The startup Metromile has been turning heads over the past several months as it's begun testing its pay-per-mile auto insurance offering in the environmentally friendly Pacific Northwest. After a few months of availability in Oregon, the company has now moved into Washington — and more states are on the way.
"MetroMile is bringing its flagship service, the country's only pay-per-mile car insurance, to Washington drivers," it wrote in a statement today. "The company is also planning to launch in additional markets in early 2014 and throughout the year."
MetroMile has designed its insurance product for people who drive less than 10,000 miles per year. So it's no surprise that it's pushing hard in urban areas known for their openness to driving alternatives. The company is offering its Metronome telematics device free on a first-come, first-serve basis to drivers in San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Ore. so they can try some of its other services — including analytics and modeling technology that monitors gas use and maintenance needs — before they potentially buy (There is no obligation to purchase coverage after a trial). Metromile's new iOS app, also launched today, provides users quick access to that valuable information.
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"Our early users will receive first access to features that quantify the hidden costs of car use," said Dan Preston, Chief Technology Officer at MetroMile, in a statement. "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."
MetroMile lists these key features of its app:
- Smart Commuting: The app learns the ins and outs of drivers' daily commutes, identifying the best time to leave home
- Gas Optimization: Drivers can compare their car's factory-rated MPG to their actual use, see how their driving patterns affect fuel efficiency and check the exact gas cost for every trip they take
- Engine Diagnostics: The app decodes check engine codes
- Find Your Car: For those drivers who park blocks away, a fitted Metronome and the app can help find their vehicle
"People living in cities often drive less than half the national average. Insurance can be the majority of their cost of operating a car," said Steve Pretre, CEO of MetroMile, 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. We've proven the concept in Portland and are now taking the service to other cities, starting with Seattle."
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio