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At last, auto insurance that rewards you for driving less

Posted by Chris Hagerbaumer at Dec 17, 2012 10:35 PM |

We're happy to report that pay-per-mile auto insurance is finally available in Portland, courtesy of MetroMile.

MetroMileGood things come to those who wait!

I’m happy to report that pay-per-mile auto insurance is finally available in Portland, courtesy of MetroMile, nearly ten years after Oregon Environmental Council spearheaded legislation to pave the way for pay-as-you-drive insurance in Oregon. The California-based company is starting in Portland, with plans to expand in the future.

MetroMile converts a portion of your annual fixed premium into a per-mile fee. They install an in-car sensor that logs your miles and sends you a monthly bill, which will also incorporates data that can help you with your car’s performance, like diagnostics and emissions data. Users pay a base fee of $30 to $60 a month along with a mileage charge that typically ranges between three and six cents a mile. These rates depend on what type of vehicle you’re driving, your driving record and other important rating factors. MetroMile’s product is designed for people who drive less than 10,000 miles a year, and the company claims lower-mileage drivers can save as much as 20-30% percent compared to purchasing conventional auto insurance.

The beauty of pay-per-mile insurance is that it better reflects your risk of being in an accident, gives you more control over your driving expenses, and rewards you for driving less. This pocketbook-friendly auto insurance option encourages less driving, which, in turn, reduces our impact on the climate, makes our water and air cleaner, and reduces the need to build expensive new roads. It’s exactly the kind of help we need from the private sector to meet our environmental goals.

Please join me in welcoming MetroMile to Portland!

Read more on BikePortland.org and in the New York Times.

related to OEC effort?

Posted by Michael Andersen at Dec 19, 2012 12:38 PM
OEC's 2003 priority was to create a modest tax subsidy for this sort of program, right? Were there any regulatory changes involved? MetroMile's CEO has cited Oregon's innovation-friendly regulations several times, but not the tax benefits. (Maybe that's off message, though.) I'm not clear on how much money they'll save using this program, though I plan to ask when records are available next year.

good Q

Posted by Chris Hagerbaumer at Dec 19, 2012 01:02 PM
Hi, Michael -

Indeed, what we worked on was a tax incentive, which MetroMile isn't utilizing (all the better for state coffers, eh?). But the fact that Oregon has a tax credit on the books has demonstrated that Oregon is "open for business"; and a number of insurance companies have looked into the incentive. MetroMile chose to launch in Portland not only because of the state's regulatory atmosphere, but also because there are so many potential customers in a metropolitan area like Portland where people drive 20% less than in other large urban areas. However, we hope MetroMile will expand across the state because we have heard from Oregonians in communities large and small that they're interested in pay-as-you-drive insurance.

tax subsidy

Posted by Michael Andersen at Dec 19, 2012 01:20 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, Chris! That's interesting that they're not using the subsidy. Any idea why?

tax subsidy

Posted by Chris Hagerbaumer at Dec 19, 2012 01:52 PM
Most start-ups don't have tax liability.

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