The Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Car Insurance

Here at Metromile, we are focused on educating consumers about the benefits of usage-based insurance. What sounds like a confusing topic can easily be broken down into easy-to-digest pieces. As pioneers of the pay-per-mile car insurance model, we are always happy to clarify any confusion about how pay-per-mile car insurance works. So, for your reading pleasure, we are pleased to announce: the Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Insurance. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and dig in!

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What is usage-based insurance?


Usage-based insurance simply means that you pay what you drive. It is measured by how many miles you drive your vehicle, like with Metromile’s pay-mile-mile model. Usage-based insurance tracks your mileage using a device which plugs into your OBD-II port and measures the number of trips you take per day and how many miles you drive on those trips. This device may collect other data that can be utilized by the policyholder (such as sudden stops, hard braking, etc.), but at Metromile, only the miles you drive are used to price the premium.

Usage-based insurance models are founded on the idea that the less time a driver spends on the road, the less likely an accident will occur. Usage-based car insurance is great for low-mileage drivers and can help them save on their yearly total insurance premium. Usage-based insurance premiums are paid monthly (instead of upfront once a year) because the total amount paid is calculated based on how many miles you drive, which will likely vary month to month.

How usage is tracked


Usage is tracked using a device plugged into the OBD-II port. The technical name for this type of data collection is telematics. Using telematics, insurance companies can charge a premium based on usage-based or behavior based insurance models. Here at Metromile, we are usage-based and price our customers’ premiums based on how many miles they drive, which is collected through the Pulse device.

We believe that high mileage is one of the biggest risk indicators, based simply on the fact that you’re inherently spending more time on the road. Overall, the less time spent on the road, the less likely you’ll get into an accident. This is why Metromile is proud to offer the same great insurance coverage at affordable rates to low-mileage drivers!

Behavior-based vs. Usage-based Insurance Models


With behavior-based insurance models, the overall cost of your premiums are dependent upon your driving behavior. Insurance companies that offer this kind of coverage will use devices to monitor how you drive, as many of them have deemed driving behavior to be one of the most important indicators of risk; i.e. a driver who frequently slams the brakes has a higher probability of involving themselves in an accident. This is the reason why some insurance companies reward good driving behavior with discounts on your premiums. The trade off, however, is that your driving behavior will be monitored – and the occasional mistake could affect the cost of your premium. The way insurers measure safety varies, but some of the most common factors include the time of day, average speed, sudden acceleration and hard braking.

With usage-based insurance models, like Metromile’s pay-per-mile model, your costs are dependent upon how much you drive. Bottom line – the less you drive, the less you pay. With Metromile, customers pay a monthly base rate, plus an additional pennies-per-mile rate. Your monthly bill will fluctuate based on how much you drove that month (not based on your driving behavior). Because the monthly bill is based on exact mileage, Metromile typically saves low-mileage (under 200 miles per week) drivers a significant amount of money compared to the discounts offered by other usage-based programs. On average, Metromile customers are saving $500 a year – woohoo!

The benefits of usage-based insurance don’t stop at financial savings either. By paying-per-mile, our customers are taking control of how much they drive and reducing unnecessary trips, which benefits the environment as well. Additionally, usage-based insurance models utilize measurement devices which can provide additional perks; with the Metromile Pulse and smart driving app, you can monitor your car’s health, get street sweeping alerts, track and manage trip data, and even locate your vehicle with the GPS tracker.

How reliable is usage-based insurance?

Funny you should ask! Metromile raised over $190 million in funding last year which we used to acquire an insurance carrier. Our policy is to set aside the majority of the premium payments we receive to cover claims, which allows us to always have more than the required amount of funds to oversee claims made by our customers. Additionally, our Metromile claims team is comprised of industry experts with many years of experience at major insurance companies, with both extensive knowledge of best practices as well as plans to continuously improve the experience. From our always-available claims teams to our industry-leading customer service, we are working non-stop to make sure you have a best-in-class experience every time you interact with Metromile. We’ve also been reinsured by some of the most trusted names in the Finance and Insurance industries, HSCM Bermuda, MAPRFRE RE, and Hudson.

FAQ: The Low-Down

Over the years, we’ve gotten many questions about per-mile insurance. It’s a good thing that we have answers!

  • How much money will I save with per-mile insurance?
  • On average, our customers are saving up to $500 per year (and that’s just an average – some are saving even more!). Visit our homepage, answer a few questions about yourself and your car, and you will immediately be able to see a preliminary quote. Use the savings calculator to see how much money you could save in a year by switching to Metromile!

  • Can I choose my coverage?
  • Yes! Just like with the car insurance policy you have now, you have the ability to choose your deductible amount and liability protection. If you don’t need comprehensive or collision insurance (read more about those here), set the deductible to “no coverage.” You’ll be able to edit coverages in the quote, choose between different liability protection packages, and see the monthly base rate – as well as per-mile costs.

  • What does per-mile insurance cover?
  • Metromile covers you just like any other car insurance. We offer full coverage, including collision coverage (the damage that occurs to your car in the event of a collision) and comprehensive coverage (damage that occurs to your car, including damage not in the event of a collision). To cover property damage and injury to others, you can choose bodily injury liability limits of up to $250,000/$500,000. Read more here about the different kinds of coverage policies that Metromile provides its customers.

  • 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. For example, if your base rate is $50 a month and you drove 200 miles this month at $0.20/mile, your bill would be $90. Additionally, you 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 plus the cost of the miles that you drove during that billing cycle.

  • Do I need to install the app before I get the insurance?
  • Nope! You do not need our app in order to have our insurance. The Metromile app is only one of two places to see your account info, which we visualize for you in aesthetically appealing graphs and charts. The other way to access your account 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 six months is up, your monthly rate will be re-evaluated. Several factors can affect or increase your rate, such as 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 – simply edit on the online dashboard or in the app.

  • What other benefits are included with Metromile insurance?
  • 24/7 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 in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, diagnose your car’s health, and provide MPG to all of our customers!

  • What if I decide I to sell my car or realize that I need to drive it much more often than I originally planned?
  • 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 understand! We realize that pay-per-mile car insurance may not work financially for you all the time. However, we hope it becomes a considered option if it fits well within your current 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! Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us at 1.888.311.2909 or http://metromile.com/help!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

So You Got in an Accident… Now What?

I once heard getting into a car accident compared to standing in the shower and suddenly realizing that you’re on one of those waterslides where the floor drops out from underneath you. While I cannot validate the validity of that comparison (I’ve never been in a car accident OR on one of those waterslides), I do know that the situation can be jarring, confusing, and disorienting – regardless of how the accident occurred.

It’s important to feel prepared and in control, so here are our tips to handle an accident if it ever happens to you.

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How to Handle an Accident

  • Keep cool and quickly take stock of the situation. Are you injured? Is everyone else in the car okay? If so, move to a safe location to prevent further damage. If it’s not possible to move your car, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your position.
  • Make sure your car is fully stopped (in park or with the emergency brake on, if you drive a manual transmission) before getting out of the vehicle. For your safety, check the mirrors to be sure that it’s safe to get out; if you carry items such as road flares or beacons, take them out and set them up as an extra precautionary measure.
  • Check for injuries on both yourself and others involved. Were there passengers? Pedestrians or cyclists? Other drivers? If there is a chance that someone is seriously injured, call an ambulance right away. Also, when in doubt, alert the police of the incident – even if the accident was a minor fender bender. The police can be an invaluable resource in determining fault (if any). Let them be the objective judge to determine who is at fault for the collision. As an added tip, be polite, but do not tell anyone that you think the accident was your fault (even if you’re pretty sure that it was). Even saying “I’m sorry” can be construed as an admission of guilt in some circumstances.
  • Gather the below information from all parties involved in the accident:
      1. Driver and passenger names (it might also be a good idea to get an email address and a photo of the driver, if you can)
      2. Insurance information from all parties involved in the collision
      3. License plate numbers
      4. Makes and models of all vehicles involved
      5. Contact information for any eyewitnesses
      6. Location of the accident
      7. The name and badge number of any responding police officers

    Be very careful about the information you give out to the other parties. Never give out your social security number, and never sign a document unless it’s for the police or your insurance company.

  • Take photos and videos to document the scene. I remember back in the day before smartphones, it was recommended that you carry a disposable camera in the glovebox. Now we can just take all the pictures and videos with our phone! If your phone was damaged or lost in the crash, ask a bystander to take some photos and videos and email them to you. Note any skid marks, signs, lights, lane markings, road construction, line of sight – the more the better when it comes time to file that claim with your insurance company.
  • Try to get a police report. Getting this information will make it much easier to file a claim with your insurance company. The officer’s opinion of the accident will be useful if you and the other driver(s) happen to have a dispute about who was to blame for the accident. The police report will also have the officer’s information on it in case the officer is needed to testify in court. Also, don’t ever leave the scene before an officer arrives. Leaving the scene before exchanging information and reporting it to law enforcement is considered a misdemeanor offense in some jurisdictions.
  • Go to the doctor right away. Even if you feel fine, injuries from car accidents can rear their ugly heads well after the fact. In the moment, adrenaline can mask symptoms of an injury, so it’s best to get checked out by your doctor right away or as soon as you can after the accident. One of the most common injuries is whiplash, which can take up to 24 hours to appear. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the biggest warning signs:
      1. Neck pain and stiffness
      2. Worsening of pain with neck movement
      3. Loss of range of motion in the neck
      4. Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
      5. Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
      6. Tingling or numbness in the arms
      7. Fatigue
      8. Dizziness

    Get yourself checked out by a doctor as soon as your start to experience any combination of these symptoms after your accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially with injuries that involve the spinal cord and neck.

  • File a claim with your insurance company. With Metromile, it’s easy to file a claim and submit photos right through your phone! Be sure to include any and all information you received, including photos and a police report if you’re able to obtain it.

Accident Checklist:

    1. Keep cool and make sure your car is fully stopped before getting out.
    2. Check if anyone in either car needs medical attention. If there are injuries, call 911 immediately. Move your car out of the flow of traffic if you can.
    3. Report the accident to local authorities/police.
    4. While awaiting police, do not admit guilt or say anything that could be construed as admission of guilt, such as “I’m so sorry.”
    5. Take photos and videos of both cars, the driver, skid marks, signs, lights, lane markings, road construction, line of sight, etc.
    6. Get a police report.
    7. Go to the doctor right away.
    8. File a claim with your insurance company.

With the right preparation, accident day (and the horrible stressful feeling that comes with it) should only last for a second, and Metromile is here to help you through the process. If you are a pay-per-mile insurance customer and are in an accident, you can reach the Metromile claims team 24/7 at 888-215-9176. Whether you need help locating repair facilities or need an update on work being done, we can get you the information you need. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible! If you’re not already a Metromile customer, be sure to get a quick quote now!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

How To Make the Most out of Daylight Saving Time This Spring

There’s something a little bit magical about this time of year. The dark veil of winter is finally lifting – we’re all able to crawl out of our caves where we’ve been loafing to get a few more hours back in our day! To be honest, our bodies have been in hibernation mode a little too long and the fact that it’s Girl Scout Cookie season does not help matters. So while we may lose an hour of sleep in the mornings (shhh…), what we gain in Vitamin D is enough to make anyone forget about that little tidbit – after all, we’ve got a lot of life to catch up on and a lot of cookies to burn off!

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In preparation for setting our clocks forward this Sunday, March 11, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ways to make the most of Daylight Saving Time this spring.

  • Take the long way home.Who wants to be stuck in traffic for an hour when the spring weather is begging to be enjoyed? Ditch the highway for the back roads and catch a scenic drive that would have otherwise been missed in the dark. We’re holding onto the days of cruising with the windows down, the tunes up, and our cell phone relegated to our back pocket. Oh, and Metromile has you covered with their 24/7 roadside assistance, should anything happen while you’re out on the roads!
  • Go for an extra-long stroll in the park. Going for a long walk in your local park is the perfect way to leave behind all the struggles of your day and see some nature while you’re at it. If you have a pup, be sure to bring her along – your furry companion will most certainly appreciate the extra opportunity to stretch and play outside!
  • Meet friends for happy hour outside. Now that it’s staying lighter later, it’s the perfect excuse to rally your friends to try that new bar with the outdoor patio. Plan to meet after work for a drink at happy hour and relish the extra time you get to spend with your closest pals enjoying the extra hour of daylight.
  • Get in an extra workout. If working out in the mornings makes you want to die (same), the lighter days may leave you more energized to exercise after work. Ditch the gym or SoulCycle for an outdoor yoga class, boot camp, or light jog. Since it will be light later into the evening, you can safely incorporate this extra workout without feeling uneasy about nighttime prowlers.
  • Ride your bike home. Riding your bike when it’s dark outside is a risky game of will-they-or-won’t-they see me and should probably be avoided, if possible. However, once Daylight Saving Time goes into effect, it opens up all kinds of new possibilities. Try riding your bike home from work a few days a week and see just how refreshing it is to be outside in the fresh air again!
  • Clean up outside. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor area and it’s looking a little worse for the wear after winter, it’s time to get out there and get sprucing! Use the extra hour after work to clean up outside and get your outdoor area ready for enjoying and entertaining. Then once it’s tidy, you can host happy hour at your place after work!

There are so many things to do with the extra hour of daylight – from scenic drives to meeting friends for happy hour al fresco, we’ll be using that extra daylight to the fullest here at Metromile. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour this Sunday and see ya outside!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

The Complete Guide to Researching and Buying Car Insurance

You may not associate shopping for car insurance with a high-stakes game of blackjack, but the truth is, both are a gamble. Picking the right policy is a game of risk: insurance carriers are constantly managing and mitigating unpredictable circumstances while policyholders are the ones actually living through the daily uncertainties of treacherous traffic jams, storms, and other hazardous road conditions.

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Life is risky enough; there’s no need to up the ante and play games when it comes to insurance coverage. That’s why we’ve created this guide to walk you through researching and buying the best car insurance policy for you.

Things To Think About Before You Research Plans

Before you even start the research process, taking the time to think through these factors can save you time, money, and headaches down the road:

  • Factors that will affect your insurance cost and your overall insurability. How many tickets have you received lately? What’s your credit score? Is your car banged up? Have a teen driver in the family? All of these factors can and do affect your cost and insurability, so take stock of the important stuff and be prepared for it to shape your research.
  • What’s your budget? Be realistic about what you can spend per month by creating a spending spreadsheet that clearly indicates where your money’s going, what’s a non-negotiable expense, and what could potentially get cut so you can get the best coverage possible.
  • How do you use your car and how often do you use it? Do you commute hundreds of miles each week, or does your car sit parked on the street most days? The amount you’re actually using your vehicle-and what you’re using it for-should factor into your decision around how much to spend.
  • What type of coverages are most important to you? There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for every person; depending on where you live, what kinds of other insurance you have, the kind of car you drive, and more, the type of plan you choose will vary.

How to Choose the Best Carrier for You

Now that you’ve got your personal factors sorted out, it’s time to start comparing carriers. Here’s how to find the right one for you:

  • Look for a reliable insurer. It’s important to go with a company that’s credible. Check your state’s insurance department website and read consumer reviews to get a sense of who’s legit. Friends and family are also great sources of information and experience.
  • Offers the coverages you need. Not every insurer offers every type of plan. That’s why getting clear on your non-negotiables upfront is a critical time-saving step; if a company doesn’t offer the plan you need, move on.
  • Compare policies and insurers. Take the time to visit different insurers’ websites and call for more information. Take solid notes and consider creating a spreadsheet that lists each insurer’s quotes. Comparing will help you find the best deal, so be sure to run the numbers on at least four or five different carriers and policies to have a bigger pool of contenders.

Buying Your Car Insurance Policy: Things to Look Out For

One more major step in the buying process: be sure you’re covering all the legal bases and best practices.

  • State Minimums. Each state has its own list of minimum insurance requirements, so be sure to check yours before signing up for a plan.
  • Coverage recommendations. There are some general rules of thumb to follow when it comes to purchasing a policy, according to insurance experts. Do a bit of digging and talk to the pros at each company you’re considering signing up with.

Remember: do your research, check your current coverages, and compare all your options before making a decision on a new car insurance policy. If you have any questions we are always happy to help at Metromile. Feel free to give us a call or get a quick quote now.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

When You Should File a Claim… and When You Shouldn’t

It’s an inevitable risk of driving that no one likes to think about but many have to face: a car accident. Whether you’re behind the wheel or riding as a passenger, accidents can stressful, scary, and confusing. No matter who’s at fault, collisions can bring up a lot of questions, and it can be baffling to figure out if, when, and how to involve your insurance carrier. Luckily, there are simple guidelines that can help guide you through the decision-making process.

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When You Should File a Claim

Trying to handle an accident on your own can be risky. Even if the other party involved seems nice enough and offers to pay for damages out of pocket, there’s no way to verify their personal information or accountability without the intervention of an insurance carrier.

In many scenarios, filing a claim will go a long way in protecting you and your wallet. Before you make any decisions, be sure to read and have a solid understanding of your policy-many policies state that you must notify the insurance company of any issues that may lead to a potential claim.

That said, you should always file a claim in these situations:

  • You injure someone. Even if the person says they feel fine or that they’ll settle the situation privately, it’s important to notify your insurance carrier. The injuries may be far more serious than you realize, and can result in big medical bills down the road.
  • You damage someone else’s car. Damage can sometimes be much more extensive than it seems at first glance-without involving your insurer, you could be on the hook for sky-high costs.
  • It’s not immediately clear who’s at fault. If there’s any question at all about who’s to blame for the accident, then a claim is necessary. That way your insurance company can deal with the other party’s insurance company and save you the headache of divvying up costs.
  • You accidentally do major damage to your own car.Any kind of accident, vandalization, or weather-related damage that results in hefty repair or medical bills requires a claim – even if no one else was involved (or you don’t know who the culprit was).
  • You’ve been hit and run. Even if you don’t know the driver responsible, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company in the event of a hit and run. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may qualify for some help with repair and medical costs, even if the other driver isn’t found.

When You Shouldn’t File a Claim

  • When there’s little to no damage to the other person’s car. If you just barely tap another car while attempting to parallel park, it’s probably not necessary to file a claim, but if you leave any mark whatsoever, you’ll likely need to trade personal information with the other party.
  • When you can afford to fix it yourself. If you back into a pole or hit your own garage door, it’s unfortunate, but not necessarily claim-worthy. If you’re totally sure the minor ding won’t result in any lasting issues, you’re probably better off paying the money out of pocket to avoid an increase in your coverage rate.

The bottom line is that It’s risky to handle an accident on your own. Your insurance company is there to have your back in situations just like these. Ready to switch to a more affordable carrier? Metromile may be the perfect fit- get a free quote today and see how much you could be saving.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

Vehicle Breakdown Checklist: What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

It’s a situation no one wants to deal with: a car breakdown. It can be inconvenient at best, scary at worst, and no matter what kind of malfunction you experience, you can bet the necessary fix will likely be pricey.

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No matter where you are when your car breaks down, here are 5 steps to follow to stay safe and get yourself back on the road safely.

5 Steps to Take When your Car Breaks Down:

    1.Be prepared before a breakdown. The best way to keep a bad situation from becoming worse is to be prepared. Always keep these essentials in your car in case of emergencies:

    • A cell phone charger
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • Jumper cables
    • Flares or reflectors
    • An ice scraper, snow shovel, and sand if you live in snowy conditions
    • An umbrella
    • A toolkit
    • A first aid kit
    • Coolant

    2.Know how to get off the road safely. Cars typically don’t just stop entirely when there’s a breakdown, so you’ll likely have some time as your car slows down to get over to the side of the road. Avoid braking suddenly and take your foot off the gas smoothly and gently as you steer your vehicle over to the side of the road.

    3.Call for help. This is when roadside assistance is your best friend. If you’re a Metromile customer, you have the option to add on this feature to your policy so you can get a jump, tow, or locksmith 24/7. If you’re in serious trouble, call 9-1-1.

    4.Signal to other drivers. Here’s where the flares in your trunk come in handy. As long as it’s safe to get out of your car and walk to the back, place both flares behind your vehicle about 50 feet away or more if possible. Turn on your hazard lights and pop your hood so motorists know to steer clear.

    5.Use your best judgment. Strangers may stop to offer help while you wait for roadside assistance. It’s best to follow your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, stay in your car (as long as it’s safe), and only roll down the windows enough to talk and let them know help is on the way.

Breakdowns are never fun but if you follow these steps it will be just a car breakdown rather than a total mental breakdown. Interested in Metromile pay-per-mile insurance and Roadside assistance? Get a free quote now.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

As temperatures dip, it can become harder and less convenient to get through everyday life. But aside from the unpleasant chill in the air, cold weather can mean real road hazards that put your safety at risk. Every year, far too many drivers lose their lives to wintertime accidents. But by taking a few preventive measures and precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk and feel safer behind the wheel, no matter the season.

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Here are the top 10 cold weather driving safety tips you need to know:

    1.Keep your car in top shape. Be sure your battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers are all up to snuff, and put no-freeze fluid in your washer reservoir. Keep your windows clear, check your antifreeze, and always be sure to keep your gas tank at least half full in case you need to run your engine to stay warm in the event of a breakdown.

    2.Pack the right supplies. Everyone should have a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, and flares on hand, and if you live in a snowy region, your trunk should pack an ice scraper, snow shovel, sand or salt.

    3.Plan your route. Even if you know exactly where you’re going, check weather conditions, traffic, accident reports, and other factors that may impact your trip.

    4.Adjust your speed accordingly. When weather conditions change, it’s important to stay present and in tune with your surroundings; you may need to drive slower than average to stay safe and in control. Remember that posted speed limits apply to dry roads, not those covered in ice or snow, so let your sense dictate your speed; not necessarily the signs.

    5.Keep a safe amount of space between you and other vehicles. Stopping distances are longer on icy roads-driving too close behind another car can result in a rear-end crash.

    6.Know how to get unstuck. If you do get stuck in the snow, avoid spinning your wheels; this will just dig you deeper into the slush. Figure out the simplest way to dig yourself out of the hole and clear the snow in front of and behind all four tires before spreading sand or kitty litter to provide instant traction. As you maneuver the vehicle out, keep your front tires straight so you’ll encounter less resistance.

    7.Be prepared for a skid. Skidding on an icy road can be scary, but it’s important to stay as calm as possible so you can move through the important safety steps: avoid slamming on your brakes, take your foot off the gas, and steer in the direction you want to go. Allow the car to slow down so you can regain control.

    8.Know your brakes. Being aware of the type of brakes you have will dictate how you use them: if you have anti-lock brakes, you can apply steady pressure, but if you have non-anti-lock brakes, you’ll need to pump them gently so you avoid locking them and losing control.

    9.Take on hills the right way. You may be tempted to power up a hill, but using extra gas on a snowy incline can cause your wheels to spin. Instead, gain some inertia on flat road before you reach the hill, and as you reach the peak, reduce your speed (but don’t stop!) so you can head downhill as slowly as possible.

    10.If possible…stay home. The only way to completely eliminate the risk of cold weather driving is to avoid it whenever possible. If you don’t absolutely have to get behind the wheel, don’t-even if you’re an excellent wintertime driver, others on the road may not be as skilled.

Bundle up, stay warm, and be safe out there – and if you haven’t checked out Metromile, get a free quote now.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

Snow Tires vs. Chains: Everything You Need to Know

With winter firmly planting her feet in for the next six weeks (thanks, Punxsutawney Phil), it’s time to get serious about your tire choices and how it will affect your ability to travel. Four wheel drive or all-wheel drive: it doesn’t matter how powerful your car is – if the tires have zero traction, then you’ll be on the road to going nowhere fast. If you live somewhere that gets dangerously slick during the winter, having reliable traction is a must. The real question then becomes: snow tires or chains – which form of traction is better?

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The debate has been going for years, with both having their benefits and disadvantages. Let’s weigh in on the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed decision this winter!

    Non-Studded Snow Tires:

  • Pros:There’s no doubt about it – snow tires provide excellent traction on snowy and icy road conditions. Non-studded snow tires perform extremely well on ice and packed snow. In particular, non-studded snow tires also perform well on dry roads, making them a great multi-purpose option. Additionally, they won’t cause any damage to dry roadways (which is a feature unique to non-studded snow tires).
  • Cons: They’re pricey. Not only will you have to fork out cash for the tires themselves (and they’re not cheap), but you will also need to front the cost of having them professionally installed and removed at the start and end of the season. Non-studded snow tires also do not provide great traction in deep snow and wear out faster when driven on dry pavement.
  • Studded Snow Tires:

  • Pros: Studded snow tires are also an excellent form of traction in the wintertime. The metal studs on the tire grip the snow and ice even better than non-studded snow tires. Just like non-studded snow tires, they are a very reliable option for navigating treacherous roadways; in addition to providing better traction and handling, the studs provide an additional point of contact on slick surfaces like ice and compacted snow.
  • Cons: Studded snow tires have proven to be quite damaging to dry pavement and should only be used when driving in slippery conditions. These tires may even be illegal in some states – or if they are legal, it’s only during certain months of the year (depending on your region). They are also quite pricey and like non-studded snow tires, you will need to pay to have them professionally installed and removed.
  • Chains:

  • Pros: First, chains are substantially less expensive than snow tires – to some folks, that fact alone may tip the scales in favor of chains. Chains also provide the greatest amount of traction on ice, packed snow, and deep snow (in which snow tires do not have the advantage). Another great feature of chains: you can easily install and remove them yourself! This makes them a fantastic option if you don’t typically need winter weather traction and are only traveling through inclement conditions temporarily.
  • Cons: If you have chains on your tires, you should not (and in some places, cannot) drive on dry pavement. Driving on dry pavement with chains will not only damage the roadway but will be a bone-rattling experience for all inside the vehicle. Some people equate driving with chains on dry pavement to the feeling of driving with square tires – yikes! While in use, you should plan to drive at a very low speed and should only use them when absolutely necessary, to avoid potential damage to your vehicle.

Non-studded, studded, or chains – one size definitely does not fit all! When weighing these options, consider the pros and cons to determine which would best fit into your lifestyle. Also, be sure get a quick free quote with Metromile now. Be safe out there this winter and see you on the roads!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

What is Full Coverage?

When it comes to insurance it seems like everyone is searching for the holy grail of “Full Coverage.” But what does that even mean…and does it even exist?

Spoiler alert: There’s actually no such thing as “Full Coverage” in the sense that no plan you choose will cover every possible scenario under the sun. The phrase “Full Coverage” typically refers to a combination of coverages meant to protect you and your vehicle. But the magical plan many people refer to as “Full Coverage” is really just a myth.

What-is-Full-Coverage

Let’s break down the facts so you can truly understand what your auto insurance policy covers-and what it doesn’t.

What is “Full Coverage” anyway?

There’s no single plan you can request that will provide “Full Coverage.” If you talk to your insurer about getting full coverage, you’re likely discussing a combination that includes the following:

  • Liability or no-fault insurance that’s required by your state. This covers any bodily injury and property damages to others if you cause an accident.
  • Collision coverage that pays for damages that affect your vehicle in an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage for things like vandalism, theft, and other damages that aren’t the result of an accident.

Even with those three standard components, however, the details and amount of protection you actually get from a “Full Coverage” combo will vary depending on your insurance carrier, so it’s always important to read the fine print of your policy.

What “Full Coverage” Doesn’t Cover

But before you feel secure thinking “Full Coverage” has you covered from every angle, consider the many important things this combination of coverage doesn’t cover:

  1. Medical payments: You’ll need an additional type of coverage in order to pay for any post-accident medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault for the incident. This type of coverage may also help pay for any expenses that exceed your health insurance limits.
  2. Uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM): If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, UM/UIM coverage is the only way to receive payments that they’re responsible for but can’t deliver because of their coverage status.
  3. Emergency road services: Otherwise known as roadside assistance or towing and labor, emergency road service coverage helps pay for unpredictable emergencies like flat tire changes or a battery jump-start.
  4. Customized parts and equipment: If you’re hoping to deck your car out with the latest technology or special add-ons, you’ll want customized parts and equipment coverage to help cover the costs.
  5. Rental cars: If you need to rely on a replacement vehicle in the event of an accident, rental car insurance is the only way to get that cost covered.

Determining Which Coverage is Right for You

If all this info is overwhelming, consider this: there’s no one-size-fits-all comprehensive combination of plans. Your specific needs as a driver are unique and the type of coverage you choose will depend on a lot of personal factors. When deciding on the right coverage, think about these key pieces of info and then can make an informed decision from there:

  • What type of car you have and how new it is
  • The quality and limits of your health insurance
  • Where your car is garaged
  • Your budget
  • Your driving behavior

Remember, there’s no such thing as “Full Coverage” and the best way to understand and know what your insurance policy will cover is to carefully read the fine print. Have specific questions about your Metromile policy? Our team of licensed insurance specialists is standing by, happy to help. Just give us a call at (888) 244-1702. If you aren’t a Metromile customer and want to see your savings, get a quick quote now.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

How to Beat Traffic at its Own Game

Last week INRIX, Inc., the world leader in transportation analytics and connected car services, published its annual Global Traffic Scorecard that details their research into traffic and congestion and its associated cost for drivers in developed countries. Unsurprisingly, the United States topped the list with ten major cities making the list; Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas. INRIX contends that this congestion cost U.S. drivers $305 Billion last year, which equates to about $1,400 per driver.

How-to-Beat-Traffic-at-its-Own-Game-

Being the data nerds that we are, who LOVE to save money for low-mileage drivers, we found this study to be tremendously fascinating. INRIX analyzed 1,360 cities across 38 countries and found Los Angeles to be the most congested city in the world for the sixth year in a row. No surprise there — traffic congestion got to be so bad in L.A. in the 90s that the State of California began requiring all vehicles be equipped with an Onboard Diagnostic Port to detect emission failures. The OBD port is actually what makes pay-per-mile insurance possible, and since the introduction of the Clean Air Act and the OBD requirement, toxic emissions have steadily decreased across the country and in Los Angeles especially. We’ve also found that people who switch to Metromile tend to drive less than they did with traditional insurance, which got us thinking: Are Metromile customers spending less time in traffic on average than other drivers?

Here’s what we found:
According to INRIX, Los Angeles drivers spent an average of 102 peak hours in traffic between the hours of 6am-9am and 3pm-6pm last year alone – more than in any other city in the world. On average Metromilers in Los Angeles are spending 2 less minutes per day navigating gridlock, that’s a total of 6.5 hours a year. You could drive to a lot of places from L.A. in 6.5 hours – Vegas anyone?

The study also claims that San Francisco motorists fared slightly better than their neighbors to the south during peak traffic hours, wasting an average of 79 hours in traffic in 2017. But according to Metromile data, Bay Area drivers spend an average of 4 and a quarter days (or 102.16 hours) a year getting to and from the places they needed to be during high traffic times.

Two other Metromile covered cities ranked on the INRIX list of Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.S.; Chicago and Seattle. INRIX ranked Chicago as the 8th most congested city in America and Seattle the 9th, with drivers in each city spending 57 and 55 hours, respectively, in traffic last year. Though Metromilers may be driving less miles in these cities on average, they are definitely spending more time stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. So far this year Chicagoans are spending 21 minutes a day, which will equate to 84 hours this year, commuting (or stuck!) during peak traffic hours. Seattle customers are spending just over 3 days per year in traffic on average (76 hours).

Conclusion:
Though we have seen improvements in the past twenty years in infrastructure and public transportation, traffic and congestion are costing consumers billions of dollars each year. Direct costs to consumers include fuel, car maintenance and most importantly, wasted time. Unless we look to innovative solutions to our transportation problems drivers will face bigger traffic jams year after year and gradually lose more time and more money.

Although not all Metromilers are spending less time in traffic than the average American driver, they do have the tools to help them reduce their overall mileage and hopefully avoid those jams altogether. Metromile customers all gain free access to our smart driving app that makes owning a car as seamless, affordable and simple as possible. The app tracks your trips so you can better understand how little changes in your commute can have a big impact on the amount of time or gas it takes to get where you are going. You can even look at details like speed, how long your trip takes and how much gas that trip cost you. If you are ready to take control of your driving (and your insurance bill) get a free quote now.