About Metromile Auto Insurance

Published on: May 5, 2014

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.

See Also: How to Decide If Usage-Based Car Insurance Is Right for You

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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36 Customer Reviews for Metromile Auto Insurance

Average Customer Rating: 1.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 5 4 star: 2 3 star: 1 2 star: 3 1 star:  25
Bottom Line: 22% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 36
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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Complete BS!

    • Jun 15, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is a warning to anyone considering signing up with this company; DON'T! It is true that rates are cheaper, but don't expect your vehicle to be covered completely in the event of an accident, even if you have full coverage. I'm going to switch Insurance companies. I'd rather pay a higher rate and have the comfort knowing my vehicles are covered without all the extra BS.

    Fact is, you get what you pay for! Someone backed into one of our vehicles leaving some damage to the hood and bumper. The police report was done and secondary for the AC condenser, which has a hole in it and is bent down. This insurance company is only willing to cover everything but the AC condenser. The AC worked great before this happened and I know that this was not like this before, but they seem to know more about my personal vehicles than I do, even though they're in San Francisco and I'm in Pennsylvania.

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

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    • Jun 21, 2017

      Goodi, Sr. Customer Experience Advocate

      Hi Den, at Metromile our aim is to provide high-quality insurance at an affordable rate to low-mileage drivers. We understand that accidents are frustrating experiences and we aim to resolve claims as fairly as possible. We'd love to go over your concerns in further detail and see how else we can help, please give us a call at 888.958.5973.

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Worst company ever

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • May 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you are thinking about saving some money and switching to Metromile, stay away from this company!

    I am insured with Geico and recently was involved in a car accident. Another driver (who was at fault) had Metromile, and even police told us that we're going to have a tough time with the claim. I did not believe it at first, but now I understand what they meant. It's been ten days since the accident occurred, and the Metromile adjuster still hasn't contacted me about the accident. Moreover, I have been calling Metromile and his office every day since Thursday, May 11th, and nobody knows where the adjuster is. It is also impossible to reach their supervisors since "they are on the other line." My car is still broken in the garage, and I have no idea how long it's going to take for their adjuster to show up at work and finally officially determine the liability.

    I can't rent a car or take my car to a body shop until he calls back. This is the worst company ever! Maybe you will save a couple of hundreds a year, but if you get into an accident, you'll spend ten times more. I still hope that their adjuster will finally do his job.

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

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Disgusted by the claims process

    • San Diego, CA,
    • May 11, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a customer of Metromile for two years, and I was very happy with customer service, the Metromile app, the prices, and I even referred several people to them.

    However, now that I have been involved in an accident and I'm experiencing the claims service, I'm absolutely appalled. The lack of empathy and customer service is one thing, but being told by an adjuster that you cannot have a rental car to get to work (when that was covered) and that the claim might not even be paid is a disgusting treatment of a person. This was my first conversation with the Adjuster (Kara Bonnet), by the way.

    I do not feel this company is protecting my best interest and I will not renew with them when the claim is finished. Furthermore, I will never refer anyone to them again. This is not how you treat a valued customer, especially when your company is so new and has a lot to prove to a rather skeptical public.

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

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    • May 11, 2017

      Goodi, Sr. Customer Experience Advocate

      Hi Mary, I'm very sorry to hear about your claims experience. This is not the type of thing we want our customers to go through, which is one of the reasons why we are bringing claims in-house. I can see that the third party is currently handling your claim we were partnering with, but it looks like you are set to upgrade to the Metromile underwriter next week. This means that any future claims will be handled in-house by our claims team. For additional assistance with your claim, please give us a call at 888.595.5485.

    • Jun 13, 2017

      Den

      The claims suck, they are very unprofessional. I will be changing companies. I'd rather pay a higher rate and have the comfort of knowing my vehicles are covered, instead of having to fight with them when something happens to one of the vehicles. This is a warning to all who are thinking about signing up with this company. Don't.

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Bad mediocre company

    • Portland, OR,
    • May 5, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Metromile is not as cheap as they claim. Their customer service personnel is very nice and friendly, but don't be fooled. They will continue to raise rates with no real reason. But be prepared if you have to file a claim. They are the most mediocre and lame company when dealing with claims. Ours took them over a month of going back and forth for them to finally approve it. Not worth it at all, not to mention that you are being monitored 24/7.

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

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  • 9 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Fraudulent business practices

    Defective devices sent three times. Finally, a device worked. I regretted signing up after reading the bad reviews regarding claims, endless emails regarding the shipment of multiple devices I received, and the defective devices. I canceled the policy and returned the three devices I had in my possession that they promised to collect weeks prior.

    30 days after I canceled and finalized payment and returned the three devices, I get yet another email with threats of charging me $100.00 for one device not yet received and as of now, 4/7/17, my devices are considered late! I had to cancel my credit card linked to them and open a fraud case. I have to call them at 6 am and get a nasty headache in order to deal with them again

    I thought I was done with this company. Absolute horrific customer service and follow through, with irresponsible and utter incompetence for the hardworking consumer who must take action and document every email and phone call just in case they screw me over!

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

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    I had terrible experience with Metromile

    • San Jose, CA,
    • Apr 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    At first, Metromile seems to me cheaper, and the charge per mile was a great idea. But that's it. Then started terrible things. They never pay me, and I had to pay from my own pocket for my accident.

    Just don't spend your money; it is a disaster!

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

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Run far, far away!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Apr 6, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    In no way, shape, or form can I ever in good conscience leave this company a good review. I've been with Metromile for over a year now, and I can say they are the spitting image of what is "wrong" with insurance companies. They are not worth the cheaper price, no matter what they may tell you, it's cut rate service from an obviously amateur insurance company.

    I filed a claim last year for someone hitting my vehicle outside the front door of a business that had cameras outside and was forced to do all the legwork myself; trying to get the local police to retrieve the footage, calling the companies' 3rd party security and trying to "prove" what is a very obvious hit and run, with zero help at all from Metromile. They never followed up and were of zero assistance, to the point that I just left the damage on the vehicle and had to take care of it on my own.

    At this point, I've been waiting for almost six weeks for them to resolve a different claim in which I purchased a brand new car, and a lady hit me and totaled it the next day, then claimed she wasn't at fault.

    The vehicle was an obvious total loss and the shop estimated more than 50% of the value and suspension/frame damage to the new car, and their adjuster first did not show up for weeks after the accident, subsequently recommended further diagnostics of the vehicle by the dealer (who also confirmed the diagnosis by the previous shop), then issued a sub-par payout that wreaks dishonest insurance company scamming out of paying sufficiently on a brand new lease.

    Not only are they grossly incompetent and take forever to respond, they waited another week after declaring the vehicle a total loss and are trying to go back on the payout and force me to wait 8-12 weeks to fix the vehicle, stating that they are being charged vehicle storage fees, which they themselves incurred by taking such an excruciatingly long time to respond to the claim and then requesting the vehicle be sent for further testing at the dealer. They are now saying they shouldn't have to pay the fees and that the cost to repair the vehicle, while still about 55% of the value, is too low to be a total loss, regardless of suspension and frame damage safety issues.

    I am not in a position to pay lease payments on a vehicle which I was informed was a total loss and cannot be driven for months, nor can I walk or work for almost six weeks due to an injury from this accident.

    As far as I'm aware, it is illegal for an insurance company to declare a total loss then take back the determination.

    This is a decision to could possibly cause me severe credit issues and possibly bankruptcy due to their negligence and lack of efficiency, which is by far unreasonable and flat out bad business.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Never expect any roadside assistance

    • Virginia,
    • Apr 4, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Horrible customer service. If you are expecting roadside assistance, just forget about it. The minimum wait time is four hours. It was the worst decision to go with this insurance company.

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

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  • 19 out 26 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Good deal, but terrible claim service

    • Bend, OR,
    • Mar 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The no-fault accident in AUGUST of 2016 is STILL unresolved.

    My claim is fully backed up with eyewitnesses reports from public safety and STILL Metromile/NGIC are denying and dragging their feet, taking our premium all these months on a car they may end up totaling.

    Complaints have been filed with the state's insurance commissioner, who thinks it does sound like a serious case, plus a class action suit attorney has been contacted. Anyone interested in joining the class action, contact me.

    Metromile, if you don't want that kind of attention I suggest you fix our car NOW.

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

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    • Mar 22, 2017

      Mike

      If you're interested in a class action lawsuit, let's connect.

    • Apr 1, 2017

      Charleicia Spence

      Yes, I'm interested in a class action lawsuit.

    • Apr 4, 2017

      Nate

      I would be curious to know more about the class action lawsuit.

    • May 19, 2017

      George

      I'm very interested in taking legal action against these scam artists!

    • May 19, 2017

      Julienne

      Hello, are you still entertaining a class action suit? I am interested.

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    • Previous review
    • Sep 18, 2016

    Three weeks since accident and STILL no estimate

    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.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Horrible experience

    • California,
    • Mar 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I switched to Metromile one year ago as I thought their policy would fit well with my second car that I don't drive much. Everything was fine until a damage occurred. I called them to open a claim on a Saturday and their system was down, so they couldn't open a claim. It took me two weeks to have the claim filled and managed before being answered that they would not cover anything.

    I would NEVER recommend this insurance to anybody! It is the WORSE claim service I ever had.

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

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    • Mar 22, 2017

      Mike

      If you're interested in a class action lawsuit, let's connect.

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  • 15 out 26 people found this review helpful

    I was so hopeful that this would be good!

    • California,
    • Jan 26, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    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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    • Mar 22, 2017

      Mike

      If you're interested in a class action lawsuit, let's connect.

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