Metromile insurance review: Auto insurance rates based on your mileage

Woman driving a car with her partner in the front seat, smiling as they discuss their Metromile Insurance coverage Image: Woman driving a car with her partner in the front seat, smiling as they discuss their Metromile Insurance coverage

In a Nutshell

Metromile is one of only a few companies that bases your auto insurance rate largely on the number of miles you drive. Metromile insurance coverage may be ideal for low-mileage drivers — the company charges a flat monthly fee plus a per-mile rate. But if you live outside of the eight states where Metromile currently offers insurance, you’ll need to consider other insurers.

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Pros Cons
Rates based on how much you drive Only available in eight states
Miles beyond 250/day are free (150 in NJ) Not cost-effective for high-mileage drivers
Robust mobile app Much higher-than-average rate of customer complaints

What you need to know about Metromile insurance

Headquartered in San Francisco, Metromile is a usage-based insurance company, meaning it looks beyond the factors traditional insurers consider — such as your age, location and vehicle — to determine your car insurance premium.

Rates based on your mileage

Metromile offers pay-per-mile car insurance. As the terms suggests, you’re charged a per-mile rate plus a flat monthly fee for coverage. The math is simple: The fewer miles you drive, the less you’ll pay in a given month. Metromile claims on its website that its monthly base rate starts at $29 per month, then you’re charged “a few cents” per mile. But keep in mind that both your base and per-mile rates will depend on factors such as your age, type of vehicle and driving history.

If you decide to take the occasional road trip, you won’t be penalized. You’re only charged for the first 250 miles (150 miles if you live in New Jersey) driven on any given day.

To track your mileage, Metromile gives customers the Metromile Pulse, a small device that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port — the same place a mechanic plugs in their tool to “diagnose” your vehicle. The device also captures data regarding your location, which can come in handy if your car is stolen. Metromile says on its website that it has a 92% stolen car return rate.

Robust mobile app

The Metromile app offers a number of helpful features. Working with the Metromile Pulse device, the app allows you to view your trips, monitor your car’s health, get street sweeping alerts (in select cities), make policy changes, track your driving habits, and begin the claims process or find your car if it’s lost or stolen.

High number of customer complaints

Despite potentially low rates for some drivers and a comprehensive app, data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners suggests that some Metromile insurance customers aren’t always happy with the company. Metromile’s number of customer complaints in 2019 was much higher than usual for insurance companies of its size in the market, according to the NAIC.

A closer look at Metromile insurance

Here are a few more things to know about Metromile insurance.

  • Only available in some states — Metromile only offers auto coverage in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. The company notes on its website that it plans to expand to more states soon, though.
  • Few coverage options — Metromile only offers liability, comprehensive and collision insurance, as well as roadside assistance as an add-on.
  • Pets are also protected — In some states, drivers automatically get up to $1,000 in pet injury coverage with comprehensive or collision policies.
  • Deductible-free windshield repair — If you purchase comprehensive coverage and need to repair a damaged windshield, Metromile will waive your deductible. But keep in mind that windshield replacements are subject to a deductible.
  • File claims quickly and easily — All drivers have access to 24/7 claims, which can be submitted quickly through the mobile app or over the phone.
  • Coverage is only for personal cars — Metromile doesn’t offer coverage for motorcycles, ATVs, RVs or boats — or for vehicles used for ride sharing or food delivery.

Is a Metromile insurance policy the right fit for you?

A Metromile policy may be ideal if you work from home, have a short daily commute or live within walking distance of the stores, restaurants and other places you go to a lot. Metromile notes on its blog that if you drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year, its insurance may be ideal for you. It may also be a good fit if you like the idea of using digital features and managing your policy largely from an app.

But if you regularly log a lot of miles or are turned off by an app tracking where you go, Metromile may not be the best choice for you.

How to get an auto insurance quote from Metromile

If you live in one of the eight states where Metromile operates, you can easily get a quote for coverage online or over the phone. According to the company’s website, the online process only takes about two minutes.

Any time you’re buying auto insurance coverage, it’s always smart to shop around for quotes first. Check out our guide on comparing auto insurance rates for tips on evaluating your options.

Not sure if an auto insurance policy from Metromile is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sure whether Metromile is right for you — or if you live in a state where Metromile doesn’t offer insurance — here are some alternatives to consider.

  • Farmers auto insurance: Farmers could be a good fit if you’re looking for a range of auto insurance coverage options, beyond standard types of coverage.
  • Allstate: Allstate may work if you’re looking for coverage for a motorcycle, boat or ATV.

About the author: Stephanie Colestock is a personal finance writer with a passion for helping readers take control of their money. If it has to do with planning for the future, getting out of debt, or eve… Read more.