Dan Preston avatar
Dan Preston
I'm Dan Preston, the CEO of Metromile ($MILE), and I'll be joining the Public community on July 13 from 1 to 2 pm ET to chat live. Drop in your questions about our digital insurance platform, new mobility trends, and what's on the horizon for Metromile, including autonomous insurance and decentralized finance.
Town Hall
19 questions answered
Danial avatar
What is Metromile?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Daniel, We’re the most recognized pay-per-mile insurer in the U.S. We use data science and technology to make auto insurance fairer and a better experience for drivers. Because we understand how often and how safely you drive, you get insurance based on your own driving and not everyone else’s at Metromile. Our app has free features that make being a driver easier, such as street-sweeping alerts, car locator and a trip planner. We also make it simple to file a claim directly from your phone. On average, customers save 47% a year when they switch to us. The result is an experience drivers have come to love: We’re proud of our 4.7-star app store rating, high customer satisfaction scores, and the fact that many of our customers recommend us to their family and friends. We even have multiple generations of entire families as customers.
Karli Collins avatar
What differentiates Metromile from other insurance platforms?
Dan Preston avatar
Good question, Karli. We use data science and technology to provide real-time, personalized car insurance. This means our drivers pay only for what they use with pay-per-mile. With our technology, we can treat people like individuals and offer dynamic rates. We think this helps ensure our insurance is flexible, less expensive and more equitable. Most insurance companies are built on demographics to put people into buckets of risk. It completely ignores individuals, communities and trends, such as how driving behavior changes, connected and autonomous cars, and how cars are becoming safer. Additionally, we have built our insurance company differently than others: We are built from the ground up with sensors and technology first, which allows us to offer end-to-end automated claims, where drivers can handle their claim primarily on their own in the app. This leads to better experiences and lower prices for our customers, and an overall more efficient organization that will be able to expand margins over time. But we find drivers come to us for the savings and stay for our experience. We have a 4.7-star app rating and great customer satisfaction scores, including after a claim, which we know is the moment of truth for insurers.
Kevin Cox avatar
Does MILE provide their own insurance to costumers or helps prorate by mile other companies’ policies for costumers?
Dan Preston avatar
Thanks for the great question, Kevin! We provide our own auto insurance. We’re a full-stack carrier, which means we’re licensed and responsible for everything once we sell you a policy. We believe this lets us provide a better experience and value. We sometimes work with other insurance companies to offer other products. For example, we recently announced a partnership with Hippo, which will let us bundle our pay-per-mile auto insurance with Hippo’s home insurance and provide up to an extra 15% off on each policy. Look out for the bundle in the second half of this year.
Margaret avatar
I love your company and service. It seems to be geared towards cities as the mileage caps don’t support even basic suburban daily commutes. Can you speak to how the numbers will work if only a good solution in cities and/or plans to cover more mid/small towns with no mass transit infrastructure. Thank you.
Dan Preston avatar
Thanks for being a fan, Margaret! (Josh and Jeffery, I see your questions, and this answer is also for you.) 65% of drivers in the U.S. are a good fit for pay-per-mile and can find value no matter where they might live. We have many customers in smaller cities, suburbs and rural areas who drive daily. While it may feel like you’re racking up miles quickly, you can save 47% a year on average if you drive less than the national average, which is about 40 miles driven every single day. I also want to be clear: Miles are free after you reach our caps of 250 miles/day or 150 miles/day in New Jersey. We hear you and know how much drivers want to control costs. We offer these mile caps to help our drivers avoid bill surprises after a road trip. This way pay-per-mile insurance can help you save even if you occasionally drive more than you ordinarily would.
Roderic Davis avatar
What states do the company covers and if there be any more states added in the future
Dan Preston avatar
Hey Roderic, thanks for the question. We’re currently available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. We’re working on bringing pay-per-mile insurance to more states. Look out for news in the coming months!
Any plans on coming to Tennessee?
Dan Preston avatar
Thank you for your interest, Jan! Our goal is to make pay-per-mile available nationwide, and we plan to share some news about our new states in the coming months.
Quan Glenn avatar
How do you see digital insurance platforms progressing in the future
Dan Preston avatar
Good question, Quan. (Hany, this answer is also for you.) The world is becoming increasingly digitized, and technology is impacting nearly every aspect and interaction. At the same time, sensor data is growing exponentially with connectivity, mobile phones and autonomy. We believe there’s an opportunity to build something around each person and the moment of time. You can see this technology at work in our products. We have about a 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate because we can use sensors to help you find your car. If you have to file a claim, we can also use data from your car to verify the details of your claim, which lets us resolve and pay you for any claims faster. We believe the result will be a more equitable product that becomes a tool for community resilience, and the most successful insurers will be the most connected platforms. They will have customer flexibility and an equitable people-first mission at their core.
Aditya avatar
How does the company think about utilizing the data collected and driving powerful developments in insurance-based AI, and what are some lasting implications?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Aditya, First of all, we think your data is yours. We believe that we should have your permission whenever we use data, be clear about why we’re using it, and demonstrate tangible value for sharing it with us. For example, many customers have told us they love our car health monitor because it alerted them to an issue they weren’t aware of without having to go to a repair shop. Looking into the future, we plan to use data to personalize our insurance further to make sure that it works for everyone. We might use our data to give you discounts upfront because we know you’re a safe driver instead of waiting until you renew like other insurers typically do. When autonomous cars become more available, we might charge you a different rate if you’re driving vs. the car, as our AI will let us understand the risk better and price accordingly.
Kevin Cox avatar
How will self-driving cars affect the revenue and cost structure of the insurance industry? Assuming AVs are safer than humans, will less risk mean less market value for insurance?
Dan Preston avatar
Thanks for this question, Kevin! This is something that we think about a lot. We already know that autonomous vehicles can be safer than drivers. This data already exists, but no insurance company has figured out how to pass on the rewards to drivers. As autonomous driving becomes more common, we believe pay-per-mile will become the standard. You might pay a different per-mile rate when the car is driving vs. when you are to reflect the different risks and types of driving. Our cost structures have already started to build in this future. You can think of our base rate as what helps to cover your car while it’s parked, and the per-mile rate is dynamic based on your usage. This means our pricing can be dynamic and adjust on and off based on your actual risk. We don’t rely on the majority of drivers who are safer drivers to subsidize the riskiest drivers like other insurance companies.
Bj Saunders avatar
What is the future electric public mobility?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi BJ, thanks for asking this. We believe micro-mobility, including electric bikes and scooters, are here to stay and will only become more popular. Recently, our data shows that people are changing how they travel and get around. Our customers have started to drive longer distances and are no longer traveling during commute hours, even as places start to reopen. We believe people are getting around in new ways, including electric public mobility, for shorter trips and when they travel someplace else on a trip.
Aaron avatar
I'm interested in more info on the decentralized finance. I've heard very good things about it. Can you explain it's role in Metromile? 😁
Dan Preston avatar
Thanks for the great question, Aaron! Decentralized finance uses blockchain technology to offer financial products without middlemen like banks or exchanges. We’re not quite there yet, but it’s something we think will be the future. We believe decentralized finance and cryptocurrency are part of the movement to create more equitability and better financial outcomes, which we support. We recently announced our plans to let drivers pay for insurance and get paid for claims in bitcoin, but we think it’s just the beginning. We look for ways to provide drivers more choice and a better experience, and cryptocurrency and decentralized finance have a role to play.
Megan@shadowfax avatar
1.) So vehicle owners have a chip tied in with the odometer linking to your company, which in turn bills the owner per mile? 2.) What happens if the vehicle is stolen and the owner doesn’t know about it? 3.) Is there a maximum rate you plan to charge if someone decides to use their car to take a cross-country trip? That could get very costly per mile. 4.) How much buy-in is your company going to have to support cryptocurrency?
Dan Preston avatar
Thanks for all of the great questions, Megan! Customers can connect with us in one of two ways: (1) through an in-car sensor that we call Metromile Pulse or (2) directly through their connected car. Either way, it helps us create the best experience for our drivers. For example, it helps us accurately and securely count the miles you drive and makes it easier for us to help you file and resolve your claim. Because we have sensor data from your car, we can help you find your car if it’s ever lost or stolen using our app. We’ve helped many drivers recover their car because they can see the car’s location and alert law enforcement right away. We have about a 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate. We currently have maximum rates so that you can still save if you take a road trip. We don’t charge you for any miles you drive over 250 miles in a single day or 150/day in New Jersey. Many drivers still save with pay-per-mile, even if they take a big trip or road trip, because about 65% of drivers are low-mileage drivers who drive 40 miles or less every day. Finally, we are supportive of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance. This year we committed to buying bitcoin to support claims payments and soon will let you pay for your policy in bitcoin.
Grier martin avatar
Do you think there will be more or less decentralization in finance?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Grier, thanks for asking this. As a company, we’ve given this a lot of thought. We think there will be more decentralization in finance. For insurance specifically, we believe the future of insurance will shift control to consumers. Insurance will be built for individuals and personalized, and this will enhance financial resiliency for everybody. For example, paying claims with cryptocurrency payments can be faster than mailing checks or electronic payments that rely on banks, making drivers whole again faster, which is a better experience.
Carlos Alberto Navarro avatar
What would be the main reason to invest in your company for long term growth?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Carlos, and thank you for the question. (Phillip, we saw you asked this, and this answer is for you, too.) We have focused first on ensuring we have a strong unit economic foundation. In insurance, it’s critical to make sure you’re not just undercutting the market but instead have a truly disruptive idea that can sustain you over the long term. We believe we’ve achieved that goal. Now, we are beginning to implement our broader growth plans and ultimately expand nationwide. Auto insurance is a $260 billion market. Because low-mileage drivers represent about 65% of all drivers, this suggests the size of our addressable market is about $170 billion. As we expand into markets, cultivate new partnerships like Ford and other auto manufacturers, and enhance our brand, we expect that we will be able to considerably grow our business and market share in the years ahead. We believe we’re expanding at the right time. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that consumer resiliency is driven by having the flexibility to manage their costs. Metromile allows drivers to pay only for what they need, and we’re constantly looking for ways to pass more savings back to our customers. As an example, as cars become safer, our insurance will adapt, and we’ll even be able to extend beyond insurance: think things like warranties, coaching, and maintenance. This all requires flexible insurance models, which is where we lead. We’ve been laying the groundwork to execute our growth strategy and bring Metromile’s combination of savings and experience to more drivers across the country. All of this work will help us build a lasting, generational company.
Quan Glenn avatar
What’s the long term goal of $MILE
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Quan, thanks for the question. (Ekene, I saw your similar question, and this answer is also for you.) Our goal is to offer what no one else can: insurance personalized to you. We think pay-per-mile is fairer for three main reasons: (1) it reflects your actual usage, not everyone else's; (2) it provides you with a better rate because it represents your real risk and not a proxy; and (3) it’s more equitable because we’re actively working to remove unfair factors. Beyond just the pricing model, we aim to build the digital insurance company of the future. Our fully automated claims platform is just one example of this. As connected and autonomous cars become more common and more of us use car-sharing and ride-sharing, Metromile will offer seamless product experiences that charge fairly for that risk. And we plan to do this worldwide: With Metromile Enterprise, insurers worldwide are licensing our technology to bring this experience to their customers. In sum, we’re working on making insurance more accessible, fairly priced and efficient. We are also adding new products, including our recently announced partnership with Hippo to provide up to an extra 15% off auto and home insurance in a new type of bundle.
GraceG avatar
Any plans on adding electric cost estimators for EVs, in addition to fueling cost under the trips section of the App?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Grace, thanks for your feedback. We’re always talking about new features, and we’re passionate about adding what’s important to our customers. Though I can’t share any exact timing, I can say that it’s something we’re looking into.
Do you plan on getting into motorcycle insurance at all?
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Jan, We’re focused on personal auto insurance now and bundling our pay-per-mile with home insurance. But our goal is to make insurance fairer, so it’s not out of the picture. We think bikers deserve a better experience, too, but we don’t have any immediate plans yet.
Rick avatar
You hiring
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Rick, I appreciate your interest in us. We’re hiring and looking for people to help us grow. We’re looking for people who are as obsessed with savings, service, and engaging features for drivers as we are. We’re also open to remote work: We have Metromilers in more than 20 states! You can take a look at our latest openings here: https://www.metromile.com/careers/
Daniel avatar
Do you cover small business
Dan Preston avatar
Hi Daniel, We’re focused on personal coverage and bringing our standout experience to individual drivers. We don’t currently insure vehicles used for work, except if you host your car on Turo. We insure Turo hosts with our fractional auto insurance in some states. We created fractional insurance so that people who share their cars on Turo don’t have to pay for miles that their guests drive. You can learn more here: https://www.metromile.com/partners/turo