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Real talk about per-mile car insurance

go further for free meme #vanlife imgur real talk about per mile car insurance metromile

Wondered about per-mile car insurance but don't have time to figure out if it's right for you? Halibutboy just did a lot of research and took the plunge, and I am here to break it down for you!

* You live in Washington, Oregon, California, Virginia, Illinois. If you don't, forget it for now.

* You drive fewer than 10K miles per year. That means under 750 miles per month, or 192 miles per week. Let me put it this way: if you fill your tank more than once a week, you probably drive too much... UNLESS you do all of your driving in one big trip each week, in which case keep going.

* You are not currently required to file an SR22 with your DMV, usually due to a DUI or a major accident.

* You're OK having a device in your car that measures miles driven (not speed or braking, this is not your mom!) and reports back to the insurance company. If you can't deal with that level of surveillance, take a pass.

* You don't need a lot of customer service handholding. From my experience, availability and training of staff are pretty minimal so far.

* You are OK taking the risk that the insurance company will go out of business. It's a startup. The policies are underwritten by a big auto insurance company, but the actual interactions are with a startup.

You still on board so far? Then let's get into the bonus rounds: these are the circumstances under which you will save EXTRA GOOD money or get some other value.

* You own your car outright, and it's maybe kind of a shitbox (I'm not judging! so is mine) that isn't worth the money to insure if it gets totaled. You can get comprehensive and collision from a per-mile insurance vendor, but they don't come by default.

* You do almost all your driving in 150+ mile chunks. Let's say you rarely drive during the workweek, but every weekend without fail you head straight to Tahoe or to visit your girlfriend in the next state. The big trick of per-mile car insurance is that the cost of the "per mile" part is CAPPED at 150 miles per day (250 miles if you live in Washington State) -- above that, you don't pay any more that day! That is free money, my friend.

* You almost never drive, or want to be in total control of your insurance costs. If you keep a car around just because it's paid off and you want to go to Coachella or Burning Man once a year, this is DEFINITELY the policy for you. My base rate is laughably small, like almost $100/month less than my old auto insurance. I like the idea that if I don't have the money that month, I just don't drive -- so I can budget auto insurance for the month just like I budget for gas. It never made sense to me that I had to pay the full whack even during a period in my life when I didn't drive at all for like 8 months.

And there you have it, Halibutboy's super straight-shooting guide to per-mile car insurance.

Quick recap: if you live on the best coast, your ride is paid off, and you basically only drive on your weekends -- you can save BIG.

Hey #vanlife peoples, I hope you take that money you'll be saving every month and invest it wisely!

Stashed in: economics, Personal Finance, #vanlife, Real Talk, #bikelife, Nuggets, Insurance

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thank you! 

I'm sure Halibutboy is happy you liked his dropping truth bombs.

What a great alternative for people who primarily bike or take public transit.

Or just keep a car so they can go to Burning Man.

I wonder how Halibutboy discovered per-mile vehicle insurance.

I am curious if anyone on PandaWhale has tried per-mile auto insurance, and what you think of it.

It might work, metromile is one such vendor. It's not a good idea for those of us with fancy cars though...

I fit within the critera of no commute to work, mostly drive long trips to LA and such, but my car is fancy...

It's also not good for those that drive on rallies with other fancy cars... 

Perfect for me.  Me and my ebike, bike, skates, and running shoes, and nearby trains.

Ajay, agreed, it seems more appropriate for people like Stephen!

And I thank you both for your perspective. 

My thing is that I would REALLY like to avoid ever buying another car! My beloved Subie, which I mostly keep around for hiking and camping adventures, just passed 125k miles. With a little luck I think we can make it to 200k, at which point hopefully an autonomous fleet of self-driving electric cars will be all over my area. So that is my rationale for looking into the best options for insuring older cars that are not driven much.

Ajay, I have a friend with a fancy car in SF who is saving $200/month on his insurance so...

joyce, i too am holding out for the fleet of self-driving cars!!

Emily, that's 5-10 years away. 

In my case it will be at the lower end of that scale because I live within 10 miles of both Google and Tesla HQs. What's the point of having these tech companies lobbying for political changes if you can't benefit?!?! :)

Another potential meme for this page, geared towards bike commuters:

want to be thin rich and badass meme imgur real talk about per mile car insurance #vanlife metrolife

I like. Is there a #bikecommuter hashtag?

There's a #bikelife one!

I like that! And now I have a #bikelife stash:

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