money without getting a meaningful improvement.

What kind of gas should I get for my vehicle?

When it comes to types of gas for cars, your car owner’s manual will list the recommended gas for your exact vehicle. 

Don’t splurge or use more premium gas because it won’t necessarily allow your vehicle to run faster or get better gas mileage if it only needs regular gas.

Can I use diesel for my car?

Diesel fuel has a much lower octane rating of 25 to 30. If your car manufacturer doesn’t recommend diesel, you shouldn’t fill up your car with it, even if it costs less than regular gas.

Diesel can cause damage to your vehicle’s engine because of the lower compression and octane level. You don’t want to get stuck with costly and unneeded car repairs.

Is the type of gas you use important to your car’s health?

You want to keep your car in good shape, so you may think splurging on a higher octane rating is better. Not exactly. 

If your car manual calls for a premium or mid-grade gas, but you pump regular gas instead, the lower octane level could reduce engine power, damage your car health, and lower fuel economy.

In contrast, filling your car up with premium gas when your car owner’s manual calls for regular gas may not damage your engine, but it probably won’t do much besides costing more money.

How does regular car maintenance keep your vehicle in good health?

Keeping up with regular maintenance like oil changes, having the proper tires, and being aware of any issues can help keep your car in good health. An easy way to keep your car running in tip-top shape for longer is to drive less.

Low-mileage drivers put less wear and tear on their cars. Driving less frequently generally means you’ll need to maintain your car less frequently, too.

Switching to pay-how-you-drive auto insurance could be a good idea if you don’t drive much. Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance policies focus on the miles you drive, so people who don’t fill up often could also pay less for car insurance.

The table below shows the average annual car insurance savings enjoyed by new Metromile customers:

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

If it’s an option, taking public transportation could also help you save money at the gas station.

The bottom line

There are many types of gas out there. If you want to save money on gas and keep your car healthy, stick to what your car manufacturer suggests. It’ll save you money and hassle. 

If you don’t drive much and are rarely at the gas station, you can get a free quote from Metromile and try pay-per-mile auto insurance (you’ll need to keep your current policy to remain covered) with the free Ride Along™ trial before making the switch.

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.

What You Need to Do to Register a Car in California

How to register car in California | Metromile

Whether you’re buying a new set of wheels in California or moving to the Golden State with the car you have, you’re going to need to register your vehicle with the state of California. 

In this brief guide, learn how to register a car in California and the next steps you need to take.

Why it’s important to register a car in California?

In order to drive legally, you need your driver’s license, auto insurance, as well as car registration. When you get pulled over, the officer typically asks for your license and registration. Put simply, car registration is non-negotiable and something you need to do if you want to drive in California

Many states have their own laws regarding car registration. In California, you must register your vehicle to be in good, legal standing while on the road. 

When you register your car, you are tying yourself to the specific vehicle and location. When you register your vehicle, you will need to pay a registration fee.

How much does it cost to register a car in California?

In California, you’ll likely pay the vehicle registration fee, plus a California Highway Patrol (CHP) fee, vehicle license fee, county fee, as well transportation improvement fee. 

If you’re wondering how much to register a car in California, it can depend on various factors. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), your registration fees are determined by:

  • Your vehicle type (e.g., auto, motorcycle, etc.)
  • Your vehicle’s purchase price or declared value
  • When you purchased your vehicle or the date your vehicle entered California
  • The city and/or county you live in
  • The city and/or county your business is based in
  • The unladen or declared gross vehicle weight and the number of axles your vehicle may have
  • Any special license plates your vehicle may have
  • Whether you have any unpaid parking violations or toll evasion bail

The California DMV has useful calculators to evaluate what your prospective costs might be. Use the following tools to see how much it might cost you to register a car in California:

Used fee calculator (if you buy a used vehicle that is new to you)

Who should register a car in California?

Car registration is mandatory. If you plan to drive a vehicle in California, you’re going to want to register the car in California. 

Some common scenarios that might require you to register a car in California include:

  • You bought a new car. Many dealerships can take on the registration responsibilities, but you’ll need to do it yourself if not. 
  • You buy a car from someone else in a “private party purchase.” In this case, you’ll have 10 days to transfer ownership, and the seller will need to report the sale to the DMV within five days of the sale. 
  • If you moved from another state to California, you’ll need to update your vehicle registration within 20 days of establishing residency in the state.

Everything you might need to register your car in California

Here is what you need to register a car in California if you bought a new car recently or moved to California: 

If you end up buying a car from a private party, you may also need:

Proof of insurance requirements in California

California drivers need to have proof of car insurance and keep it in their car at all times. You’ll want to keep your insurance handy in your car, as you’ll need it if you get pulled over, get in a car accident, and when you renew your vehicle registration. 

According to the California DMV, proof of financial responsibility (most often car insurance) is required for all cars in California, whether you’re driving or even if the car is just parked. 

You can’t just have any car insurance. The California DMV requires specific coverage. In the state of California, your minimum liability insurance needs to cover: 

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 for cases of injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 for cases of injury or death to more than a single person 

You must have liability insurance and not just comprehensive or collision coverage. 
You can personalize your auto insurance coverage with Metromile. Many California drivers select higher limits or add additional coverage for extra peace of mind and to help protect their vehicle, finances, and wellbeing.

The bottom line

If you just bought a car in California or arrived (welcome!), you’ll need to register your vehicle with the DMV. To drive or own a car in California, you’ll also need to ensure you have the right auto insurance coverage to be a safe and responsible driver. 

Many drivers in California choose Metromile and save money with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

You can download the Metromile app from your favorite app store to see if pay-as-you-go auto insurance is right for you. Ride Along™ is a free trial that will show you an accurate rate and how much you might save with Metromile. Rates start at $23 per month plus a few cents for each mile you drive.

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.

Digging Into the Potential Impact of Washington State’s Credit Ban on Your Insurance Rates

Washington credit ban affecting insurance rate

At Metromile, we’re constantly striving to make insurance fairer and more personalized. We believe insurance should be based on your own actual driving and not everyone else’s.

If you live in Washington state, you might be wondering why your rate went up when nothing’s seemingly changed on your end — no parking tickets, no accidents, and no policy or coverage changes.

Why did my auto insurance rate increase?

Many factors might have impacted the price you pay for auto insurance, including new state regulations. 

Earlier this year, the Washington Insurance Commissioner issued an executive order to ban the use of credit-based insurance scores as a factor in determining insurance rates.

Drivers may have received a lower rate or discounted auto insurance because they have a good or excellent credit history. Now, their rates may increase because of the credit score ban. Similarly, car insurance customers with lower credit scores may now see lower rates.

What is Metromile doing about the credit score ban?

As a values-driven company, we applaud efforts to increase equitability for everyone, and we believe Washington state’s credit score ban is an important step forward. The use of credit-based insurance scores is already banned in seven other states, and we hope other states will take steps to make insurance fairer.

Nevertheless, we know it’s frustrating to get a rate increase. We hear you. We’re drivers too, and we don’t like to see our insurance rates go up either.

As a leading auto insurer grounded in data science, we believe our technology and the billions of real miles driven we’ve analyzed enables us to be at the forefront of creating a level playing field in insurance. 

We envision creating even fairer, more individualized pricing based on how people drive. Pay-per-mile auto insurance, and the savings that can come with it, are just the start. 

Our telematics technology, combined with continued vehicle safety advancements and the growing trend of cars becoming safer and more autonomous, can be a powerful combination.

Over the coming months, you’ll be hearing more from us on the progress we’re making. In the meantime, if you’ve recently received a rate increase, feel free to contact us
We can review your policy and share options that might help lower your insurance rate.

How to Avoid the Most Common Types of Car Accidents

How to avoid car accidents | Car from behind

Being a safe driver means always being on the lookout for any potential dangers or threats that come your way when you’re on the road. 

It’s essential to stay aware while driving, as conditions could change in a matter of seconds.

Consider these safety tips to help you reduce your risk of some of the most common types of car accidents.

1. T-bone accidents

T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle is hit on the side by the front of another vehicle. They typically happen at street intersections and are, unfortunately, very common. 

The name T-bone accident refers to the T-shaped position the cars might make after a collision. It is sometimes also referred to as a broadside collision. 

It’s important to recognize who has the right of way at an intersection. This knowledge can help prevent T-bone accidents. 

Pause when crossing an intersection to make sure other drivers are honoring their stoplights or stop signs. Make sure you’re aware of any stop signs and stoplights and follow the right of way.

2. Rear-end accidents

When you get hit by a car behind you, you’re getting rear-ended. Rear-end accidents are fairly common and can often occur from distracted driving or not braking on time. You may be more likely to be rear-ended in traffic or if you change lanes quickly and someone doesn’t see you.

To avoid hitting someone else:

  1. Make sure you pump the brakes with plenty of time and distance between you and other vehicles.
  2. Always put your turn signal on when changing lanes.
  3. Avoid distracted driving. You shouldn’t be texting, eating, or driving under the influence.

Rear-end accidents happen, and sometimes it’s not your fault. However, to stay safe and avoid the risk of rear-end accidents, it can pay off to be aware of the driver behind you. You could take some defensive driving steps if they’re getting too close or you notice they’re not paying attention.

3. Accidents with animals or debris

Not all car accidents have to involve another car. Accidents involving animals or debris are rare, but they could happen. For example, you could hydroplane and hit a tree if it’s raining or snowing, which can cause you to lose control and hit a tree or other debris. You may also unexpectedly hit wildlife or an obstacle on the road.

Be aware of your surroundings and try to drive at a reasonable speed. Driving at high speeds is dangerous because you have less time to react to an obstacle or change on the road. It also takes time for your vehicle to stop or turn away if you’re speeding, which adds to the risk of an accident.

It is also helpful to have the right tires for the weather and take other precautions if the weather is bad, the road conditions are poor, or if you’re unfamiliar with the area where you’re driving.

4. Accidents while parked

You don’t need to be driving to get involved in a car accident. Your car can be hit by another car while it’s parked.

Take proactive steps to help avoid accidents while parked. Start by trying to avoid parking spots on busy streets and intersections. Congested roads can increase the likelihood of your car getting sideswiped or hit.

You should also ensure there’s enough distance between you and any other vehicles when you park. Don’t try to squeeze into a tight parking spot. If your vehicle doesn’t have some buffer space, your car could get hit when you try to exit your space or when other people try to get out. 

Parking your car in a parking lot or garage could help you avoid accidents while parked. Parking lots often have painted lines and other buffer areas that make parking a bit easier and less risky.

5. Objects damaging the windshield

Don’t forget about environmental hazards when driving. For example, rocks or other debris could fall and damage your windshield or tires when driving near a mountain. Your car could also be damaged or hit if you’re driving too close to another vehicle and debris falls or is ahead on the road.

Try to drive on the outer lane if you’re near a mountain or rocky area, and most importantly, drive slow so that you give yourself enough time to react to the environment and what other drivers are doing.

6. Reverse or backup accidents

When you reverse or back up, there’s a risk of hitting another vehicle or object if you’re not careful. To help avoid these types of accidents, use your backup camera or rearview mirror for guidance. You should also remember to look over your shoulder to make sure you have enough room and watch out for any objects, people, or vehicles behind or around you. 

It would be best if you also considered backing up slowly so that others can also see you.

Make sure to avoid your phone or anything else that distracts your complete attention.

The bottom line

Driving can be risky, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous. You can take steps to protect yourself and others when you’re behind the wheel to avoid a car accident. Whenever you get into your vehicle, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, spend your full attention on the road ahead, and drive at a reasonable speed.

Having the right auto insurance can also help you stay safe when driving.

Metromile provides pay-as-you-drive auto insurance. Drivers pay a monthly base rate to help keep their car covered and then a few cents for each mile they drive. Discounts are also available for demonstrated safe driving.

You can see if Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance is right for you by taking a Ride Along™.  Download the Metromile app and let us ride along for 17 days. After your trial, we’ll show you how many miles you drove and how much money you might save if you switched. Drivers can also earn up to an additional 40% off their initial auto insurance quote for demonstrated safe driving in select states.

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 Parallel Park Like a Pro

how to parallel park like a pro

If you live in a city, finding a parking spot can be a stressful challenge. It’s one thing to find a place and another to park in the spot available to you. 

If you’ve found the perfect parking spot, but it requires you to parallel park, you may be stressed or filled with frustration. While there are various types of parking, such as angle parking and perpendicular parking, parallel parking can be challenging for many people. 

Here’s what you might want to know about how to parallel park.

What is parallel parking?

Parallel parking is a driving technique where you align your car in line with other parked vehicles.

In order to parallel park, you want to have the right conditions and know the exact steps to be successful. Consider these 10 steps to parallel parking:

Steps to parallel park

  1. Identify a viable spot 
  2. Get in the right position 
  3. Put your turn signal on
  4. Review your mirrors
  5. Begin reversing 
  6. Reverse at a 45-degree angle 
  7. Turn your steering wheel left 
  8. Back into the spot and straighten the wheel 
  9. Adjust your position
  10. Put your car in park

How to parallel park in 10 steps

Step 1: Identify a viable spot

The first step is to find a viable spot for your vehicle. 

We’ve all been there where you think you might be able to make it, but in reality, there’s not enough space. You don’t want to feel like you’re squeezing into the space, as that could cause some extra stress.

To parallel park successfully, it would be best if you had a spot three feet longer than your car’s length, which should be around nine to 12 feet.

Step 2: Get in the right position

When it comes to parallel parking, the most important thing to know is that it’s all about the position and angle. You need to line up your car parallel to the parked vehicle in front of the parking spot you want.

You don’t want to be too close to the next car, but about two feet should suffice.

Step 3: Put your turn signal on

Put your turn signal on before making a move. You want to signal to other drivers that you’re about to turn into the spot to park.

The turn signal also helps notify other drivers that the parking spot will soon be yours.

Step 4: Review your mirrors

Before making a parallel parking maneuver, make sure to check your rearview and side mirrors. You want to see any oncoming traffic, anyone walking by, an animal, or anything else that can get in your way before you start your next move.

Step 5: Begin reversing

Once you are parallel to the car in front of your desired spot and have your turn signal on, check your mirrors. Then, you can begin reversing. 

Take your foot off the brake first and then back up.

Step 6: Reverse at a 45-degree angle

When you’re backing up and the middle of your car is parallel to the parked car’s bumper, you want to start reversing at a 45-degree angle. 

It’s okay to take your time, as getting the correct angle is very important.

Step 7: Turn your steering wheel left

Once you’re in the parking spot at a 45-degree angle, brake your vehicle. Then, start turning your steering wheel left.

Step 8: Back into the spot and straighten the wheel

After turning your steering wheel left, back into the spot. Next, you’ll want to straighten the steering wheel as you get closer to the curb.

Step 9: Adjust your position

After you back into the parking spot, you may need to pull forward and then back to adjust your car’s position. 

Your vehicle should be parallel to the curb with enough room for the cars in front of you and behind you to leave. There should be no more than 18 inches between your car and the curb.

Step 10: Put your car in park

Once your vehicle is parallel to the curb, turn off the engine and put your car in park. 

You did it! You’ve parallel parked your car successfully.

The bottom line

Parallel parking is a valuable skill that can get easier with practice. As you park, it’s important to stay safe and go slowly. You want to pay attention to your surroundings, especially the other parked cars, the curb, and anyone else who might be nearby.

To help stay safe on the road, you can switch to Metromile pay-per-mile auto insurance. Drivers who switched to Metromile saved 47% a year on average, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved. 

Metromile also has smart-driving features available in the app for free that can make it less stressful to be a driver or car owner, including street-sweeping alerts in select cities, a car health tool, a car locator to help you find your vehicle if it’s ever lost or stolen, and more.

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.

Telematics: What is it and What does it do?

If you’re looking for affordable car insurance, pay-per-mile auto insurance could be the way to go, especially if you’re a low-mileage driver.

Metromile uses telematics technology to help make sure its car insurance rates are fair and affordable. Here’s everything you might want to know about car telematics and how it works.

What is telematics in a car | Telematics Insurance

What is Telematics?

Telematics is the technology of sending, receiving, and storing information relating to remote objects, like your car, through telecommunication devices, such as a cell phone, GPS, or our Pulse device.

When used in a car, telematics technology can count how many miles you drive and measure driving behavior. Telematics is what enables Metromile’s insurance, and without it, pay-per-mile insurance might not be possible. We can understand someone’s driving to offer accurate and affordable car insurance through telematics technology.

Telematics devices are typically comprised of:

  • Input and output
  • GPS
  • SIM card
  • Accelerometer
  • Engine interface

The combination of a car’s onboard diagnostic technology and location services, such as GPS, can show you a car’s location and trips it has taken. You can think of it as the internet and satellite technology that helps you understand your vehicle or where you’re going.

A brief history of telematics

Early telematics technology started with navigation systems, helping eliminate the use of maps or printed directions. Instead, drivers could use a navigation system set up in their car, which was more user-friendly.

Telematics technology has since expanded. For example, car owners now use it to understand their fuel levels, traffic alerts, and even roadside assistance or enabling satellite radio.

How does telematics work?

The Metromile Pulse device uses telematics, which connects to a cellular network and nearby cell towers allowing our technology to share with our community maps of their trips, miles per gallon fuel efficiency data, vehicle location, and even street-sweeping alerts in select cities.

Telematics can help you stay connected to your vehicle in near real-time. Metromile neatly organizes data from telematics for drivers to review in the Metromile app.

Drivers can use the Metromile app to make informed decisions about their vehicle and driving, including looking for ways to save money by reviewing the miles driven and other ways to optimize their trips.

Telematic devices can monitor and inform drivers of things such as:

  • Car speed
  • Vehicle position
  • Trip length and distance
  • Hard braking
  • Seat-belt usage
  • Fuel usage
  • Engine acceleration

This information can then be used to create a comprehensive picture of how someone uses their car, which often results in more personalized car insurance rates.

What are the benefits of telematics?

Using telematics technology can provide essential data to drivers and offer a level of transparency. Insurance companies can use telematics data to provide accurate and affordable coverage based on how you really drive, including how often you drive.

Instead of paying more when you drive less, telematics helps provide insight into risk and behavior and allows Metromile to offer drivers a reasonable rate.

Car telematics can help with:

How telematics has changed the insurance industry

Telematics insurance companies can charge a premium based on usage-based insurance or driving behavior-based models. Behavior-based, sometimes called pay-how-you-drive auto insurance, can be a good way to evaluate your risk for insurance. 

Metromile was founded to create fairer and more personalized auto insurance for drivers. Our usage-based model focuses on how you actually use your car. We consider driving behavior, including how many miles you drive and the coverage selected, as some of the main factors. Other factors include the vehicle and type of insurance policy.

Car telematics can lower how much you pay for auto insurance. It allows insurance companies to identify a driver’s performance and evaluate risks in a more informed way, especially if they change over time.

Where telematics is headed

Telematics can be a gamechanger when it comes to your driving behavior, as well as for telematics insurance companies that use the data. This type of technology can democratize important information and offer transparency when it comes to driver behavior and risk. 

As the technology continues to improve, telematics can offer important insights and hopefully create better driving conditions for everyone on the road.

The bottom line

Car telematics gives us the opportunity to provide affordable pay-per-mile auto insurance rates and the free smart-driving features available in the Metromile app.

You can download the Metromile app to see how telematics technology works firsthand: Ride Along™ is a free trial that will show you an accurate rate and how much you might save with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Drivers can save 47% on average, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved with Metromile, and additional discounts of up to 40% off their initial quote if they demonstrate safe driving during their 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.

How to Store a Car Long-Term if You Don’t Drive Much

Whether you’re going on vacation, taking public transportation more frequently, or simply driving less, you might want to know how to store your car long-term.

If you don’t plan on driving for an extended period, you might want to consider long-term car storage. Before you put your car away, you might want to consider these tips to help make sure your vehicle stays in good shape. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a dead car battery or an engine issue the next time you want to take your car for a spin.

car storage

Where should you store your low-mileage vehicle? 

The best place to keep your car for a long time is typically in a covered or indoor garage. Storing your vehicle in a garage can prevent car theft and protect it against the elements, such as the blazing summer sun or a torrential downpour of rain.

If you don’t have access to a garage, you can look into a car storage service. Most major storage companies offer car storage.

If your most viable option is keeping it outside, you might want to consider purchasing a waterproof car cover to keep your vehicle clean.

How to store a car long-term?

If you don’t plan on using your car for a month or more, consider these best practices to keep your stored car in good condition.

    1. Keep your car clean and covered

Dirt and residue can eat away at your car’s exterior if left on for a long time. It may feel odd to get your car nice and spiffy just to keep it locked away, but a clean car can help prevent other issues later.

Keeping your vehicle covered in a garage or wrapped in a weatherproof car cover can help keep your car clean and safe.

    2. Fill up your gas tank before you go

While you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, it is a good idea to fill up your gas tank before you go. A full gas tank can prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank.

Excess condensation in your fuel tank can lead to acceleration problems. It can also cause a fuel line freeze in the winter, which can cause issues when you want to run your car engine.

If you plan to store your car for a very long time, you may want to purchase a fuel stabilizer to prevent your gasoline from becoming gummy.

An added benefit of a full gas tank? You’ll thank yourself when you get back and need to drive again.

    3. Evaluate your oil situation regularly

Oil changes are a part of keeping your car well maintained. If you’re looking into long-term car storage for 30 days or more, you may also want to change your oil.

Old oil may damage your car engine. Before you store your car, make sure to drive it around a bit so that the new oil gets circulated in the engine.

    4. Keep your car battery topped up

All vehicles typically experience a tiny amount of battery drain, even while turned off.

Mechanic Matt suggests purchasing a battery tender, a small charger that keeps your battery topped off every day.

Alternatively, you can also have a trusted friend turn on the engine every couple of weeks to help maintain your car battery.

    5. Don’t engage the parking brake

Though you might be tempted to engage your parking brake, you’ll want to avoid it if you’re storing your car for months. Brake pads could get stuck or fuse with the rotors after a long time.

To avoid issues with your parking brake, look into wheel chocks that can act as a tire stopper instead.

    6. Get some air in your tires

Another must-do for your car maintenance checklist is the air level in your tires.

If the tires are under-inflated, head to the gas station to add some air to your tires. Flat spots can develop as the vehicle’s weight presses down on the tires, even while idle.

It could also help to have an air compressor on hand to quickly inflate a flat if you can’t make it to a gas station.

    7. Protect your car from animals

Believe it or not: Animals, including cats and rodents, may make your car home when idled or stored. These animals could chew parts of your car, hide in exhaust pipes, or cause other types of wear or maintenance issues.

The key to protecting your car from animals is to cover parts, such as the exhaust pipe and other areas with free space to prevent them from entering when you’re away.

    8. Get pay-per-mile auto insurance for your car

Don’t forego your car insurance during long-term car storage.

Consider pay-per-mile auto insurance if you don’t frequently drive, as you’ll want to keep your car protected, even while it’s in storage. Because you won’t be driving your car while it’s stored, pay-per-mile coverage could help you save considerable amounts of money while it’s stored.

Taking your car out of long-term storage

Once you’re ready to take your car out of long-term storage, do a quick inspection before starting the engine. You’ll want to make sure your vehicle is safe to operate before driving.

Check the windshield wipers, tire pressure, fluid levels, brakes, and under the hood to see if anything looks off. Then, make any necessary maintenance or repairs to get your vehicle in good condition.

If you’re often leaving your car unused and don’t drive that much, consider switching to Metromile pay-per-mile insurance to pay for how much you drive. Drivers could save 47% a year on average, according to a 2018 survey of new Metromile customers who saved.

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.