All Your Pulse Device Questions: Answered

As a disruptor of the traditional insurance industry, it may come as no surprise that we get a lot of questions. We get it – insurance is confusing, technology can be confusing, and people want to know how it all works. Here at Metromile, we’re all about giving the people what they want. The key to pay-per-mile car insurance is the Pulse device; it’s what securely counts your miles so we can bill you appropriately.

All Your Pulse Device Questions: Answered

Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the Pulse – what it is, what it does, and how we use it to save you hundreds on your car insurance.

A Brief Background on Telematics

Telematics is the technology of sending, receiving, and storing information relating to remote objects, like your car, through telecommunication devices, such as a cell phone, a GPS system, or our Pulse device. Telematics technology can track how many miles you drive and can also measure driving behavior. Telematics is what enables Metromile’s insurance – and without it, pay-per-mile simply would not be possible.

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

How the Pulse Actually Works

Metromile uses a telematics device called the Pulse: a small electronic gadget that plugs into your car’s diagnostics port and collects data about your driving. This isn’t a new concept: many insurance companies use telematics to track their customers’ habits behind the wheel, such as average speed and instances of hard braking. But Metromile only charges you based on your mileage, not driving behavior. We believe the biggest risk factor for getting into an accident is mileage – if you aren’t on the road, you won’t get into any accidents. As such, our primary rating factor is mileage, not driving behavior.

Metromile gives you insight into your car’s health, location, and driving data – like fuel economy and trip data – through the Metromile Pulse. The Pulse uses telematics technology, which connects to a cellular network, to transfer the data collected from the car into our smart driving app. The app will notify a customer if the Pulse detects an error code from the vehicle. This code could be related to an engine, exhaust, or some other type of sub-system within the vehicle. The customer can tap on the engine code within the app to reveal an overview car that provides a detailed description of the issue along with the severity of the case. The customer can also check the health of their car at any time within the app by tapping on the car avatar on the overview screen to see a list of any codes and previously found codes.

Frequently Asked Pulse Questions – Answered:

  1. What is the Metromile Pulse?
    The Metromile Pulse is a small, wireless device that plugs into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port (OBD-II). Once you become a Metromile customer, we will ship a Pulse device to you for you to install in your vehicle. Don’t worry – installation is easy. See the tutorial below on how to install the Pulse in your vehicle:



    Once in place, the Pulse securely counts your miles to determine your total monthly bill. The Pulse works directly with Metromile’s smart driving app, supplying added features like trip tracking, monitoring your vehicle’s health, and a GPS vehicle locator.

  2. Can I get a Pulse device if I’m not a pay-per-mile insurance customer?
    Sadly, no. Currently, we only offer Pulse devices to Metromile pay-per-mile insurance policyholders. You can learn more about pay-per-mile car insurance here.
  3. Is it mandatory to plug in the Pulse?
    The Pulse must be plugged into your car at all times so that mileage can be accurately measured and billed. There are exceptions, however. For example, when you get your car serviced, it’s okay to remove the Pulse so that the mechanic can access the OBD-II port. If your Pulse stops transmitting a signal to Metromile at any time, you will receive a notification via email alerting you to plug the Pulse back in.
  4. Do I need to plug in the Pulse before my insurance can be effective?
    You are covered as of the effective date of your policy, whether or not your Pulse device is plugged in. As you near your policy effective date, we will ship your Pulse device to you, be sure to plug it in as soon as you receive it. You will receive email reminders once you receive your Pulse device to plug it in to avoid penalty charges.
  5. Does the Pulse sync with my smartphone?
    The Pulse operates independently by transmitting data securely through a cellular modem and does not sync with your smartphone. In order to set up the Pulse, plug the device into your OBD-II port and check to see if there is a pulsing red/orange light. That’s it. Once you see the light, the Pulse has been connected and is securely sharing your car’s mileage data with Metromile.

    Even though the Pulse does not sync with your smartphone, Metromile does offer a smart driving app that works in conjunction with the Pulse. The app keeps you up-to-date on your car’s health, tracks your car’s location with GPS features, and sends street sweeping alerts in select cities. It’s just another bonus we love to provide to our loyal customers.

  6. Can I turn off location tracking on my Pulse?
    Absolutely. To disable the GPS function on your Pulse, navigate to your online dashboard. Click the small arrow pointing down in the upper right-hand corner next to your account avatar. Go to ‘Account Settings’ and switch ‘Location Services’ from ‘Yes’ to ‘No.’ Please note: this will also disable Metromile’s smart driving app features such as trip tracking and street sweeping notifications.
  7. What happens if I unplug the Pulse?
    If you unplug the Pulse for any reason, you will receive alerts to your email associated with your Metromile account asking you to plug the device back in. For all pay-per-mile insurance customers, the Pulse must be plugged into your car at all times so mileage can be accurately measured and billed. We understand that there are times when you may need to unplug the Pulse, like when you get your car serviced. Don’t sweat it — it’s okay to remove the Pulse so that the mechanic can access the port. Be sure to plug the Pulse back in once your service has been completed.
  8. If I cancel my insurance policy with Metromile, can I still keep the Pulse?
    If your insurance policy is canceled for any reason, you will need to return the Pulse to Metromile using a provided pre-paid envelope. If we do not receive your Pulse within 30 business days, your pre-authorized debit or credit card on file will be charged a $100 fee.
  9. Are there any security vulnerabilities in the Pulse device?
    We take the security of our products and services very seriously and actively work to ensure that our products are safe and provide benefits to our customers.
  10. My Pulse was stolen or not delivered. What do I do?
    If your Pulse device was never delivered or stolen please give us call at (888) 244-1702, 6am – 6pm Pacific Time, Monday – Friday to update your shipping information and get a new device mailed out.
  11. What do I do with the Pulse device if I sell my car and/or get a new car?
    Please be sure to remove the device before you sell your vehicle. If you are replacing your old vehicle with a new one, you can use the same device from your previous vehicle in your new car. Please either contact us, or navigate to your DASHBOARD to add the new vehicle to your policy.
  12. What if I rent a vehicle? Do I need to install the device?
    When renting a vehicle you are not required to plug the Metromile Pulse device in, so please leave that device plugged into the vehicle listed on your policy.

Still Have Questions?

Got any lingering questions we didn’t cover? Give us a call at 1.888.311.2909, send us a DM, or Tweet at us. If you haven’t yet downloaded the Metromile smart driving app, you’re missing out on some majorly cool features, such as trip tracking, vehicle diagnostics, parking location, and more! If you’re a low-mileage driver who hasn’t made the switch to Metromile yet – what are you waiting for? Grab a quote from us anytime, because it’s always free. Be safe out there and see you on the roads.

How to Choose the Right Property Damage and Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Levels for your Budget and Lifestyle

Every driver knows car insurance is a non-negotiable must. But “car insurance” can mean a slew of different things, depending on the type of coverage you choose. And a lot of factors—like your budget, lifestyle, and vehicle—can affect your choices. Whether you’re a seasoned pro behind the wheel or a first-time driver just learning the ropes, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of some major coverage types so you can select the perfect plan for you.

How-to-Choose-the-Right-Liability-Property-Damage-and-Bodily-Injury-Coverages-Levels-for-your-Budget-and-Lifestyle-

Get To Know The Different Types of Liability Coverage

There are many different types of coverage, but three major terms to know are liability, property damage, and bodily injury:

Liability Coverage

Liability Coverage is the basic coverage level required for most drivers in the United States. If you cause an accident, your liability coverage will pay for damages to the other party’s vehicle and/or any bodily injuries they sustained (at the levels chosen). Each state has minimum required liability limits, but it might be worth purchasing a policy with higher limits to make sure you’re better protected. Better protection might mean a higher premium, but it can pay off if you end up needing to use it—if the damage caused in an accident exceeds your coverage limits, you could be held responsible for the remainder. There are two types of liability coverage:

  1. Property Damage (PD) Coverage: is a specific type of liability coverage that covers damages to things (that don’t belong to you). This type of coverage pays for any type of tangible property, including the other driver’s car, or any other pieces of property that may have been involved in an accident you caused, like a building, pole, garage, etc. Some states require drivers to have a predetermined minimum amount of this coverage.
  2. Bodily Injury (BI) Coverage: is required by most states, and it covers damages to people (again—not including you). If you cause an accident, BI coverage will pay for costs related to any injuries or deaths. It covers costs for things like medical treatment, rehabilitation, and funeral costs, as well as costs related to mental or emotional distress that results from bodily injury. If you’re sued for causing an accident, BI coverage may also pay for lawyer’s fees. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to have a predetermined minimum amount of BI coverage.

One of the most important things to know about any type of liability coverage is what it doesn’t cover. If you cause an accident, PD won’t cover any damages to your vehicle, and BI won’t cover any medical expenses you or your passengers might incur. Liability coverage is solely meant to protect other parties in the event that you cause an accident. The good news is, there are plenty of other types of coverage that can come in handy in these unfortunate events.

How To Tell if You Really Need Property Damage and Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Now that you know what these specific coverage types are for, how do you know if they’re right for you? And how much do you really need, anyway? It’s important to consider two big factors when choosing your coverage: your state’s legal requirements and your own financial limitations.

Legal Requirements

First, let’s start with the legal side of things. No matter which state you’re driving in, liability coverage is most likely a must. It’s mandatory in nearly all states, and even in states where it’s not required, there are financial-responsibility laws that can be met by purchasing it. The state-mandated minimums are generally lower than many people would want ($20,000 to $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for all people hurt in the same accident, and up to $25,000 for accident-related property damage).

Your Lifestyle, Your Budget

The next important factor to consider is your budget. The state requirements for liability coverage are pretty modest, so it’s always a good idea to purchase more protection if you can afford it—especially if you own a home and have other assets you want to keep safe in case of a devastating accident and subsequent lawsuit. Do you have a sizable savings account? A valuable vehicle? All those details matter when deciding how much coverage you need.

Different insurance companies have different maximum limits for liability coverage—Metromile offers limits of up to $250,000/$500,000. But don’t worry—opting for more coverage doesn’t mean you’ll be draining your bank account (especially if you’re with Metromile where customers save an average of $611 per year); the more liability coverage you buy, the less expensive it is to add additional coverage. The best way to understand how these costs are broken down into a monthly bill is to connect with a licensed agent and receive a customized quote.

When you’re doing the math to figure out your spending limits, don’t forget one other important factor: your deductible. Your deductible is the out-of-pocket cost you agree to pay before coverage kicks in. You have the ability to choose your deductible amount and liability protection—working with an agent will help you pick the best plan for your unique situation.

Get The Right Amount of Liability Coverage Today

Still have questions? Visit the Metromile Help Center to find answers to some of the most common coverage questions. If you’re in need of a new insurance company that fits your lifestyle and budget, visit metromile.com or call 1.888.242.5204 for a free quote. And if you’re already a customer and ready to learn more about liability coverage, visit the site or call 1.888.311.2909 for more info. Whether you’re new to Metromile or a just expanding your knowledge, there are experts available to guide your way.

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.

A Bill That Fits Your Lifestyle: How Metromile Billing Works

There are a lot of reasons Metromile stands out in a sea of car insurance options, but perhaps the biggest differentiator is its billing model, which is based on a totally sensible premise that others in the insurance game simply haven’t caught on to: the less you drive, the less you pay.

It seems like a no-brainer, but most car insurance companies require customers to pay a flat monthly fee, regardless of whether they’re commuting two hours daily or keeping their weekend vehicle locked in the garage Monday through Friday. With its innovative billing system, Metromile customers actually have control over how much they spend every month, meaning they can tailor their bill to fit their budget and lifestyle. No more wasting cash on a (necessary) service you hardly ever have time to use.

How Metromile Billing Works

Billing isn’t exactly known to be a thrilling topic for most people (unless those people are accountants…in which case, get excited!). But that’s because many companies make billing a confusing, opaque process—the model at Metromile is built on a simple, straightforward premise, so there are no hidden fees or mystery charges. Here’s how it works:

  1. When you first make the switch to Metromile (welcome!), you’ll be charged for your first month’s base rate. That’s it—and in most cases, it’s much lower than you’d expect. Just like other insurance companies, Metromile considers a variety of factors when calculating a base rate—things like the driver age, credit history, type of vehicle, driver history, and more.
  2. At the end of the month, you’ll be charged for the next month’s base rate, plus any miles you drove the previous month, at your per-mile rate. Your pay-per-mile rate is unique to you too, based on those same factors mentioned above.

It’s that simple. Plus, when you first sign up for Metromile, you’ll be enrolled in automatic billing, so you never have to worry about missing payments (New Jersey customers have the option of opting out of this system in favor of manual billing or payment by check). Need to update your billing information? No problem. All you have to do is log on to your online dashboard and follow the easy instructions (this is also where you’ll find your billing statements and a lot of other important info).

Why Your Bill Varies Each Month

You might notice that your rate varies a bit month to month. There are a few good reasons for that. First, it’s important to understand that because your base rate is determined by a daily rate multiplied by the amount of days in each month, shorter months will always cost less (so if there are 31 days in the month versus 30, the base rate will be slightly higher). But your actual daily rate won’t change within a 6-month period unless you make a specific request.

While your base rate will pretty much stay the same (give or take the difference of a few days depending on the length of the month), the other portion of your bill may fluctuate quite a bit—that’s the pay-per-mile portion. Because Metromile doesn’t believe in charging customers for miles they don’t drive (because, well, that’s just not cool), customers are in complete control and have the opportunity to budget their miles accordingly. Your miles are charged retroactively, so you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your actions and, if necessary, make adjustments. Took a few unnecessarily long joyrides last month? If money’s tight this month, you may choose to ride your bike around town instead and save some dough.

The Deal With Prepayment

When you first sign up for Metromile, you’ll also be charged a prepayment that will be applied as a credit toward your next five bills. That means your first five monthly bills will be calculated using this equation:

Base rate + (per-mile rate x miles driven that month) – (prepayment amount/5) = monthly charge for the first five bills

This prepayment is only required for first-time policy holders, but you may be pleasantly surprised each time you receive one of those first five bills and remember you already partially paid them (your future self will thank you!). Your sixth bill won’t receive a credit, and from there on out, your bill will only ever be calculated from your base rate + per-mile rate x miles driven that month.

Your Billing Due Date

Flexibility is great, and Metromile gets that (hence that modifiable billing model). But some things are better set in stone—like your billing date. Your billing cycle begins on your policy effective date. That numerical date on the calendar continues to be your billing date for every remaining month of your Metromile policy (so if your policy starts on the 22nd of May, your billing date will be the 22nd of June, July, August, etc.). Each billing cycle spans a four-week time period and ends on the day before your monthly effective date (so in the above scenario, it would start on the 22nd and end on the 21st of the following month). Your monthly bill will be due two days following your monthly effective date (or four days if you’re in New Jersey).

While you can’t change your billing date, you can absolutely alter your billing method. If you need to change your credit card information, just log into the online dashboard and head to the billing section. If for any reason Metromile doesn’t receive your payment by the due date, you’ll be notified via email, and Metromile will continue to try and charge the card on file. If the card continues to be denied after two failures in a row, Metromile will stop attempting to charge it and instead send you another email with a potential cancellation date for your policy unless payment is received. The good news? No late fees! So just make sure your card info is all up to date, and you won’t run into any problems.

If your main mode of transportation is anything but your car, you might be wondering how billing works during a month of no driving. The answer is simple: it’s the exact same system! You’ll still get a bill for your low monthly base rate and pennies per any miles you did drive. If your car is just parked the whole month, you only pay the base rate. Whether you’re stationary or constantly on the go, you’ll be covered with Metromile. And don’t worry if you take a long road trip—you won’t receive an astronomically high bill. Your daily mileage charges are capped at 250 miles per day for each vehicle (150 miles per day in New Jersey), so you won’t be charged for any miles above those amounts in any calendar day.

Still Have Questions?

So whether you’re always behind the wheel or you avoid the driver’s seat whenever possible Metromile makes sure your bill always fits your lifestyle. If you’re still relying on another traditional form of car insurance, visit metromile.com today to get a free quote. And if you’re a current customer looking for a plan that’s more suitable for your needs, head to the website and see what other options are available—you won’t be disappointed.

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 to Master Your Monthly Bill (Tips For Creating a Mileage Budget)

With most car insurance premiums, you cannot control the amount you pay. You get a quote and cross your fingers, hoping that your bill won’t break the bank. Even if it does, you still have no choice but to pay it, because car insurance is non-negotiable… right?

Here at Metromile, we do things a little differently. Instead of paying a flat fee, your monthly car insurance bill varies and is based on two simple things: your monthly base rate + the pennies-per-mile you pay. That’s it – and it’s all within your control.

Want to learn how to become the master of your monthly bill? Right this way – follow us.

Figuring Out Your Mileage Budget

We get it – figuring out a mileage budget can be stressful, time-consuming, and maybe a little unpleasant. After all, it can be easier to hop into the car and drive anywhere your heart desires without thinking about the slowly ticking odometer. Maybe you have a strict monthly budget you need to stick to. Maybe you don’t want to have a bill that fluctuates from month-to-month. If your ultimate goal is to take control of your financial future, the first thing to check off your list is creating your monthly mileage budget.

handwritten-note_1

First, on a spreadsheet (or even just a plain ol’ piece of paper), create two columns. In the first column, write down your monthly Metromile base rate. This is the rate that you would be responsible for paying even if you drove zero miles. In the second column, write down the estimated mileage for every destination you need to drive to in a month. For example, if you drive to and from your job, estimate your daily mileage and multiply it by 20 (the number of working days in a month). If you drive to and from church on Sunday, estimate that mileage and multiply by 4. Keep doing this until you have a fairly good estimate of the miles that you consistently drive each month.

Once you have your estimated monthly mileage, multiply that number by your per-mile rate. Add the number you just calculated to your monthly base rate in the first column and voilà! You have successfully estimated the cost of your monthly Metromile bill.

How To Stick to Your Mileage Budget

If the number you calculated is looking a little bit higher than you’d like it to be, try to brainstorm ways to cut down on the number of miles that you drive each month, like Brian D. did. In December, Brian drove 730.1 miles, mostly shopping for presents and visiting his family in Southern California for the Holidays. The following months, he didn’t drive much, but in March, his monthly mileage peaked at 682.5 miles, which included a 3-day weekend trip to the wine country with friends. He also regularly checks the Metromile app to know how much he owes at one point in time.




Consider the following options to minimize the quantity of miles driven:

  • Carpool to work or events with a friend or family member
  • Bike to the store, to church, or even to work instead of driving
  • Whenever possible, choose to take public transportation
  • Consolidate the number of errands/trips to the store and try to go only once a week
  • Take the drive with the least amount of miles, even if it’s not as scenic as your usual route
    If your morning routine includes stopping for coffee or breakfast, pick a coffee shop that’s already on your usual route instead of driving out of your way for that French roast you can’t seem to live without
  • Shop online rather than driving all over town
  • Deposit checks with a phone camera and app instead of driving to the bank
  • If you can, call into a meeting or video chat instead of driving to the office
  • Avoid circling around the block for parking – have a game plan of where you’re going to park before getting to your destination

All of these seemingly insignificant things can really add up to a lot of extra miles driven at the end of the month! These options to reduce your monthly mileage may help save you hundreds at the end of the year, and some are probably why you’ve decided to switch to Metromile in the first place. As a bonus, the fewer miles you drive, the less you’ll have to spend on gas each month. That’s a win-win in our book.

You Are Now the Master of Your Monthly Bill

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a mileage budget and (most likely) a lower monthly car insurance bill. Well done! By implementing these tips and strategies, you were able to lower your monthly insurance bill to fit within your budget. As with all things in life, the fine art of budgeting takes a bit of time and skill – but you’re well on your way to a healthy financial future.

This exercise is also helpful for prospective Metromile customers, and something that we already take into account when offering a free quote. As always, whether you’re a current Metromile customer or are thinking about making the switch, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line and let us know how we can help. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

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

What is Prepayment?

Here at Metromile, we hear a lot of questions about our initial prepayment to sign up for Metromile. We also truly value transparency and don’t wish to confuse any of our customers. The way we work is a little different than traditional auto insurance companies, so that’s why we are here to clear up any confusion about how prepayment works.

What-is-Prepayment

One of the key differentiators between Metromile and traditional insurance carriers is our unique billing model. The short explanation is: the less you drive, the less you pay each month. The Metromile billing structure gives you – the customer – the unique opportunity to always be in control of your monthly bill. This means that you can tailor your bill to fit your budget and your lifestyle. Pretty cool, huh?

So, herein lies the confusion: if your bill varies each month based on how much you drive, how is it possible to prepay for many months at a time? Let’s throw it all the way back and chat about how billing works here at Metromile before diving into the explanation.

How Billing Works at Metromile

When you first purchase your Metromile policy, you are charged for your first month’s base rate (plus any additional prepayment). This is because we don’t have any data on how many miles you drove that month. Then, at the end of the first month, you’re charged for the next month’s base rate + any/all miles you drove the previous month, at your per-mile rate.

Autopay is a requirement for all Metromile customers. If there ever comes a time when you need to update your billing info, it’s not a problem. You can always update your billing information from your online dashboard or app at any time. Simply navigate to ‘Billing’ and then select ‘Edit’ in the ‘Payment Method’ section on the right-hand side of the page to edit your payment information.

A special note for all you New Jersey customers: you exceptional folks may opt-out of autopayments and opt-in for manual billing at any time by calling us at 888-244-1702.

So… You Still Haven’t Told Me What ‘Prepayment’ Is

Because we charge for insurance based on mileage, Metromile requires a one-time, upfront payment to start a new policy – and this is called a prepayment. A percentage of your prepayment will be applied as a credit to each of your first five billing statements – which means that your first five bills will be slightly lower. When you receive your sixth bill, the prepayment credit will have been fully spent, so you will no longer see a credit. You can think of your prepayment as a “security deposit” on your insurance policy. In the event of a cancellation in the first six months of having the policy, we will refund any remaining prepayment credit.

Prepayment is only a requirement for your first policy term, the credit is applied to your first five monthly bills. After six months your policy will renew, and no future prepayment will be charged or applied to your policy.

Your monthly bill will be made up of your low monthly base rate + (per-mile rate x miles driven that month) – (prepayment amount ÷ 5) until your sixth bill. From there on out your bill will be calculated by taking your base rate, and adding it to your per-mile rate, multiplied by the number of miles driven that month.

Hopefully, that helped to clear up any questions or confusion that you had about how prepayment works at Metromile.

Now that you fully understand how prepayment works, it is a perfect time to finally get that quote you’ve been thinking about. As always, we are truly here to serve you, so please Tweet, or DM us with your burning questions. We’ll get you answers as soon as we can. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

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

The Ultimate Guide to Usage-Based Car Insurance

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

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Usage-Based-Car-Insurance

What is usage-based insurance?


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

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

How usage is tracked


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

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

Behavior-based vs. Usage-based Insurance Models


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

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

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

How reliable is usage-based insurance?

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

FAQ: The Low-Down

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

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

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

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

  • How is my monthly bill calculated?
  • The monthly base rate varies based on the number of days in the month and how much you drive. For example, if your base rate is $50 a month and you drove 200 miles this month at $0.20/mile, your bill would be $90. Additionally, you aren’t charged for the miles you drive over 250 a day (150 in New Jersey). Each month your bill will consist of your monthly base rate for the month ahead plus the cost of the miles that you drove during that billing cycle.

  • Do I need to install the app before I get the insurance?
  • Nope! You do not need our app in order to have our insurance. The Metromile app is only one of two places to see your account info, which we visualize for you in aesthetically appealing graphs and charts. The other way to access your account is via the online dashboard (just log in at metromile.com).

  • Does my monthly base rate ever change?
  • Your quoted policy lasts for six months, unless you make mid-policy changes. After six months is up, your monthly rate will be re-evaluated. Several factors can affect or increase your rate, such as citations and violations.

  • How do I pay my Metromile insurance?
  • The amount due is automatically billed each month to the debit / credit card that you provide during sign-up. We make it easy for you to update your billing information anytime – simply edit on the online dashboard or in the app.

  • What other benefits are included with Metromile insurance?
  • 24/7 roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement are optional coverages that can be included when having comprehensive and collision coverage. We also provide street sweeping alerts in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, diagnose your car’s health, and provide MPG to all of our customers!

  • What if I decide I to sell my car or realize that I need to drive it much more often than I originally planned?
  • The adventure of life includes change – maybe you’ll decide to not have a car anymore, or you may have a new commute that requires putting more miles on the road. We understand! We realize that pay-per-mile car insurance may not work financially for you all the time. However, we hope it becomes a considered option if it fits well within your current lifestyle.

If you think per-mile insurance could help you save each month, get your free quote today and see how much extra savings you could pocket! Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us at 1.888.311.2909 or http://metromile.com/help!

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

The Low Down on Per-Mile Insurance

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

The Lo Down on Per-Mile Insurance

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

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

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

Introducing Metromile Direct Repair and Rental, Powered by AVA

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

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

You can learn more about AVA here.

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

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

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

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

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

Telematics: What is it and What does it do?

Tele-what? Telematics is a word that keeps coming up in the Insurtech industry. But what does it mean and how does it relate to car insurance? Telematics is the technology of sending, receiving, and storing information relating to remote objects, like your car, through telecommunication devices, such as a cell phone, a GPS system, or our Pulse device. Telematics technology can track how many miles you drive and it can also measure driving behavior as well. Telematics is what enables Metromile’s insurance, and without it, pay-per-mile wouldn’t be possible.

Telematics

What is Telematics?

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

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

How Telematics has Changed the Insurance Industry

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

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

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

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