10 Tips for Saving Money on Car Insurance

We all know that car insurance is a really expensive, but necessary expense. States like New York and Michigan can cost drivers upwards of $4,400 a year to have car insurance. This doesn’t help especially when you are living the big city life and already have to pay for all those costly city expenses. If you do some research and are prepared you can save some money, which is why we’ve gathered our top 10 tips for saving money on your car insurance.

How to save money on car insurance

    1. Change your coverages. Is your car getting older? Consider make it liability only coverage and removing comprehensive and collision coverage. Evaluate how much your car’s market value is and then think about if you car is worth paying for coverage that may only reimburse you for a little amount. Going down to liability only coverage for your older car will help to save on the overall amount you spend on car insurance.

    2. Get your credit score in tip-top shape. Having a great credit score can lead to cheaper rates on your car insurance. There are some states that don’t take this into consideration, but definitely use it to your advantage when getting quotes.

    3. Increase your deductible amount. Having higher deductibles amounts can lead your rates to decrease slightly. However, make sure you are choosing what is the best fit for your lifestyle.

    4. Switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. 65% of drivers pay higher premiums to subsidize the minority who drive the most. If you are a low mileage driver and drive less than 10,000 miles per year than you can save on average $500 with Metromile.

    5. Don’t let your insurance coverage lapse. Having a lapse in coverage can cause your rates to increase when signing up for insurance again. But, also having continuous coverage can help to lower your rates in the long run.

    6. Drive safe on the roads. Accidents can cause your rates to increase. By being a safe driver you are rewarding yourself with extra money in your pocket. Being accident free can help you qualify for a safe driver or good driver discount.

    7. Do your research.
    Find the best policy that is going to fit your needs and help you save. Seek out which companies offers discounts based on your experiences. Don’t be afraid to get quote happy.

    8. Look into rates for the vehicle you are shopping around for. Cars that are a bit older typically cost less than those vehicles that are brand new. You can also call your insurance company and get quotes on various vehicles you are considering before making your purchase on your next car.

    9. Ask about discounts that are offered. Usually when you sign up, the rates might already include the discounts that apply to you. But taking the time to make a call to your insurance company can help make sure you are taking advantage of discounts you could be missing out on.

    10. Combine policies. Have one policy per garaging address. Insurance companies usually do require this, but if you do this you could get a multi-car or multi-driver discount. Which will make the overall amount you might pay decrease when combining policies together.

Saving money and making car ownership easier is what we are all about at Metromile, so if you have any questions about the different factors that may affect your rates always know you can give us a call or reach out on Twitter. If you aren’t a pay-per-mile customer yet, see what your savings would be by getting a quick, free quote here.

The Low Down on Per-Mile Insurance

By now, you may have heard of the Pay-Per-Mile insurance Metromile offers. To put it simply, the less you drive, the more you could save. We are the only ones who offer this product in the USA (currently in 7 states)! We only measure mileage, not driving behavior (like how hard you brake).

The Lo Down on Per-Mile Insurance

Over the years, we’ve gotten many questions about per-mile insurance. We wanted to share some of our most common questions because chances are, you may be wondering the same thing.

  • How much money will I save with per-mile insurance?
    On average, our customers are saving up to $500 per year. Visit our page and answer a few questions about yourself and your car. You will immediately be able to see a preliminary quote and use the savings calculator to see how much money you could save in a year.
  • Can I choose my coverage?
    Yes! Just like with the insurance you have now, you can choose your deductible amount and liability protection. If you don’t need comprehensive or collision insurance, just set the deductible to “no coverage”. You able to edit coverages in the quote and choose between different liability protection packages and see the monthly base rate as well as per-mile charge adjust.
  • What does per-mile insurance cover?
    Metromile covers you just like any other car insurance. We offer full coverage including comprehensive & collision (the damage that occurs to your car). To cover property damage and injury to others, you can choose bodily injury liability limits of up to $250,000/$500,000.
  • How is my monthly bill calculated?
    The monthly base rate varies based on the number of days in the month and how much you drive. You also aren’t charged for the miles you drive over 250 a day (150 in New Jersey). Each month your bill will consist of your monthly base rate for the month ahead and the miles that you drove during that billing cycle.
  • Do I need to install the app before I get the insurance?
    No, you don’t actually need our app in order to have the insurance. The app is one of two ‘portals’, if you will, to see your data, which we visualize for you in pretty graphs and charts. The other way to see your data is via the online dashboard (just log-in at metromile.com).
  • Does my monthly base rate ever change?
    Your quoted policy lasts for six months, unless you make mid-policy changes. After that time, your monthly rate will be re-evaluated at renewal. Several factors can affect your rate, like citations and violations.
  • How do I pay my Metromile insurance?
    The amount due is automatically billed each month to the debit / credit card that you provide during sign-up. We make it easy for you to update your billing information anytime. Just edit on your online dashboard or app.
  • What other benefits are included with Metromile insurance?
    Roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement are optional coverages that can be included when having comprehensive and collision coverage. We also provide street sweeping alerts, diagnose your car health, and provide MPG.
  • What if I decide I to sell my car or realize that I need to drive it much more often than I originally planned?
    We understand that the adventure of life includes change – maybe you’ll decide to not have a car anymore, or you may have a new commute that requires putting more miles on the road. We realize that per-mile insurance may not work financially for you all the time. We just hope it becomes a considered option if it fits well with your lifestyle.

If you think per-mile insurance could help you save each month, get your free quote today and see how much extra savings you could pocket!

Breaking Down Insurance Jargon

We get it, insurance talk can be confusing and sometimes scary for people. You are on the phone with your insurance company and listening to an insurance agent talk but have no idea what any of the words mean. You feel like they are speaking another language. Metromile is revolutionizing the insurance industry and we want to put an end to the crazy insurance jargon speak. We have provided a list of the most common insurance terms used to help you feel confident next to time you speak about car insurance.

breaking down insurance jargon

Glossary of Car Insurance Terms

  • Actual Cash Value – the current market value of lost or damaged property at the time of a covered loss. It is calculated by the value of your property minus the depreciation of your property.
  • Adjustor – the person responsible for investigating and settling a claim
  • Annual Mileage – the amount of miles driven in a year
  • Bodily Injury – if an insured person is legally liable for an accident, BI coverage pays for injuries/deaths to people involved in the accident, but not limited to, emotional or mental anguish result from the bodily injury.
  • Cancellation – termination of an insurance policy by the company or per the request of the insured
  • Claim- a demand made by insured to provide coverage and compensation from the insurance company in the event of a loss, subject to the terms of the insurance policy contract.
    Claimant – a person making a claim against the insurance company. If the insured hits or causes damages to another person or vehicle they are the claimant.
  • Collision Coverage – optional coverage for when your car is damaged as a result of colliding with another object.
  • Comprehensive Coverage – optional coverage for when your car is stolen or damaged in ways that don’t involve a collision. For example: hail damage, fire, vandalism, damage from an animal, flood, earthquakes, fallings objects, and theft.
  • Contract – refers to the insurance policy, which is between the insurance company and the policyholder
  • Deductible – out-of-pocket expense that you agree to pay for losses up to set amount, such as $250 or $1000
  • Declarations Page – a document that shows the insured’s information, the period of time a policy is in force, vehicle information, the coverages insured has chosen, and the amount of premium
  • Depreciation – factoring in the wear and tear of an item’s value
    Earned Premium – the portion of the premium that actually has been used to buy coverage or what the insurance company has earned so far on the policy.
  • Endorsement – an addition or change to the policy contract
  • Excluded Drivers – formally excluded person that will not be covered if driving the car
  • Fault Claim – a claim where the insured will assume responsibility for the accident or the insurance company cannot recover the cost from the individual responsible.
  • Gap Insurance – pays the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what your insurance pays if your vehicle is declared a total loss or stolen and not recovered, less your comprehensive or collision deductible.
  • Garaging Address – where you park the vehicle majority of the time
  • Indemnity – aims to provide the same financial position as an insured were before the loss occurred if the vehicle has been lost or damaged.
  • Insuring Agreement – describes the covered perils, or risks assumed, or nature of coverage, or makes some reference to the contractual agreement between insures and insured. It summarizes the major promises of the insurance company, as well as stating what is covered.
  • Insurance Score – Used in the underwriting process in some states. An individual’s score is frequently based on a person’s credit history.
  • Lapse in coverage – the termination of a policy due to non-payment of insurance premiums
  • Lienholder – Person or organization with a financial interest in a property up the amount of money borrowed or still owed on the insured’s vehicle.
  • Liability Insurance – insurance that provides protection from claims arising from injuries or damages to other people or property.
  • Liability Limits – the amount specified in your policy up to which the insurance company will protect you
  • License Types – various statuses of a driver’s licenses, such as active, permit, foreign, suspended, or expired driver’s license
  • Loss – the amount of money an insurance company pays out on a claim
  • Medical Payments – (usually optional) pays the doctor, hospital bills, and funeral expenses for injuries to you and the passengers in your car regardless of who causes the accident, up to the policy limits.
  • Named Insured / Primary Driver – the person or entity listed on the policy declaration page who has more right than the secondary driver.
  • Non Fault Claim – a claim where the insured is not responsible for the accident and the insurance company can recover the costs from the individual who is at-fault for the accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection – this is a package of first-party medical benefits that provides for medical costs, lost wages, loss of essential services normally provided by the injured person, and funeral costs.
  • Policy Insurance contract
  • Policy Term – the length of time the policy is active and valid
  • Premium – price of insurance policy that an insured pays in exchange for insurance coverage
  • Proof of Insurance – a type of documentation that an insured can provide to an individual proving that the insured has valid active insurance.
  • Property Damage – coverage for when you damage someone else’s property with your vehicle.
  • Pulse Device – a device created by Metromile that plugs into the vehicle’s OBD-II port to record mileage and also provide diagnostic codes, street sweeping alerts, and can help you to find your missing car
  • Quote – a non-binding estimate of the premium for the level of coverages chosen and based on the information by the individual seeking insurance.
  • Rate – the cost of insurance per risk to cover claim payments and expenses.
  • Renewal – after the policy period is up the policy will automatically renew for another term
  • Renewal Notice – a formal notice that an insured’s policy will renew which will include what the rates will be upon renewal.
  • Rental Reimbursement Coverage – optional coverage that helps pay rental vehicle costs when your vehicle is disabled as the result of a covered accident or loss. Covered under comprehensive or collision coverage.
  • Risk – the likelihood that an insured will make a claim
  • Secondary Driver – a listed driver on the policy that is insured to drive the vehicle.
  • Subrogation – the process of which a claim is made by a third party and you file through your insurance company. Your insurance company will seek payment recovery from the other party.
  • Telematics technology of sending and receiving and storing information relating to remote objects like your car through telecommunication devices.
  • Theft Tracker – a device that plugs into your vehicle to let you it’s location in case your vehicle is stolen
  • Total Loss Vehicle – in an auto claim, a vehicle is considered a total loss when the extent of the damage renders the vehicle unsafe to repair or the cost to repair exceeds a certain threshold percentage, as may be determined by state regulation, or the vehicle’s actual cash value prior to the accident.
  • Underinsured Motorist – pays (up to coverage limit) the insured person and other passengers in the vehicle when they’re injured as the result of an accident where the at-fault driver has insurance but it is below the limit of underinsured/uninsured coverage on the declaration page.
  • Uninsured Motorist – pays (up to the coverage limit) the insured person and other passengers in the vehicle when they’re injured as the result of an accident where the at-fault driver is uninsured, underinsured or a hit-and-run (must be reported within 24-hours to policy and statement taken within 30 days)
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage covers damage to your vehicle if hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Underwriting – the process an insurer goes through to determine whether or not it will provide coverage for an applicant
  • Use Types – different use cases for a specific vehicle; range from commercial, bussiness to personal.
  • Personal – when using your vehicle you drive it for personal everyday life reasons
  • Business – when using your vehicle you drive it for a profit like food delivery or a ridesharing company
  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) – 17- digit number assigned to each vehicle manufactured after 1980

We hope this glossary can help you navigate the car insurance world. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments. If you are interested in seeing how much money you could save by switching to Metromile, get a free quote here.

Introducing Metromile Direct Repair and Rental, Powered by AVA

Metromile’s automated claims system, AVA, has some exciting new feature enhancements that are going to make filing a claim with us even easier. Getting into an accident is never fun, that is why we’ve made it our priority here at Metromile to create the world’s best claims experience. Our latest effort to transform the claims experience has resulted in the new self-service direct repair and rental capabilities for our customers.

AVA, who we debuted in July, is a first-of-its-kind smart claims system designed to speed up the process of verifying and paying out insurance claims through the Metromile mobile app or online dashboard. Using Metromile Pulse sensor data, AVA can reconstruct the scene of an accident to verify claim details. If the claim is verified, AVA is able to automatically approve payments within seconds. And now, AVA can even assist in finding repair shops, scheduling rental cars, and setting up and processing claims payments.

You can learn more about AVA here.

How does it work?
Eligible policyholders who have submitted a claim and indicated that they are planning to repair their vehicle will be directed to the Metromile Dashboard to see repair shops that are participating in the direct repair program and are located near the zip code of the vehicle’s last location.

If the policyholder also has rental coverage they will be given the option to reserve a rental car with Enterprise-Rent-A-Car through the Metromile online dashboard. Just like with the direct repair program, the Dashboard will provide policyholders with locations near the vehicle’s last location. Policyholders can even gain access to and schedule an Enterprise shuttle for pick-up from the repair shop or another specified address.

If the policyholder would rather find and choose their own repair and/or rental shop, they are welcome to do so by opting-out of the program.

Once a vehicle is in the shop and a rental car has been picked up, AVA will keep customers posted on repair status, schedule changes, and even help change the rental reservation if needed. As soon as the vehicle has been repaired and returned to the customer, AVA will automatically initiate payment.

Even with AVA, all customers will have the option to call in to talk to our in-house team of claims professionals. Not yet a Metromile customer but intrigued by AVA and our automated claims? Visit metromile.com/insurance to learn more about our pay-per-mile insurance and get a quick quote.

Metromile Is A Glassdoor 2018 Best Place to Work

Glassdoor 2018 Best Places to Work Winner

Metromile is pleased to announce we are among the winners of the annual Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards, a list of the Best Places to Work in 2018. This is the second year in a row that Metromile has been recognized as a Best Place to Work, and we are honored to be listed again.

Unlike other awards, there was no self-nomination process, instead it’s entirely based on feedback our employees have voluntarily and anonymously shared on Glassdoor. To determine the winners of the awards, Glassdoor evaluates all company reviews shared by employees over the past year. This year, we are proud to be recognized as a Best Place to Work among companies with less than 1,000 employees according to those based in the U.S.

Below are just a few words employees shared on Glassdoor that contributed toward the award and that made us feel incredibly honored to be recognized:

    Fundamentally changing an age-old industry AND providing the customer a real value by being fair in how we price insurance – feels good to work on something you believe in. And the concept of fairness finds its way into the culture, too – ideas come from everywhere, departments are fluid and collaborative. As a result, the product is not only something we can all be proud of, but the process of getting there is

    Focus on innovation and creating a business that is adaptable to the changing market
    Leadership who seem to really care about their employees’ happiness
    Smart, down-to-earth, lovely colleagues
    Generally speaking, very customer-focused: management insists on being in the trenches with front-line service and sales staff, and I’ve seen them go the extra mile to do the right thing by the customer

    The work culture is amazing. I’m still excited to come into work everyday. The managers in my department have the best interest for us and push/challenge us to be at our full potential.

A huge thank you goes out to all our employees who took the time to share their perspectives on what it’s like to work here. We appreciate all the valuable feedback as it only helps us to improve.

Telematics: What is it and What does it do?

Tele-what? Telematics is a word that keeps coming up in the Insurtech industry. But what does it mean and how does it relate to car insurance? 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, a GPS system, or our Pulse device. Telematics technology can track how many miles you drive and it can also measure driving behavior as well. Telematics is what enables Metromile’s insurance, and without it, pay-per-mile wouldn’t be possible.

Telematics

What is Telematics?

The combination of a GPS system with onboard diagnostic technology can show you where a car’s location is and the trips it has taken. Basically, it is the technology used behind the wheel that involves both internet and satellite connectivity to give the driver information about their car or where they are going. The first form of telematics started with navigation systems, eliminating the use of printed directions and old-fashioned maps. Instead, drivers were now able to use the easy navigation system set up in their car. Telematics has since expanded to alerting drivers about their fuel (fuel monitoring), and traffic alerts. Telematics technology can even help drivers roadside assistance and enable satellite radio.

The Metromile Pulse device uses a form of telematics, that connects to the 3G network and nearby cell towers allowing our technology to share with our customers a map of their trips, MPG data, GPS tracking, and it can even send street sweeping alerts in select cities. Telematics helps you to stay connected to your car in real time, and in the connected world we live in, it’s almost necessary. Companies will usually put all the data collected through telematics into a neatly organized place for customers to view, like in a mobile app. Metromile provides the smart driving app to our customers to view all the data that is collected, which can help them make informed decisions about their vehicle and driving and help them save money by monitoring the miles they drive and looking for ways to optimize their trips.

How Telematics has Changed the Insurance Industry

With telematics insurance companies can charge a premium based on usage-based or behavior based insurance models. Behavior-based insurance can be a good or bad way to evaluate your risk for insurance, it all just depends on how safely you drive. At Metromile we are usage-based and charge you a premium based on how many miles you drive, which is collected through the Pulse device.

Telematics can lower the costs of how much you pay for insurance. It allows for insurance companies to identify driver’s performance and conclude on the risks of who is more likely to cause an accident. At Metromile we believe, mileage is one of the biggest risk indicators. Overall the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to get into an accident. This is why Metromile is able to offer high-quality insurance at affordable rates to low-mileage drivers.

Pay-per-mile and telematics allows for accuracy in your insurance premium, since we only charge customers for the miles they drive. But, for behavior-based insurance it can help customers on saving if they are a safe driver. If you drive safe or drive less then thanks to telematics, you will pay less on your car insurance.

Our smart driving app and Pulse device makes car ownership as seamless, affordable, and as simple as it can be. To learn more about our technology and how it is helping low-mileage drivers save on car insurance go to https://www.metromile.com/technology/. To get a quick, free quote, click here.

Car Insurance Add­-Ons to Keep Your Car Out of Trouble

This is a guest post from our friends at The Zebra and was originally posted in September of 2015.

Three Car Insurance Add­-Ons to Keep Your Car Out of Trouble

After the unmistakable joy a shiny new car brings, comes a glimmer of worry. Namely, just how to keep your new ride in tip­top condition. That’s where insurance add-­ons can help: in addition to the main components of liability and comprehensive insurance, there are optional coverages that can make a major difference in the protection of your vehicle — and yourself. Many insurance companies offer a long list of ancillary policy features, with everything from custom equipment to pet injury coverage, making it hard to tell which add-­ons are worth the extra bucks, and which to ditch. Here, we’ve compiled three add­-ons you should consider, and when they might come in handy.

    1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
    Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a vital policy add­-on for anyone that doesn’t have a full coverage health plan or simply has no medical insurance at all. PIP protects you — and your passengers — against personal injury by covering medical expenses, such as medical and surgical treatment, ambulance fees, medication, and in some cases, lost wages and rehabilitation services. And since PIP is a “no ­fault” coverage, even if you are determined to be at ­fault in an accident it wouldn’t limit your use.
    PIP coverage benefits vary based on state, insurer, and the specifics of the policy, but typically can provide anywhere from $1500 to $250,000 in personal injury coverage. Considering that in the United States 2.35 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents annually, PIP coverage is often well worth the price.

    2. Uninsured Motorist
    There are three main reasons to opt to carry uninsured motorist coverage. One: You want protection against hit and run collisions. Two: You live in a state with a large population of uninsured drivers (you can refer to our table on uninsured drivers by state). And, three: the minimums for insurance required by the state you reside in are too low to cover all accident-related expenses. If any of these match your situation, you’ll definitely want to add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy.

    3. Roadside Assistance
    Roadside Assistance is not just for towing services, although an on­ call tow truck is a convenience that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you are a fan of impromptu road trips or have a long daily commute. In addition to towing, most roadside assistance coverage offers flat tire changes, battery jump starts, locksmith services and emergency gasoline deliveries. The really nice part? All this protection comes for less than the cost of a matinée movie ticket (hi, Grandma), often adding only $5­-7 extra dollars a month. One extra note: Some insurers may require that you carry comprehensive and collision coverage in order to add roadside assistance.

A big thanks to The Zebra for sharing their advice! If you have questions specific to Metromile’s per-mile insurance offering, you can learn more here.

Metromile; The Pioneers of Digital Engagement Insurance

This post originally appeared on The Digital Insurer. It was written by Rick Huckstep, Chairman, The Digital Insurer. Rick is an InsurTech thought leader, keynote speaker, advisor and investor to tech start-ups. Not yet a Metromile customer? Visit metromile.com/insurance to learn more about our pay-per-mile insurance and get a quick quote.

vw-bug-metromile

Imagine a world where the insured has a continuous digital engagement with their insurer. Where the “insurance product” is a value add service that offers more than just financial protection. In this world, the insurance brand becomes “sticky” and churn becomes a function of product development, not promotional pricing. In fact, price is no longer the only buying criteria. This is the world of Metromile, the pioneers of digital engagement insurance.

To find out more for InsurTech Insights, Rick Huckstep spoke with Dan Preston, the CEO of pay-per-mile auto insurer, Metromile.

Value Trumps Price

Metromile were ahead of their time when it comes to digital engagement. This is the world of insurance protection where customers buy insurance cover because of the on-going value it provides, not just because of the price it is offered at.

In recent times, the buying of insurance has become associated with searching for the cheapest price. Online buying guides advise customers to always shop around for the best price and never auto-renew. Even the Regulators force statements on renewal notices to advise customers to shop around. This is commoditization in all its glory!

Which is good for consumers, right? Maybe at the point of sale, but when insurance is sold below premium, it means someone else is paying for it. Until renewal time, when premiums are increased significantly.

All this does is irritate the customer, further diminish trust in insurance and cause the customer to start all over again looking for a new insurer! What a waste of time and effort for everyone!

The Case for Digital Engagement in Insurance

The big problem in any price-only driven market is that cost of sale is a killer. Price points only ever go down, sales and marketing costs don’t (not at the same pace anyway), and this continually squeezes the whole supply chain. In the intermediated world of personal lines insurance, the addition of friction and inefficiency simply compound the cost (and margin) issue for insurers.

No matter how hard the insurer tries to build and promote a trusted brand, the uncertainty of premium pricing always undermines it.

The building of brand loyalty takes time and insurers don’t hang on to customers long enough to do so. For traditional insurers, their only opportunity to show value is through the claims experience. However, all too often, the insurer fails to seize the day and ends up disappointing the customer.

And yet customer feedback clearly shows they want more in the way of value. And are willing to pay for it!

Turning the Insurance Product into a Lifestyle Product

The advances in digital technology in the last decade have given insurers the means by which they can create “sticky” insurance products. Once they’ve “won” a customer, they can now hang on to them. They use enabling tech such as telematics, mobile apps, wearables, IoT devices to create ways of connecting and engaging with customers continuously.

The adoption of this enabling technology gives insurers the ability to dynamically improve risk ratings, to personalize premiums and adjust policy conditions on an ongoing basis. The traditional approach of a single, point in time questionnaire can be replaced by an ongoing assessment and review approach enabled by these new technologies.

As a result, we’ve seen the introduction of digital engagement products based on new sources of data, personalized to the specific risk conditions of the customer. These new technologies enable insurers to radically shift from being the provider of an enforced product to a provider of a value added service.

As Maria Ferrante-Schepis writes in Flirting with the Uninterested, “Insurance companies, when you really think about it, are not just in the protection business. They are in the ‘lifestyle continuity business.’”

Digital Engagement Insurance In Action

Great examples in Life and Health are Vitality and Oscar along with InsurTech platforms such as Fitsense and Sureify. Here, wearable devices combined with mobile apps enable digital engagement with the insurance brand to promote a healthy lifestyle. In so doing, the app becomes a lifestyle product, part of the customer’s daily routine. This makes it a lot harder to churn come renewal time.

In Home, the adoption of IoT devices has done more than (just) create a means for digital engagement. The IoT enabled smart home moves the insurer into the Loss Prevention space. Now, insurers can build insurance products that are focused on preventing the loss altogether. Prevention is always better than cure, right!?

Metromile Are the Pioneers of Digital Engagement

Metromile represents everything that defines #InsurTech as we know it today, and yet they pre-date the social media tag by half a decade! Metromile is a 7-year-old U.S. auto insurer I first wrote about back in 2015. Their business model is based on a pay-per-mile insurance product which they then wrap with other services to enhance the car ownership experience for their customers.

To enable continuous customer engagement, Metromile use tech in the form of the Metromile Pulse (a device that plugs into the car’s on board diagnostic port) and a smart driving app on the customer’s mobile. They recently announced Series C and D investment rounds that took the total money raised to $205m. It’s an impressive sum that puts them in the InsurTech fundraising upper quartile.

The thing that struck me about Metromile is that they don’t say anything about “insurance” when they describe what they do. Here’s what they say “About Us” on their website.

At Metromile, our mission is to empower drivers by creating a more connected and informed car ownership experience.

By taking our deep understanding of data and transforming it into information and services that make having a car less expensive, more convenient, and smarter, we aim to make the urban car experience as simple as it can be. And for some, we hope to make car ownership a possibility where it wasn’t before.

They’ve literally taken an insurance product and turned it into a lifestyle product!

Leveling the Playing Field for Low-Mileage Drivers

When it comes to auto insurance, the main risk factor is how often drivers are on the road. If you’re not on the road then factors such as claims history, driving behavior or condition of car, are insignificant. In the case of auto, this means those that don’t drive very much subsidize the higher mileage drivers. This is because traditional auto insurance products take a blunt instrument approach to assessing driving time.

Metromile say that customers can save on average $500/year on auto insurance (which is roughly 40-50% of the typical cost of insurance). You will see something similar in the UK from Cuvva. They claim their Pay-as-you-Drive insurance can save drivers up to 70% of traditional insurance premiums.

Creating Value that Every Insurance Customer Gets

In a recent call I had with CEO Dan Preston, I asked him about digital engagement and the Metromile model. He told me, “There are typically 3 interactions the insurer has with their customers. When they sell a policy, when they renew and when they receive a claim. There’s nothing in those interactions that adds value. Even the claims process is so full of friction that it becomes an unpleasant experience for the customer. It’s the place where NPS goes to die!

“When we started Metromile we quickly learned that customers want more than just a good claims experience. They want value through digital engagement.”

Metromile-AVA-System-Desktop-Mobile

Here’s the thing that Metromile figured out early (and earlier than most). By creating value over and above the insurance product, they create value that EVERY Metromile customer benefits from, not just those that might go through a successful claims experience.

Dan explained, “We set out to build Metromile into more than just an insurance business. We wanted to help our customers manage the cost of running a car. This includes everything from maintenance and regular servicing, to parking and speeding tickets.

“One of the early features on the app was a feature to help drivers avoid parking tickets by informing them of street sweeping schedules. We took publicly available data in the San Francisco area and laid that over our customers’ movements. Using the app, we were able to direct customers to parking areas that would not risk parking tickets. Some customers reported that the savings in parking fees more than paid for the cost of our insurance!”

As Metromile moved into new jurisdictions, they found that the data they wanted and needed to support the value-add services in the app were not always universally available.

Dan explained, “Ultimately it became a data collection exercise for us to collect data unique to the car and the driver as we went into new areas. In many places, the data we needed was in PDF format. We found ways to extract the data and still provide the features in the app.”

Metromile’s Win-Win Through Value and Loyalty

This is the real point of digital engagement – creating a win-win.

The customer gets value from the digital engagement with a lifestyle product (and tangible benefits such as less parking fees!). And insurers see less churn, better (risk) data about customers and a greater sense of loyalty/connection/trust.

This is where behavioral economics kick in. It is this sense of trust and loyalty that directly links to lower levels of claims fraud and embellishment. None of this would be possible in a traditional auto insurance product. Metromile has exploited technology to enable this digital engagement. The key is the Metromile Pulse; a dongle that customers plug into their car to read the on-board telematics data and connects to the mobile phone and the Metromile app.

This allows Metromile to know when the car is being driven and when it is not. In turn, this allows Metromile to price on a per mile basis for insurance, turning it off and on accordingly

Metromile’s AVA Delivers an Automated Claims Experience

Metromile’s latest tech addition enables an automated claims experience. At the time of an incident, data captured by the app and the dongle is used by Metromile to settle a large number of claims. Many of them automatically and instantly.

They can do this because they are not waiting on a claims adjustor to collect information to support a claim. Instead, through the customer’s Pulse device, Metromile is able in many cases to verify and validate a claim without human intervention. In these scenarios, there is no reason to not pay a claim instantly.

The turning point for Metromile came about a year ago when they became a fully licensed carrier. Dan told me, “We’ve been handling claims in-house for about year now. In that time we’ve launched AVA, our AI claims assistant and the most exciting product launch to-date at Metromile! We wanted to create a different experience for customers, one that was different to the traditional experience, with much less friction for customers.

“For the customer, all they want is to get back on the road. But for the traditional carrier, they won’t settle until they’ve got all the evidence that they need to justify the claim. In the traditional claims experience, often the problem is that the carrier only has the word of the customer to go on. Trust isn’t very strong in this relationship and the result is that it takes time.

“With Metromile, the Pulse can verify what the customer is telling us. Our tech can verify facts such as speed and location and time. The customer doesn’t need to provide this data because we already have it. This leads to instant payout or for the Metromile app to organise the repair and servicing of the vehicle.

“It’s another win-win because the instant and automated approach delivers a better customer experience by reducing cycle time and making it easy to claim. For Metromile, it lowers the cost of handling claims, which benefits customers in the long run by lowering premiums.”

Away From Your Car? Here’s How to Keep it Protected

This week in preparation for holiday travels we wanted to share some car tips about keeping your car in the best shape when you aren’t using it at all. If you have a car, and don’t use it very much, you could save big on car insurance with Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance. Get a free quote now!

Mercedes Benz at Airport Parking Lot. Car Tips

Cars are wonderful instruments of convenience. They allow us to live freely, save time and stay connected to the people we’re closest to. That’s why it’s ironic the troubles a car can cause you if you’re leaving for an extended amount of time. There are plenty of reasons why a person might leave their car. We all have demanding responsibilities to our families and work that might demand unique things from us. Vacations, moving between states – the list goes on and on.

But cars aren’t meant to be neglected. Leaving without preparing and securing your car could give you fits once you return. A new battery is nearly a given and you might even run into more severe issues like engine trouble. You can save yourself that headache with a little know-how. Here are our top car tips for keeping your car in tip-top shape when it isn’t being used.

    Car Tips: Storage

    The first issue is pretty simple: Where can I safely store my car? Many people opt to leave their car with a friend or family who can keep an eye on it and potentially drive it around a bit. This is a great solution if you can find something so convenient.
    There are still issues, however. A car that’s parked on a street for prolonged periods of time is always at risk of being towed. And if your car-sitter cannot make the time to give your vehicle’s engine a chance to heat up and work a bit, you’ll still need to make some precautions.
    Another option is a vehicle storage facility. This can include outdoor parking – like at an airport – or even something indoors. These facilities will provide you a secure location for your car with constant supervision. Depending on your needs and how long you’ll be gone, these are a great place to start.

    Car Tips: Security

    We all leave things in our cars that we use regularly. To save on the hassle of emptying your car and locking everything up tightly, picking the right place to monitor your car will be another major convenience.
    Take the time to look up local laws on parking and car ownership as well. It’s good to double check that sort of thing to prevent any issues. Especially considering you won’t be in town to fix any troubles that may arise.

    Car Tips: Preparing Your Car

    Sitting for prolonged periods of time isn’t healthy – and that’s just as true for cars. The battery will bleed away it’s charge, the gas can breakdown and moisture can damage car parts. But there’s plenty you can do to keep your car running smoothly once you return.

    • Disconnect the battery: By unplugging the negative charge of your battery, you’ll save yourself the trouble of needing a new battery once you return. The electronic parts of your car drain you battery slowly even when the car’s not being used. This is especially an issue in newer cars. Be sure to wrap the negative end in a thick cloth so it will not touch anything else.
      Note: If you are a Metromile customer we do not recommend unplugging your car battery as this will cause the Pulse device to stop sending us your mileage data. We do recommend you call us to let us know your travel plans so we can assist.
    • Top off your fluids: One of the biggest dangers to your car when you’re gone is moisture. Outside moisture can get into your gas tank, your engine, and plenty other placed where it can wreak havoc on your car over a prolonged time. By going to get your car serviced and your fuels topped off before leaving, moisture will have a more difficult time getting to the places where it can hurt your car the most. Another issue here is that impurities can leak to the engine. By putting in new fluids, you remove the possibilities of impurities that can hurt your car.
    • Get a full tank of gas and a fuel stabilizer : Remember that fluids thing? Same issue here. A full tank will repel outside moisture. Adding a fuel stabilizer is another great tip if you’ll be gone for a longer period of time.
    • Put the car on a jack :If you’re going to be gone for months, putting your car on a jack will save the tires. Tires can develop flat spots that render them faulty if left in one place for too long.
    • Cover it : Finally, make sure to cover your vehicle’s exterior. This is especially vital if you’re storing it outside. Dirt and other debris can leave stains on your paint if left for prolonged periods.

The easiest solution really is having a friend or family member help you with your car. But if you’ll be gone for longer than just a few weeks, it’s not always feasible. It’s always better to know how to treat your car and keep it safe.

Alex Briggs is a contributing writer for Ship a Car Direct.

Everything You Need to Know About Car Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance has been around for a long time and can be traced all the way back to 3000 B.C in China where merchants would insure the goods on their boats to protect themselves against the risk of their boat sinking or being hijacked. The first time we see the basic form of auto insurance being used was along the Mediterranean, where merchants and investors would pool their money and charge a premium, which would then be used for those members who had a loss. The first car insurance policy in America was sold in 1898 when cars started becoming more popular. Then in 1927, Massachusetts became the first state to make a law that all driver’s need to have liability car insurance. Flash forward to present day, where all 50 states require every driver to have auto insurance and pay a premium for it.

Mint Green Continental. Car Insurance Premiums

Typically, premiums are paid on a monthly or 3 to 6-month cadence for car insurance. But, what does paying a car insurance premium mean? The very basic definition is an amount of money that you pay an insurance company for maintaining active coverage on your vehicle. The amount you pay is in exchange for the insurance company to take on the risk of insuring you and providing the coverage stated in the insurance company’s policy contract, in case of an accident or loss.

What Determines Your Premium?

The amount of premium you pay is determined in several different ways. The first and most important item is the type and amount of coverage you want. The more coverage you have the most likely the higher premium you’ll pay. Many other aspects also play a role into the total premium, such as what type of car you drive, where you live, your driving record, your credit history, your age, your gender, and marital status.

What Does a Premium Do?

Most insurance companies use your premium to provide coverage for claims being made against the policy you have chosen as long as the claim is under a covered accident that is outlined in the insurance policy contract. At Metromile, you pay your premium monthly. The premium is made up of a low monthly base rate plus a per-mile rate, which is typically a few pennies per mile. We still provide all the same coverages as a traditional insurance company, but charge your premium in a more fair way, based on how many miles you drive. Along with providing coverage in case of an accident, Metromile also provides our customers with a Smart Driving app, that can decode your car’s check engine light, keep you from getting a ticket with street sweeping alerts, and lets you track your trips to look for fuel efficiencies.

How Can You Save Money on Your Premium?

Besides switching to pay-per-mile insurance, you can save money on your auto insurance premium by increasing your deductibles. The higher the deductible amount you have the lower your rates will be. Be sure to weigh your options for what will best fit your lifestyle when choosing your deductible amount.

Most of the time there are discounts that insurance companies offer which can mean more savings in your pocket. Discounts are offered if your vehicle is equipped with certain safety features or alarm systems. A good driving record will also definitely help you save money and usually insurance carriers give safe driver discounts. There may also be discounts for multiple cars on one policy or multiple drivers too. You could even get a discount for being married or being in a domestic partnership. It is always smart to call in and review your options with your insurance company to see what discounts you are already getting and to see if there are any other discounts you qualify for.

If you are a low-mileage driver you should consider switching to pay-per-mile insurance. With pay-per-mile, the premium you pay is based on the actual miles you drive. Traditional insurance may give you a discount for low mileage driving, but at Metromile we offer fair pricing. Once you sign up we send you a device, the Metromile Pulse, which plugs into your vehicle and measures mileage. You’ll pay a low monthly base rate and a few pennies per mile you drive, so each month your bill will vary based on how much you drove. The less you drive, the less you’ll pay. People driving less than 10,000 miles per year can typically see savings in their premium with Metromile. To see how much your monthly premium could be, get a free quote today.