What the F-NOL?

If you’ve been reading the Metromile blog for a while (hey, thanks!), then you’re probably a veritable expert in all things coverage and claims related. You can likely school your friends and family on what “liability” coverage really means, and it’s a safe bet you know what to do in the event of a minor fender bender. Now that you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to graduate to the next level and learn the answer to an age-old question: what the F-NOL?

What is F-NOL?

Let’s break it down: a FNOL is the First Notice of Loss or First Notification of Loss. The “loss” in this instance refers to the insured product, which—unfortunately—is your vehicle. You may not even know it, but if you’ve ever contacted your insurance provider about a theft, loss, or damage, you’ve filed a FNOL.

The FNOL is a critical piece of the post-accident/incident process, both for you and your insurance company. In some cases, it’s a requisite first step in the formal claim process because it alerts your insurer to the situation and it gives you the opportunity to quickly and accurately report the details of the theft or destruction. But let’s be honest—most of us are anything but cool, calm, and collected following a robbery, accident, or vandalism. You’ll want to get going on your FNOL as soon as possible, but you’ll likely want and need a system that’s simple to navigate and won’t cause your already-elevated stress levels to skyrocket.

Metromile’s First Notice of Loss

Luckily, some insurance companies have evolved to offer a simpler, streamlined, super-convenient FNOL process. Metromile is leading the pack. Rather than relying on an antiquated call center system to address your immediate questions and concerns, Metromile has AVA, a smart, savvy AI claims system who can accurately verify claims in seconds. Using Metromile Pulse sensor data, AVA is able to reconstruct the scene of an accident to verify claim details. Once claims are verified, she can also help process payments, locate local repair shops, schedule rental cars, and more.

Thanks to AVA’s impressive intelligence, she’s able to guide you through the FNOL process, one step at a time. Unlike other insurance companies that require customers to figure out the FNOL process solo, Metromile provides support from beginning to end. While Metromile drivers are welcome to submit FNOLs over the phone, they also have the options of filing online or through the Metromile app (because in stressful times, an array of easy options is great). And as AVA gets smarter, she may one day even be able to submit FNOLs for drivers in their absence, meaning she’d kick off your claims process even if you weren’t present for the theft or damage. Until then, AVA and everyone behind the scenes at Metromile has your back and is here to take the WTF out of FNOLs and more.

Still Have Questions?

Need more info? Visit the Metromile Help Center to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. And if you’re ready, go online to get a personalized quote or call 1.888.242.5204 to talk to a qualified agent. Already a customer? Awesome! How about spreading the love? Refer a friend, and you’ll receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card when they get their verified quote.

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.

Uninsured and Underinsured – What Do You Do?

It’s not exactly a fun way to pass the time, but do you ever think about what you’d do in the event of an accident? If you were the one responsible (hey, it happens to the best of us), you probably know the steps to take to get the claims process going. And if you’re involved in an accident caused by another party, you’ll want to get up to speed on filing a claim with the other driver’s insurer. But in both those instances, someone’s insurer is there to cover costs and facilitate the process.

Uninsured and Underinsured – What do I do?

So what happens if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have adequate coverage—or worse yet, doesn’t have coverage at all? That’s where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes into the equation.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Just like its name suggests, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (sometimes called UM/UIM) exists to protect you in case another driver hits you and doesn’t have the coverage to pay up for costs and damages. This type of coverage also comes in handy in case of a hit-and-run crash — if another driver hits you and takes off, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will ensure you’re not left on the hook for all of your expenses. Whether you have medical bills, car repair payments, or both, this type of coverage will prevent you from having to pay for everything out-of-pocket.

Even if the at-fault driver in an accident has coverage, it may not be enough to cover your costs. Their liability limits may be too low to pay for your bills, or their limits may be less than or equal to your UM/UIM coverage limit. In both those scenarios, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be a lifesaver.

While this type of coverage may sound like a no-brainer-must-have addition to your policy, not all states make it mandatory. In fact, only 21 states and the District of Columbia require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage by law. And if your state doesn’t mandate it, and you’ve never had a reason to know about it, you might wind up with an unpleasant surprise in the unfortunate event of an accident — after all, according to the Insurance Information Institute, one in eight drivers is uninsured.

The Different Types of UM Coverage

Now that you understand the logic behind UM/UIM coverage, it’s time to get familiar with the two distinct types of UM that exist:

  1. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) can help cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering for people who are protected under your policy (like family members in other cars or passengers in your insured car) if they’re involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
  2. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) can help pay for the damage done to your vehicle if you’re hit by an identifiable uninsured driver (though it’s not always applicable to hit-and-runs). This type of coverage isn’t available in all states, and if it is available in your state, it may not cover hit-and-runs, so be sure to talk to a licensed agent about your specific location and situation.

Some states require drivers to have UMBI and/or UMPD:

  • UMBI coverage is required in: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • UMPD coverage is required in: Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. It’s also required in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, but drivers are allowed to reject it if they submit a written request.

Coverage limits (the total amount an insurance company will pay for a single accident or claim) vary greatly by the insurer and state. There are also different coverage minimums in states where UMBI and/or UMPD are required. For example, in California, the minimum for UMBI coverage is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident, and the minimum for UMPD coverage is $3,500. It’s important to talk to a licensed agent so you know the limits in your specific state (give us a call 1.888.242.5204 to do so).

Do You Really Need UM/UIM Coverage?

Of course, tacking on UM/UIM coverage does come with an added cost. So if you’re on a tight budget, how do you decide if it’s right for you? It might be worth considering the following factors:

  1. The number of uninsured drivers in your specific state (live in Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, Tennessee, or Florida? You’ll want to check out those stats).
  2. The minimum liability coverage your state requires is low, and your vehicle is worth a lot.
  3. If the thought of being involved in a hit-and run (even as a pedestrian, since that’s included) keeps you up at night.

So what is the added cost of UM/UIM coverage? Like pretty much everything in the world of insurance costs, it depends. A lot of pieces of info are factored into the cost of your coverage, like your age and location, claims history, chosen limits, and the type of vehicle you drive. In general, you can expect UM/UIM coverage to make up about 5-10 percent of the total cost of your premium.

Still Have Questions?

This stuff can get confusing, so if you still have questions, it’s totally understandable. And it’s likely other drivers have those questions too — that’s why Metromile has a Help Center that houses some of the most frequently asked questions, including those about UM/UIM coverage. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for there, no problem. The licensed agents at Metromiles are available to answer your questions, provide a free quote, and address any concerns you may have. If you’re an existing customer, call 1.888.311.2909, and if you’re looking to start a new policy, call 1.888.242.5204. No matter whether you’re new to the Metromile family or just looking to better understand your policy, visit www.metromile.com and find out why having the right kind of coverage for your life and budget matters.

Building a Better Claims Experience, From the Ground Up

From a driver’s perspective, filing an auto insurance claim with most traditional insurance companies is usually nothing short of nightmarish. The scenario that got you there in the first place was probably anything but pleasant, resulting in a crash, an injury, or worse—both. And of course, the process that follows those unfortunate events is usually pretty painful, involving a lot of back and forth, endless piles of paperwork, and most likely a major headache (or three).

That’s why Metromile made the bold move in August 2016 to go off the beaten path and create an entirely new claims system. It’s become increasingly obvious that all auto insurance customers—regardless of who they sign up with—consistently get the short end of the stick when it comes to claims. So Metromile decided to build the best possible claims system imaginable—from the ground up.

How Auto Claims Work (In The Old School Insurance World)

Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock of an accident and you submit a claim to your insurance company, the claim has to go through an investigation process that leads to settlement. The process itself can vary depending on factors like the company’s policies, the nature, and severity of the accident, and whether the accident involved injuries, property damage, or both. But overall, the traditional process has always been pretty consistent:

  1. First, a claims adjuster is assigned to your case. They’ll review your policy and may contact you for some details about the accident. They may request a copy of the police report, contact the other driver involved, and talk to any listed witnesses. They may also inspect your car for damages, take photos, and even visit the scene of the accident. If there was medical care involved, they may need you to sign a medical release form so they can review your records, and they may contact your medical providers for information about your injuries.
  2. Until fault is determined, your insurance company will cover your injuries and repairs—then they’ll negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to figure out who is ultimately responsible for the bills. If it’s determined that the other driver was at fault, your insurance company will seek payment from that person’s insurance company.
  3. Once your adjuster reviews all records and other information, they’ll determine fault. What you may not know: according to the law of most states, fault isn’t an all-or-nothing issue. Your adjuster may find you to be partially at fault and therefore hold you partially responsible for the accident. For example, if they decide you’re 80% responsible, and the other driver is 20% responsible, your company may pay 80% of the settlement while the other driver’s insurance company covers the remaining 20%.
  4. Here’s where your deductible matters. With most insurance companies, when you first sign up for your policy, you choose a deductible—that’s the amount of money you’ll have to pay out of pocket toward repairs before insurance coverage kicks in.

If this lengthy, complicated, drawn-out system sounds confusing and totally broken, that’s because it is. While theoretically, it could be simple and straightforward to have a company evaluate a claim, make a decision, and move along, things are rarely so cut and dry in the real world, and a ton of variables contribute to longer-than-necessary cycle times.

Add to the equation the issue of communication. It’s pretty near impossible to cover all the necessary details in one single phone call or email, so adjusters and claimants will often have to go back and forth (and back and forth and back again) to cover all the ground necessary. This would only be a minor headache if everyone were on the same schedule, but as you can imagine, there’s a whole lot of phone tag taking place in these interactions, which limits the amount of productivity and progress. Talk about frustrating.

How Metromile Uses Data, Science, and Technology to Build the World’s Best Claims Experience

AVA-Desktop-Mobile

At this point, you’re probably tearing your hair out wondering how anything ever gets done in the traditional claims system. The Metromile team wasn’t too pleased with the process either. That’s why the company decided to go in a completely new direction. Meet AVA.

AVA

AVA is Metromile’s AI claims assistant. She’s able to accurately verify claims and works with our adjusters to quickly resolve them. How does she do it? AVA automates anything that doesn’t require a human touch, so she collects details to help you file, guides you through collecting damage photos, and helps you get paid as soon as possible.

To make this all possible Metromile uses a device called the Metromile Pulse to monitor time on the road (this is how your mileage costs are calculated). AVA uses similar data from Pulse (with your permission) to reconstruct the scene of an accident to figure out what exactly happened. She can also help connect policyholders with repair shops participating in the AVA open shop program and are located near the zip code of the vehicle’s last location. And if the policyholder has rental coverage, AVA can offer the option of reserving a vehicle through a local Enterprise-Rent-A-Car location on the Metromile online dashboard. Policyholders can even gain access to and schedule an Enterprise shuttle for pick-up from the repair shop or another specified address.

But if all this sounds a little too sci-fi, don’t freak out: just because Metromile has the amazing AVA doesn’t mean the company is all 0s and 1s behind the scenes. Metromile has a dedicated claims team made up of industry experts who work tirelessly to ensure customers get back on the road as quickly as possible. In fact, a lot of the work AVA does directly helps the claims adjusters so they can know exactly what happened in any situation.

Have Questions?

Building an innovative claims process isn’t easy. And Metromile knows that. But we aren’t really interested in going the simple route—instead, we are dedicated to providing low-mileage drivers coverage that’s fair, affordable, and high-quality. If you’re already a customer, explore metromile.com and get to know all the unique features that make Metromile the right provider for you. And if you haven’t made the switch yet, head to the website for a free quote and find out how you can take the pain out of the claims process (and so much more).

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

When was the last time you used “subrogation” in a sentence? How about “telematics”? “Indemnity”? Odds are unless you’re studying your handy insurance jargon glossary on a daily basis, you’re probably not dropping these terms into casual conversation. The world of insurance terms can be confusing, intimidating, and downright frustrating, especially to someone just learning the ropes. Whether your switching insurance companies, changing plans, or just trying to educate yourself on your options, you might quickly find yourself bemoaning the often-confusing, sometimes-convoluted, always-complicated terminology.

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

Luckily, Metromile has found a way to make insurance lingo actually make sense—even to the most inexperienced newbie. Finding a plan that fits your budget and lifestyle and keeps you feeling at ease knowing you’re covered is so important—not just for your peace of mind, but for your physical and financial security. Here’s what you need to know so you can choose the plan that’s perfect for you.

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

Throw the word “comprehensive” on anything and it sounds pretty impressive and all-encompassing, right? What else could you possibly need if you’ve got something “comprehensive” on your side? Well, for starters, collision coverage. If you’re struggling to make sense of how something “comprehensive” could omit an issue as major as collisions (especially when cars are involved), you’re not alone. Before you judge a book by its cover and go with the first seemingly all-inclusive plan you see, get to know the ins and outs of what “comprehensive” and “collision” coverage are really all about:

  • Collision insurance coverage: Collision coverage helps pay for repairs to your own vehicle in case you crash into another car, an object, or you experience a roll-over. This type of insurance will also help cover the cost to replace your car if it is totaled in an accident. In the event of a hit-and-run, your car could be covered with this type of insurance, but it’s not guaranteed in all states. While you might think this type of coverage should be required, it’s not—most states only mandate you to have coverage for injuries or damages you cause to someone else in an accident. There aren’t many states that require drivers to have insurance that covers their own damages.
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage: Comprehensive coverage is also optional in most states, but you’ll want it if you think it’s a good idea to be covered in the event of non-accident-related damages. Comprehensive coverage helps pay to repair or replace your car for damages that occurred in just about anything but an accident. Usually, this type of plan covers damages from events including natural disasters, fires, falling objects, vandalism, theft, and hitting (or being hit) by animals like deer, cows, bears, etc.

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

Do You Really Need Comprehensive and/or Collision Coverage?

In most states, no one’s going to (figuratively!) twist your arm to sign up for comprehensive and collision coverage. The majority of states only require liability coverage (which covers damages for the people you hit in the event of an accident that’s your fault). But just because you’re not required to have additional coverage doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t consider it.

When you’re trying to figure out the kind of coverage you really need and want, it’s best to look beyond the bare minimum legal requirements of your state and take stock of several factors in your life:

  • What’s your monthly budget? The more money you pay for your policy and the lower you set your deductible, the less money you’ll have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident or other event. You don’t want to barely scrape by every month in order to afford your coverage, but you do want to settle on an amount that’s affordable and puts your mind at ease.
  • Do you have an emergency fund? If you don’t opt for collision or comprehensive coverage, could you repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a crash or other incident?
  • Do you own your car? If you lease or finance your car, your bank may require you to have collision or comprehensive coverage (be sure you’ve closely studied your contract!), but if the car is all yours, then you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you have the funds to fix or replace it after a damaging event.
  • How likely are you to file a claim? It’s impossible to predict the future, and the saying “accidents happen” is a saying for a reason. But if you know you’ve gotten into your fair share of fender benders over the years, then that fact is worth taking into consideration.

If you’ve mulled those questions over and come to the realization that collision and/or comprehensive coverage is right for you, then it’s time to figure out how much you need. Here’s where your deductible comes into play—that’s the out-of-pocket expense that you agree to pay for losses up to a set amount, like $250 or $1,000. The lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay for insurance (since your out-of-pocket expense will be lower and your insurer will have to cover the rest). You can also choose to pay a higher deductible and pay less for insurance, but that means if you do want to take advantage of your collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to shell out more out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the rest.

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

Still Have Questions?

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

If you’d rather talk one-on-one with a qualified specialist, Metromile has plenty of those too. Call 1.888.242.5204 any time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m .PT, Monday through Friday, and a licensed agent will be able to address any of your concerns, give you a personalized quote, or start your new policy. Already a customer? Awesome. Call 1.888.311.2909 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and a qualified specialist will help you out. Your driving situation is unique—be sure to choose a company that gets that and will work with you to find a customized plan that makes sense and meets your needs.

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 “Aware” of Insurance Are You?

Wedged between Flag Day and the Fourth of July is the summer holiday you probably didn’t know you needed: Insurance Awareness Day. That’s right—June 28 is the day Americans are encouraged to educate themselves on their current policies and make sure they’re getting the coverage they need. We’re not totally sure what constitutes an appropriate way to celebrate this annual event (would streamers and balloons be overkill?), but we do know the day is a great excuse to get familiar with the ins and outs of insurance and feel confident that you’re covered.

pay-per-mile car insurance

While Insurance Awareness Day may not get the same Hallmark treatment as some other national commemorations, the holiday is worth recognizing. After all, according to a survey from car insurance comparison marketplace, The Zebra, 81 percent of consumers say they have the coverage they need, but 99 percent failed to correctly identify 10 basic coverage types and terms. Potentially more shocking? Twenty-two percent of respondents didn’t even realize they’re required by law to have car insurance. Scary, right?

You may know a thing or two about car insurance (or you may be part of that twenty-two percent—that’s okay! No judgment!). No matter how much knowledge you think you’ve got, it’s always a great idea to brush up on the basics and feel safe, secure, and satisfied with your coverage.

Why Insurance Coverage Is a Must

While most people do know they need car insurance, far fewer probably know why. Like any other kind of security, car insurance protects you (and your passengers) in case of an unexpected incident, like an accident, theft, damage, etc. Every state requires drivers to have some kind of insurance plan, but the specific requirements vary based on location. Regardless of where you live though, the local law does require you to prove you can pay damages in the event of an accident.

It seems straightforward, but car insurance can get a lot more complex than that. There are various types that offer different levels of protection; some are required and some are optional. Understanding the factors that go into determining the type of coverage you need can help you find a plan that’s got your back at a premium that won’t break the bank.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Policy

Unless you’re an insurance professional, chances are you’re a little perplexed by all the paperwork that comes with coverage. Getting to know a few key terms can help you get up to speed:

  • Declaration page: This refers to the first page (or several pages) of your policy that states the name of the person insured, their address, the insurance provider, the policy term, coverage limits, and other key facts about the plan and who it’s covering.
  • Coverage: This one seems simple, but there are various types of car insurance coverage available:

    • Bodily Injury (BI) coverage is required by most states to cover costs related to injuries or deaths to other people in the event of an accident that’s your fault.
    • Property Damage Liability (PD) covers the cost of damages to someone else’s property if you’re at fault in an accident.
    • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) covers you in an accident if other driver is at-fault and uninsured.
    • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIMBI) is very similar to UMBI but pays up to the limit for expenses in case the other driver is at-fault for the accident but can’t cover your costs because of their own plan’s insufficient liability limits.
    • Medical Payments could pay the medical deductibles and copayments that aren’t covered by your health insurer, or the insurer of any of your passengers.
    • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers your medical costs regardless of who’s at fault for the accident.
    • Comprehensive coverage can be helpful if your car is stolen or damaged in ways that don’t involve a collision.
    • Collision coverage covers you if your car collides with another object (like a car, a brick wall, a tree, etc).
    • Collision Deductible Waiver coverage isn’t available in every state, but if you have it, your collision deductible will be waived in case you’re in accident with an uninsured at-fault driver.
    • Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage pays for damages to your car if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Deductible: The out-of-pocket amount you have to pay after a covered event (like an accident, theft, or weather damage) before your insurance kicks in. It’s basically your financial responsibility in case anything happens. For example, if your car requires $5,000 in repairs, and your deductible is $1,000, you’ll have to pay $1,000 before your insurer will pay the remaining $4,000. Your car insurance deductible will be applied for each claim you file (unlike health insurance deductibles which apply across the calendar year). That means if you submit two car insurance claims in a year, you’ll have to pay your deductible both times.
  • Premium: Your premium is the amount of money you pay your insurer to provide coverage for qualifying claims. The amount you pay is based on a variety of factors, including type and amount of coverage you want, the type of car you drive, your location, your driving record, your credit history, your age, your gender, and marital status.
  • Claim: A demand made by the insured person for provide coverage and compensation from the insurance company in the event of a loss, subject to the terms of the insurance policy contract.
  • Risk Assessment: This is how likely the insurer thinks it will be that you’ll file a claim, based on your driving record and other factors—this determines your rate.

How to Pick The Coverage That’s Right For You

To say car insurance is confusing is a major understatement. To know which kind of coverage you need, it’s best to ask yourself a series of questions so you can figure out the right policy for you. Here are some things to consider:

  • How much coverage do you need (and what’s required by your state)?
  • How much do you drive?
  • What’s your risk assessment?
  • Who will the policy cover?
  • What will your deductible be?
  • Is your car leased or financed?
  • Will you be driving for work?

Still confused? We don’t blame you—auto coverage can be a thorny issue. To ring in Insurance Awareness Day this year, why not visit metromile.com? You’ll find lots more information and have the chance to get a free quote. Now that’s the perfect way to celebrate.

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.

Rental Car Safety Tips

If you’ve ever owned a car, you know the intimate bond that’s forged between driver and vehicle over time. You get to know this car — it’s your car. It might even have a name, a personality, a special skill (for example, my 1996 beauty goes by Lexi, she’s quirky but dependable, and she’s so scratched and dented, no one tries to mess with her).

Rental-Car-Safety-Tips

But when you don’t get behind the wheel often enough to merit a car purchase or you’re traveling far and need to leave the wheels behind, you might need to invest in a rental. And while a rented ride can be pretty sweet, it can also feel unfamiliar and kind of freaky. You never want to be uncomfortable on the road — tension and anxiety aren’t your allies when you’re trying to stay safe. Luckily, practicing a few simple strategies when you pick up your rental can help you find your cool and feel confident in the driver’s seat.

Rental Car Safety Tips

    1. Make sure your insurance plan includes car rental coverage. Most Metromile policies do transfer to rental vehicles, so if you’re a Metromile customer, you’re probably good to go. If you’re not sure what kind of coverage you have, contact your carrier ASAP and work out the details before you reserve your rental. Insurance is a must whether the vehicle you’re driving is yours or someone else’s — iron out the logistics ahead of time.

    2. Inspect your car at the lot. You might be stoked to drive off into the sunset in your new ride, but don’t leave the lot without doing a thorough inspection of the vehicle. Take a look at the mileage, look for dings and scratches, and check the tires and fluid levels (and make sure that gas tank is full!). You might also want to open the trunk and make sure you have the correct tools to change a tire if necessary.

    3. Cover the basics. Before you drive off, talk to the rental agent about who you should contact if the car breaks down, you misplace your keys, or you mistakenly leave them in the vehicle. Be sure to write the contact information down and keep it on you at all times (storing the info in your phone is great, but what happens if you accidentally lock that sucker in the car along with your keys?).

    4. Get familiar. Even if you’ve been behind the wheel since high school, all cars are different — your rental will likely have some quirks you’re not familiar with. Take a few minutes to adjust your seat and mirrors, locate the turn signals and light switches, and take a brief lap around the lot to make sure you feel confident.

    5. As always, buckle up. It should go without saying, but seatbelts are a must, no matter which car you’re driving. Don’t forget to secure your belt before you go.

    6. Study your geography. If you’re in a new area, be sure to take a good long look at a map, consult your GPS, and plan your route ahead of time.

    7. Eliminate the distractions before you drive. If you know you’re going to want to listen to the radio or play music on your phone, figure out the technical logistics before you start the engine. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents — stash your phone somewhere where you won’t be tempted to glance at it, and prepare to focus all your attention on the road.

Whether you’re traveling for work or gearing up for an epic summer road trip, taking basic precautions will help keep you safe in your rental car. Need insurance coverage that will have your back, wherever you go? Visit www.metromile.com today for a free quote.

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.

Metromile Claims, By The Numbers

There were over 4.5 million car accidents involving property damage in the U.S. last year. And while not every accident turns into a claim, and not every claim is handled by Metromile, we still care. Why? Because we’re building a seamless claims process so that even the most minor fender benders can be resolved quickly and you can get back on the road faster.

So today, we are taking a look at all the claims we resolved in 2017, and how the whole process was made simpler with the help of data, science, technology — and a little bit of magic.


*Based on 2017 Metromile Claims Data.

Want to learn more about our experimental approach to building a better claims experience?

The best way to get to the truth of what low-impact and hit-and-run crashes would look like to the Pulse and AVA is to truly measure those collisions in the field. So that’s precisely what we did. We found a couple of used cars and put Pulse devices in them. Then we crashed them. Over, and over again.

(more…)

How Will a Claim Affect My Insurance Premium

Hey, you know what’s worse than getting into any kind of car accident? Getting into a car accident and then worrying about how filing a necessary claim could affect your insurance rate. We’ve all been there, stressing over the potential consequences of what feels like a tarnished reputation. While you can’t predict exactly how your coverage may or may not change following a claim, it’s important to know the possibilities.

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Will Filing an Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?

The overarching rule when it comes to the impact of claims on coverage is that every policyholder’s situation is unique. That means depending on your circumstances, your premium may or may not change. A few contributing factors insurers consider when deciding the impact an accident may have on your rate:

  • The terms of your policy
  • Whether you were at fault for the accident
  • How many claims you’ve filed in the past
  • Insurance regulations in your state

While there’s no such thing as “full coverage,” your specific policy is likely a combination of coverage that includes:

  • State-required liability or no-fault insurance to cover 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 more.

No matter what kind of coverage you have, the fine print matters: Be sure to review your individual policy and get familiar with the terms and conditions so you’re not surprised in the event of a post-accident premium hike. Another thing to note is that your coverage and any potential pricing adjustments also could rely on the accuracy of facts that you, as the insured, present to your insurer when you purchase your policy. It is critical to keep your insurer regularly updated about any changes – like additional drivers, or vehicle updates – to avoid any potential coverage issues or delays in claims processing.

Your driving track record is really what insurers consider the biggest predictor of your future driving behavior, so the more claims you rack up, the more likely your premium is to rise, especially if you’ve been at-fault for accidents in the past. If you’re filing a current claim for an accident that wasn’t your fault, your insurer will take that information into account, but there no guarantees regarding your future rate. If you were at fault, however, you should know that certain behaviors are generally considered a lot more serious—and therefore more reprehensible—than others. Reckless or impaired driving, for example, may result in a major price increase (or even a cancellation of coverage, depending on the terms of your policy).

Whether you’re rear-ended in a minor fender bender or involved in a major pileup as the result of your own actions, it’s essential to report the accident to your insurer. This will help provide your carrier with all the information they need to properly investigate the issue and do everything possible to protect you if the other driver involved files their own claim.

The most important takeaway is to find an insurance provider who truly has your back. If you’re ready to make a switch, visit Metromile today for a free quote.

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.

Should I File a Claim with Their Insurer or Mine?

You’re driving along, minding your own business (maybe singing along to some questionable throwback tracks) when bam! — another driver ruins your day. You’re fine, but now you have to deal with the aftermath of the accident. It’s clear to everyone involved that you were the innocent party in this scenario — so do you still have to file a claim with your insurer?

Should-I-File-a-Claim-with-Their-Auto-Insurer-or-Mine

It’s a common point of confusion for drivers, but there are some simple ways to assess how best to proceed so you can get back on the road and get on with your impromptu in-car karaoke sessions. There are two directions you can take after being involved in an accident where you are not at fault.

Filing a Claim With Your Own Insurer

If you have collision coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance provider. They’ll pay for the repairs to your damaged car, minus any deductible you have on the collision coverage on your policy. Your company will then pursue the other driver’s insurance company for reimbursement of the claim, including your deductible. This process is called subrogation.

Using your own collision coverage makes sense when the other insurance carrier is unresponsive, has a coverage issue with their own insured or is completing a lengthy investigation. Your insurance company will be in a position to get your vehicle repaired and back on the road in a timely fashion and then subrogate for any monies paid out including your deductible.

Filing a Claim With The Other Driver’s Insurer

If you are not at fault for an accident, do not wish to pay your deductible or you do not have collision coverage on your policy, you can pursue your claim through the other party’s insurance carrier. The other carrier will ensure coverage is in order for their insured and complete a liability investigation to determine who was at fault for the accident. Once the other party’s carrier has accepted liability for the accident, they will handle your damages.

They may require you to get an estimate of the damages to your car, work with you to identify a body shop or have you send them photos of the damage to your car. They will then pay for the damages to your car as well as pay for a rental car while yours is being repaired.

Always Call Your Insurer No Matter Where You File A Claim

Regardless of which company you decide to file a claim with, you should report the accident to your own insurer. Reporting the claim to your own insurer puts them in the best position to handle your damages should any delays occur with the other party’s carrier. Metromile policyholders should report all claims.

Still have questions? Need coverage? Visit metromile.com today or call 1.888.242.5204 to get a quote today.

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 Handle a Hit & Run

Look, If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you’ve likely experienced any number of emotions ranging from fear to anger and everything in between. But if that accident was a hit and run, you may have also been left feeling confused and hopeless. After all, how do you claim your rightful compensation for damages and injuries if the person at fault has fled the scene? Luckily, there are some specific procedures and policies in place to protect hit and run victims — here’s what you need to know:

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What Qualifies as a Hit and Run?

An accident qualifies as a hit and run if a driver intentionally flees the scene without providing the other party with their contact information. An example of this would be if another vehicle hits yours on the road and then speeds off or if a driver hits your parked car when it’s unattended and fails to leave behind their info.

How to Handle a Hit and Run

It’s understandable that a hit and run might leave you feeling frustrated and upset. The best thing you can do is try to remain calm and start collecting as much information as possible. The more facts you have about what happened, the more it will help your insurance company make a decision about your claim, and the more likely it is that the police will catch the driver responsible for the damage.

As soon as you’re safe and feel prepared to take action, follow these important steps:

    1. Try to gather as much information about the car that hit you as you can. If you were in your vehicle, do your best to recall details like the color, make and model of the car and the license plate number.
    2. Survey the scene to locate any potential witnesses who may be able to help fill in the details. Be sure to get contact information for these people.
    3. Before you leave the accident scene, take photos of the area, and be sure to immediately snap photos of your car, especially if there are traces of paint left behind from the other car.
    4. Write down the time and location of the accident; if you were away from your parked car when the accident occurred, write down as much information as you can gather.
    5. Call the police as soon as possible and file an accident report — even if the police can’t locate the responsible driver, the report serves as an official document that may help speed up the insurance claims process. Police reports must be submitted within 48-72 hours of an accident, so don’t wait to take this important step.
    6. File an auto insurance claim. If you’re a Metromile customer, follow the Accident Checklist and assess the damage to your vehicle.

Whatever you do, do not chase after a driver who hits you and leaves the scene. This may lead to another accident. Remain as calm as you can and follow the steps above instead. If you’re involved in a hit and run, or any accident, and you’re a Metromile customer, quickly and easily file a claim online or by calling 1.888.595.5485. Our team will help you get back on the road safely as soon as possible.


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.