6 best usage-based car insurance companies

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What if you could save hundreds on your car insurance? It may be possible by enrolling in a usage-based insurance program. UBI, which uses data captured from your mobile phone or a plug-in device via telematics, is becoming increasingly popular. According to a 2022 J.D. Power study, participation in UBI programs has doubled since 2016, with 16% of auto insurance customers participating in these programs.

Best usage-based insurance companies

More companies are offering telematics or usage-based insurance programs, including some newer, smaller insurers. These are our picks for the best usage-based car insurance options based on availability, features and savings.

Best overall: Allstate

Why Allstate car insurance stands out: Allstate’s DriveWise program is our choice as the best overall usage-based insurance program because of its better-than-average ratings for customer satisfaction, widespread availability and the added features available through the DriveWise app.

Besides tracking driving habits and mileage to help you potentially save money, the DriveWise app also includes crash detection as a free safety feature. If you’re in a serious accident, the app will send you notifications asking you to confirm a crash occurred. If there is an accident, it’ll prompt you to call 911 and contact roadside assistance.

  • App: Allstate’s DriveWise app tracks driving behavior and mileage. It’s available for iOS and Android devices.
  • Availability: DriveWise is available in 49 states — that’s more ground than a lot of other companies cover.
  • Savings: Installing and using the DriveWise app when you drive could save up to 40% on your premiums, according to Allstate. You can earn a discount just by signing up and activating DriveWise in the mobile app.
  • Rewards: Through the DriveWise app, you can complete challenges and earn rewards points. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards and other perks.
  • Claims: You can file a claim online, through the app, over the phone or by contacting your Allstate insurance agent.

Read more in our full review of Allstate car insurance.

Best mobile app: Geico

Why Geico stands out: Geico’s telematics program, DriveEasy, won multiple awards for technical achievement and innovation, and Geico was the top choice for customer service in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study.

  • App: The app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Once you install the app, you can access digital ID cards, contact roadside assistance, track vehicle maintenance and make payments. The app automatically tracks driving activity, so there’s no need to open the app every time you drive. It also provides feedback to help you improve your score.
  • Availability: DriveEasy is only available in 35 states, although the company said it plans to expand.
  • Savings: Geico doesn’t specify how much customers could save, stating only that the savings can be significant. According to the program agreement, a discount can be applied to the policy upon enrollment in the DriveEasy program, but you’ll need to log at least an established amount of activity to remain eligible for it. After that, you may qualify for other discounts based on your driving habits.
  • Claims: DriveEasy’s crash assist feature can automatically detect if you’re in an accident and guide you through the claims process. You can submit claims directly through the DriveEasy mobile app.

Read more in our full review of Geico car insurance.

Best for potential savings: Metromile

Why Metromile car insurance stands out: Metromile says its customers save an average of 47% on their car insurance premiums by switching to Metromile. Using its Pulse device, Metromile tracks your mileage and bases your rates on your driving habits.

  • App: Metromile customers can use the mobile app to submit claims, access digital insurance cards or contact roadside assistance.
  • Availability: Currently, Metromile is only available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
  • Claims: If you have Metromile coverage, you can submit a claim online or through the Metromile mobile app. You can also file a claim over the phone.
  • Savings: Depending on the state where you live, you may qualify for additional discounts through Metromile, such as safe-driving, multi-car or anti-theft-device discounts.

Read more in our full review of Metromile car insurance.

Best for drivers with less-than-perfect credit: Root

Why Root car insurance stands out: While typical auto insurance underwriting often uses insurance credit scores as a major factor in determining rates, Root has committed to dropping credit scores from its calculations by 2025.

Today, credit scores play a relatively small role in Root’s premium calculations, so those with poor credit may qualify for lower rates with Root than they’d find from traditional car insurance companies.

  • App: Instead of using a plug-in device, Root uses a mobile app to track your driving behavior. The app is available for Android or iPhone devices.
  • Availability: Root is not available in all states. As of 2023, it’s unavailable in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming or Washington, D.C.
  • Claims: You can file claims online or through the Root app. The company said submitting a claim takes about three minutes, and you can track the claim’s progress through the app.
  • Discounts: According to the company, good drivers can save up to $900 using Root instead of a traditional insurance company. But unlike other insurers, Root doesn’t offer additional discounts for students, safe driving or bundling policies.

Read more in our full review of Root car insurance.

Best for additional rewards: Amica

Why Amica car insurance stands out: Through Amica’s StreetSmart app, you have an extra incentive to drive safely: Besides discounts on their premiums, participants can also earn rewards based on their driving habits. Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Sephora, Target and more. Or you can redeem your rewards as charitable donations to organizations like the Special Olympics or Habitat for Humanity.

  • App: The StreetSmart app is available for iPhones running Apple iOS 8 or higher and Android smartphones running Google Android 4.4 or higher.
  • Availability: The StreetSmart program is only available in select states. As of 2023, it’s available in Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona.
  • Customer satisfaction: Amica was the top-ranked company for customer satisfaction in the 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power.
  • Discounts: You can earn a discount for enrolling in the StreetSmart program, and you may earn additional discounts at your next policy renewal based on your driving performance. Your savings depend on your StreetSmart score after 91 days of driving with the app. The discount varies based on hard braking, excessive speeding, road segment type and phone use.

Read more in our full review of Amica car insurance.

Best for signup bonuses: Progressive

Why Progressive car insurance stands out: With Progressive, you get a discount automatically when you sign up for its Snapshot usage-based insurance program. Although the amount of the discount varies by location, the company said the average discount at signup is $47.

  • App or device: When you sign up for Progressive Snapshot, you may be able to participate in the program through a mobile app or a plug-in device. Which tool you use is dependent on your state.
  • Availability: Progressive’s Snapshot tool is available in all states except California.
  • Discounts: If you qualify for a discount based on your driving performance, it’s applied when you renew your policy. It usually takes about six months to qualify for the discount. On average, Progressive said customers saved $156 per year using the Snapshot program.

Read more in our full review of Progressive car insurance.

FAQs about usage-based car insurance

How does usage-based car insurance work?

UBI is a type of car insurance that usually uses a telematics device or mobile app to track a driver’s behavior. Using data from the app or device, insurers base the driver’s premiums on their mileage and driving habits.

UBI programs look at several key factors to determine a driver’s rates, including the following:

Miles driven
Time of day the vehicle is driven
Rapid acceleration
Incidences of hard braking

Drivers with safe driving habits and shorter commutes typically pay less with UBI than with traditional insurance. UBI can be useful for drivers looking for car insurance for bad credit, as UBI programs are less reliant on insurance credit scores when determining drivers’ rates.

How much money can I save with usage-based insurance?

Discounts vary based on your driving habits and location, but drivers can often save between 10% and 40% by using UBI programs.

What are the downsides of usage-based car insurance?

Though UBI programs can help some drivers save money, it’s not for everyone. Those with long commutes or who often drive at night may not qualify for discounts, and some may even see an increase in their premiums.

How we picked these insurers

The insurance company that’s best for you depends on your location, driving habits and coverage needs. When choosing the best usage-based insurance companies, we researched the following factors:

  • Customer service: We used the J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study’s company rankings to gauge each company’s customer service.
  • Insurance products: We looked for companies that offered additional products beyond the standard collision, comprehensive and liability protection, such as gap insurance, rental reimbursement and rideshare insurance.
  • Savings, rewards and discounts: When possible, we compared the typical discounts, rewards and savings customers may expect upon enrollment and after completing the initial evaluation period.
  • Mobile app: While some telematics companies use plug-in devices, we also looked for companies that use mobile apps to evaluate driver behavior.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Obsessed with her many side hustles, she focuses on helping people pay down their … Read more.