Most car insurance companies charge customers a monthly premium that factors in age, gender, car model, and other standard factors. All that information gets plugged into a computer model and out pops a number that you are charged monthly. But what if you own the same car as your neighbor who is the same age as you, but you drive a lot less, shouldn’t you pay less for your auto insurance?
The idea behind Metromile insurance is to reward customers who drive less with lower car insurance premiums. You pay a base rate monthly plus a per-mile rate so if your car is locked up in your garage most of the month you will end up paying less than you would at another auto insurance company.
And if you end up taking a long road trip, you won’t be stung with a high monthly insurance premium because daily per mile caps limit the amount you pay.
Metromile sounds like a good deal for drivers who commute short distances and car owners who have low annual mileage requirements and live in CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA & WA, but what else do you need to know? We look under the hood in this Metromile review.
Table of Contents
- Metromile Review Spotlight
- Metromile Insurance: How It Works
- Metromile Reviews: Customer Feedback
- Metromile Pricing
- Metromile Insurance Coverage
- Metromile Pros and Cons
- Metromile FAQ
- Metromile Review Summary
Metromile Review Spotlight
3.5 out of 5 stars
via Metromile secure site
How It Works
Metromile provides customers with a Pulse device to connect to their cars, which tracks mileage, and helps to locate the car if it is lost and notify drivers when street cleaning is scheduled.
According to Metromile, 65% of people in the U.S. drive fewer than 200 miles per week yet traditional car insurance companies don’t reward these drivers with lower insurance premiums.
If you fall into this bucket of drivers, Metromile could be a good insurance option to save you money.
Once you sign up, you receive the Pulse device that easily connects to your car and monitors how many miles you drive each day.
The Pulse device also links to the Metromile mobile app, which notifies you when street sweeping is scheduled (in certain markets), so you can avoid parking in penalty zones.
It also includes a car locator, so you don’t have to worry about finding your car in a large parking lot, a big city, or at an airport.
Your monthly payments are then calculated by adding a per mile rate to a base rate.
Metromile reviews from customers suggest privacy concerns and variable monthly payments are among the largest causes of concern but the company still earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
From our research, Metromile customers were generally pleased with their coverage and car insurance costs.
And Metromile deserves credit for serving a large number of customers while still earning an A+rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Where complaints were made, they generally fell into the following categories:
The Pulse device used to track mileage has a GPS tracking feature. Some customers didn’t like the idea of Metromile tracking their movements. However, the tracking can be turned off from an online dashboard and is purely an optional feature.
If you choose to turn off the location-based tracking feature then some peripheral services, such as finding your car if it is lost, will no longer be accessible.
VARIABLE MONTHLY PAYMENTS
Some customers prefer a predictable monthly bill versus a variable one. If you transition from a period of driving infrequently to taking a long road trip where you are hit with the maximum per mile rate each day during your trip, a spike in monthly premiums will hit your account that may take you by surprise.
It may turn out that even with the spike, your annual car insurance cost is significantly cheaper with Metromile, though the amount you pay in a single month is higher than you may have paid elsewhere.
Rather than being taken by surprise by a higher bill if you do have a month with above-average mileage, the Metromile app allows you to track your trips and projected bill in real-time. Consider the blended savings over a multi-month period
You may find that you are getting a better deal at Metromile insurance overall in spite of a spike in premium costs short-term.
Metromile quotes are based on your age, vehicle type, and driving history similar to other insurance companies but are invoiced using a base rate plus a per-mile rate.
Metromile pricing is calculated using a base rate plus a few cents per mile.
For example, if you paid a base rate of $30 plus 3.2 cents per mile for 500 miles then your total monthly premium would be $46.
At the end of the month, your bill is calculated as your base rate plus how many miles you drove at your per-mile rate.
The per-mile rates will vary based on each driver. Just like other auto insurance companies, age, vehicle type, and driving history are factors considered in quoting you a base rate and a per-mile rate.
If you drive over 250 miles in a day, you will not be charged any extra costs. In New Jersey, any mileage over 150 miles incurs no cost.
Unlike some other insurers, Metromile doesn’t consider how hard you brake or how fast you drive.
Metromile Insurance Coverage
Metromile auto insurance coverage is similar to what Geico or Progressive offer.
As you might expect from an auto insurer, coverage is extensive and includes:
- Property damage
- Bodily injury
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection/medical payments coverage
- Emergency roadside assistance
- $250, $500, and $1,000 deductible options
In terms of geographical coverage, Metromile operates in the states of California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
Metromile Pros and Cons
Metromile is a low-cost alternative insurance provider to Geico and Progressive for drivers who rack up low mileages annually. The Metromile mobile app includes fringe benefits like a street cleaning alert, trip data, and a car locator. However, Metromile operates only in a few states currently and, in spite of its A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, has accumulated quite a lot of negative complaints.
|Metromile Pros||Metromile Cons|
|✅ Low Rates: For drivers who don’t rack up a lot of miles each year, Metromile’s base rate plus per-mile rate can save as much as $500 annually.||❌ Metromile Complaints: Customer feedback is polarizing with almost 1 in 3 comments reporting negative experiences on the BBB website.|
|✅ Lost Car Locator: A bonus of the Metromile Pulse device used to track your mileage is that a GPS locator can identify where your car is if you can’t recall where you parked your car.||❌ Coverage Area: Metromile does not have nationwide coverage yet and operates only in the states of California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington|
|✅ Street Cleaning Alerts: You can avoid penalty charges for parking in street sweeping zones by receiving alerts from Metromile on your mobile app.||❌ Variable Pricing: Some customers don’t like the idea of pricing variability monthly based on the number of miles driven, especially when taking road trips.|
|✅ Cost Limit Per Day: No per-mile charges apply above 250 miles per day (or 150 in New Jersey)||❌ Privacy Concerns: If you are worried about your movements being tracked, you can turn off the GPS locator.|
|✅ Trip Data: You can track how much you spend on gas, as well as distance and speed data on your Metromile mobile app.|
|✅ Speed & Braking: Metromile does not penalize you for the speed at which you drive or your braking.|
|✅ Mobile App: The Metromile mobile app informs you when your car needs to be serviced.|
|✅ A+ Rating: The Better Business Bureau awards Metromile an A+ rating.|
Does Metromile offer full coverage?
Metromile provides four levels of liability protection in addition to choices for comprehensive and collision deductibles.
What if I go on a roadtrip?
You won’t be penalized if you drive more than 10,000 miles because you are only charged on a per mile basis up to 250 miles per day (or 150 miles per day in the state of New Jersey).
How does billing work?
When you purchase a policy, you are charged for your first month’s base rate plus any required pre-payment. At the end of the first month, you will be charged for the next month’s base rate plus any miles driven during the previous month.
What factors does Metromile consider when issuing quotes?
Like other auto insurance providers, Metromile factors in age, driving history, vehicle type, credit history, and duration of prior insurance.
Metromile Review Summary
Unlike most auto insurers who look at standard criteria, such as vehicle type, credit history, age, and gender, when calculating insurance premium quotes, Metromile goes a step further and considers how much you drive. According to Metromile, drivers who rack up 200 miles per week or fewer can save as much as $500 annually compared to Geico and Progressive.
Metromile provides a lot of fringe benefits too, including sending you alerts when street cleaning is scheduled to take place, providing you trip data to see how much you spend on gas, and a lost car locator to help you track down where you parked your car.
Where Metromile loses a few points is that it doesn’t have nationwide coverage and it has racked up quite a few customer complaints, though it seems to have done a good job overall in resolving them because it earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The bottom line is if you don’t drive often but are paying a high insurance premium elsewhere, Metromile is worth checking out to see if you can save money.