While Metromile is planning to continue its metered model, Dan Preston, the company’s CEO, sees some opportunity in collecting other data and offering additional value to customers. For example, the device can be configured to transmit location and cross-referenced with legal-parking maps. For urban drivers who need to stay abreast of alternate-side parking, Metromile can alert them if they’re in danger of getting a ticket. The company also offers the ability to read diagnostic codes from the car’s computer. All these additional services are opt-in.
“What’s cool about that from a customer perspective is not only are you saving money with us but you’re also getting more value,” Preston explains. “You may be saving $500 a year with our insurance productions but you’re also probably saving like another $300 or $400 on parking tickets and maybe a few hundred dollars on getting your car repaired correctly.”
Even if Metromile is betting on people driving less – not necessarily the best-case scenario for an insurance company – it’s also uniquely positioned to operate in the changing world of transportation, especially as it relates to ride-sharing.
The always-connected nature of telematics-powered insurance is on full display in Metromile’s product for Uber drivers. Like several companies, Metromile offers a personal insurance product tailored for Uber that covers them as they are exposed to several different risks over the course of personal driving, driving while waiting for a passenger, and driving with a passenger. Metromile’s technology integrates with the Uber app to identify the precise moment when a driver stops driving for personal reasons and becomes a commercial vehicle. Uber covers the period when a passenger is in the car; but supplemental insurance is needed while drivers are waiting for a hail.