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.


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.

8 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a New Car Insurance Policy

Whether you’re buying your first car or fifth, car insurance is non-negotiable. Besides protecting you, your car insurance will also protect anyone else who is involved in a collision with you. But the world or car insurance can be murky, and it can be difficult to understand the nuances of different providers and coverage plans.


To save you some time, we’ve compiled a list of 8 questions to ask yourself before you buy car insurance (or switch car insurance!). Once you’ve answered these 8 questions, you’ll be well on your way to making a smarter and more well-informed decision about the car insurance policy that’s right for you!

    1. What kind of coverage do I need? To start, you will need the minimum coverage required by law in your state. Since this varies by state, check out a list here to see what kind of coverage is required in your state of residence. Most states only require liability insurance, which covers the costs of anyone who gets injured or killed in a car accident caused by you, plus damage to their vehicle, property damage, and legal fees. However, some states require additional coverage beyond liability insurance. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require it by law, here are some other coverage plans typically offered by car insurance companies:

    • Collision: This kind of plan covers damages to your car in the event of an accident, regardless of who caused the damage. You will still need to front the money for the deductible, however, most people who have newer cars tend to go for this option because the amount you will receive back is based on the value of the car, and the payout will be much higher on a newer vehicle.
    • Comprehensive: This type of plan covers all damages to your car, including non-collision related damage. With a comprehensive insurance policy, your vehicle is covered if there are damages due to fire, vandalism, acts of nature, and theft. With this type of policy, however, comes a price tag. As with the collision coverage, most people with newer vehicles and/or leased vehicles tend to purchase this type of policy because the deductible vs. payout ratio is greater! Be sure to check the value of your car every year to reevaluate if comprehensive or collision coverage is the right decision for you.
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection: This coverage option is less expensive than collision or comprehensive and covers the cost of your car repairs if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you. With this option, there’s no deductible, but there’s also a limit on how much you’ll be able to collect (usually about $3,500).
    • Personal injury protection: This plan is pretty self-explanatory – it’s right there in the name! This type of plan covers medical bills and loss of wages to you or your passengers if someone hits you. If you’re injured while riding as a passenger in someone else’s car, it will cover the expenses related to that as well.

    2. How much do I drive? The answer to this question is very important, because you could very well be overpaying where you don’t need to. If you’re a city-dweller who mostly takes public transportation, or even if you just have a second car that you don’t drive very often, signing up for a policy with Metromile could save you big bucks. Metromile’s policy is pay-per-mile, so the less you drive, the less you pay. Simple as that!

    3. What’s my risk assessment? This is not meant to be a scary question, we promise. A “risk assessment” is simply how the annual rate that you will pay is determined by the insurance company – as in, how likely it will be that you’ll file a claim based on many data points gathered. Have you gotten a lot of speeding tickets, been in a few fender benders, or live in an area where car theft is prevalent? Your risk assessment will be higher and you’ll pay more. Be sure to do your research and shop around to see which company will give you the best rate based on your risk assessment.

    4. Who will be covered with the policy? Every insurance company and state handles this a bit differently, so be sure to understand what your coverage will look like before making any decisions. Try to think through every possible scenario, i.e. a friend borrows your car and hits someone, your 16 year old (who is still learning to drive) gets in an accident, etc. Who will be covered? Will your insurance company pay for the damages? Knowing the answer to this question ahead of time will save you the headache of looking for the answer after the fact.

    5. What will my deductible be? This might be the most important question of all, and one that you have the most control over. With most policies, you can choose your deductible amount: the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly payment will be. Common deductible amounts are $0, $100, $500, $750, $1,000, and $1,500. If you are involved in an accident and file a claim with your insurance company, your deductible is the amount you will need to pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay the rest of the bill. Choosing a plan with a high deductible may be a wise decision, because your yearly bill (also known as your premium) will be lower and you many never get in a car accident. However, be sure that you don’t set your deductible so high that you won’t be able to pay it if you do get in an accident and need to file a claim.

    6. Do they have 24-hour claims service? Getting into an accident is stressful enough, and knowing that you can only contact your insurance company during business hours only adds to the stress of the situation. Be sure to look for insurance carriers that provide a 24 hour claims service to their customers, like Metromile! Even if it’s just a fender bender, knowing your insurance company has your back 24/7 can provide a great amount of peace of mind.

    7. Will I be using my car for work? Nowadays, many more people are using their cars for work. With the prevalence of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, anyone with a car and a driver’s license can make money. If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that commercial auto insurance is a necessity. A personal auto insurance policy will not cover you if you transport paying passengers through ride sharing apps, if you’re delivering pizzas, performing a courier service, etc.

    8. Is my car financed or leased? It’s important to note that if you still owe money on your car, or you are expected to keep your lease in like-new condition, you’ll likely be required to insure the car for its full value – and possibly for any gap between what you owe and the car’s market value. Collision and comprehensive will cover any damages that may occur to your car, and gap insurance will cover the rest.

Finding the right car insurance policy can be tough, but Metromile wants to help. As always, we’ll be here if you have any questions along the way – we have your back! We hope these questions will help guide you in the right direction. Be sure to get a quote with Metromile while you’re on your search – we may end up being the perfect car insurance provider for you!

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.

Comparing Bundling Savings to Per-Mile Insurance Savings

All you keep hearing is bundle, bundle, bundle. Most companies offer bundling discounts, but you may not always save on insurance by doing so. We suggest doing your own research and math to really find out if you will save by bundling all of your policies together. Sometimes it works out that you will be saving, but other times you might discover that you can find bigger cost savings by keeping all your insurance policies separate.

Comparing Bundling Savings to Per-Mile Insurance Savings

To bundle insurance is to take all of your insurance policies and house them under one roof by using one insurance company, which could potentially help reduce the overall cost of each policy when taken together. Bundling is the idea that you can buy two or more types of insurance coverages from one insurance company.

Pros of Bundling:

One major benefit of bundling your insurance policies is that you will no longer have to pay separate bills for each of your policies with different companies. Instead, you will just need to pay one bill to one insurance company. Also, insurance companies will sometimes offer multi-line discounts, which means you can get a discount to your rates because you are choosing to have more than one type of policy through that company.

Cons of Bundling:

You are probably thinking, well why wouldn’t I bundle my insurance policies then? The major reason is that you could be missing out on discounts if you don’t shop around and compare savings from other companies. There are a wide variety of discounts across different states and companies that you could be missing out on if you choose to bundle rather than keeping your policies separate. Ultimately your savings could be greater than the savings you may get with bundling. Insurance companies like bundling because customers are more likely to stay with the same provider for a longer amount of time compared to those who don’t bundle. So in the long run, bundling is better for the insurance company than it is for you.

When it doesn’t make sense to bundle:

  • When you are doing it just for the discount. Beware, you might have just signed up for a new policy that was way less expensive, but with less coverage. When it comes time to file a claim you will realize you don’t actually have adequate coverage. Really consider the coverages and the rates you currently have before just grabbing the discount carrot dangling in front of you. A good rule of thumb: the new insurance policy coverages you are looking to bundle should be equal or better to the coverage you are canceling.
  • When it prevents you from shopping around. Don’t become complacent with your current policy, which could lead you to overlook a better rate or coverage.
  • When your life changes. Maybe at one point in your life bundling was a great option for you, but now you have a family, drive different cars, and it doesn’t meet your needs anymore. Don’t continue with a policy, just because you bundled, especially if it no longer fits your lifestyle.
  • When you are a low mileage driver. If you are driving less than 10,000 – 12,000 miles per year you could be taking advantage of per-mile insurance. Metromile policies are billed monthly on a per-mile basis; which means you are charged a low monthly rate based on the miles you drive. With per-mile insurance, there is no need to bundle your policy, since you will be saving money already.Learn more about per-mile insurance here.

Don’t get caught up in the hype of bundling all your insurance policies. Remember to do your research to see what options and policies work best for you. If bundling is still breaking your bank, get a free quote from Metromile now to see your savings.

Breaking Down Insurance Jargon

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

breaking down insurance jargon

Glossary of Car Insurance Terms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything You Need to Know About Car Insurance Premiums

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

Mint Green Continental. Car Insurance Premiums

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

What Determines Your Premium?

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

What Does a Premium Do?

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

How Can You Save Money on Your Premium?

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

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

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

Car Insurance Tips for Veterans

We thank our lucky stars for all veterans and active military personnel for serving our country. Veterans Day in the United States falls on the anniversary of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 which was the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. This day is intended to honor and thank all American veterans, wherever and whenever they served.

Car Insurance Tips for Veterans

Veterans live a different lifestyle than most. Some can be deployed for 6 to 18 months at a time, away from all their family and friends. They’ve given up their personal time, holidays, and special moments which can’t get back, all to serve our country. Because of their dedication to our country often times they receive military discounts as a thank you. Some car insurance companies provide discounts to active members who are deployed or for disabled veterans. Not only is it to thank them for their service, but also because statistically speaking, veterans tend to be safer drivers.

Active Military personnel and veterans need car insurance, just like everybody else. So we rounded up some helpful tips to follow to make sure you make the best decision on your car insurance policy.

    Compare your rates. To get the best rates you will need to shop around a bit and compare quotes to see what your rates would be with different carriers. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and getting a quote for the same type of coverage. Potentially even with a military discount you could get a better rate with another company that might not offer a discount. So due your due diligence in comparing rates.

    Consider your coverages. You may want to lower your coverage while on deployment, since you car may be sitting for a long time. Or maybe you want to keep it fully covered since family or friends will be driving it while you are away. Either way, weigh out the options and consider speaking with an agent about what might be best for you and your situation.

    Consult your friends/family. They can help you with your search and making a decision. They usually have great insight into finding a car insurance company and can speak to their past experience.

    Consider keeping an active insurance policy. You may be thinking why do I need insurance or want to pay for insurance if my car is going to sit while I am deployed? If you cancel your insurance, upon your return you might be quoted a higher rate because of the lapse in coverage. Also, if any disasters happen while away, your vehicle still will still be insured. If you do choose to cancel your coverage, you should file an affidavit for non-use with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Don’t fall for common insurance traps. It is time to change your mindset about how you think about your car insurance. Don’t choose the highest deductible because it gets you better rates, or don’t choose the lowest because it is the lowest. Choose what is going to be best for your lifestyle. Know that it is okay shop around and make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck for what type of coverage you need. Brand loyalty does not always mean more discounts. Rate increases or decreases might happen regardless of how long you have been a customer. And bundling with renter’s or homeowner’s insurance might not get you the most savings. It might be more cost effective to keep your policies separate. Keep an open mind and do what is best for you.

At Metromile we believe that you should pay when you drive your car, and that you shouldn’t pay when it is parked. Pay-per-mile car insurance could be the perfect fit for you while you are deployed serving our country or if you are a low mileage driver. As a policyholder you’ll pay a low monthly fee to have the service (gotta make sure your car is covered while it’s parked) and if you leave it parked while away that is all you will pay. To see how much you could be savings go to www.metromile.com/insurance. Thank you to all veterans for their service, we appreciate the time you give to our country.

How Car Insurance Rates Are Calculated

Do you feel in the dark or confused about how car insurance rates work? You aren’t alone – rates can vary from insurance company to company and from policyholder to policyholder. Your rates are determined by various factors and underwriting guidelines. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in car insurance.

blue car on scenic background. How Car insurance Rates are Calculated

Because there is not just one particular thing that causes your rates to increase or decrease, and various companies offer differing rates, it can be hard to understand which rate and which policy is the best for your particular situation. We’ve rounded up the most common factors that make up car insurance rates across carriers to help you navigate the winding road of car insurance costs.

    Age:Did you recently celebrate a birthday? Or did you just pass your driver’s license test? Rates are dependent on how many years of driving experience you have had. The more experience you have over time potentially equates to better rates. However, once you hit a certain age, rates begin to increase again because you are deemed a higher risk driver. New drivers are typically the most expensive to insure due to their lack of experience.

    Gender: Generally speaking female drivers’ car insurance rates tend to be lower than male drivers’ rates. This can most likely be attributed to statistics; data over the years has shown that women are less risky drivers than men. Men are more likely to get into an accident or be a little too heavy on the gas pedal, meaning they are higher risk drivers – which equates to higher car insurance rates.

    Location: Where you live matters when it comes to car insurance rates. Insurance companies take instances of theft, and insurance claims, into account when determining your overall rate. They even examine the overall population of specific states, cities, and suburbs – if you live in or garage in a more densely populated area, your rate is likely to be higher.

    Vehicle type: Carriers also look at how valuable your car currently is, and how much it could potentially cost to repair or replace the vehicle when determining your premium amount. Vehicles with high safety ratings tend to get better rates too; which means choosing a safer vehicle when buying a car can pay off down the road, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in insurance costs.

    Marital status: Married couples also tend to get better rates than single individuals. Couples who are married or in a domestic partnership are less likely to be in an accident than someone who is not married. So don’t forget once you get hitched to call your insurance company and let them know that you need to add your partner to your policy, be sure to check for new discounts!

    Accident history: Unfortunately, the biggest predictor of your future driving behavior is your past driving history. So if you have been at-fault for an accident in the past, this will play a huge part in determining your car insurance rate. People with prior accidents on their driving record will most likely be given a higher rate due to the at-fault accident. In the event of an accident, you will see an increase in rates upon renewal of your insurance policy.

    Driving record: Just like with accident history, your driving record is a strong predictor of how risky of a driver you are. When you get an insurance quote the carrier will pull a Motor Vehicle Record. If any tickets or traffic convictions come up, these will affect your rates. In general, driving history will count towards your car insurance rates for 3 years from the violation date.

    Annual mileage: Traditional insurance companies take into consideration how many miles you drive a year. If you fall under a certain threshold for low mileage you could receive a discount on your rate.

    Credit score: Insurance companies typically use your credit score information to determine your rates. In general, those with better credit history are considered to be less risky drivers, hence they receive lower rates.

Insurance companies take all of these factors into account when determining car insurance rates. No two individuals have the same background, history, or live the same life, so your car insurance rate is likely different than that of your neighbor. Understanding all of the risk factors that insurance companies asses can help you in the long run; if your rates are high now consider altering your driving behavior, spending some time working on improving your credit score, or shopping for a safer vehicle.

If you are a safe driver, and still feel like you are getting ripped off by your car insurance monthly premium, Metromile is excited to offer low mileage drivers a better option on car insurance with pay-per-mile. If you are driving 10,000 miles or less a year you could potentially see great savings with Metromile. To get a quote go to www.metromile.com/insurance and start by typing in your zip code.

How to Choose the Right Car Insurance Deductible

Pretty much every aspect of insurance is based on risk, – the risk of loss. Car insurance deductibles are no different. If you are shopping for new car insurance or updating your current policy, one of the most important factors to consider when getting a quote is choosing the deductible amount. It might seem enticing to pick the highest deductible since that often equates to a lower monthly premium, but saving a few bucks in the short term might mean you pay more in the long term. Let’s break down how car insurance deductibles work and walk through how to choose the best car insurance deductible for your lifestyle.

boy in red car thinking about his car insurance deductible

What is a Car Insurance Deductible?

Your car insurance deductible is the amount of money you have to pay if something happens to your car before your insurance kicks in, after a covered event (such as a crash, theft or weather damage). Similar to other types of insurance that have deductibles, your deductible can be thought of your monetary responsibility in the event of an accident or another type of covered vehicle damage. For example, if your car needs $2,000 in repairs and your deductible is $500, you will have to pay $500 and your insurer will cover the remaining $1,500. Unlike other types of insurance deductibles, your car insurance deductible will be applied for each claim you file (health insurance deductibles apply across the calendar year, but your car insurance deductible will be applied for each claim you file). So if you submit two car insurance claims in a year, you will have to pay your deductible both times.

How do Car Insurance Deductibles Work?

Many insurance providers (including Metromile) will take the deductible out of the indemnity payment (the money you receive from a claim), or the deductible will be paid directly to a repair facility if you choose to fix your car. When it comes to car insurance deductibles there are generally two ways you can approach it: either choose a high deductible to get a lower car insurance premium or choose a low deductible to reduce out-of-pocket expenses in the case of an accident.

  • What are deductibles based off of?
  • Car insurance deductibles and premiums are structured based on risk. The underlying idea is that if your policy has a high deductible (between $1,000-$2,000) you are less likely to file a claim for repairs, therefore making you less of a risk to your insurance carrier. But if you choose a low deductible (between $100-$500) you are more likely to file a claim for repairs, meaning your premium will likely be higher – because you are more of a risk to the insurance carrier. High deductible plans aren’t right for everyone, neither are low deductible plans. Your lifestyle, driving behaviors, and financial situation are all factors you should take into account when deciding your deductible amount.

  • When will I have to pay my deductible?
  • When signing up for car insurance you have to make a lot of decisions; how much liability coverage should you get? What about collision coverage? Should you pick a higher or lower deductible? All of these decisions may seem arbitrary now, but when an accident happens the choices you made can be the difference between getting your car fixed and giving your car up.

    Car insurance deductibles kick in when you make a claim, and can be payable to either your repair shop or your insurance provider depending on the amount, your plan, and your provider’s general deductible policy. Often times, you’ll pay your deductible directly to your repair shop and your insurance provider will take care of the remaining bill.

    But remember, ultimately paying your deductible is up to you. If you would rather not submit a claim, you don’t have to pay your deductible, but you will be responsible for the entire cost of your repair.

How do I Choose the Right Car Insurance Deductible Amount?

So how do you choose the right deductible amount for your needs? If you choose a higher amount, there is less chance that the insurer will have to help pay for the damage, so your monthly premium might be lower. If you choose a lower deductible, your premium might be higher, but that means you will have to spend less money in the event that something happens to your car.

You shouldn’t just choose a high deductible in hopes that you will never have to make a claim. There are always things beyond your control (like vandalism and bad weather), so if something happens and you can’t pay for repairs, that’s bad news. So when thinking about your deductible you should take into account the maximum amount you would feel comfortable paying for anything, without it causing a stress in your life. Budgeting out your financials can really help you understand what you can afford in terms of a deductible. Make sure to take your monthly income, fixed expenses, personal savings and available credit into account.

It is important to note that no matter what deductible amount you choose, you still will only be covered for expenses that your insurance policy covers. If you only have Liability coverage, the only expenses that are covered are the damages to the other driver’s vehicle and bodily injury claims from the other driver or passengers in the event that you are at fault in a car crash. If you have Comprehensive and Collision coverage, which are sold together, then you will also be covered for damages to your own car (Collision), as well as damages caused by non-collision such as theft or natural disaster (Comprehensive). The exact things that are covered vary by the insurance carrier and state, so make sure to check with the carrier to see exactly what is included (Metromile customers can check the policy contract). You can choose the deductible amount for each type of coverage, so if you think you are a safe driver, it might make sense to have a higher Collision deductible (where you can often prevent a crash) versus Comprehensive (where the events are typically out of our control).

Now that you have the information to choose the right deductible amount for your needs, try getting a quick, free quote to see how much you could save with Metromile’s per-mile car insurance offering!

Car Insurance Rates 101

We all pay different premiums when it comes to car insurance. This is because there are many factors that go into determining rates. While it’s pretty hard to predict the future, the goal is to determine the likelihood of there being a claim. Past driving record, claims history, insurance score and geographic location (if you live in the city versus suburbs) are factors that can determine insurance rates.

Insurance scores are often used to determine rates (in states where this is permissible) and uses similar information as a credit score. Using this information has been proven to be highly predictive. For example, a study done by the Texas Department of Insurance determined that drivers with the best credit history are involved in about 40% fewer accidents than those with the worst credit history. Keep in mind that each insurance company may determine their formula differently and how they weigh each factor, which is why rates can vary from company to company and from person to person.

There are some variables that could negatively impact your insurance score such as the presence of collection accounts, multiple past due payments, high use of available credit, and recent applications for credit. The good news is that you can positively influence your insurance score by having a long and established credit history, multiple accounts in good standing, good payment history, and controlled use of your available credit.

At Metromile, we use insurance score in states where it is allowed, in order to price policies as fairly as possible. Transparency is very important to us, so you can view our privacy policy to learn more about how ratings are determined and how to review or correct information. We also file insurance rates with the state Insurance Departments where we offer insurance, and these are usually available to the public. In general, low-mileage drivers usually see savings with pay-per-mile insurance. To see how much money you can save go to www.metromile.com/insurance.