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The Best Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance Companies (2019)

Not everyone with a car drives a large number of miles. Some drivers use their cars infrequently or only drive short distances.   For drivers who do not put a lot of miles on their car every year, one new trend in car insurance is pay-per-mile auto insurance. Pay-per-mile auto insurance is a type of car insurance that bills you a flat monthly fee plus a fee per mile. This offers a way for people who do not drive a lot to save money on their auto insurance.   

Metromile is the most famous of the pay-per-mile auto insurance companies; however, this auto insurance is only available in eight states.  For people who do not live in one of the states that Metromile serves or who are looking for other options, there are a few other pay-per-mile auto insurance companies out there.  Furthermore, some major auto insurance companies have begun offering a pay-per-mile auto insurance option.

Metromile

Summary:  Metromile may be considered to be the leader in pay-per-mile auto insurance.  This company offers auto insurance in eight states. These states include Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.  The company, which started operating in 2011, is supposed to benefit drivers who drive less than 10,000 miles a year.

Pros:

  • Metromile offers additional features such as fuel tracker, parked car locator, and maintenance alerts
  • You can get a quote and sign up for Metromile online without having to interact with an insurance agent.
  • The company has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau
  • Has a free app that can help you find your car in the parking lot.

Cons:

  • Actually has a higher rate of complaints than other auto insurance companies its size.

Rate Calculation

Metromile charges its customers a base rate plus a per mileage rate which it calculates in the same way that other car insurance companies calculate your car insurance rate.   The base rate starts as low as $29 a month. Factors that the auto insurance company may take into account when figuring your rate include your age, location, type of vehicle, driving record, coverage options, and more.  Metromile uses a telematic plug in device called the Metromile Pulse that plugs in under your dashboard and a smartphone app to track your mileage.  

Coverage Options

Metromile offers a number of coverage options from which consumers can choose.  The coverage options the company offers includes Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage Liability, Collision, Comprehensive, Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage, Medical Payments Coverage, Rental Car Reimbursement, and Roadside Assistance. 

The Bottom Line

Metromile is a pay-per-mile company that has been in business since 2011, which is longer than any other pay-per-mile auto insurance company.  The company is financially sound and offers a variety of coverage options. Metromile does, however, have a significant number of complaints. Notwithstanding this fact, Metromile is probably a better choice for a pay-per-mile auto insurance company than newer companies that do not have any reviews.  Yet, it may not be a better choice than the pay-per-mile insurance that is being offered by large well-known auto insurance companies.  

>>MORE: MetroMile Car Insurance Company Review

Mile Auto

Summary:  Drivers in Oregon and Illinois have another option besides Metromile.  Mile Auto is a pay-per-mile auto insurance company which started doing business in these two states in the fall of 2018.  Mile Auto operates in a similar manner to Metromile. Furthermore, the company’s policies are underwritten by a national insurance company with an ‘Excellent’ rating from A.M. Best.  Ratings and reviews have not come in for this company since it is still new.

Pros:

  • Coverage backed by Lyndon Southern Insurance Company, a company that has been in business since 1996 with an A- rating from A.M. Best.
  • Taking a photo of your odometer better protects your privacy than installing a telematics device.

Cons:

  • Unlike Metromile where any miles over 250 in a day are free, Mile Auto does not have a daily mileage limit for charges.
  • The company has been in business for less than a year.

Rate Calculation

Mile Auto claims to value its customers privacy more than Metromile.  The auto insurance company does not require that its customers install a telematics device on the car.  Instead, each month, the consumer is required to take a photo of the car’s odometer and send it in. The consumer only pays for the miles he drives plus the base rate.  To calculate your base and per mile rate, Mile Auto uses many of the same factors that other auto insurance companies use to calculate consumers’ rates. These factors include driving history, location, vehicle type and use, age, gender, years of driving experience, credit history, coverages, and deductibles.

Coverage Options

Mile Auto has several coverage options available.  In addition to liability coverage, the company offers comprehensive, collision, rental vehicle reimbursement, and roadside assistance.  The company also allows you to choose your coverage limits and deductibles.

The Bottom Line

Mile Auto is a new pay-per-mile auto insurance company that does not have any established history or reviews.  The company, however, is financially stable and does offer a number of coverage options. For people in the two states that it serves, if this company gives you better rates, it may be an okay choice for pay-per-mile auto insurance.  

>>MORE: Best Car Insurance for Low Mileage Drivers

Esurance Pay Per Mile

Summary: Esurance’s pay-per-mile auto insurance uses the same base rate and per mile rate formula that most pay-per-mile auto insurance companies do.  One difference between Esurance and the others, however, is that Esurance requires that you pay a down payment for six-months of pay-per-mile auto insurance whereas Metromile and Mile Auto charge you monthly with no down payment required.

Pros:

  • Esurance has been around longer than companies such as Metromile and Mile Auto.
  • Esurance has an A.M. best financial strength rating of A+.
  • Only pay for the first 150 miles a day. 

Cons:

  • Charges a cancellation fee of $50 if you cancel before the end of your six-month period.  
  • Only available in Oregon.
  • Esuarance’s overall claims satisfaction rating is rather low according to J.D. Power

Rate Calculation

Your Esurance pay-per-mile base rate and per mile rate are calculated using the same factors that Esurance uses to calculate traditional car insurance.  These factors include your age, gender, driving record, your auto insurance history, your vehicle, your coverage options and more.  

Coverage Options

Esurance offers its pay-per-mile customers the same coverage options as its traditional auto insurance policyholders. These coverage options include Collision, Comprehensive, Emergency Roadside Assistance, Rental Car Coverage, Gap Insurance, Medical Payments, Personal Injury Protection, Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist, and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

The Bottom Line

Esurance’s Pay-per-mile auto insurance is only offered in Oregon, a state in which you have a choice of pay-per-mile auto insurance companies including Metromile, Mile Auto, and Milewise.  With Esurance’s pay-per-mile auto insurance, you can get the same coverage as is offer to Esurance’s traditional car insurance customers. Although you pay monthly for the pay-per-mile insurance, Esurance does require a six-month policy and has a down payment and a cancellation fee.   

SmartMiles by Nationwide

Summary:  SmartMiles is a pay-per-mile car insurance program run by Nationwide.  It advertises that it offers the same great coverage as a traditional Nationwide policy but is based on the number of miles you drive.  Simply plug the telematics device into your car so that it can track your miles and save money on auto insurance. 

Pros:

  • All miles over 250 a day are free.
  • Consumers can get up to a 10% discount after their first month for safe driving.
  • Offered by a large reputable auto insurance company that is financially stable so that consumers do not have to worry about whether this company can back its claims
  • Nationwide had $46.5 billion in revenue in 2017
  • You can get a quote online

Cons:

  • May not be compatible with some hybrid and diesel-powered cars.
  • Program is new and does not have any reviews.

Rate Calculation

The company uses a base rate and a variable pay per mile rate to calculate your monthly premium similar to other pay-per-mile auto insurance companies.  Just like Metromile, SmartMiles uses a small plug in device which tracks your miles. The company calculates your base rate and your variable mileage premium rate in the same way the traditional auto insurance companies calculate your rate.  Factors which may be taken into account when calculating your rates include your age, location, vehicle, coverage options, driving history, gender, marital status, and more.

Coverage Options

SmartMiles advertises that you can get the same great coverage options as with traditional car insurance.  The traditional coverage options that Nationwide offers includes Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist, Underinsured Motorist, Medical Payments, Collision, Comprehensive, Towing & Labor Coverage, Rental Car Expense, Gap Coverage, Accident Forgiveness, Roadside Assistance, Vanishing Deductible, and Total Loss Deductible Waiver.

The Bottom Line

SmartMiles may be a great pay-per-mile auto insurance option for you to try if you do not drive that much and you already have Nationwide insurance.  For people who do not already have Nationwide coverage, this company probably has more stringent requirements to insure you than Metromile or Mile Auto.  However, if you do qualify for the company’s pay-per-mile auto insurance, it is probably the safest choice in pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Milewise by AllState

Summary:  AllState has recently begun offering pay-per-mile auto insurance under a program called Milewise.  This insurance is available in 12 state and Washington D.C. Milewise differs from other pay-per-mile auto insurance companies because it operates on a prepaid account system and charges your account for each trip.

Pros:

  • AllState is a longstanding company with a good reputation and a great deal of financial strength
  • You can see how much each trip costs
  • Any miles over 150 in a day are not counted

Cons:

  • Rates not available online
  • Milewise is not offered in all states.  AllState offers Milewise in Washington D.C., Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.  
  • Milewise not only records the number of miles you drive it also records the time of day, speed, specific driving events, and location.  This information is used to provide feedback.
  • You do not know when your credit card is going to be charged to replenish your Milewise account
  • Each drive is charged at the end of the trip.

Rate Calculation

Milewise uses a telematics device to track your miles.  You plug the device into the car in a similar manner to any other telematics device.  The device has a companion smartphone app which keeps track of your mileage information.  Additionally, to use Milewise, you set up a prepaid account with a credit card attached to replenish your account.  

Milewise calculates your miles daily and the cost of your travel is deducted from your account at the end of each trip. Instead of using a monthly base rate plus mileage fee, Milewise calculates insurance at a daily rate which it charges each day regardless of whether you drive the car. There is also a per-mile fee that is charged at the end of each trip.  Factors that go into determining your daily rate include your age, location, driving history, coverage options, type of vehicle and more. The company also charges a per mile rate that is calculated and deducted from your account at the end of each trip.

Coverage Options

Milewise offers the same coverage options as AllState and you must qualify for AllState coverage to use Milewise.  AllState’s coverage options include Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist, Collision, Comprehensive, Medical Payments, Roadside Assistance, Rideshare, rental Reimbursement, and Soundsystem Coverage.

The Bottom Line

AllState’s Milewise does not operate the same way as other pay-per-mile auto insurance programs due to its prepaid account which is charged at the end of each drive.  Furthermore, the company’s telematics device collects more information than most telematics devices that are used to calculate miles for pay-per-mile services. AllState has not been offering Milewise long so there are no ratings or reviews readily available.  However, AllState originally only offered the program in three states and has expanded it to quite a few more states suggesting that its pay-per-mile insurance option has experienced success. Moreover, AllState is a longstanding company with a good reputation. For people in the states that Milewise serves who want to consider pay-per-mile auto insurance, Milewise may be a good choice.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a pay-per-mile auto insurance company, there are a few out there for you to choose from.  Metromile is, of course, the most well-known; however, it is only available in eight states. Yet, if you live in one of these states, this insurance is probably better than newcomer Mile Auto and Esurance requires you to sign up for a six-month policy.   Nationwide’s SmartMiles and AllState’s Milewise are also good choices from well-known financially solid auto insurance companies who have been in business for years. SmartMiles gives you the base rate and variable mileage rate like other pay-per-mile auto insurance companies.  Milewise charges a daily rate and charges your prepaid account for each trip that you take. However, with Milewise, you do not have to worry about a bill at the end of the month. Thus, which pay-per-mile auto insurance company is best for you depending on the pay-per-mile auto insurance features that you are looking for.

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