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I have been using Metromile car insurance since February 2015, when they were still a pretty start-up just coming into Illinois. That February I went looking for cheaper car insurance since I live in downtown Chicago and rarely drive my car. In reality, I could probably get by without a car, but I own my garage spot and I’ve owned the car a long time.
In the past 6 years, I’ve put a little over 13,000 on my SUV. But living downtown can get crazy sometimes and my wife and I like escaping into Michigan for a long weekend and in the summer sometimes we like to just get out and take a drive. For many years I was a Geico customer, but in late 2014 they jacked up my car insurance premium to $80 per month -- that’s $960 a year!
After spending about an hour researching online and looking at quotes from a lot of the usual car insurance companies you see on TV (Progressive, The General, Allstate, and Esurance) I couldn’t even find a price that came close to the $80 a month I was already spending.
Was I actually getting a deal on car insurance? FYI -- if you are looking for a deal on car insurance don’t go with Esurance (despite their claims that they were “born online” so they can give you the cheapest price) actually ended up being the most expensive quote at $145 a month for car insurance. It’s not like I am driving a Tesla so I have no idea why it was so expensive.
By now I was determined so I kept digging. I knew I could definitely find cheaper car insurance, but at the time I had no idea pay-per-mile insurance was even a thing. Finally, I came across an ad for after searching for “low mile car insurance” on Google.
(Quick MM tip: for those of you who don’t click on the Google paid search ads you should because sometimes you can actually find great deals from smaller companies who can’t get on the first page of Google unless they pay for it.)
It was a pretty easy sell -- Metromile is a car insurance company built for people who don’t drive their cars much and they charge a set fee per mile (aptly known as pay-per-mile insurance). This sounded exactly like what I needed.
At first, I actually thought that Metromile only provided insurance for Uber drivers (which I am not) -- but this is thankfully not the case. After doing a bit of research on the San Francisco start-up, who have a killer idea and some solid silicon valley funding I decided to get a quote on their website which was super easy to use (thanks, UX/UI designers).
The whole process was super simple and the best part was the quote they gave me to insure not only me but also my girlfriend for a base rate of 95 cents/day (approximately $29/month) plus 4.8 cents per mile. I calculated that my average monthly bill would decrease from $80 to about $30 a month. Done. Sold. I signed up immediately and have been using Metromile now for over three and half years.
How Metromile Works
After signing up I was able to print out an insurance card quickly that I could put in my car while I waited for the Metromile tracking device to arrive at my house. The way that Metromile works is that they send you a small device that plugs into your car’s internal computer so they can track how many miles you have driven based on GPS. This tracking device works on most cars that were made in the years after 1995.
All new users have 1 week to plug the device into their car without getting charged a penalty and it is important to keep the device plugged in at all times or else! (Metromile are sufficiently vague on this issue on their forums but they evidently either contact you or charge you a fee if its unplugged) -- so just keep it plugged in.
I haven’t had any issues with the device falling out or unplugging (a few people have complained it drained their car battery) -- but not mine and the device worked immediately when I plugged it in. The cool thing is that the GPS is actually pretty strong and I can see when my car is parked two levels down in my underground garage.
After plugging in the device I connected it to my iPhone app and got an email that everything was connected and tracking properly. That was it.
My Policy -- The coverage is awesome!
When I started looking for car insurance I was worried that I would need to sacrifice my coverage when searching for a cheaper rate, but Metromile were actually able to give me better coverage for cheaper than Geico and the other companies that I checked out. Here is my actual currently policy and base pricing for my car and the coverage I have. Super solid and way more than most people need.
The Metromile Dashboard
To see how well the app worked I then took my car out for a 5 mile drive to run a few errands and when I got home I checked out the app to see my journey.
I was impressed that Metromile worked as described -- I could see the miles that I had driven and where I had driven. Now I have access to an online platform and the Metromile iPhone app that gives me a ton of information on not only my driving patterns and logs of recent trips that I have made, but it also shows me where my car is parked and if I have any mechanical issues I should look into (none so far).
Here is a recent screenshot of the dashboard and my last month’s bill. The cost of my car insurance actually went down!
Metromile Review Conclusion
I have a fascination and passion for start-ups and I enjoy supporting and testing out new technologies like Metromile. When I saw that I could probably save $500-600/year it was a no-brainer to test out the service.
So far I am happy with Metromile and my average monthly bill (even with a 1,000 mile road trip recently) has only been between $30-$52, so much cheaper than that $80 I was previously paying with GEICO. Of course the real test for any car insurance company is when you need to file a claim -- which I haven’t had to do yet and hopefully will never have to do.
If I do I will keep you posted on what happens, but for now I couldn’t recommend Metromile more highly if you don’t drive much and even if you do it is at least worth getting a quote to see what you could save.
Get a Free Quote with Metromile -- it will likely save you a lot of money. Then invest the difference?
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