Get all the details in our Metromile auto insurance review.

Advertiser Disclosure

Metromile is a Silicon Valley startup that has made waves from Crunchbase to Forbes, but what do drivers really think about it? In our Metromile review, we’ll take a look at the company from a driver’s perspective and also look at a few other Metromile reviews from customers.

The pay-per-mile insurance company is based in San Francisco and is just a few years old – it started in 2011. Overall, Metromile can be a good choice for people in metro areas who don’t drive much.

 

In this article:

Usage-Based Insurance With Metromile

The basic premise of Metromile is that you should save money on car insurance if you don’t drive very much. You might think Metromile is just like other usage-based insurance options, like Root or Progressive’s Snapshot. However, that’s not the case at all. Metromile only cares about the miles you drive, and nothing more.

Alright, well the company does care about your accident history, your age, and where you live for calculating rates. But if you drive late at night and tend to take sharp corners, your car insurance rates won’t go up. As long as you don’t get a ticket, you could be a bad driver and still get good rates from Metromile. This contrasts with other usage-based insurance options, which often put high importance on your driving habits.

The Metromile Pulse

The Pulse is Metromile’s data collection device. To have Metromile, you need to use the Pulse. It plugs into your car’s OBD-II diagnostics port, and you should leave it plugged in unless your car is being serviced. The Metromile Pulse communicates data by a cellular signal, so you need to live in an area with adequate cell service – and getting service for the Pulse is a concern in many Metromile reviews.

Metromile also has an app, but it doesn’t depend on the app for mileage data. With the app, you can monitor your car’s health (tire pressure, check engine light codes), change your policy, file claims, and learn about your driving habits.

While the Pulse can track other things like acceleration, mileage is the only thing that matters for your rate. The Pulse can also track your car’s location, and a few customers have actually recovered their stolen vehicles because of that. However, you can turn that feature off if you want to. You can also download a copy of the data that Metromile has collected at any time through your online dashboard.

Speaking of data, Metromile can also use data from the Pulse device when you report a claim. Since it contains movement and diagnostic information about the car, it can speed up the process of settling a claim.

Metromile Availability

Right now, you can only get Metromile if you live in one of the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Washington

If your state isn’t listed (which it probably isn’t), you can sign up on Metromile’s website to be notified of expansions in coverage. The company may expand to more states in 2020.

Metromile Coverage Options

Since it’s a newer company, older policies were underwritten by the National General Insurance Group, while current policies are transitioning to Metromile Insurance. Today, all Metromile customers can find plans that satisfy their state’s minimum insurance laws, or they can choose to add extra coverage options on top of that.

Here the standard coverage options from Metromile:

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD): Most states require liability coverage – it compensates other people in accidents that you cause. A coverage level of 25/50/25 allows for $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): Some states require this coverage. It covers medical bills for you and your passengers and damage to your car if you get hit by an uninsured driver.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage is required in no-fault states. It pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits, regardless of who caused the accident. PIP usually requires a deductible.
  • Medical Payments (MedPay): This option is similar to PIP, but it doesn’t require a deductible. It also only covers medical bills, not lost wages.
  • Collision: This is what pays for your car to be repaired after an accident – whether you were at fault or not. If you were at fault, your rates will go up.
  • Comprehensive: This option covers repairs after non-accident events, like hail or falling tree branches.

Metromile’s Two Perks

Metromile is a young company, so it doesn’t offer the same amount of perks as other top providers. For starters, you can only get one thing at Metromile: personal car insurance. You can’t get renters, condo, or gap insurance.

Aside from the standard car insurance menu, Metromile offers two options that you can add to your policy:

Rental car reimbursement: With this option, you can receive up to $30 per day for a rental car while your own vehicle is in the shop after a covered incident. You can get this reimbursement for up to 30 days per accident.

Roadside assistance: Metromile’s roadside assistance option adds about $5 to $7 per month to your policy, and it covers locksmith services, towing, gas delivery, jump starts, and flat tire changes.

Metromile Is Not For Rideshare Drivers

If you drive your own car for work or drive for a rideshare company, you’re going to want to pass on by. Metromile is designed for low-mileage drivers, and there isn’t a way for it to distinguish between miles driven for work and for personal use. Plus, Metromile doesn’t provide a rideshare coverage option, which would cover the periods when you are waiting to receive a trip request while online.

Getting A Quote From Metromile

It almost seems too easy to get a quote from Metromile. The site claims it only takes two minutes, and that was the case in our experience. For our Metromile review, we did our homework and found that there are only two screens you need to fill out: one for your vehicle and one for yourself as the driver. Based on your information, Metromile will show you a list of possible people in your home that you can add to your policy. You just click the checkbox next to their name to add them, which is fast and easy.

When you get to the final screen, you can choose from different coverage levels or add and subtract extras like collision insurance. The base rate and per-mile rate are laid out clearly, and you can see how different mileage scenarios impact your total cost.

Metromile’s unique fee structure allows many drivers to find a discounted rate even without offering traditional discounts. There is one traditional discount, though, and you can get it by insuring multiple cars with Metromile.

What Is A Prepayment?

As a first-time policyholder, you may be charged a prepayment by Metromile. The exact amount can vary, but from looking at Metromile’s handy infographics, it seems to be about two or three times your monthly base rate. This prepayment is like a security deposit on your account, which you get back over the next five billing cycles. It’s not an extra charge.

Let’s say you’re starting a policy with a monthly base rate of $50, and you’re charged a prepayment of $150. On your first five bills, you will get one-fifth of that prepayment amount as a credit. So the base rate on your first five bills will be $30 less than the base rate on the sixth one. The prepayment only applies to new policyholders.

Filing A Claim With Metromile

Metromile also makes it easy to file claims. You can go online or log in to the mobile app to report a claim 24/7. You can also call Metromile’s claims number during business hours. To file a claim, you need to provide basic information like location, accident description, and information on the other drivers and their vehicles. You should also take photos of your car and the scene of the accident if you can.

The next step is getting a repair estimate. Many estimates can be completed with photos that you send in, but Metromile might need to send an adjuster to check out your car in some situations. After you give the go-ahead on a repair, your Metromile representative will be in touch with you throughout the rest of the process.

The Cost Of Metromile

Low costs are one of the things you will commonly hear about in positive Metromile reviews. Metromile breaks your total cost into two parts: a base rate per month and price per mile.

Base rate: The base rate is a monthly fee that corresponds to the number of days in a particular month. The rate stays constant during your insurance period, but you’ll pay slightly more for longer months. On your bill, you’ll pay the base rate for the upcoming month.

Per-mile rate: This rate is charged per mile that you drive in a given month. On your bill, you’ll pay for the previous month’s mileage.

Your base rate and per-mile cost can vary with your coverage level and your personal situation. Both rates take into account your age, credit, driving record, what type of car you drive, and more.

When looking at quotes from Metromile, both rates will increase and decrease together according to the coverage level you choose. In other words, there isn’t an option to choose a low base rate and high rate per mile, or vice versa. Here are some hypothetical cost scenarios:

Base Rate Cents Per Mile Mileage Per Month Monthly Charge

$29

6

300

$47

$29

6

600

$65

$29

6

900

$83

$29

6

1,200

$101

$45

7

300

$66

$45

7

600

$87

$45

7

900

$108

$45

7

1,200

$129

$70

9

300

$97

$70

9

600

$124

$70

9

900

$151

$70

9

1,200

$178

 

Metromile’s website says that the monthly base rate can start as low as $29. Also, it claims that people who drive about 1,700 miles per year can save $947, while people who drive about 9,000 miles per year can save $541. The average person drives about 1,200 miles per month according to the Federal Highway Administration, but that’s a high number for Metromile.

Generally, if you drive 10,000 miles a year or more (about 900 per month), you might want to consider other providers. You might find more affordable rates elsewhere if you drive even less than that, too. The good thing is that you can forecast your expenses right in the quote from Metromile and see what you’ll pay before you make your purchase.

Metromile Insurance Reviews

Since the company is small, you won’t see any Metromile reviews by big players like J.D. Power right now. However, the company holds accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A+ rating. Overall, it has good ratings on some sites and average ratings on others.

Since Metromile’s app is featured heavily by the company, it’s also useful to take into account Metromile reviews related to the app. The app has a 3.5 star rating on Google Play (722 reviewers) and a 4.7 star rating on the App Store (14,100 reviewers).

Positive Metromile Reviews

Metromile reviews on the company’s BBB review page are mixed. While there are a number of positive Metromile reviews, there are some negative ones as well. Starting with the positive ones, many people say that they’ve saved between 30 and 50 percent on their monthly bill with Metromile. Many also say they’ve had positive experiences when dealing with customer service.

Negative Metromile Reviews

On the other hand, there are some issues that come up. In particular, problems with the Pulse device are common in Metromile insurance reviews on its BBB page. Metromile needs to get a signal from the Pulse device, otherwise, it can’t charge people correctly for mileage. However, when a Pulse device doesn’t send a signal, Metromile charges the customer for 150 miles of usage per day (around $10 to $15 depending on the rate per mile).

To make matters worse, Metromile only emails customers about this issue. The company doesn’t alert drivers through the app. Many customers just assume it’s another corporate email and end up paying the higher rate for days or weeks.

In one Metromile review, the Pulse device couldn’t get a signal because the driver parked in a concrete garage. In another Metromile review, the driver said that the Pulse device killed their car battery, which made it lose the signal.

Finally, another reviewer mentions that since the device can drain the battery of some cars, you might have to get a cigarette lighter adapter to power the device. However, the adapter won’t charge the device when you aren’t driving, so you’ll have to keep driving regularly. If you don’t, or if you go out of town, you’ll be charged for 150 miles per day until you drive your car again. Looking at a variety of Metromile reviews, this is the most common problem that people have.

Metromile Review: Our Verdict

We think Metromile could be a good choice if you live in a city and only put a few miles on your car. The easy cancellation process adds another level of security just in case you wanted to change your mind. However, make sure that you can use the Pulse device without any issues. If it’s causing you issues, it might be a better idea to switch providers before you get charged for too many days without a signal.

Good for People In Metro

★★★★

Compare Policies

 

A good choice if you live in a city and only put a few miles on your car.

 

Progressive: Usage-Based Insurance In 48 States

While Metromile may look enticing, you might find better quotes or coverage options from other companies. We would suggest taking a look at Progressive as one alternative. The provider earned 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review of the industry's best car insurance companies.

With Progressive’s Snapshot, you can get usage-based insurance in 48 states – just not in California or North Carolina. However, Snapshot does collect data on your driving habits to adjust your rate. In other words, you need to be a good driver, and about 20 percent of drivers actually see their rates increase.

Progressive has an A+ rating from AM Best, and it tends to be one of the more affordable options out there. As far as customer service goes, Progressive is somewhat average, but you can always reach its customer service and claims support numbers 24/7.

Great for Discount Bundles

★★★★★

Compare Policies

 

Our 3rd best overall pick: Offers a number of ways to get a discount, including the Snapshot tool or bundle options.

 

USAA: The Best Choice For Military And Family Members

USAA, on the other hand, excels in the area of customer service and claims experience. However, it’s only available to members of the military and their families. Once a military member purchases a USAA policy, they can pass eligibility down as long as someone from each generation gets a policy.

USAA also tends to be the cheapest option in many states. If you can get it, there’s no reason not to try it out. The company has a rating of A++ from AM Best, which is the highest possible rating. Also, it performed very well on J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and Insurance Shopping Study.

Best for Military Families

★★★★★

Compare Policies

 

Our best overall pick: Offers great customer service to military members and their families.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Metromile charge per mile?

Metromile’s per-mile rate depends on different things – like your age, the state you live in, and the coverage level you want. It can range from six cents per mile to twelve cents or more.

Is Metromile insurance any good?

Metromile is a good insurance option if you’re a low-mileage driver and if you can verify that the Pulse device gets a good signal during your daily routine. This is a common issue in Metromile reviews from customers.

Who is Metromile owned by?

Metromile is an independent company. It is privately held and is owned by its founder, David Friedberg, and investors.

Does Metromile track speed?

Metromile’s Pulse device can track your acceleration, speed, and motion, but it does not factor these into your rates. The only thing that matters is your mileage, which sets it apart from many other usage-based options.

How much does pay-per-mile insurance cost?

Pay-per-mile insurance costs vary between providers and drivers. With Metromile, quotes can range from $45 to $150 per month and more. The lowest you could pay is $29 per month if you didn’t drive your car at all and you qualified for the cheapest base rate.

The only way to know what you would pay is to get a quote yourself, which is pretty easy to do. However, pay-per-mile plans aren’t usually economical for people who drive 10,000 miles per year or more.

Does Metromile have full coverage?

Yes, Metromile offers full coverage. You can get liability, comprehensive, collision, MedPay, PIP, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage from Metromile. The provider also offers roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement coverage.

Can you take road trips with Metromile?

Yes, you can, and you won’t have to pay a huge amount to do so. Your per-mile rate only applies for up to 250 miles per day (150 in New Jersey). That means if you drive 400 miles in one day, you’ll only pay for 250 of them. However, this is the only kind of mileage cap that Metromile has. There are no caps on monthly or yearly miles.

How do you cancel Metromile?

Sometimes, estimating your mileage is tricky. Maybe you started a policy with Metromile a couple of months ago but realized that it isn’t worth it. Fortunately, you can cancel your insurance from Metromile anytime without paying a fee.