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Telematics: What is it and What does it do?

If you’re looking for affordable car insurance, pay-per-mile auto insurance could be the way to go, especially if you’re a low-mileage driver.

Metromile uses telematics technology to help make sure its car insurance rates are fair and affordable. Here’s everything you might want to know about car telematics and how it works.

What is telematics in a car | Telematics Insurance

What is 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, GPS, or our Pulse device.

When used in a car, telematics technology can count how many miles you drive and measure driving behavior. Telematics is what enables Metromile’s insurance, and without it, pay-per-mile insurance might not be possible. We can understand someone’s driving to offer accurate and affordable car insurance through telematics technology.

Telematics devices are typically comprised of:

  • Input and output
  • GPS
  • SIM card
  • Accelerometer
  • Engine interface

The combination of a car’s onboard diagnostic technology and location services, such as GPS, can show you a car’s location and trips it has taken. You can think of it as the internet and satellite technology that helps you understand your vehicle or where you’re going.

A brief history of telematics

Early telematics technology started with navigation systems, helping eliminate the use of maps or printed directions. Instead, drivers could use a navigation system set up in their car, which was more user-friendly.

Telematics technology has since expanded. For example, car owners now use it to understand their fuel levels, traffic alerts, and even roadside assistance or enabling satellite radio.

How does telematics work?

The Metromile Pulse device uses telematics, which connects to a cellular network and nearby cell towers allowing our technology to share with our community maps of their trips, miles per gallon fuel efficiency data, vehicle location, and even street-sweeping alerts in select cities.

Telematics can help you stay connected to your vehicle in near real-time. Metromile neatly organizes data from telematics for drivers to review in the Metromile app.

Drivers can use the Metromile app to make informed decisions about their vehicle and driving, including looking for ways to save money by reviewing the miles driven and other ways to optimize their trips.

Telematic devices can monitor and inform drivers of things such as:

  • Car speed
  • Vehicle position
  • Trip length and distance
  • Hard braking
  • Seat-belt usage
  • Fuel usage
  • Engine acceleration

This information can then be used to create a comprehensive picture of how someone uses their car, which often results in more personalized car insurance rates.

What are the benefits of telematics?

Using telematics technology can provide essential data to drivers and offer a level of transparency. Insurance companies can use telematics data to provide accurate and affordable coverage based on how you really drive, including how often you drive.

Instead of paying more when you drive less, telematics helps provide insight into risk and behavior and allows Metromile to offer drivers a reasonable rate.

Car telematics can help with:

How telematics has changed the insurance industry

Telematics insurance companies can charge a premium based on usage-based insurance or driving behavior-based models. Behavior-based, sometimes called pay-how-you-drive auto insurance, can be a good way to evaluate your risk for insurance. 

Metromile was founded to create fairer and more personalized auto insurance for drivers. Our usage-based model focuses on how you actually use your car. We consider driving behavior, including how many miles you drive and the coverage selected, as some of the main factors. Other factors include the vehicle and type of insurance policy.

Car telematics can lower how much you pay for auto insurance. It allows insurance companies to identify a driver’s performance and evaluate risks in a more informed way, especially if they change over time.

Where telematics is headed

Telematics can be a gamechanger when it comes to your driving behavior, as well as for telematics insurance companies that use the data. This type of technology can democratize important information and offer transparency when it comes to driver behavior and risk. 

As the technology continues to improve, telematics can offer important insights and hopefully create better driving conditions for everyone on the road.

The bottom line

Car telematics gives us the opportunity to provide affordable pay-per-mile auto insurance rates and the free smart-driving features available in the Metromile app.

You can download the Metromile app to see how telematics technology works firsthand: Ride Along™ is a free trial that will show you an accurate rate and how much you might save with pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Drivers can save 47% on average, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who saved with Metromile, and additional discounts of up to 15% off their initial quote if they demonstrate safe driving during their Ride Along™.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

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 auto shops near me when you look for them online, 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 to learn more about our pay-per-mile insurance and get a quick quote.

Metromile: The Pioneers of Digital Engagement Insurance

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


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

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

Value Trumps Price

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

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

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

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

The Case for Digital Engagement in Insurance

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

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

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

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

Turning the Insurance Product into a Lifestyle Product

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

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

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

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

Digital Engagement Insurance In Action

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

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

Metromile Are the Pioneers of Digital Engagement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leveling the Playing Field for Low-Mileage Drivers

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

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

Creating Value that Every Insurance Customer Gets

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Metromile’s Win-Win Through Value and Loyalty

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

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

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

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

Metromile’s AVA Delivers an Automated Claims Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unpacking Your Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Policy: The Metromile Policy Explained

Have you have had car insurance for years and still don’t know what type of policy you have or what the heck any of it means? Insurance jargon and policies can be confusing. There are a lot of new definitions and lingo that you may not have heard before. How much coverage does someone really need to have anyway? What kind of coverage did you sign up for? What is ‘Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury’ coverage and what does it mean for your pay-per-mile insurance coverage?

Blue VW Van on dirt road. Breaking Down Your Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Policy

We get it; you need insurance but you don’t need to be an insurance expert (unless you want to be!). So we are here to clear up all the questions that your pay-per-mile insurance declaration page may have brought up. From Bodily Injury to Roadside Assistance, here’s what it all means:

  • Bodily Injury (BI): If you get into an accident and you, the insured, is legally liable for the accident, this coverage can help. It pays for injuries/death to people involved in the accident, but not limited to, emotional injury or mental anguish resulting from the bodily injury. Also, BI limits will pay for any legal defense cost if you are sued for the accident. The limits of this coverage depend on the limits that you chose to have.
    How It Works: There a set limit per person and set limit per occurrence or accident. Once the limit has been exhausted there is no more coverage that can be provided. This coverage is not optional and you must at least have the state minimum limit on your policy.
  • Property Damage Liability (PD): This coverage is for when you damage someone else’s property with your vehicle. Typically, it is someone’s vehicle, but it can also be applied to other property such a buildings, utility poles, fences and garage doors. Just keep in mind that property can be anything is tangible. This coverage also covers any legal defense and child safety seats if the child was in it at the time of the accident. Again, this coverage is not optional and you must at least have the state minimum requirements.
  • Uninsured Bodily Injury (UBI): Pays for injuries if (up to the coverage limit) the insured person and/or other passengers in the vehicle were injured as the result of an accident where the other party is at-fault and is uninsured. If you are involved in a hit-and-run then you must report within 24 hours to the police and file a claim and give a statement within 30 days. This coverage includes medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering costs.
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI): Very similar to Uninsured, this coverage pays (up to the coverage limit) the insured person and other passengers in the vehicle while they’re insured as the result of an accident where the at-fault driver has inadequate insurance coverage.

    Note: For both UBI and IMBI coverage options there are split limits where you can choose a per person limit and a per accident limit.

  • Medical Payments: Are hospital bills, funeral expenses, or doctor bills just piling up after your accident? Do you need a see a chiropractor or a psychiatrist afterward too? Regardless of who is at-fault in the accident, Medical Payments will cover the cost up to the limit on the policy.
    How It Works: This coverage is optional and driver’s may rely on their own or their passengers’ health insurance to cover resulting injuries too.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage is only available in certain states and provides broad protection for medical costs, lost wages, loss of essential service normally provided by the injured person (child care or housekeeping) and funeral costs. PIP coverage can be used regardless of who is at fault in an accident, though some states may require a deductible.
  • Comprehensive Deductible: Comprehensive Deductibles are optional. A Comprehensive Deductible will kick in when your car is stolen or damaged in ways that don’t involve a collision. This could be hail damage, glass breakage, fire, vandalism, damage from an animal, flood, earthquakes, falling objects and theft.
    How It Works: The deductible amount is the out-of-pocket expense that you agree to pay for losses up to set amount.
  • Collision Deductible: Similar to Comprehensive Deductibles, Collision Deductibles are optional and can be used for when your car is damaged due to colliding with another object, like a brick wall, a tree, or another car. This coverage protects your car only and not the other party’s property, or injury.
    How It Works: The deductible amount is a set amount you agree to pay out-of-pocket if accident falls under collision coverage.
  • Collision Deductible Waiver: Uh oh, were you in an accident where an uninsured causes damage to your car? The collision deductible waiver waives your collision deductible in this instance.
    How It Works: You need the license plate number or name of the person that caused the damage and you must report this claim within 10 days. Keep in mind this coverage is not available in every state.
  • Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD): This covers the damage to your vehicle if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Some states offer either Collision coverage OR UMPD coverage – but not both.
    How It Works: UMPD is not offered in every state and is typically optional coverage. There also might be a deductible required for this coverage, but this information can be found on the declaration page.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: Did you get into an accident and need a rental car? This optional coverage can help with that and reimburse you for rental car costs when your vehicle is disabled as a result of a covered accident or loss. The reimbursement amount can vary by insurance company. At Metromile if you have this coverage you can be reimbursed $30 a day up to $900 in total.
    How It Works: In most cases, you will need to have comprehensive and collision coverage to have rental car coverage too.
  • Roadside Assistance: Provides services such as towing (up to a certain amount of towing miles are typically free), flat tire change, locksmith services, and battery jump start to customers. It is definitely worth including on your policy so you will never be stranded.
    How It Works: Metromile provides 24/7 roadside assistance as an optional addition to our pay-per-mile insurance offering. Customers can either give us a call or request assistance directly through the Metromile app or dashboard.

Taking the time to understand your pay-per-mile insurance policy can ultimately help you save in the long run. It is better to make sure you are fully covered and protected than having to pay out of your own pocket and regret it later. Your future self will be so appreciative that you took the time and made sure you had the right coverage on your policy. That’s why Metromile lets you check and change your pay-per-mile insurance coverages at any time, through the app or just by giving us a call.

Metromile is trying to make car insurance and car ownership even easier with pay-per-mile insurance and the smart driving app. If you drive less than 200 miles per week (like 65% of the U.S. drivers), Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance offering could save you hundreds. Even though you’re paying less you still will have the same great coverage you are used to. We offer many different levels of coverages to choose from including, liability, comprehensive and collision. To see what coverage is offered in your states or to see how much you could be savings get a quick free quote.

Explaining Your On-board Diagnostic System: The OBD-II Port

We’ve been talking a lot lately about usage-based insurance models like the Metromile pay-per-mile model. The great thing about usage-based insurance is that you are only charged based on the miles you drive. So if you have a car, but don’t drive very far you could save a ton of money with pay-per-mile car insurance from Metromile. But have you ever wondered how we measure your miles? Usage-based insurance, and therefore Metromile’s pay-per-mile offering, wouldn’t be possible without the OBD-II port.

Porsche on rainy downtown road. OBD-II Port

If your car was built after 1996 and has a gasoline engine, chances are high that it has an OBD-II port. The OBD, or on-board diagnostics port began as a way to measure a vehicle’s emissions. California, in particular, wanted a way to combat the growing issue of smog, so in 1966 they began to require emissions testing in all vehicles. This requirement was gradually adopted nationwide by 1968. In 1988, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed a requirement that all vehicles sold in the state include on-board diagnostics. This first port would become known as the OBD-I. If your car was made before 1996, you likely have the OBD-I. Today, all new vehicles nationwide are required to include the OBD-II port. This next-generation of diagnostics had evolved from emissions testing to monitoring other performance-related aspects of the car, like the engine and chassis.

Here’s how the OBD-II works:

  • Your car has a Powertrain Control Module (PCM) that constantly monitors the engine. If it detects a problem, like excessive oil consumption, your ‘Check Engine’ or service light will come on and remain on until the issue is resolved.
  • A repair technician can connect a scanner to the OBDII port, download your car’s data, confirm a diagnosis and start on the necessary repairs or resolution.

So, if something is wrong with your vehicle; ranging from engine malfunctions to tire pressure, the OBD-II port is the best way to diagnose the problem. In fact, the OBD system is even proving to be an important factor in reducing the damaging effects of car emissions on our environment. Since the introduction of the Clean Air Act and the OBD requirement, toxic emissions have steadily decreased. Companies are also developing devices to use in tandem with the OBD-II port in all sorts of new and inventive ways. For example, our per-mile insurance customers plug the Metromile Pulse device into the OBD-II port to measure exact mileage. This enables us to provide low-mileage drivers with a more fair insurance pricing model, since their monthly bill is based on the miles they drive, not just on a rough estimate (which other insurance companies sometimes offer a small discount for). We also use the Pulse to help drivers decode the mysterious check engine light without visiting the mechanic, see personal driving stats and avoid street sweeping tickets. We’ve even used GPS functionality on the Pulse to help recover stolen cars! Fleet management services are using OBD devices as well, allowing them to communicate with their vehicles in real-time and monitoring things like location, speed and driver behavior. With a recent Deloitte survey finding that 72% of smartphone users see value in connected car technology, we expect to see additional use cases of OBD devices in the near future.

Overall, the OBD-II port helps provide transparency into key operational features of your vehicle so that you can make every effort to keep your vehicle in the best possible shape. Even with the amount of data provided, you should always make sure to stay up-to-date with your car’s maintenance schedule. Don’t delay changing your oil or overlook a Check Engine light that stays on.

The OBD-II port is a great example of the evolution vehicles have gone through over the decades. What began as a way to test emissions has evolved into the portal for mechanics and drivers to obtain data about cars and fix potential problems. For Metromile, the OBD-II is how we have unleashed the awesome amount of data to make driving less of a headache and enable drivers to make savvier decisions. Want to see the power of an OBD device in action? Learn more about Metromile’s per-mile insurance offering and get a free quote now.

New Ways to Pay and Save

Managing money can be confusing and downright frustrating. How many times have you spent way too long figuring out how to split the dinner check with your friends? Or funneled money in and out of your bank account without really paying attention to where it’s going? Luckily, technology is helping to take the burden out of dealing with everyday finances. Here are some companies that are making it easier than ever to both pay and save.


Pay with ease. Gone are the days where you have to find an ATM before a group event, in anticipation of needing exact change to split the check. With mobile payment apps such as Venmo, you can pay or charge people with the click of the button. You can even send reminders to nudge that friend who always “forgets” to pay.

Seamlessly track expenses. You don’t need to be an excel wiz to create and stick to a budget. Mint’s easy-to-use software makes budgeting extremely easy. Just create custom budgets based on your savings goals, and then Mint will do the rest, from seamlessly categorizing expenses to alerting you when you are nearing your monthly budget.

Save on the essentials. Now, it’s easy and affordable to purchase necessities like groceries and other household items. Jet and Amazon allow you to set recurring shipments personalized to your needs so that essentials (like toilet paper) will arrive on your doorstep right when you need them. Not only is this more convenient for you, but you can usually score some big savings by subscribing.

Car insurance is another necessity for anyone that owns a car, and here at Metromile, we’re using technology to save low-mileage drivers a ton of money with our pay-per-mile insurance offering. Because we can track exact mileage with the Pulse, a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car, we’re able to provide a more affordable pricing model. If you want to see how much you could save, you can get a free quote here.

Be Prepared: What to Do Before & After a Car Accident

No matter how minor, being in a car accident can really jolt you (pun not intended). To ease the burden and shock, familiarize yourself with the following tips about what to do before and after an accident.

car accident

Before the accident
Be sure to keep your vehicle registration, auto insurance and emergency contact list in your car, and always carry your driver’s license with you when driving. Keep a set of orange cones or warning triangles in your trunk to help alert traffic in the situation of an accident.

At the scene
Before worrying about anything else, make sure everyone is OK (including people in the other car), and call 911 if anyone is injured. Then immediately move everyone (and your car if possible) to a safe location on the side of the road.

Once in a safe space, be sure to call the police to file a police report, and use your smartphone to take pictures of the damage. Before the other party departs, exchange information and take down their insurance information, license plate and a photo of their driver’s license. Notify your insurance company immediately and be ready to provide them with this information. If you are a Metromile customer, you can easily file your claim online or call us at 1.888.595.5485.

In case of phantom accidents
In the case of a hit and run, be sure to get as much information as possible, especially a full or partial license plate if possible. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Avoid fixing the car until the damage has been assessed by an adjuster.

In the case of stolen car, call the police as soon as possible to file a report, and then contact your insurance company. If you are a pay-per-mile customer, the Pulse can be used to help locate a stolen car (it’s happened in the past!).

The Aftermath
At Metromile, a customer service advocate will reach out proactively to help ensure the claims process goes as smooth as possible. No other leading insurance company does this! They will track your progress and help you with any questions you may have about resolving the claim.

If you are a pay-per-mile insurance customer and are in an accident, you can reach the Metromile claims team 24/7 at 888.215.9176. Whether you need help locating repair facilities or need an update on work being done, Metromile can get you the information you need. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Making Moves: Metromile Receives Strategic Investment

We are thrilled to announce that Intact Financial Corporation, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada, has made a strategic investment in Metromile.

Metromile Investment

2015 was an exciting year for Metromile – we launched a partnership with Uber, expanded to the East Coast and added to our executive team. Funds from this investment will be used to continue on our exciting journey by accelerating Metromile’s growth and offerings nationwide. For our customers, this means a continued focus on the customer experience from sign up through day-to-day needs, improved app technology and updated features, further development of the claims experience and much more. You’ll also be seeing a lot more of us around town!

Intact Financial shares similar values in transparency, customer experience and a technology-driving approach to insurance. The venture represents an exciting opportunity for Intact Financial to expand its core competencies which will ultimately enhance the customer experience.

To see more announcements from Metromile, visit our Press page. And if you are interested in our pay-per-mile insurance offering, you can learn more here.

All Aboard! The Future of Public Transportation

You likely live a busy life and want to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible. Driving your car can be a good option when you are in a pinch, but with new innovations, public transportation is also a viable alternative. An alternative that doesn’t require circling around to find a parking spot! Since it’s safe to say teleportation won’t be happening anytime soon, here are some ways that public transit is becoming faster, easier and more enjoyable.


Get there faster with rapid transit.
The first rapid bus lines should be up and running in the Bay Area by 2018. A sort of hybrid between a bus and subway, rapid bus lines have dedicated lanes to free them of car traffic, and platforms to ensure seamless boarding. Over on the East Coast, Virginia recently debuted the Metroway system, a similar concept where a new fleet of buses travel in a dedicated lane and breeze by traffic.

Take a free ride on the hyped-up hyperloop.
Want to travel at the speed of sound? How about for free? There has been lots of hype surrounding the Hyperloop, an Elon Musk project (AKA the same guy who brought about the Tesla) that promises to bring travelers from SF to LA in 30 minutes. Now, Dirk Ahlborn, the CEO of the project, is dropping hints that the trip could potentially be free or significantly discounted. Now that’s something we could get on board with.

Make the ride more enjoyable.
Even if your commute is fast, the last thing you want to deal with is crowds, and in the winter especially, the germs that come with it. The Cyclean, which recently won the Red Dot Award (an international product design prize), reinvents the typical handle by introducing a built-in cleaning function. While there aren’t any cities cities are currently planning to use this technology, it is reassuring to know that it’s out there! The Chicago Transit Authority is also helping to ensure a more enjoyable experience with the Courtesy Campaign, an award-winning ad campaign that humorously shames riders into avoiding annoying practices like blocking doorways, eating smelly food or littering.

If you find yourself driving less and taking public transportation more, you could save a ton of money (like more than $500) with Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance offering. It’s great way to save for people who drive less than 200 miles per week – learn more here!

How to Drive Less (And Save More!)

It’s about that time when those “pie in the sky” resolutions start to fade away. Luckily, you can set new intentions whenever you want! If you are looking for a new (and attainable) goal to work towards this year, we’ve got a great one for you. Start driving less. With a myriad of alternative transportation options (hoverboard, anyone?) it’s easier than ever to reduce your car’s mileage. Driving less will save you a ton of money and also alleviate pollution and traffic. It’s a win for both your wallet and the environment! So without further ado, here are some tips on how to drive less this year.


Get some fresh air. If you live close to where you work, you have the luxury of biking or walking instead of driving. Stop letting excuses like shorter days, tired legs and chillier temperatures prevent you from getting a little exercise every morning. None of these things are deal breakers, and even if you try it once a week or mornings only, that’s still a big improvement from solely relying on your car. Bonus: conquer two goals at once if you resolved to get more fit this year. Your Fitbit will thank you!

Sharing is caring. Chances are you aren’t the only person driving a similar route to work — daily traffic is proof of that. Team up with others in your neighborhood and start a weekly carpool. You won’t have to drive every day, so you’ll save on gas and also sneak in some valuable work or reading time when you aren’t behind the wheel. There are lots of apps that can aid in this endeavor, like Carma and Ride, which match you with nearby commuters. Even tech giants like Uber and Google’s Waze are testing carpooling programs, which could be the driving force needed to make carpooling the norm.

Save money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Now that you are driving less, you could save a ton of money with Metromile. Our pay-per-mile car insurance offering is great for people who drive under 200 miles a week, which happens to be 65% of the U.S.! On average, we are saving our customers $500 a year. Try getting a quick, free quote to see how much you could save.

Give public transit another chance. Maybe you had a bad experience with a bus constantly being late, or assumed public transportation is just too complicated without actually trying it. Cities are working harder than ever to provide reliable and affordable public transportation options, and with transit apps like Quicky and Transit, you’ll be able to accurately gauge bus arrival time, plan routes and more. It’s totally fine to rely on your car when you are running late, but try getting up a few minutes earlier some mornings to catch the bus.

Plan some road trips. We aren’t advocating that you go cold turkey and give up your car entirely. Use some of the money you’re saving and relish in the freedom that owning a car gives you by hitting the open road! Unleash your inner weekend warrior and plan a trip to the mountains for some skiing, or start conjuring plans about where you could drive when the weather gets nicer. Check out our road trip guide for inspiration!