MetroMile Expands Services, Pay-per-Mile Availability to Wash.

MetroMile’s pay-per-mile auto coverage is now available in Washington state, according to a Tuesday announcement in which the car insurance provider also unveiled new services.

MetroMile is geared to serve drivers whose annual mileage is 10,000 miles and under, allowing them to buy auto insurance coverage at a per-mile rate that the company says saves its average customer more than $400 a year.

Steve Pretre, MetroMile’s CEO, said that city-dwelling drivers “often drive less than half the national average” but still face high insurance costs.

“Insurance can be the majority of their cost of operating a car,” Pretre said in a statement. “We are working to break the old model of one-size-fits-all insurance rates by aligning what people pay with the amount they drive. It’s fair, it’s transparent, and it gives drivers more control over their costs.”

MetroMile has been available in Oregon, where customers pay a daily rate for car use that is capped at 150 miles per day. In Washington, according to the company, daily rates are capped at 250 miles per day.

MetroMile customers pay a base rate every month in addition to a rate of “a few cents per mile,” according to the company. Mileage is calculated monthly from the Metronome device, which plugs into a vehicle’s diagnostic port and transmits data wirelessly to MetroMile.

The company is already in San Francisco and said it will expand to “additional markets in early 2014.”

MetroMile Apps, Devices Help Drivers Manage Driving

MetroMile said it is making its Metronome device available for free in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland metro areas, though availability is first come, first served.

The Metronome tracks car mileage for MetroMile customers but also lets them “access MetroMile’s money-saving services,” including features from car engine diagnostics to fuel efficiency tracking.

Users of Apple’s iPhone can rejoice, as the company also debuted its mobile application for the iOS operating system on Tuesday. The free application addresses car costs like “gas and maintenance,” the company said.

Such applications are crucial to “unlocking the data trapped in cars,” according to David Friedberg, MetroMile’s chairman, who said the company helps motorists better understand their driving habits and save money at the same time.

Services offered by the iOS application include:

  • Smart Commuting: After using data about a driver’s daily commute, this app can then show that driver “the most optimal time to leave the house”
  • Gas Optimization: A driver can link how they drive to how much fuel they use along with “the exact gas cost for every trip they take”
  • Engine Diagnostics: A review of the “car’s check engine codes” can provide the driver insight into their vehicle’s performance
  • Find Your Car: A location-based feature that tracks where a driver last left his or her vehicle

“Over time, we expect to deliver even more data, insights and services that help them solve the challenges they face in their day-to-day car use,” Dan Preston, MetroMile’s chief technology officer, said.

 

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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