About Metromile Auto Insurance

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Updated on: Oct 11, 2017

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+.

In addition to 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 an 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 should have 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

The Metromile 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).

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, the Pulse can help you decode the problem.

Metromile Pulse AppThe Pulse app can help you identify potential problems, decode engine codes, and quickly explain the situation in down-to-earth language. Image credit: Google

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 charges 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. Metromile provides paperless document delivery and automatic billing and there are no fees for termination your policy.

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 250 miles per day (150 miles in NJ). You also won’t be charged when driving a rental vehicle. What happens if you regularly drive more than you normally do ?

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.

What Coverages Does Metromile Auto Insurance Offer?

Metromile Auto Insurance offers four 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 claims professional who will ensure your claim gets filed quickly and fairly.

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.

Customers can also file a claim online through the dashboard, or through the Metromile App. Along with this fully digital process, Metromile recently launched AVA, their new AI Claims Assistant. AVA accurately verifies claims in seconds and quickly resolves them by collecting damage photos and helps you get your payment issued as soon as possible.

What Are Metromile’s Eligibility Requirements?

Most vehicles with an OBD-II port are eligible, and this port became standard in 1996. To check to see if your vehicle qualifies, stop by their website.

Metromile is currently only available 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 states, you can sign up for Metromile’s wait list, 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, 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, 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 infrequently drive (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, 43 Metromile customers provided their feedback at the time of our research, giving the insurance agent an average rating of 2.2 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, Metromile is a leader in the pay per mile car insurance, and it seems like a good idea to obtain a Metromile quote if you drive less than 10K miles per year, due to the company’s unique pay-per-mile model.

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 only looking for some of the cool features of the Metromile Pulse without the insurance—like the ability to track mileage and gas usage, provide maintenance alerts, —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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77 Consumer Reviews for Metromile Auto Insurance

Average Consumer Rating: 1.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 14 4 star: 1 3 star: 3 2 star: 7 1 star:  52
Bottom Line: 23% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 77
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Terrible - stay away

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Mar 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Metromile used to have good customer service. It is now completely awful. My device lost its signal due to a dead battery (which has happened multiple times as the device totally drains your battery), I tried to email twice, no response. I called three times and after 30+ minutes on the phone each time, I gave up and just canceled my policy. If I cannot even get a response to a simple question or address overcharges due to signal loss, I worry if I ever actually have an accident as they are impossible to get in touch with. I've never experienced anything like this with an insurance company - stay far away.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    They slowly will make you pay more

    • Mar 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ever since starting with them (less than 2 years), my premiums increased 40%! Their reasons were because their costs increased, therefore, we should cover it. What? Now I pay more than what I paid Allstate for the same exact policy and I had unlimited miles. Mind you, this car only is driven 10 miles on weekdays on average and 0 miles on the weekend. It's a car that is 13 years old. This made sense with Metromile's pitch that you save because you drive less. Oh, but when they realize how much less, they slowly increase it just enough so that you're just below what they think the bigger insurance companies would charge and screw you if you drive a lot. I now pay more than my brand new car that my wife drives 30 miles a day for the exact same coverage through Allstate!

    Metromile, you make ZERO sense in your premiums hikes. Therefore, you have been canceled as of today and will ensure the people I recommended look further into their bills and drop you like a bad habit.

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

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Metromile, worst insurance ever with cheap customer service.

    • California,
    • Feb 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Worst insurance ever with cheap customer service.

    I called and canceled my policy yesterday, but I did not get any notification to confirm that. I have to call again to confirm...what a crappy system. Their call lines takes 35-45 minutes to connect, that's pathetic. I started in July with a $40 base, got increased to $48 in six months and it increased to $116 when I added wife to policy. Per mile rate is also increased every 3-4 months. I started with 5 cents per mile, then increased to 7 cents, and now it was 19 cents. Their trap is to offer a low price in the beginning and then, increase the prices every 2-3 months.

    I switched to Geico and am paying an equal amount after adding my wife and driving more miles every day. Metromile sucks.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Pulse device drained my battery four times! Horrible absentee policy!

    • Sherman Oaks, CA,
    • Feb 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The pulse device that they tell you to put on your car never received a signal. It drained my battery four times and cost me $400-$500 per month for the 150-mile minimum charge when no signal is received. HIGHLY UNSATISFIED with the experience! This was described as a "PERFECT" absentee policy. It has been a nightmare!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Device drained battery

    • California,
    • Feb 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I asked Metromile if the tracking device was going to drain the battery power and they ensured me that would never be the case. Guess what? When I came out to start the car the battery was dead! The car is a new hybrid and is not frequently driven (wasn't that the main reason why I chose Metromile insurance?). And to call them for service took an hour to rectify. You pay for what you get. But the most important thing to learn: don't plug that device into a hybrid if I were you!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Once was great but now has horrible customer service and has overcharged me for a year.

    • California,
    • Feb 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a legal name change and have contacted customer care SIX times. I've waited 30+ minutes and only once was my call answered. The gentleman was not friendly at all and accidentally deleted my data twice after spending many minutes providing all of my information. Additionally, we found out that even though both my partner and myself had spoken to Metromile when we moved to our new address A YEAR AGO, our new address was never saved and we've been paying $9/month more than we should have been, which is over $100 extra than we should have been. The customer service agent refused to put in a request for my overpayments for the last year. He then tried to make me feel sorry for him by saying he has been working overtime and is actually in the sales department and Metromile has expanded so much that they cannot keep up with the customer service. Extremely poor business practices.

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

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Metromile - new customer overcharged twice - first month $288!

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Feb 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My first month was $288! On any other insurance company, I would pay less than $100 a month. That happened just because they overcharged me for not installing the device because I was overseas when the device arrived in my place. I emailed them while I was overseas and that still didn't stop the additional fees. They were never reasonable and never valued me as a new customer trying to install the device when I could not. I was told they could pause the policy as I was out of the country. They never refunded these extra charges, and of course, I never trusted them again to remain a customer.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Raised rates and fraudulent billing

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Jan 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'd read the reviews, so when they raised my rates after a few months, I expected it.

    I did not expect them to charge me for miles in an exclusion area - Mexico. Even though their coverage is invalid, they billed me for those trips. Charging someone for a product or service you are not providing is fraud, and I have reported them to the BBB.

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

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    Comments (5)
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    • Jan 23, 2019

      Madie H., Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Thank you for your feedback. We see that your complaint has been addressed on the BBB website. We appreciate you reviewing your experience.

    • Jan 25, 2019

      Ian M.

      You may have replied, but my complaint was not even remotely addressed on the BBB website. In fact, it's clear you have either no understanding or little interest in solving this problem.

    • Feb 6, 2019

      Mark D.

      My van didn't start to do a test drive. My Honda is getting a new alternator.

      I emailed them and informed them that I took pictures and vids of milage. They didn't care. Still charged me 125 miles per day.

      On hold forever. Looks like they should hire a second person to do calls.

    • Feb 25, 2019

      Tony N.

      Be careful when ordering with Metromile. They canceled on while I tried to contact on the app, I have a delayed payment and they did not even call me back. Terrible reliability and customer service. Spend a few extra dollars and be protected. Insurance is supposed to cover you not ditch you.

    • Mar 2, 2019

      Eddie T.

      Just canceled my policy with them today. I was wondering why my premiums kept going up. It increased to 40% after a year! I only drive 10 miles weekdays average and 0 on weekends. My cost is now more than what I paid Allstate for the exact same policy coverage and I have to pay more for every mile I drive vs. unlimited miles with Allstate? How is Metromile cheaper anymore. Their reasons for the increase, "Due to higher costs of medical and vehicles on the road." So I have to pay more to cover their costs of doing business while Allstate was giving me annual discounts for being a good driver each year. Well, looks like this car is going back with Allstate.

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Shady business with terrible customer service

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Nov 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've had Metromile for 6 months. A few observations:

    - You pay for the base rate of your policy a cycle ahead of time. This means that when you first sign up, they are applying a credit from the first payment to the first 6 cycles (your first policy period). This also means that your monthly cost looks considerably less.

    - Policy Renewal alert comes in the form of a nondescript email that says nothing about the fact that your base rate AND mileage rate might be increasing in the next 6-month policy period (you have to click through to the declarations page). Since you are paying for the base rate a month ahead of time, the new increased cost is automatically applied to you *current* bill if you don't cancel it by the time the current cycle ends.

    In short, the cost savings don't add up, since the true costs of your first 6 months are somewhat obscured by the prepayment credit, and my rates have increased by an equivalent of $20 a month for the next policy period. I am currently looking to switch ASAP.

    The customer service representative tried to tell me that I received 6 weeks notice, and when I pointed out to her that 10/1 to 11/4 is not 6 weeks' time, she told me that we were talking in circles.

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

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    • Nov 9, 2018

      Madie H., Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Hi Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback. I apologize about the customer support you received and that you are no longer seeing savings with Metromile. As much as we dislike increasing rates, we occasionally find the need to adjust our rates across the board in a state to make sure we’re still around to support you when you need us most. You should still be seeing savings, as we strive to provide the fairest and most affordable offering for low-mileage drivers. We truly appreciate your business and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Rates keep skyrocketing and nobody will say exactly why.

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Oct 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was saving a substantial amount, at first, but lately, Metromile seems to be addicted to rate hikes, and they don't actually save you a lot of money unless you hardly drive at all. When I signed up in 2016, I had a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria and thought "Hey, cool!" at paying like $15 a month and a couple of cents a mile for basic liability coverage, but in July of this year, I financed a 2018 Kia Soul Plus.

    Part of what made me comfortable taking on a car payment was the thought that Metromile had my back on car insurance rates. For a short while, they did. I was quoted something like $44 a month plus 9.6 cents per mile for $250 Collision and Comprehensive, 100/300/50 liability, $1,000 medical payments. Unfortunately, when it came time to renew, I got a declarations page stating that my rate would go up to something like $58 a month and 11.9 cents per mile. I thought, "Gee, that's a sizable increase, but still a lot cheaper than what other insurers want, so I'm not happy about this, but what can I do?" So, a couple of weeks later, the guy I'm renting a parking spot tells me to get out and I change my parking address back to my home address, which is roughly two blocks away.

    Metromile generated another declarations page for my next term, beginning 10/29, saying it would now be $67-something plus 13.5 cents per mile. I did some quick math and determined that my average monthly bill would be over the flat rate of traditional insurers, such as American Family, State Farm, and others, and none of them make you put a thing in your car that tracks mileage.

    Well, Root Insurance had my attention anyway because their app rides along and sees how you drive and then offers you a personalized quote. Long story short, I was able to get better insurance coverages than Metromile for a flat rate of $82 per month (paid for the whole term up front), and so I accepted this and canceled my policy with Metromile, effective 10/29. I asked Metromile what gave. Why did my rates skyrocket, and then do so again, and wasn't really given satisfactory answers.

    I was told things like, "Well, different zip codes, and general statewide increases..."

    If that's the case, then Metromile has definitely lost their edge and is due to lose more customers because the potential savings just are now minimal and not worth the uncertainty, or having to install spyware in your car to determine your rates. And like all proprietary software, we can't be sure that Metromile is limiting themselves to only what they said it would do. For example, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and other big name companies use proprietary software to gather data and use it for god knows what.

    I'm not sure that Metromile used my information from the Pulse device maliciously to increase their rate, though, as the Root app rated my driving 9 out of 10 (shrug).

    Regardless, I'd never be able to prove that. Perhaps Metromile's customers are being asked to pay more because people living on the coast are getting hit by hurricanes and the entire state of California keeps getting set on fire, but that still really isn't my problem, in Illinois.

    It's not fair to punish me for the proverbial foolish man who built his house on the equally proverbial sand. Then there's the marketing that's all over the CTA recently. Maybe we're paying for that too. The funny part is that it says "Switch to Metromile and pay pennies per mile. Yes, just pennies!" The part that they left out seems to be that it's getting to be a bloody awful lot of pennies, and more every renewal or minor change to your policy. Will the last one to cancel Metromile please turn out the lights?

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

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    • Nov 9, 2018

      Madie H., Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Thank you for your review, we appreciate your feedback. We get it, no one likes higher rates. And as much as we dislike increasing rates, we occasionally find the need to adjust our rates across the board in a state to make sure we’re still around to support you when you need us most. We definitely don't use your driving data to rate on behavior and apologize that you were no longer seeing savings with pay-per-mile. We truly appreciate your business and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    New customer, first renewal 23% increase

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’m a new customer of Metromile. I thought it was a great service for someone who doesn’t drive their car that often. I have no accidents, no tickets, and excellent credit scores. After 6 months, I just received my renewal increase of 23%. I spoke to an agent and he told me it’s a Metromile business decision to increase rates for everyone in California and to take it or leave it. I’m taking it for now, but plan on leaving it soon. A really poor way to do business.

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

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    • Nov 9, 2018

      Madie H., Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Thank you for your feedback. We understand the confusion when it comes to your rates. Please keep in mind with insurance, statewide increases are common across the industry and there is a need to reevaluate rates from time to time. While we appreciate that you have been claim and accident-free with Metromile, the statewide increases affect all our policyholders. Because there are newer vehicles, more claims and medical bills for your state as a whole, rates increased across the board. It is not personal, and we do apologize for any frustration this increase has caused. We hope you still continue to see savings with our pay-per-mile insurance, and if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our service agents at 888-244-1702.

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Showing 1-11 of 77

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