Update December 2021: Metromile has agreed to be acquired by Lemonade, another insurtech company. The deal is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2022, but no changes to either company's offerings have been announced. We'll keep this review updated as we learn more.
Metromile is a pay-per-mile insurer — which means its rates are composed of a fixed base rate and a cost-per-mile rate, which together take into account your driving history, personal information and vehicle type.
Metromile review: our thoughts
Pay-per-mile insurance allows drivers to pay rates based on how much they drive. Drivers who spend less time on the road are less likely to get into an accident and can take advantage of cheaper rates.
Even though rates are based on your mileage, pay-per-mile insurers take into account factors such as your driving history, age, where you live, the car you drive and the coverage you choose.
If you consistently drive only a few miles every day or don't drive every day, then pay-per-mile car insurance may be the key to lowering your rates.
Metromile offers great rates, particularly to those who drive 10,000 miles a year or fewer. However, because your monthly mileage determines your premium, it might not be ideal for drivers who prefer a predictable, fixed payment.
Metromile keeps track of your miles with the Metromile Pulse, a small device that hooks up to your car's diagnostic port. Customers can disable the Pulse's GPS function — so it will capture how far you drive but not your location. Disabling the GPS will also turn off Metromile's smart drive features, like street sweeping notifications and trip tracking.
Although Metromile offers drivers who spend less time on the road an opportunity to save money, there are some important considerations:
- If you drive a lot of miles, your rates could end up being more expensive than with a standard insurer.
- The company seems to focus on price over a smooth claims process, based on customer feedback.
- Policies are only available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Metromile offers very affordable rates for drivers who travel fewer than 10,000 miles per year.
Full-coverage rates from Metromile are 22% cheaper than average for drivers who put 5,000 to 7,500 miles on their car annually, and 16% cheaper for those who drive 7,600 to 10,000 miles.
For drivers who put 12,500 to 16,000 miles per year on their car, rates are 6% below average — however, a policy costs $340 more than the cheapest insurer, State Farm.
Before you commit to Metromile, we recommend taking advantage of its trial program, Ride Along, for an estimate of how many miles you drive. Knowing how far you travel will allow you to get the most accurate quote.
Metromile Ride Along
If you want to try Metromile but you're not ready to commit to a full policy term, the company offers a trial program called Ride Along. Instead of using the Metromile Pulse to track your driving, drivers download the Metromile app to monitor driving habits for 17 days. At the end of the trial period, Metromile will estimate how much your monthly bill might be if you have the same driving patterns as you did during the trial.
You are not required to purchase insurance from Metromile after going through Ride Along. This makes it an ideal tool for those who find themselves driving fewer miles and want to try a pay-per-mile insurance program.
Rates for young drivers
Young drivers are not immune to high rates from Metromile. Metromile quoted a 20-year-old driver from Los Angeles a base rate of $144 per month plus a mileage rate of 34 cents per mile for full coverage. However, it's possible to save by limiting the number of miles you drive.
The average annual premium for a 20-year-old driver nationally is $3,816. Based on our Metromile quote, our driver could pay less if he drives fewer than 500 miles per month.
How does Metromile work?
Metromile rates are calculated using two metrics:
- The first is a base rate that you pay every month.
- The second is a cost-per-mile rate, which is multiplied by your actual monthly mileage.
The two numbers are added to determine your monthly rate.
For example, let's say your base rate is $40, your per-mile rate is 5 cents and you drive 200 miles a month. Here's how you would calculate your monthly rate: ($0.05 x 200) + $40 = $50
However, Metromile won't charge you more than 250 miles a day (or 150 miles per day in New Jersey), which can help keep your rates low if you go on a road trip.
Metromile Pulse device
Metromile sends drivers a free Metromile Pulse, which is a small wireless device that plugs into the car's diagnostic port. This is how the company is able to track your miles.
Additionally, Metromile uses the Pulse to monitor and adjust rates based on driving behavior in certain states. In Arizona, Illinois, Oregon and Virginia, Metromile takes the following habits into account when calculating rates:
- Which days of the week you drive
- What times of day you drive
- Your average speed while driving
Drivers in the other four states where Metromile operates do not have their driving habits factored into their rates.
In conjunction with the Metromile smartphone app, the Pulse can also:
- Keep track of your driving routes.
- Help you find your car if you forget where you parked.
- Alert you to certain issues with your vehicle through error code detection.
- Provide data on fuel economy.
- Help locate your car if it's stolen.
- Provide street-sweeping alerts in Chicago; Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; Santa Monica, California, ; and West Hollywood, California.
Metromile coverages and discounts
Metromile includes $1,000 of pet injury coverage if you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, an unusual feature compared to other insurers. If your windshield or window cracks, Metromile also waives your comprehensive deductible if your car's glass can be repaired instead of replaced.
Other available coverages from Metromile include:
Metromile also offers a collision deductible waiver. Available at an additional cost, this coverage eliminates your deductible if you're in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
Metromile does not insure drivers who use their cars for popular ridesharing or delivery services like Postmates, Uber or Lyft. If you use your vehicle in that way, you'll need to consider other insurers.
Metromile discounts differ depending on which state you live in. Drivers may be eligible for the following discounts:
- Multi car discount for policyholders who insure more than one car with Metromile.
- Homeowner discount for policyholders who own a home, mobile home or condo.
- Multi policy discount for policyholders who have a homeowners insurance policy with Hippo, a Metromile partner.
- Mature driver discount for drivers over 55 years old who have taken a defensive driving course in the last three years.
- Continuous insurance discount for policyholders who have been insured prior to signing up with Metromile.
- Good driver discount for drivers who have avoided traffic violations and accidents.
- Online discount for drivers who purchase their policy online.
Metromile customer service
When an insurance company has low prices, it may come at the expense of something else — and Metromile is no exception. The company received more than five times as many complaints as would be expected for an insurer of its size, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
While the company has a 24-hour claims processing center, which is convenient, customers complain about delays and denials of claims. There were also a few complaints about cancellation and billing, according to NAIC data.
As a newer company providing highly competitive rates in a competitive market, it might fit the bill for drivers whose top priority is to save money. If you're willing to pay a little more for a reliable claims experience, however, we recommend going with another insurer.
The Metromile app uses a smart claims system, called AVA, to help streamline its claims process. AVA uses data from the Metromile Pulse sensor to reconstruct the scene of an accident and verify your claim details, which can lead to automatic approval of your claim in some instances.
Drivers can opt into AVA's direct repair program, which provides a list of preferred local repair shops. Once you choose a preferred shop, AVA will send payments directly to your repair center and keep you up to date on the repair process.
Policyholders with rental car coverage can also coordinate a rental through Enterprise Rent-A-Car using the Metromile app. AVA will automatically send payments of up to $30 per day directly to Enterprise, eliminating the need for you to pay for your rental car and wait for reimbursement.
Those who choose to book a repair or rental car independently can still use AVA to coordinate payment details and set up electronic payments to access funds quickly.
Current and prospective customers can contact Metromile a number of different ways:
To get a quote or start a new policy, drivers can call (888) 242-5204 or take advantage of Metromile's user-friendly online quote tool.
To file a claim, customers can utilize the online claims dashboard or call (888) 595-5485.
Metromile's website also has a live chat feature, where current and prospective customers can ask customer service agents questions about policy features, billing and the Pulse.
Current customers should download the Metromile app to access digital insurance cards, contact roadside assistance, receive street sweeping alerts and more.
Frequently asked questions
Is Metromile good insurance?
Metromile's rates are very affordable, and the company offers a high-tech experience ideal for infrequent drivers. However, its customer service reputation is very poor. The company received over five times more complaints than is standard for an insurer of its size, according to complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). If reliable customer service is a top priority for you, we recommend selecting another insurer.
Does Metromile offer full-coverage auto insurance?
Yes. In addition to liability insurance, you can purchase comprehensive and collision insurance, PIP and medical payments coverage from Metromile.
Do other insurers offer pay-per-mile car insurance?
A handful of top insurance companies now offer pay-per-mile insurance options, including the Allstate Milewise, Nationwide SmartMiles and Liberty Mutual ByMile programs. Geico does not have a pay-per-mile plan but uses a plug-in device called DriveEasy to offer a usage-based discount on its traditional insurance plans.
How do I install the Metromile Pulse?
To install the Metromile Pulse, all you need to do is insert the device into your car's on-board diagnostics port, or OBD-II port, usually located under the steering wheel. A light on the device should begin to flash. When it does, you can start driving and the device will share your driving data with Metromile.
To compare Metromile's rates to competitors, we used rate data from the California Department of Insurance. Rates reflect the cost of a policy for a single driver operating a Honda Accord who has been licensed for 14 to 25 years and has a clean driving record. We compared rates in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose to determine statewide averages for full-coverage insurance using the following insurance limits:
|Bodily injury liability||$100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$50,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident|
|Collision deductible waiver||Yes|
|Uninsured motorist property damage||None|
|Rental car reimbursement||None|
To determine how much Metromile charges young drivers, we used the company's online tool to get a quote for a 20-year-old driver who is a full-time student living in Los Angeles. He has a clean driving record and drives a 2017 Toyota Camry.
|Bodily injury liability||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive and collision||$500 deductible|
|Collision deductible waiver||None|
|Uninsured motorist property damage||None|
|Rental car reimbursement||None|