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.

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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42 Customer Reviews for Metromile Auto Insurance

Average Customer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 10 4 star: 2 3 star: 1 2 star: 3 1 star:  26
Bottom Line: 31% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 42
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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Horrible service

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Sep 15, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been with Metromile for two years. I eventually encouraged my wife to switch to them as well. Yes, their rates are amazing. But I agree with all the negative reviews, once you get into an accident they will do their best to not pay, delay, etc. Very unethical.

    I had to deal with two adjusters, one was Kara Bonnet (909) 941-5932, who was antagonistic and plain old rude and condescending to my wife and I. We also dealt with a Panos Marfazelian who was not helpful. In the end, I decided that it was not worth my time to argue with them and eventually paid for the damage to our car myself.

    Their cheap rates give you a false sense of security. When you really need them, they will not help you or make it so painful you give up. Should you have problems with them, I encourage you to call the insurance commissioner.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Feedback from active customer

    • Santa Rosa, CA,
    • Sep 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have had Metromile for almost one year now.

    I love that the call center is in San Francisco and the full coverage insurance since my car is leased, is so much lower for me since it's truly based on how many miles your drive, and then they have a tier system depending on your driving record, how many drivers etc. Safelite and glass chip repair is also free and part of the insurance plan. I had them come out and fix three front window glass dings for free.

    I was paying $130 per month with my old insurance, which was Progressive, and now I pay a range of $55 to $95 per month. One month I drove over 1000 miles, and my invoice due was only $95.

    Needless to say, I'm saving about $500 per year!

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Positive all around

    • Manassas, VA,
    • Aug 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was paying for two car insurances that were less than the monthly premium for the older single car. My situation is fairly uncommon as we do drive less than 10K per year by living within walking distance of the kids' school and within 15 minutes of work.

    So far I had to file two claims; one for equipment failure and the other for a hit and run. The first claim went as smooth as could be. Right now I am in the second claim, and so far it is just as smooth as the first. This is the first insurance company that I DID NOT have a hassle with when filing a claim. Snap a few pictures, a couple of phone calls, and that was it.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Saves lots of money

    • Moraga, CA,
    • Aug 9, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a stay-at-home mom that drives my kids to all their activities and our family's occasional road trips (which they don't charge you extra for the long road trip!). My husband commutes by train to work. So for our family, we saved a ton of money by switching over to Metromile because we only pay for the miles we drive. Other insurance companies charge a flat rate for coverage no matter how much you drive.

    They also have the same comprehensive coverage that I previously had (if not better) than my Geico policy. They're great! Highly recommend!

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    I'm pleased

    • California,
    • Aug 5, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I felt like I had to offer another opinion with all the terrible reviews here. Although I've never had to file a claim while I've had them (since May 2015), so I can't speak to that.

    I have had to request roadside assistance when my car died on a busy San Francisco street. I called them, and they told me it could be up to one hour but it ended up being only 30 minutes until the guy showed up. He was super nice and told me he would tow it anywhere I wanted. It was a very smooth process.

    Other perks: cheap (obviously), and I love the street sweeping notifications even though they are usually wrong (like I'm parked on the opposite side of the street), but still such a helpful tool. I also like that I can see the location of my car in the app if I can't remember exactly where I parked it last.

    Metromile was recommended to me by a good friend who recently got in a pretty bad car accident, and she has mentioned zero problems with the insurance or claim process.

    So, just my two cents!

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

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  • 12 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Stay away! There's a reason why they are cheap.

    • Virginia,
    • Jul 26, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Very poor customer service! You have to keep on calling them for your claims to start moving. Very hard to get hold of the adjusters and they won't respond to your emails or calls. You will be doing the investigations for them.

    I have a claim for collision with other objects and still open going on four weeks now.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    No Problems

    • Scranton, PA,
    • Jul 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm a very careful driver & have yet to be in an accident, so I can't report on how they handle that. I, however, pay a lot less with Metro than with StateFarm. I save around $100 a month & their service has always been good for me. Nice employees & the device works like a charm. So far I love this Car Insurance.

    9 months into having it at the moment.

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

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  • 12 out 18 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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    Comments (1)
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    • Jun 21, 2017

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media 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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  • 21 out 22 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

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media 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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  • 12 out 13 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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  • 18 out 20 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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