About Metromile Auto Insurance

If you don’t use your water or electricity at home, you don’t pay for it, right? With their pay-per-mile insurance, Metromile Auto Insurance uses this same concept to help customers who drive less than 10,000 miles per year save $500+.

Despite allowing urban dwellers to simplify the car-owning experience—and even helping “make car ownership a possibility where it wasn’t before”—Metromile insurance policies provide the same level of coverage that you’re used to with other carriers. You’ll just pay less.

Metromile also promises customers access to a 24/7 claims team, along with a OBD-II dongle (more next) that can decode your check engine light, manage how much you drive, and even remember where you parked your car.

If you live in the city and drive relatively little, you deserve lower rates than someone who commutes 60 miles a day, right? But is Metromile really as “revolutionary” as they’d like you to think? Even if they are, does this mean they’re your best option?

Let’s start answering your questions by looking at the “engine” that powers Metromile insurance.

Metromile Pulse OBD-II Dongle & Smartphone App

Formerly known as Metronome, Metromile’s Pulse is a small wireless device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port (the same one used by your mechanic to diagnose problems with your car), without the need for tools or any other hassle.

According to Metromile, any information shared through your OBD-II port will be collected by the company, including the health of your vehicle (things like a check engine light). It can also track your miles driven, your location using GPS (this can be turned off at any time), and its onboard accelerometer and gyroscope can measure changes in velocity and angle (useful in the event of an accident). If you choose, you can download a CSV of all your data.

Finally, Pulse’s data can be accessed through Metromile’s app or through their online dashboard, where you can see routes that cost the least to drive, track and compare your gas mileage over time, monitor your car’s health, and even receive street sweeping alerts (currently available in Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles).

If you receive any alerts, Pulse can help you decode the problem and even put you in contact with Metromile’s staff mechanic, who will help address whatever’s going on.

Metromile App Alert for Car HealthIf Pulse alerts you to any potential problems, getting in touch with Metromile’s staff mechanic is as easy as pressing a button.

Given Metromile’s focus on technology—not to mention the fact that they specialize in insuring low-mileage drivers—how much can you expect to pay?

How Much Does Metromile Auto Insurance Coverage Cost?

We’ll talk about how Metromile establishes their rates in just a second, but in a nutshell, all their premiums are based on a monthly base rate, plus “a few cents” per mile. Here’s a quick example:

Let’s say you have a base rate of $35 per month, plus $0.05 per mile. If you drove 5,000 miles per year, you’d pay a total of $670 in total, or about $55 per month.

  • $35 base rate X 12 = $420
  • 5,000 miles X $0.05 per mile = $250
  • $420 + $250 = $670 per year

Pro tip: For a more personalized approach, be sure to use the savings estimator when you get a quote at Metromile.com, or call an agent directly.

However much you pay, your bill will consist of the current month’s base rate, plus your mileage charge for the previous month. If you don’t drive any miles during a month, you’ll only be charged the base rate.

You can earn multi-vehicle and mature driver (55+) discounts on your Metromile policy. There are no fees for terminating your policy, although you will be required to sign up for paperless document delivery and automatic billing.

Are Metromile’s Rates Really Based On Mileage?

If you go on a road trip, you won’t be charged for any miles you drive over 150 miles per day (250 miles in WA). You also won’t be charged when driving a rental vehicle. What happens if you regularly exceed your allotted mileage?

According to Metromile’s FAQ, you’ll be assessed your standard per-mile charge, but “you will never be penalized or have your rate increase purely because of an increase in annual miles. You are allowed to drive as much as you’d like …”

With average annual auto rates just north of $900, we can see from the numbers above that Metromile might be a drastically less expensive option compared to traditional insurance. However, if we were to triple the annual mileage in our example to 15K, this would result in a new annual premium of $1,170—far higher than the national average.

So, while Metromile’s eligibility (again, more soon) might not be based on mileage, their insurance is for low-mileage drivers and rates probably won’t be very competitive once you break the 10,000-mile mark.

The Partnership Between Metromile & Uber

Metromile and Uber have partnered to provide insurance 24/7 for Uber drivers, whether the policyholder is driving their car for personal use or while on the clock for Uber. This way, Metromile claims that most drivers will save money on their personal insurance premiums, since they drive relatively fewer personal miles and are avoiding costly commercial insurance policies.

Metromile’s FAQ reads:

“The partnership between Uber and Metromile enables coordination to verify data on both sides. Because Metromile logs all miles, we can subtract all miles between a ride being accepted and a ride ending (cancellation or a passenger safely exiting the vehicle) and bill only for personal miles.”

Before moving on, let’s talk about which coverages you can choose from with Metromile.

What Coverages Does Metromile Auto Insurance Offer?

Metromile Auto Insurance offers 4 different levels of liability protection, along with “full” coverage:

Pro tip: Remember that if your car is leased or financed, the bank might require higher coverage than you’d otherwise choose, which can increase your premium.

The reason you want coverage on your vehicle is so that it’ll be covered in the event of an accident. But what can you expect from the Metromile claims process?

Metromile Insurance Claims

Once you file a claim for a covered vehicle, you’ll be assigned a “dedicated Metromile customer experience advocate” to walk you through the process and answer your questions.

The Metromile claims team will also help you locate local repair facilities and keep you updated on the work as it progresses. If you require glass coverage, Metromile can make everything easy and convenient, regardless of which window needs replacement.

What Are Metromile’s Eligibility Requirements?

Before diving in, it’s important to note that Metromile’s policies are underwritten by National General Insurance. This means your coverage is provided by NGI, while Metromile only acts as the agent who sells you the policy. As such, Metromile isn’t the one approving or declining coverage.

The primary eligibility criterion for a Metromile policy is an OBD-II port, which has been required on most new vehicles sold in the U.S. since 1996. If you don’t have one you won’t be able to connect the Pulse or track miles, thus defeating the premise behind the company.

Metromile is currently only available in in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. You’ll also need to own or lease a permanent vehicle (Metromile doesn’t offer named non-owner policies). If you don’t reside in one of these, you can sign up for Metromile’s waitlist, where you’ll be notified when they come to your state.

Whether or not you qualify for a Metromile policy (and how much you’ll pay once you do) largely comes down to factors used by other insurance carriers; namely, your age, the type of vehicle you drive, the history (accidents and citations) of you and any other drivers in your household, and credit history and length of prior insurance, depending on state.

Despite what you might assume based on the data that’s transmitted from the Pulse Dongle, Metromile specifically states that “per-mile insurance doesn’t consider other driving factors such as how fast you drive, how suddenly you turn, or how hard you brake, just how many miles you drive.”

Has Metromile Received Positive Online Reviews?

Whether you’re reading about them through top-ranked consumer-focused sites like NerdWallet, Better Business Bureau, Compare.com, and many more, the consensus seems to be that if you drive infrequently (less than 10K per year), you could potentially save a decent chunk of change with Metromile.

On the flip side, many seemed to agree that if you don’t (at least) meet this basic guideline, you could potentially spend much more than a traditional auto policy.

Here on HighYa, 17 Metromile customers provided their feedback at the time of our research, giving the insurance agent an average rating of 2.4 stars. Common compliments revolved around significant savings (one reviewer claimed to have saved 50%) and solid claims experiences. Most complaints appeared to reference high premiums and confusing/frustrating claims experiences. In most instances, Metromile responded to these complaints directly.

Metromile’s iOS app had an average rating of 3.5 stars during our research, while their Android app came in slightly higher at 3.8 stars. Clearly, most users were pleased with the apps’ performance, although some complained that the designers sacrificed functionality for a more streamlined experience.

Should You Buy a Metromile Insurance Policy?

Based on what we’ve learned here, it seems like a good idea to obtain a Metromile quote if you:

  1. Drive less than 10K miles per year, due to the company’s unique pay-per-mile model. In fact, if you’re dead set on purchasing a policy like this, Metromile is the only game in town.
  2. Drive for Uber. Most lower-priced carriers specifically exclude livery—or, at least consider it a high-risk exposure and charge accordingly. As such, Metromile might provide a competitive price in this instance.

Regardless, remember that most insurance companies utilize highly complex variable rating systems to determine policy premiums. Just like any other carrier, what you pay could be much higher or lower than your neighbor, depending on thousands of different factors.

Also, if you’re looking for some of the cool features of Metromile’s dongle—like the ability to track mileage and gas usage, provide maintenance alerts, or even provide a Wi-Fi hotspot—you have options like Hum by Verizon, Vinli, Automatic, and more. If you’re on the hunt for something bare bones that only provides diagnostics, you can probably find a dongle at your local auto parts store for $30 or less.

Did you take Metromile up on their pay-per-mile auto insurance? Tell us all about your experience by writing a review below!

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28 Customer Reviews for Metromile Auto Insurance

Average Customer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 5 4 stars: 2 3 stars: 1 2 stars: 3 1 stars: 17
Bottom Line: 29% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 28
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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Beware of premium surcharge without any reasonable explanation.

    I applied for coverage, and during the application process, my insurance quotes suddenly increased 35%. As I was explained, I had no points and no traffic violations. Imagine, no points but a huge premium increase. Imagine if you actually had points. I canceled my application immediately and decided to stay with my Geico policy, in spite of the fact that it was more expensive.

    By the way, their customer service even could not even properly explain the reason for the increase in the premium quotes even though there were not points.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 13 people found this review helpful

    I was so hopeful that this would be good!

    • California,
    • Jan 26, 2017

    I spoke with Kristy on 1/5/2017 to sign up for the insurance plan with Metromile. She was very professional, and I was hoping this would be a great option in lowering my rates since I work at home and don't drive a lot.

    Almost immediately after signing up, I started to receive emails instructing me to attach the device. After two notifications and two days later, I called to let the company know I had not received the device. After being on hold for ten minutes, I decided to take the option of them calling me back, but they never did call me back.

    The next day I did receive the device and tried to install it in my automobile, and could never find the port to do that. I called the Metromile back, and after another 15-minute hold, I spoke with a representative that told me to take the device into an Auto Zone store, and they would install it free of charge. After waiting in line for 10-15 minutes at the store, I was informed that in the State of California and New York it is against the law for Auto Zone to install the device.

    My time has been wasted on numerous occasions with Metromile, and I have been misinformed, which resulted in more time being wasted. I don't have any confidence in the service, which I am canceling now!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Awful customer service

    • Redwood City, CA,
    • Jan 25, 2017

    Metromile Auto Insurance and its partners have awful customer service and do not care for your repeat business. Twice in one year, I've had claims where I was not at fault. One incident was vandalism, and the other a hit and run. In both cases, I was treated as a criminal. They not only denied my deductible waiver in the hit and run, but went on to claim some two points of impact "BS" and claimed I owed two deductible.

    These guys are crooks. Don't do business with them. I have a very competitive quote with Allstate and will be changing my provider. Way to go Metromile, way to lose decades of my business. I wouldn't recommend you to my worst enemy.

    Are there any post where someone was in an accident and was pleased with Metromile? Ask yourself this question before using them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Cheap but horrible

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jan 19, 2017

    That's right, this insurance is cheap, So you might be happy when you first joined, but I have had this insurance for two years and the HORRIBLE experience started two months ago.

    I had a comprehensive claim happen two months ago. Kim was the person who was holding my case, but before I received the check, she was no longer working there anymore. WHAT? It has been two months now since the incident, and I have not received the check yet. They sent the check to the wrong address, which Kim said the check was going to me, but the check was mailed out to the wrong body shop. HOW COME?

    Please tell me what I can do to get the check, the check doesn't belong to me, it belongs to the body shop. Don't go CHEAP, it's HORRIBLE.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Uber Driver? This is perfect!

    • Chicago,
    • Jan 1, 2017

    So I have lived in Chicago a couple years and I can say Metromile is actually perfect for me. I use public transportation more than I did while living in the country so a lot of the time my car doesn't move.

    I also drive for Uber part time and Metromile doesn't charge for those miles since Uber provides its own insurance which in my opinion makes more sense than the Rideshare plans other providers pride themselves in offering. So far those types of plans are always 200 dollars and up. Ridiculous! If I drive for Uber once in a big while, why should I pay that much for insurance. I'd have to start driving for Uber after my regular job every day to afford that.

    Street cleaning notifications are great too. Sometimes I'm in a lot and not on the road in question but when I see those, I know that so I ignore that and move on.

    Most of the negative reviews on here are quite outrageous and mostly seem they are made by people that just don't like the technology.

    I have no experience yet with the claims process. I hope I don't have to but in the event I do, I'll write another review.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Pathetic

    I have them as an insurance company. I drive 3 miles a day. My base rate used to be $58 a month with 8.3 cents per mile when I first signed up. Only 6 months in and they raised my rates to $60 a month and 9.3 cents per mile. Sounds like they will do this EVERY 6 MONTHS! Then I just received an e-mail saying that my policy is canceled cause the expiration date on my card changed. Did anyone call me before they went and canceled my policy? Look elsewhere... I am.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Three weeks since accident and STILL no estimate

    • Bend, OR,
    • Sep 18, 2016

    What can I say? The monthly premium is certainly better than Geico, who I was with for years before. Unfortunately, all the horror stories I've read about MetroMile's auto claim service are starting to look like they're true.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 31 out 36 people found this review helpful

    It's a little cheaper but I won't be with them for long.

    This company does offer some people lower cost car insurance. I got it because I live and work in the same building and don't drive a lot. However, they have made a lot of mistakes and they have a poor website experience and that is the only experience the customer has access to. What is wrong here?

    First they sent the OPD dongle to the wrong address causing consternation because it was to be installed on a deadline.

    Then they kept sending me texts and email to move my car for street cleaning but I wasn't parked on the street I was parked under it in my garage. No fix for that so I had to abandon email notifications.

    Then I wanted to get on the website to view my charges. Password doesn't work. Password reset link is broken. They say I can use a different browser. What tech company in 2016 has trouble coding a website to work on all the major browsers? Lazy advice from a tech company if you ask me.

    All I can say is I don't trust them much now and I don't like them. I will keep them for now until I can find something better. They may be the only per mile insurance company now but more will follow. The ones who do it right will get my future business.

    For now all I can do is post my honest review of the company in hopes that they step up.

    Bottom line: If you don't have to, don't choose Metromile.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 23 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Do your math...no longer a deal.

    • Marin County, CA,
    • Jun 17, 2016

    I bought MetroMile for my young adult daughter's car. At first it was very competitive, my daughter was learning to drive so the mileage was low and we were paying about $135 per month. (Which wasn't bad for an 18 year old, new driver). At 6 months both the rate and mileage rate went up. Now, at 12 months, it went up again. And, my daughter now has her actual license and has become a much more skilled driver yet the rates went way up. She will soon be driving to college about 8 miles each way. I did some math and found we'd be paying about 180 per month at the new rates. eSurance offered a similar policy at 157 per month with no mileage counting so switching off MetroMile is a no brainier. So, unless you are literally driving almost never, MetroMile probably is no deal. And, I read horror stories about claims service which I fortunately didn't have to experience. eSurance is part of Allstate, so I feel pretty good about the prospects for the new policy which will start in a month.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 32 out 36 people found this review helpful

    Worst claim experience, poor roadside.

    • Simi Valley, CA,
    • Jun 13, 2016

    Even one star is too much for Metromile.

    I needed roadside service. I called the roadside number but I was told to please call the claim department. At that moment it was very unlikely and I felt like would not be getting any help at all.

    Then I called claim department. Claim department took the details (kept me on hold many times), but told me it will take two hours for roadside service to get to me. It took around two hours just to request the roadside assistance. And an additional two hours for roadside to come. This was an experience I shall remember.

    I am totally unsatisfied. It has been almost two months that I am waiting for my car to be repaired. The inspector/adjuster gave four appointments to body shop, just to check additional repair request, but they never turned up.

    Am I going to get my car repaired? What a big mistake that I bought Metromile. Guys don't take a chance.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 26 out 32 people found this review helpful

    Insurance claim

    So I open up a claim for hail damage over a week ago. My adjuster has been sent my estimate and pictures of all of the dents in my car and every time I call she says that the estimate is still in review and hasn't heard anything back from the appraiser. This sucks because MetroMile is getting my money for insurance yet they know nothing and they keep telling me to call my adjuster from national general. If I'm paying MetroMile I expect them to get some results instead of sending me to the national general lady.

    The last time I checked, MetroMile is on my statement and not national general. It should not take this long to get things done. I'm just going to switch to Statefarm because their customers get their checks in the mail in less than a week. I don't recommend this company to anyone. The cost is great but when you put in a claim, that's when the problem comes in. The savings are not worth the hassle. I rather pay more and get better service.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 16, 2016

      Goodi, Sr. Customer Experience Advocate

      Hi Charleicia, I'm so sorry for the poor experience you had with your claim. Previously, Metromile had been partnering with a separate company (National General Insurance Group) to underwrite our policies. This means that they were financially responsible for claims, and also in charge of the whole process. Since customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us, we are now underwriting our personal policies so that we can oversee the entire claims experience from purchase to resolving any claims. We are committed to providing our policyholders and other customers who may present a claim with safety, security, and peace of mind. If you'd like to discuss this further, please give us a call at 888.958.5973.

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