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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44 Consumer Reviews for Metromile Auto Insurance

Average Consumer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 10 4 star: 1 3 star: 1 2 star: 4 1 star:  28
Bottom Line: 27% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 44
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Update

    • Lake Arrowhead, CA,
    • Nov 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been contacted by the claims adjuster, responding to my concerns and letting me know that my claim is being processed expeditiously. The absolutely most frustrating thing about dealing with customer service, true of Metro as well as most other companies, is that representatives usually have limited knowledge and they seldom have the ability to send the problem upward (I think "escalate" is the trending term) to someone with the knowledge and authority to handle it. Seems to me that a lot of problems could be solved by adding a few more upper-level employees to alleviate the frustrations and the complaints.

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

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    • Nov 17, 2017

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Hi Sue, thanks for leaving your review. We are sorry to hear about your car, we know that is not a fun situation to deal with. We strive to provide the best support to our customers throughout the life of their policy, especially in the unfortunate event of a claim. We’re really disappointed to find out that this wasn’t the case for you. We can see that your adjuster reached out to you today to address these concerns. If you have any follow-up questions please feel free to reach back to your claim's adjuster so that we can address them. We truly value you as a customer and would be sad to see you go. Thank you for your feedback.

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    • Previous review
    • Nov 16, 2017

    Not so fast, after all

    My car was stolen from my driveway on a Friday, twelve days ago. I filed my claim with the Metromile claims department the following morning. I received an email from the claims adjuster on Monday afternoon, nine days ago, asking for lots of documentation to be notarized and returned to him by regular mail. On Thursday, seven days ago, the claims adjuster received my notarized documentation, and on Friday, I spent over an hour on the phone giving him an oral report.

    Today, Tuesday, now eleven days after first calling Metromile to report my stolen car, I was informed by the claims adjuster that my claim wasn't really considered to be filed until I spoke with him on the phone at the time of my oral report, four days ago. I was told today that there is no way for him to predict, or even guess about, how long it will take to resolve my claim because each claim requires a different kind of investigation, and he doesn't work on weekends. I explained that I was using a borrowed car and I had a car payment due early in December that I couldn't afford to pay because I no longer had the car. The adjuster said my claim could take 2-3 weeks, or even more than a month to resolve because he is really busy.

    In the meantime, I have borrowed a friend's car, but I can't keep it much longer, and I can't replace my stolen one until the claim is settled. The rental coverage that Metromile allows is for thirty days maximum. I wonder what someone who has to use a rental will do when their thirty days is up, but their claim has not yet been resolved.

    When I signed on with Metromile early this year, I had read that there were several complaints about claims not being handled promptly. The representative I spoke to assured me that Metromile had switched to a new claims company and they were now processing all claims quickly and efficiently. I now see that I was foolish to have accepted that explanation.

    Because I only drive a few miles a week, Metromile's pay-by-the mile feature was its selling point. Now, I'm expecting that any money I thought I was going to save is going to be gone with the wind because of the way my claim is being handled.

    My claim is about a stolen car. I can't begin to imagine how inefficient and time-consuming it would be to try to resolve something more complicated like an accident with multiple issues and people that need to be addressed. I will be leaving Metromile as soon as my claim is settled.

    (read moreread less...)

  • It worked for 2 months, after that been being charge for 250 miles a day

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Nov 18, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    These guys are a joke! I have been resetting the pulse every so often and being charged for 250 miles a day. Why would customer suffer/charge for a defective device?! You guys should know immediately if a device goes bad (because this device is connected online) and automatically send a replacement, rather than throwing the burden to the client! I am going back to my trusted traditional insurance. It’s not worth saving a few bucks! Oh and by the way, be ready to be put on hold trying to catch tech support overseas!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    The worst

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Nov 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Worst experience I have ever had with an auto insurance company.

    My car was in the shop from August 31 until November 11; I’ve never experienced an insurer moving so slow.

    They don’t even send any adjusters out to the repair shops to view the car and damages in the person, which results in a huge difference in estimates between Metromile and the shop.

    You need to stay as far away from Metromile as you can!

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Driver BEWARE!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Oct 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    As a thank you for being a good driver, Metromile is raising my rates from $40.61 to $64.79 (monthly base rate) plus 5.9¢ to 9.9¢ per mile.

    Since signing up for the service, they have consistently raised my rates but never this much. Don't be fooled by their ads that promise low rates.

    This company is the master of the bait and switch.

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

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    • Nov 7, 2017

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Hi Mark, we appreciate you taking the time to send a review. It's definitely not our intention to make you feel this way. We always send you an email a month prior to your policy renewing to review what your renewal rates will be. Your rates can vary upon renewal which is every six months, this means they can decrease, increase, or remain the same.

      A majority of our customers are still able to see savings, even if their rates do increase. But we do understand that the math may not always work out for everyone for a given time in their life. We can see that you have called in recently and we want to further address your specific concerns about your renewal rates, a member of our customer experience team will follow up with you soon.

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    No complaints!

    I've had them for nearly a year, and I love everything about Metromile. Granted, I have yet to go through the claims process, but every interaction with the company has been prompt and professional. I actually enjoy being incentivized to drive less, but never feel penalized if I decide to take a road trip. Even during my heaviest months, I still pay less than my previous policy, and my coverage is far more extensive.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Defective devices, two hour holds and all the charges

    I purchased an insurance plan for two vehicles. They use a device they call a "pulse" that plugs into your car to record miles actually driven, then they charge you a certain agreed upon cent amount per mile. My estimated plan would've cost me nearly half my plan with Esurance. All great!

    The problem is, I received a defective device and Metromile was going to charge me 150 miles per day on the vehicle the device was assigned to. They were able to determine it was defective and quickly shipped me a new one, along with a return label to ship back the bad one. I plug the new device in, return the old one and done by 10/07! Super easy.

    Then, then I get an email at 4:30 pm CST Friday 10/12 saying my new pulse has not been installed (it has) and I will be charged 150 miles a day. This is the new one they just sent me and lo and behold, defective! Oh, and their customer service is closed from 6 pm PT Friday until Monday. Funny. So there's no way to get in touch with them. Their online form clearly says a 5-7 day reply time, all weekend, while I'm being charged for 150 miles a day due to yet another defective device.

    As of right now, Monday at 4:56 pm CST, I have been on hold for TWO HOURS AND SIXTEEN MINUTES and still counting.

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

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    • Oct 23, 2017

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Hi LeAnna, thank you for your feedback and leaving a review. We are sorry for any frustration caused by the device and sincerely apologize for any excessive hold times you experienced throughout this ordeal. At this time, our customer experience team is only available, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM PT. We are happy to assist and accommodate our customers with the device on a case by case basis. Rest assured, if customers submit an online inquiry a member of our team will follow up addressing your concerns within 6 to 7 business days.

      Since we are pay-per-mile insurance we do require to receive a continuous signal from your device. Without a signal from the device, we have no way of knowing if your vehicle is being driven or parked. Per your policy contract, you can be charged 150 miles/day if we don't receive a signal from your device until we receive a signal again. We can see that you received assistance on 10/16/17 and to accommodate you, we reversed the 150 miles/day charges you received. A member of our customer experience team will be checking on your device to see if the device doesn't send a signal again and we will follow-up with you about next steps. We want to provide the best experience for all our customers and have passed along your experience to our team.

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  • 6 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Increased rate by 150% after one year when I had no claims and accidents

    • Sacramento, CA,
    • Sep 30, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They were great in the first year. I had no problems with them. I saved about $300 a year compared to my former insurance company. I had a clean driving record, no tickets, no accidents, no claims made. I drive on average 700 miles or less a month.

    But after one year, out of the blue, they send me an email telling me that they are going to increase my rates. Here are their exact words:

    "As costs rise across the car insurance industry, we sometimes need to increase rates as customers renew."

    Increases for Car 1: base rate of $31 to base rate of $32.86 AND per-mile rate of 4.5cents to 5.1cents.

    Increases for Car 2: base rate of $38.13 to $41.23, per-mile of 5.8cents to 6.4cents.

    These are huge increases. I complained to them, but they did nothing.

    I tried out the rates anyway mainly because I was too lazy to shop for another insurance. After a month on the new increased rates, I realized that I need to drive 300 miles less per month to maintain the same bill compared to the old rates.

    They advertise their "low" rates as "If you drive 10,000 miles or less a year, you could be saving $500 a year." This needs to update to "If you drive 6,400 miles or less a year." Otherwise, this is false advertising.

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

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    • Oct 4, 2017

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Thank you for your review. Rates can fluctuate upon renewal but we will always email you a month prior, letting you how much your renewal rates will be with an outline stating the reason for the increase. Savings can vary depending on your rates and how much you drive. The "break-even" mileage for most people is 10,000 miles per year, but we understand that the math may not always work out for everyone during a given time in their life. We appreciate you trying out Metromile!

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  • 11 out 11 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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    • Oct 4, 2017

      Kelsey, Sr. Social Media Advocate

      Michael, we are so sorry you had a negative experience. We strive to be a great partner and create fiercely loyal customers, especially when it comes to handling claims. We're committed to providing our policyholders and other customers who may present a claim, with safety, security, and peace of mind.

      Working with an external partner to underwrite our policies and resolve claims, we recognized the experience can feel disconnected and it was not the best-in-class experience that we expect for our customers. Due to the disconnection, we have launched a new claims service, which is underwritten by us, Metromile Insurance.

      You'll be able to switch to Metromile Insurance upon your renewal (all new customers are automatically underwritten by Metromile). We appreciate your feedback and will pass it along to our team.

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  • 3 out 4 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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  • 9 out 10 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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  • 11 out 11 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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